The Shakedown of Chef John Howie


A popular chef got cooked last week.  By the tolerance mob.

Chef John Howie owns a number of Seattle area restaurants and is also the chef for the Seattle Seahawks.  By all account he’s a really decent guy; generous and active in the community. But isn’t that kind of what you’d expect from the guy preparing Russell Wilson’s food?

In addition to being a decent guy, Chef Howie made a modest contribution earlier this year to the Just Want Privacy campaign in Washington State.

Just Want Privacy sought to repeal a dangerous new law that gives men the legal right to be present in a women’s bathroom, locker room, spa, or changing facility simply by declaring themselves to be female.

The chef was apparently part of the more than 70% of Washingtonians who believe it is problematic to take away the right to privacy women and children have long enjoyed in private spaces.

Probably because he is visible and active in the community, last week the Seattle Times and others from the LGBT mob decided to make an example out of him.


A Seattle Times food columnist—of all things—decided to write a post about Chef Howie’s contribution.

Why now?  Who knows.

But when you’re in the business of trying to ruin the lives of people who think differently than you, there truly is no time like the present.

The story quoted Chef Howie saying some really reasonable things that almost no one disagrees with. “Sex offenders scare the living daylights out of me,” he told the Times. “I think pedophiles can take advantage of this.”

Of course this is true.

But none of that matters anymore because “equality” means that women have to allow men who believe they are women equal access to their body.

Notwithstanding the bumper-sticker, the mob has no interest in “coexisting” with people who are different than them.

They are here to accept your surrender.

SO, within twenty-four hours, Chef Howie had created a video recanting his previous statement.

The video was quickly distributed by a number of local LGBT activists groups including the Seattle Times.

You really need to watch the video.

We’ve all seen statements written by terrorists that were read by hostages. The similarities are inescapable.  You kind of expect there to be a rainbow flag and a guy in a mask holding a knife standing behind him.

An obviously shaken Howie opened with an apology. “I’m sorry to the people that I have harmed or negatively affected with my words or my actions.”

Stating an opinion about privacy in bathrooms is now apparently harmful all by itself.

The chef promised to never support another effort to protect women’s privacy again and concluded by assuring the audience that, “I am reaching out to several leaders in the LGBT community so they can help me to understand their challenges so that I can help them in the future.”

Translation, “Yes, I’ll give you money when you ask for it.”

Everyone understands what happened.  They shook him down.

A guy doesn’t say one thing to a newspaper and then—within 24 hours—publish a video saying the exact opposite because he had a friendly chat with a buddy over a beer that caused him to reconsider his position.

The path to avoid the wrath of the mob was well planned and he took it.  Who knows, you and I might have done the same under the circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it’s not obvious and concerning.

The statement might have been more believable if it hadn’t contained the favorite talking points of the campaigns opposed to women’s privacy.  “I was motivated by facts not fear.”

If John Howie wrote his statement on his own then I’m John Wayne. Pilgrim.

The truth is, today’s social justice warriors have become modern day witch hunters.

Like the witch hunters in 17th century Salem, they have cornered the market on truth and consequently progressed beyond the need to listen.  With respect to issues of sexuality, marriage, and gender, views other than their own don’t deserve respect.

Other views can only be explained by ignorance or hate.  If you prove that you have been “educated” by recanting your beliefs, then they will have mercy.

Otherwise, your hate will be dealt with.

The irony of using totalitarian tactics to fight for tolerance is lost on them because their motives are good and the righteousness of their cause is beyond dispute.

Just like other witch hunters, they know God (or whatever non deistic life force entity they have chosen to believe in, or not) is on their side.

Once the bad guys have been eliminated, children will once again play safely in the neighborhoods, flowers will bloom, and the glaciers will heal.

Of course none of it is true, but the religious fervor with which they believe it is true means we have to deal with it.

Chef Howie was spared his economic life because he recanted, but others have refused to recant their beliefs and suffered the consequences.

Brendan Eich was a co-founder of Mozilla, but was forced out of his job as CEO of the company because of a contribution he made to a campaign in support of natural marriage in that state.

Kelvin Cochran was fired from his job as Fire Chief of Atlanta because he wrote a book on his personal time about biblical manhood that included his beliefs that homosexuality was not biblical.

Barronelle Stutzman continues her legal battle against the state of Washington because she refuses to recant her belief that she should not be compelled to decorate a same-sex wedding.

They don’t threaten people’s physical lives, just their economic life.  But the tactic is identical to how Jihadi’s control those in dhimmitude.  “Do as I say, or else…”

Yes, we can all sympathize with the Chef.

He clearly remembers a time when Americans had the right to express themselves publicly without fear of visits from strangers bringing threats.

But we’ve progressed.

So now he pays for protection.

For everyone else, this can be a lesson.  It can either be a lesson to keep our heads down and make sure we don’t offend our masters.  Or, it could be a lesson that it’s time to get together and tell the bully to go pound sand.

If we let them fight us alone every time, they’ll be happy to control us, tell us what we can say and what we can do, and shake financial contributions out of us whenever they decide its necessary.

