What It If Was Your Grandma?

Next Friday, December 19th, at 1:30 pm, at the Benton County Superior Courthouse in Kennewick, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, will be in court. Along with lawyers from Alliance Defending Freedom, Barronelle will be defending herself against the lawsuit brought against her by Attorney General Bob Ferguson because she declined to decorate for a same-sex “wedding”.

The trial will begin early next year. Whatever the outcome of that trial, it is almost certain to be appealed. This case will likely not be over anytime soon.

But right now, they are deciding preliminary matters.

When the Attorney General Bob Ferguson decided to start suing grandmothers because of their beliefs about same-sex “marriage”, he did something unusual. He sued both Arlene’s Flowers as a business and Barronelle Stutzman personally.

If you’re not a lawyer, or if you’ve never been sued, the significance of this might not be immediately obvious. But it is significant.

If you buy a car that explodes because of a design defect, you would sue the company that made the car. You would not, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, sue the families who own stock in that car company.

One of the primary reasons to create a separate legal entity for a business is to protect the personal assets of the owners from the liabilities of the business.

Well, Bob Ferguson apparently thinks this case is exceptional, because he sued both the company (Arlene’s Flowers) and its owner (Barronelle Stutzman).

The significance of this will be felt in the event Mrs. Stutzman loses her lawsuit.

In lawsuits, the winner often collects legal fees.

In this case, the Attorney General’s Office would almost certainly try to be reimbursed for the expenses it incurred.

Since this case is likely to last years, you can be certain that the expenses will be several hundred thousand dollars.

But not all defendant’s have hundreds of thousands of dollars laying around in the event they lose a lawsuit, which is why, if you are suing someone, it’s helpful to have multiple defendants.

By suing both Arlene’s Flowers and Barronelle Stutzman, Bob Ferguson could not only seize all the company’s assets and bankrupt her business but, if the entire legal bill was not paid by the business assets, he could also go after the Stutzman family as well. He could take her house, her cars, her retirement, even her wedding ring.

Will he do that? Who knows. But having the option is the reason he sued her personally as well as her business.

Whether this is appropriate is one of the pre-trial issues that is being argued.

I hope reading about this bothers you.

For all that we think we’ve learned about tolerance and bigotry, this case just shows that it never actually goes anywhere, it just takes different forms.

I hope it bothers you enough to show up at the courthouse in Kennewick next Friday at 1:30 and support Barronelle Stutzman.

If you’re a pastor, show up and encourage your church to join you.

I hope it motivates you to call some friends and take them with you. I hope it motivates you to make a (respectful) phone call to Bob Ferguson’s office at 360-753-6200 and ask him to drop this lawsuit.

If we don’t intervene, she might lose everything she has because of what she believes about marriage.

We are all Barronelle Stutzman.

The legislature could act immediately to eliminate the basis of this lawsuit.

Why haven’t they?

Some of them like what is happening. They want people who disagree with them about marriage to lose their business and home for refusing to celebrate their sexuality with them.

But even those who don’t like it say they aren’t hearing from the public that they care about this issue.

That needs to change.

So right after you call Bob Ferguson, call your legislators at the legislative hotline 1-800-562-6000 and tell them to protect Arlene’s Flowers and the conscience rights of businesses. Then make plans to visit them in their office and tell them they need to start sticking up for grandmothers who are being bullied by the state.

Then show up at the courthouse next Friday, December 19th at 1:00. Let’s make a statement and show the judge and Attorney General how concerned we are by having 500 people showing up in favor of marriage, conscience rights, Arlene’s Flowers, and Barronelle Stutzman.

Silence is consent. Let’s stop being silent.

What if it was your grandma?

17 replies
  1. Bea Christophersen
    Bea Christophersen says:

    I’ve told people to be there before noon so that we will be seen by the lunch crowd before it starts. There’s no point in being out there while they’re all in the courtroom already.

    Reply
  2. Kristine S
    Kristine S says:

    Called the AGs office just now- very polite and stated they would take my strongly worded message to the AGs office. Called the legislative hotline and sent a message to my 3 reps. Fantastic switchboard operator typed out a great message for me after I explained what was going on w/Baronelle.

