Barronelle Stutzman turns down deal from Washington attorney general

The attorney general offered her a lighter punishment in exchange for denying her Christian faith… and she surprised him by saying no.

Here is her full response:

Dear Mr. Ferguson,

Thank you for reaching out and making an offer to settle your case against me.

As you may imagine, it has been mentally and emotionally exhausting to be at the center of this controversy for nearly two years. I never imagined that using my God-given talents and abilities, and doing what I love to do for over three decades, would become illegal. Our state would be a better place if we respected each other’s differences, and our leaders protected the freedom to have those differences. Since 2012, same-sex couples all over the state have been free to act on their beliefs about marriage, but because I follow the Bible’s teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, I am no longer free to act on my beliefs.

Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important. Washington’s constitution guarantees us “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.” I cannot sell that precious freedom. You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.

I pray that you reconsider your position. I kindly served Rob for nearly a decade and would gladly continue to do so. I truly want the best for my friend. I’ve also employed and served many members of the LGBT community, and I will continue to do so regardless of what happens with this case. You chose to attack my faith and pursue this not simply as a matter of law, but to threaten my very means of working, eating, and having a home. If you are serious about clarifying the law, then I urge you to drop your claims against my home, business, and other assets and pursue the legal claims through the appeal process. Thanks again for writing and I hope you will consider my offer.

Sincerely,

Barronelle Stutzman

The attorney general is a Democrat, of course, and Washington is a very blue state. The whole case is troubling, but it’s really troubling that Stutzman is paying Ferguson’s salary through her taxes. She is paying him to do this to her. It’s always a scary thing to me when Christians have to have their consciences trampled at the hands of a government that they pay taxes to employ. I am sorry for Barronelle. I don’t think that she should have to celebrate something she disagrees with.

If there is one thing that troubles me about her statement, it’s that she cashes out her opposition to gay marriage in purely religious terms, and I think that’s not he right approach. The right approach is to talk about how children suffer when they are denied their mother or their father or both, how same-sex marriage undermines marital norms of exclusivity and permanence, how same-sex marriage undermines religious liberty, etc. But still, it’s important that she fight this and that everyone understands how same-sex marriage changes society.

8 thoughts on “Barronelle Stutzman turns down deal from Washington attorney general”

  1. I disagree with your criticism of her defense (religious vs evidence). This is a contest of religious freedom. To make this an argument over the symptoms would be a terrible mistake. I believe that we should be able to make a case against same sex marriage based on the evidence, but the root problem for Christians is that it violates Christian ethics as prescribed in Christian scripture. This particular fight is about whether or not Christians should be able to be free enough to be Christians. It’s not about same sex marriage per se.

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  2. I agree with imhavoc. While I agree wholeheartedly that the problem outside of Scripture with “gay marriage” is that it doesn’t fit the definition of “marriage” in any sense, I’m not sure why she would refuse to do the service for them on the secular basis of “it’s not the definition of ‘marriage'”. The basis for the refusal is religious freedom, not a problem of definition. The Constitution protects the free exercise of religion, but not a disagreement of definition. Because you (and I) disagree with them on the definition of the term (or, beyond that, the negative effects of the practice) does not give the right not to celebrate their misuse of the term. There is no legal protection on that basis.

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  3. Isn’t she awesome? I love it when people stand up and fight back. I think she is taking the right approach by focusing on religious freedom. There is a valuable argument to be made about why gay marriage is wrong, but that’s actually a secondary issue. This real issue in her case is, do you have the freedom and the right to hold your own beliefs? Keep in mind that Wa also has a whole lot of married gay public officials. You aren’t going to convince them that gay marriage is problematic, but you may be able to show them that an indivdual’s religious freedom must be protected.

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      1. The post is fantastic, WK! I do agree, however, that she has enough on her plate without establishing an apologetic in a really blue state. I think that the argument goes to how far our country has fallen from actual religious freedoms, and that now, the only “religious” freedoms are those established by the Gaystapo and liberal fascists: gay “marriage,” baby sacrifice, condoms on cucumbers, secular humanism, New Absurdism, obama-as-messiah, “peaceful” Islam, etc. in other words, anything and everything but Christianity.

        I am just stunned by the amount of grace this woman has shown. I’m not sure that my letter would have been quite so nice. Pretty sure that the topic of Hell might have come up, for which the State of Washington is providing an excellent apologetic. :-)

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