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By John Stonestreet
Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski met at a Starbucks café in north Phoenix in January 2015. Both were Christians, and both were artists. They decided to go into business together, combining their love for Jesus with their love for making beautiful things. Soon they launched Brush & Nib Studio, a for-profit art business that sells hand-drawn invitations and paintings.
According to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a leading Christian legal-defense organization, “As Christian artists, Joanna and Breanna had a simple goal for their studio: to recreate the beauty God placed all around us and to share that beauty with others. And this goal made it natural for Joanna and Breanna to focus on artwork for weddings.”
Well, this combination of Brush & Nib’s Christian conviction and its focus on weddings created a problem for Joanna and Breanna—as it already has for bakers and wedding photographers who believe marriage is between a man and a woman and cannot, by conscience, participate in wedding ceremonies between homosexuals.
The city of Phoenix has passed an ordinance which, according to ADF, “requires Brush & Nib to create invitations and other artwork for same-sex wedding ceremonies. It also prevented Brush & Nib from explaining to customers and the public why they could only create art consistent with their beliefs about marriage.”
This is what’s known in some circles as a two-fer, violating not only their religious freedom but also their freedom of speech! Not only that, but the law said that for each day business owners such as Joanna and Breanna were in violation, they would be liable for a $2,500 fine … and six months in jail.
These two Christians face fines and jail for standing up for what they believe. At the same time, no one would think of the government penalizing NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for standing up—or in his case, not standing up—for what he believes. Why the inconsistency?…
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