Baronelle Stutzman is the owner of Arlene’s Flowers In Richmond, Washington. After refusing to provide flowers for someone she says she considered a friend’s same-sex wedding, she found herself sued by the State Attorney General and the ACLU on behalf of the couple.
Stutzman decided to pen an op-ed piece that the conservative Washington Post was more than happy to publish; one that painted her the victim and a persecuted Christian. She just can’t understand how such a kind and virtuous soul like hers could be treated so horribly.
I’ve been a florist in Richmond, Wash., for more than 30 years. In that time, I’ve developed close relationships with many of my clients.
One of my favorites was Rob Ingersoll. Ingersoll came in often and we’d talk. Like me, he had an artistic eye. I’d try to create really special arrangements for him. I knew he was gay, but it didn’t matter — I enjoyed his company and his creativity.
Then he asked me to create the floral arrangements for his wedding. I love Rob, and I’d always been happy to design for his special days. But there’s something different about a wedding.
Yes, there is something different about a wedding. Two people are committing their lives to each other and they thought enough of you and your arrangements to ask you to design an extremely important part of the most important day of their lives.
Jesus wouldn’t like that, though. Stutzman continues:
I was raised Christian. In my religious tradition, marriage is a sacred religious ceremony between a man, a woman and Christ. It’s a covenant with the church. To participate in a wedding that violates those principles violates the core of my faith.
When Rob asked me, I thought about it carefully. I talked over the decision with my husband, and I prayed. But ultimately I know I had to stay true to my faith. I couldn’t do it.
You are therefore shallow, closed-minded and a terrible Christian. You deserved to be sued.
Stutzman goes on with her little “woe is me” diatribe, spending paragraph after paragraph explaining how she is most definitely not a bigot, how she has gay friends, and how ultimately her faith will prevail.
It’s about the third paragraph before I started scrolling past all the whining, skimming for keywords and seeing lots of “Jesus,” “prayer” and “faith.”
Then came the comments from readers. To my surprise there were very few people who support Stutzman’s position, and a slew of answers to the ignorant “why me” questions she asked. Here are some of my favorites:
I hope you are so proud to show your bigotry in the name of Christ who said love your neighbor like yourself. I feel sorry for the real Christians who have to share the label with you.
Have you considered you are a terrible excuse for a “friend?” Glad I am not so desperate for company to have to hang out with people who are capable of such cruelty.
Apparently some people want to use the word “marriage” only in the sense of joining two people in a religious ceremony.
If that’s the case, we shouldn’t be using the word “marriage” in any other context, such as ‘Peanut butter cups are the perfect marriage of chocolate and peanut butter. Two great tastes that taste great together.’
Has she said no to every Jewish and Muslim customer because their marriage is not a “covenant between a man, woman and Christ”? If not she is just discriminating against homosexuals. Does she say no to those who are divorced and remarrying? If not, hypocritical. Please! The God won’t let me is the same reason they used not to serve African Americans. If your florist trucks drive on the roads my taxes pay for and are Protected by the Police and Fire my taxes pay for then she can’t pick and choose those of us she serves.
1) I strongly doubt that the woman being sued wrote this piece. It sounds too pat, to neat and tidy, too lobby-shop.
2) Replace the references to “gay” with “African-American.” And there Ms. Stutzman has her answer to why she’s being sued.
By the way, Rob and Curt may have been her friends, but Ms. Stutzman was no true friend of theirs.
‘In my religious tradition, marriage is a sacred religious ceremony between a man, a woman and *Christ*. It’s a covenant with the church. To participate in a wedding that violates those principles *violates the core of my faith.’
So it would be interesting to hear from all of the Jews, Muslims and Atheists that you must constantly turn away. I’m a Christian too, and it violates the core of MY faith to hear you use your “Christianity” as a shield to guard your prejudices against those who Christ commanded you to make a place for at the table. And as much as I’d like to turn you away from my store for offending MY religious sensibilities, I am glad there are laws to protect you from such discrimination. You should be morally ashamed for insisting that you are worthy of such protections, but not others.
Such a shame poor Mrs. Stutzman didn’t get the response she was hoping for. Of course, her little pity party looks like it will end up in a nice wad of cash from the neo-Christian “we support bigotry with GofundMe” crowd.
Image: Screen Capture From YouTube