    Reply
  3. Saint John the Baptist
    Saint John the Baptist says:

    Rick: Go the your local library and check out a Bible. It will make perfectly clear what God does and does not approve of. God loves sinners but disapproves of sin (wrong behavior). By the way, the homosexual couple who desired the services of the Kennewick florist announced their sexual preference. Nowhere in the Bible is race considered a sin but nice try throwing in a red herring. Christians don’t ‘screen for cleanliness’ but have every right to refuse to participate in or celebrate sinful behavior. And I don’t engage in ‘right thinking’, just correct (Biblical based) thinking.

    Reply
  4. I M Brinker
    I M Brinker says:

    So if we follow Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s example, whenever we have a problem with a government official’s position, we sue the office and the person holding the office.

    Reply
  5. remember alamo
    remember alamo says:

    I have been writing to the AG and it is obvious that he is as thick headed as all the people who voted for the “marriage” that is totally against any rational, historical, etc. etc. definition of Marriage.

    Reply
  6. Saint John the Baptist
    Saint John the Baptist says:

    Ron: God does not want Christians to hate. He does expect us to disapprove of sinful behavior. The Bible makes clear homosexuality is a sin. As a Christian I am not a ‘bigot’ or a ‘hater’ when I disapprove of your sinful behavior. And I most certainly cannot be forced by the government to violate my Christian beliefs by participating in or celebrating any sinful behavior.

    Reply
    • Rick Wilson
      Rick Wilson says:

      If you feel you are ‘participating’ in someone’s life by selling your services on the public square, Please post everyone you will discriminate against … and just how you will know the person you are ‘judging’ is guilty of the sin you for which you like to look. For hundreds of years Christians claimed blacks were not worthy based on the Bible – do you still believe that or has your belief ‘evolved’? Do you refuse to serve people who wear their pants too low? Do you refuse to serve child abusers? If you do not serve them – how do you know they are or are not abusers? If your belief system is such that you must screen everyone who approaches your door as to their ‘cleanliness’, perhaps you ought not pretend you serve the ‘public’ and just sell from your kitchen to fellow ‘right-thinkers’.

      Reply
      • karenh
        karenh says:

        There are all kinds ‘reasons” to condone, except, tolerate…etc.,being offered that’s called love.
        The grief of Lot because of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah reached the ‘throne of God’ that He had to do something. People today by accepting the ‘permissiveness of society’ calling it love obviously is not grief that God’s ways and holiness are being defiled. We call that acceptance love…How God snorts with derision…because the fool in is heart says there is no God. The fool also says, God will accept, God will change His mind. God is love and that love is represented by our tolerance and acceptance. We cleverly twist scripture to satisfy ourselves and then declare we’re walking in love. God’s Word teaches us, “IF we love God we keep His Commands.” If we know that God declares something is an abomination who are we to say to the Creator–Wrong! You’ve got to tolerate and accept that’s Love. When the Bible teaches us God is Love. He’s the definition of Love-His ways and standards amplify love. The boundaries He established was for mankind to have and achieve the healthiest, joyous purity of life and the continuation of life from generation to generation while in existence on earth. To step out of the boundaries is to live in a baser form and nature outside of what God designed. People make choices and decisions how they want to live. ..People of Sodom and Gomorrah made their choices. The grief of Lot living in a godless society- outnumbered by obviously the ‘laws of the land’ reached God in heaven.
        Lot feared the holiness and righteousness of God when the angels came that he offered his virgin daughters to those that wanted to sodomize the angels. Lot was terrified and feared God because it was customary as a ‘host’ to look out after your guest, how much more sacred to behold angels.
        That fear, obviously, today is not manifested in the heart’s of those that say they are believers. Fear of God produces the righteousness that we need to uphold and bring honor to the Word of God. The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.Sacrilege is the violation or injurious treatment of a sacred object or person. It can come in the form of irreverence to sacred persons, places, and things.
        Now people come along and say well Jesus changed everything. No He didn’t. He reinforced His Heavenly Father’s Ways. Jesus sat and ate with the sinners and publicans but he did not change his ways or values.. His purpose was to extend grace, compassion and salvation to all those that needed and recognized they needed a Savior. A Savior for what? Obviously those that don’t want the gift of salvation or change that’s their choice/decision. When Jesus offered forgiveness – He didn’t say, “now you can go out and do your own thing-still”. He said as example with the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.” Her sins were forgiven. She had a choice given to her how to live.

