By Denny Burk
If you haven’t been following Barronelle Stutzman’s case in Washington State, you need to be. She is the florist being sued by the state attorney general for refusing to participate in a gay wedding. The attorney general is trying to compel her to ignore her Christian faith and to participate in gay weddings. If she refuses, he is threatening the full coercive power of the state to force her to do it. She stands to lose everything—her home, her savings, her business, her livelihood—if she does not comply. I have an article today at CNN.com explaining the situation. The conclusion reads like this:
Barronelle Stutzman’s case is nothing less than an egregious violation of our first freedom. It is Caesar saying, “Conscience be damned. Submit to the new sexual orthodoxy or risk losing everything.”
This is not tolerance. This is injustice that flies in the face of this nation’s laws and traditions. And if this kind of thing can be done to a 70-year-old grandmother running a small flower shop in rural Washington State, then it can be done to you. No one’s conscience is safe if this precedent becomes the norm.
Late yesterday after news began to spread that a 70-year old grandmother was being threatened with financial ruin, the attorney general proposed a settlement that offers a small fine in exchange for Mrs. Stutzman’s agreeing to admit wrongdoing and to violate her conscience going forward.
Today, Mrs. Studzman has released a statement through her legal team that is as astonishing as it is courageous. Rather than accept the nominal fine and surrender her principles, she has decided to risk everything to stand for religious freedom. In her own words to the attorney general…
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