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Washington Christian Florist Barronnelle Stutzman Gets Support in Battle for Religious Liberty

( [email protected] ) Nov 21, 2016 10:46 AM EST
Barronnelle Stutzman is fighting a battle not just to protect her personal religious beliefs, but also one reminiscent of the struggles of Christianity when it was being persecuted under the law more than a thousand years ago.
Thousands have signed a petition launched by a leading conservative organization urging President Donald Trump to protect religious liberty through executive action after the Washington Supreme Court ruled that Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman violated an anti-discrimination law for refusing to provide services for a same-sex wedding. AP

Barronnelle Stutzman is fighting a battle not just to protect her personal religious beliefs, but also one reminiscent of the struggles of Christianity when it was being persecuted under the law more than a thousand years ago.

Stutzman, 70, is not alone according to Christian Today, who came in support of the beleaguered grandmother for expressing her religious beliefs. More than 300 supporters gathered in a Washington auditorium to stand behind Stutzman, who filed an appeal on the decision of a lower court imposing a penalty for refusing her floral services for the wedding of a gay couple back in 2013.

In the latest decision of the Washington Supreme Court upholding the punitive judgment against Stutzman, who is from Richland, Washington and the owner of Arlene's Flowers, was charged with violating the Anti-Discrimination Law.

Christianity, however, is getting a glimpse of what it feels to be in fear of castigation or protests in expressing its beliefs founded on the principles of Christian foundations. Such is the mounting support of Christians behind Stutzman, who is still embroiled in the controversy for declining, albeit tearfully, to provide floral services for the wedding ceremonies of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. Ingersoll was believed to be a long-time friend of Stutzman.

But instead of getting thrown into the lion's dens or suffer a violent death at the hands of Roman soldiers, Stutzman stands before the bar of justice fighting against those questioning her personal religious belief. Her stand was picked on by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) representing Ingersoll and Freed.

"The government is telling me there is one choice - either I give up my faith and my freedom or I lose everything I own. Our Constitution protects that freedom but it just isn't about my freedom, it is about all of our freedoms," Stutzman addressed her supporters at the assembly.

Many of the supporters interviewed by Tri City Herald points out that they see no problem with how Stutzman respectfully refused the services to Ingersoll, pointing out that it is not about racism or bigotry, but a personal stand not even expressed in anger or haste.

There is continuing debate regarding same-sex marriages in Biblical principles, where many Christian believers agree that the fundamental principle of marriage hinges on the union between a man and a woman. This is also a long- standing belief founded on the principles of morality commonly held by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.