        As a believer do you change your value-system because there are those who don’t accept it. Toleration is acceptance. Believers, whether they like it or not, are the salt of the earth. They have the distinction of still defining the will and purpose of God. If you lose your sense of value and structure you’ve lost your salt.

        Those who call those who are trying to stand on what they believe is right and honorable before the Lord are being called haters. Those that are opposing them are actually the ones walking in hate. Hate of the righteousness, hate of them standing up for their convictions and hate because ‘ they themselves aren’t standing for what they know to be conscientiously and morally right. Are we actually loving those that choose to live an alternate lifestyle by acceptance and do not present to them the way of salvation and choose not to love those that are trying to stand and honor their convictions. We aren’t to misconstrue love, grace and forgiveness is enough. The way of salvation has to be offered.
        Christians didn’t stand up for what was morally right when abortion came on the scene. And we have been fighting from behind. Again while the battle is ‘alive and fresh’… again we see the split and divide of what is acceptable and what is not. While there are those fighting and trying to hold on to what they believe is morally right, righteousness is losing its steam- which is part of the great falling away. We are living in the day and age where God is giving us over to reprobate minds-laws are being changed not to direct and guide any more but to accommodate the social changes. It is conformity to the Word of God, His righteousness and standards that are being denied by the ‘minds and wills’ of people. How small and ignorant we have become. God hasn’t change. His Word teaches -“I CHANGE NOT!”

        When God’s Word says He gives us over to our reprobate minds, is that . . It is not ‘hate’ to stand up for righteousness and your convictions. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 14:34.

        So fellow believers are you going to quit throwing your rocks at those that are trying to stand on their convictions? Or are you going to run with the herd?

        Reply
      • daniwitz13
        daniwitz13 says:

        This is only my belief of course, but I believe that you and the Courts are wrong, on this accommodation Law. If it is for a product made already, and physical, one should sell it. However if it is something to be done, futuristic, and their artistic talent involved, NO. E.g. If I am talented to paint, a house or a portrait, design a house or cake, paint a mural or carve a figurine, there are no Court on earth that can force a Person to perform that service. A talent in one’s mind, cannot be forced to perform. This is like demanding a Male to have an erection when he does NOT have the desire to perform. The Law, should make exceptions for a performance offering. What if an Architect does not want to design your house? What if a Builder does not want to build you house? Pity

        Reply
  7. Ron Lussier
    Ron Lussier says:

    My 82-year-old grandmother attended my wedding in 2004 to my husband. She was so happy to see me getting married in the Church, and even cried a little during the service (my grandmother is notoriously stoic.)

    Dan and I have been together for 27 years now. We were married after being together for 17 years, though I had proposed a decade earlier. We simply weren’t able to get married because it wasn’t allowed. My Church wanted to marry us, but the State forbade it. Now that the State is treating everyone equally, we were allowed to marry.

    This would never *be* my grandma. She believes that God teaches us to love. Hatred and bigotry, that’s what the other guy preaches.

    Reply
    • Bea Christophersen
      Bea Christophersen says:

      You are confusing what love is. Love for another is to help them become aware of their sin and to help them overcome it. My sister was an alcoholic. I still loved her exactly the same. Because I loved her I tried my best to influence her family to do an intervention. That is love. That is what Jesus did. He called out sin when he saw it because he loves us all (and we’re all sinners). Love is never endorsing and enabling a sinful state.

      Reply
  8. Cathy in the Columbia Gorge
    Cathy in the Columbia Gorge says:

    There are two key issues here: 1) the State suing both the business and the person and 2) the business owner’s rights to operate their business within the boundaries of non-discrimination without direct personal involvement in the activity of the customer.

    1) The State should not be suing both the business and the person, PERIOD. Otherwise, what’s the point of incorporating a business? Where is the protection for the individual for a possible wrongdoing by the business practice?

    2) There is or there should be a distinction made between “goods” and “services” when it comes to how a business operator is required to operate their business.

    It’s one thing to sell “goods” to anyone who comes into a store.

    It’s quite another to require a business owner to participate offsite in any activity that a customer may want them to, as a part of providing “services” to the customer.

    The business owner should have the right to say “no” to participating and be allowed to refuse to provide a “service” based on personal objections to the behavior, whatever it is and whatever their reasons. At some point, the business owner should have some rights of their own to exercise. You can’t force people to participate in activities that they believe to be counter to their personal moral code.

