The Christian community anticipated the Washington Supreme Court’s decision regarding Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman’s right to conscience while operating her floral shop in Richland, Washington. We had hoped that what is true for the United States of America would be true for Barronelle -- that men and women are free to operate in this country according to our deeply held religious beliefs without fear of being punished by the government. We now know that was a vain hope.
The Washington Supreme Court ruled that Barronelle Stutzman could and should be punished for the crime of deep, biblical conviction. Again, Barronelle, a Christian florist who holds a biblical view of marriage, was told that she should be forced to endorse and celebrate a union that her faith says is immoral. Let that sink in; the government is compelling a sentiment.
If you’re liberal, conservative, black, white, Muslim, Christian, atheist, or basically anyone in the United States of America, you should be afraid. Even if your inclination is to celebrate a victory for homosexuals, you should take off your pointed hat and slow your victory lap to a halt. There should be a collective moment in America when we realize that the government can compel or force you to agree with something that you find immoral. You -- yes, you -- can be made to violate your conscience, or face total ruin.
Barronelle’s loss is a loss for all of us. We should all sit in stunned silence wondering who determines what we each get to believe. If Barronelle Stutzman, with thousands of years of documented biblical support on her side, can be forced to violate her code of moral conduct, let us all tremble. This may be the point we begin to mourn the loss of freedom, which once made this nation the envy of the world. Just ask an immigrant what they think about a government that tells its citizens what to think and then punishes them when they fail to comply.
Today the government champions “gay marriage.” What if tomorrow it’s marriage between a father and his grade school daughter? What if one day the government decides Muslim bakers must decorate cakes depicting the image of Mohammad? No, really! And what if someone submits the design of a T-shirt they want for a white hate group, and that designer asks a black-owned business to depict black men hanging from trees? Could that black-owned business ask that hate group to take that particular request to another designer? Would that be discrimination? Should the owner of that black-owned business be sued personally?
Make no mistake about it -- the Washington Supreme Court’s decision represents the United States’ descent towards tyranny. If a court can determine which deep convictions are acceptable, then we are not free. We may kid ourselves with the memory of freedom, but what we once enjoyed in this nation will be no more if we keep silent. Barronelle is taking her case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and all of us in this country better hope she wins. Whether we like it or not, we are all Barronelle … every single one of us.