I remember reading a blog post by very well known atheist from Washington just after his state legalized same-sex marriage. He said he was very proud of his state. Now we get to find out what he was so proud of.
The story is reported by Alliance Defending Freedom.
A state judge has determined that the government can force a floral designer to do custom design work and provide wedding support services even if she has a religious conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman. Barronelle Stutzman was found guilty for referring her friend and long-time customer to another florist because the customer wanted her to design floral arrangements and provide services for a same-sex wedding. Barronelle’s referral ensured the customer received the services he wanted, but has been labeled “discrimination” under Washington law.
The court also ruled that both the state and the couple may collect damages and attorneys’ fees not only from the floral shop, but also from Stutzman personally.
The court said:
“On the evening of November 5, 2012, there was no conflict … The following evening, after the … enactment of same-sex marriage, there would eventually be a direct and insoluble conflict between Stutzman’s religiously motivated conduct and the laws of the State of Washington. Stutzman cannot comply with both the law and her faith if she continues to provide flowers for weddings as part of her duly-licensed business, Arlene’s Flowers.”
For simply abiding by her faith and a view of marriage held sacred for centuries, the 70-year-old grandmother not only may lose her business, but also her home and savings. Contrast this reality to the same-sex couple, who not only obtained exactly what they needed for their ceremony, but were offered free flowers and wedding services by a multitude of florists. Yet the state attorney general sued her and then the couple, represented by the ACLU, filed a second lawsuit.
Barronelle’s referral showed kindness and tolerance to her customer, doing as much as she could without violating her conscience. But apparently there is no tolerance for her religious beliefs about marriage.
“America would be a better place if citizens respected each others’ differences and the government still protected the freedom to have those differences,” said Barronelle. “Instead, the government is coming after me and everything I have just because my beliefs are different from the government’s. I just want the freedom to live and work faithfully and to believe what God says about marriage without fear of punishment, just as others have the freedom to believe and say what they want to about marriage.”
“The message of these rulings is unmistakable: there is no tolerance for those who disagree with the state’s view of marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued before the court in December. “The couple had no problem getting the flowers they needed. In fact, they received several offers for free flowers. So, where’s the tolerance for Barronelle Stutzman? It’s hard to believe that Barronelle should prepare to have everything she has earned and built seized by the state just because of her beliefs about marriage.”
If you don’t celebrate same-sex marriage, then the courts will come after you and take everything you have to make you celebrate same-sex marriage. This is called tolerance. And it is sold to the public with the well-known gay rights motto “Celebrate Diversity”.
There is nothing in the atheistic worldview that has a problem when Christians have their consciences violated by government coercion. This is the atheist thing – using power to force others to tell them that their man-made hedonistic moralities are actually valid and true. They are really comfortable with government forcing religious individuals to violate their consciences. And forcing them to do a lot more, too. This is just the beginning. When you believe that morality is make-believe that varies by time or place, instead of something objective built into the universe by its Creator and Designer, then anything is possible. Anything is possible. Far from being an unexpected diversion from atheism, this is atheism put into practice. Might makes right. Survival of the fittest. There is no place for a “human right” to free speech in an accidental, materialistic universe.
To end this post on a happy note, I’m going to post a picture of Kristen Waggoner, and her bio, just to remind us who the hero of the story was.
Here she is:
Kristen K. Waggoner serves as senior vice president of legal services with Alliance Defending Freedom, leading the organization’s legal advocacy efforts. She is a Martindale-Hubbell AV peer-review rated attorney who clerked for Justice Richard B. Sanders of the Washington Supreme Court after law school and served in private practice in Seattle for nearly 20 years. Waggoner is admitted to the state bars in Washington, Florida, and Oregon. She is also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 1st and 9th Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington.
It takes a lot to make one Kristen Waggoner – her parents must be proud of her. She tried her best, and it was good for us that she tried. There’s always the appeal. But even if we win that, the point was made – if you’re a Christian, then you’d better act like an atheist in public. Or else. You have to have their “morality” such as it is forced on you. Or else. We have been intimidated. To think that this happened in a country that was founded by theists, many of them Christians. It makes me sad.