    Soldiers can be conscientious objectors based on their personal faith. Why can’t a florist who believes that marriage is between one man and one woman refuse to provide their services to a gay wedding? Doesn’t the florist have some “conscientious objector” status too?

    Even though the law now allows gay marriage, no one should be coerced into attending anyone’s wedding. There is definitely a conflict between traditional religious beliefs and state law in this regard. How is a religious person who is abiding by the laws of God supposed to also follow a contradictory law of the state? Where is this argument going to ultimately lead? Will we all become lemmings…. just blindly following foolishly anything that the group decides is the right thing to do? Moral right and wrong is not to be decided by either a dictator or a group consensus. Nothing could be more hazardous to our society. Where is our little Jiminy Cricket when we really need him?

    Reply
    • Vicki
      Vicki says:

      Cathy, thanks for a great response. I agree with how you separated the selling of goods versus providing services. That makes so much sense to me. I recently read a story (I wish I could find it again) about a British woman ordering a Christening cake. The first baker she visited said he was an atheist and told her to go somewhere else, which she did happily. No one got sued. Grow up America, let’s quit filling the courts with hurt feelings.
      In an article in Nat’l Catholic Register recently, Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the San Diego-based Ruth Institute, commented on a program presented at Marquette University on certain free speech being considered harassment.
      “”It is simply untrue that men and women are interchangeable. This is what one has to believe in order to believe that removing the gender requirement from marriage is a good thing,” she said Dec. 4.She suggests it is an example of the “irrational” nature of the sexual revolution and the redefinition of marriage.
      “Because it is irrational, it is necessarily totalitarian,” she added. “Once we commit ourselves to doing the impossible, we will need to marshal a lot of government force to get the job done. It will take a lot of propaganda in order to make the impossible appear possible.””
      Suing Barronelle Stutzman for having the courage to live true to her beliefs is definitely “marshalling a lot of government force”. If supporters of “gay marriage” are so sure of the truth of their stance, then why is all this bullying needed?

      Reply
      • Rick Wilson
        Rick Wilson says:

        Vicki, et al – there is no ‘bullying’ going on. If this woman wants to believe some people are not worthy of respect (let alone God’s love!) that is fine. She can express that belief in innumerable ways. However, if she wants to sell to the public – look up the definition of ‘public’ – she needs to sell to everyone, without judging whether they are worthy of her services. does she inquire whether people at other weddings she services have been divorced? Whether they are child molesters? Whether they abuse their spouses? Is whether they are ‘gay’ the only determinant as to her selling her service? Where and how does she draw the line?

        Reply
        • DocReits
          DocReits says:

          Rick,

          ” Is whether they are ‘gay’ the only determinant as to her selling her service? Where and how does she draw the line?”

          It is an easy answer, but first we must draw the distinction between “Gay” marriage and other sins listed in the Bible. Sin is sin in the Bible, whether it is spousal abuse, theft, murder, or homosexuality.

          The difference between homosexuality and the other sins is that, the “gay” community now have their sinful lifestyle elevated by the state to a legal status. You do not see an action committee for thieves, or a coalition for the advancement of gluttons. You do see these action committees in our society for homosexuality. These folks have their own action committees for the elevation of their sin with the blessing of the state.

          Merchants are required apparently by the state, in this example, to participate(condone) their status, which these Christians see as the embracing of sin. Do child molesters have their own society they elevate to a condoned lifestyle? Yes, …NAMBLA. The state does not “yet” condone this group as lawful. If they eventually do, then the state will require the caterer to bake a cake for them. Same deal…if they refuse they will be sued(punished).

          So, ultimately this has nothing to do with your personal views on whether gay marriage is fine or not…it has everything to do with what the state sanctions as lawful. If that conflicts with your personal views, apparently too bad. You must abide with society’s god(law).

          German merchants found this out very quickly when they refused service to the new group formed in Weimar in 1926. , the Brown Shirt, Hitler Youth. The government had imprisoned Hitler prior to this time for his attempt at this same formation. Eventually released, Hitler succeeded as society relented. Well, the rest is history. Society had their new god(law) and the merchants were coerced to comply(bow).

          The similarities here are chilling.

          DocReits

          Reply

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