Or we can decide that the right to work and live according to our beliefs, not someone else’s, is worth getting together and fighting for.

26 replies
  1. Kay Remillard
    Kay Remillard says:

    Too bad the first amendment is used only to justify what they (the liberals) want to say or to hear said. This is absolutely inexcusable.

  2. philip irvin
    philip irvin says:

    You can’t identify as John Wayne. You already identify as a 6’2″ Chinese woman, remember?

    How’s about promoting the study of Sexuality and Gender in the New Atlantis?

  3. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Wow! This article takes me back to the school yard, except the question “I know you are but what am I?” Was actually meaningless. In the instant case, it is spot on. Jesus used Gender neutral restrooms, there were no other.

    • Tina
      Tina says:

      First of all, Jesus was a gentlemen and he wouldn’t have invaded a woman’s privacy or husband’s’ wife’s privacy. Jesus operated in God’s righteousness and in that righteousness they honored modesty. Jesus wouldn’t have invaded a woman’s privacy to see her immodest or expose himself nor would he disrespect a husband in seeing a man’s wife naked. Study the character of Jesus and then you might learn something! Jesus would never force himself on anyone and he wouldn’t expect women to see his nakedness. You have a lot to learn about the righteousness of Jesus and his character as he would never do anything outside of God’s word.

  4. Jill
    Jill says:

    What a horrible video. The thought police held this poor man hostage and forced him to recant or lose his livelihood. This smacks of fascist ideology. I am thoroughly disgusted.

  5. Gail Purcell
    Gail Purcell says:

    I have seen this time and time again – the lack of integrity and courage. Our principles need to stand not just when it is easy, but when they will cost us something. Apostle Peter learned his lesson and was restored by Jesus. The power of a bully is to get people to put up with a lie and not fight it. This is a spiritual battle and we only can fight these battles with much prayer and with help from each other to stand strong and with courage. One of the most powerful weapons of our culture is to take away your career and make you feel unaccepted by the group. We need to care more about what God and “the cloud of witnesses” down through the ages think instead.

    • Victoria
      Victoria says:

      This is so sad. I really would not be surprised to see a man in a mask with a machete behind him.
      How is it harming anyone to say one is concerned about child molesters having access to children?
      The Bible says woe to those who call evil good and good evil.

  6. michael b
    michael b says:

    This story sounds like a bad parody of the stereotyped scene from an old gangster movie. A man in a suit walks into a business and says to the owner, “This is a nice place you have here. It would be a shame if something happened to it.” The owner decides it would be prudent to pay the protection price. The problem here is that this is real life.

  7. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    I pray Chef Howie will now go back to his restaurants, become a REAL leader, act like a role model for others and solve the problem. I hope he will take his business restrooms and change them into single occupancy gender neutral facilities that create a safe places for ALL people without jeopardizing others needs. Single fathers could take young daughters and Mothers could take young sons to these facilities. Daughters / sons / friends could take elderly wheelchair bound persons into these facilities as well. Single occupancy gender neutral facilities are the only solution that provides safety, freedom and privacy for ALL people.

  8. Jim
    Jim says:

    This is more than a sad story, it is troubling to hear how activists have forced businesses and owners to kowtow to their agenda or face persecution. The activists are such a minority but because they have the media on their side they throw their weight around and seem to cause fear among those disagreeing with their viewpoint. If there isn’t any kind of pushback soon we will be all silenced.
    Relative to Russell Wilson, he just lost a fan by making a statement against a state, North Carolina, that actually does stand up for what is right

  9. Karen
    Karen says:

    It is excruciating to view this video. What can we do to help this man? To give the SoBs pause…??

    During my military career I promised multiple times to “protect and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Prior to retirement I focused on the “foreign”; now, the “domestic.” People who perpetrate these crimes against “absolute freedom of conscience” (this time, the Washington State Constitution) cause my anger to sizzle.

    I DO hope Chef John is seeing this feedback and taking some comfort.

    Again, what can we do..??

  10. Louise Christensen
    Louise Christensen says:

    Thanks, Joseph, as always, for another good op ed. Keep telling it like it is for the sake of the still sane. Possibly the deluded, with enough resistence, will see how defensive and shrill they have become, and the rest of the confused will not want to go along with the extreme party line being presented. How did so many get so warped from reality, I wonder. Too much tv? Too many mind-muffing drugs? Not enough time on the farm? Not enough science classes?

  11. Royce Van Blaricome
    Royce Van Blaricome says:

    I love this!! The first people mentioned in Rev. 21:8 that will be thrown into the Lake of Fire are cowards. The second are the unfaithful/untrustworthy and the third are the abominable. Chef Howie shows his cowardice, his faithlessness, and his idolatry by creating a god in his own image according to his ideas of what “love” is.

    God is separating the sheep from the goats. The Posers and frauds are being revealed. There are Christians being slaughtered because they will not turn from their faith, reject Christ, and denounce the Truth. And yet this coward bows to a little heat and pressure put on him by a minority of sexually immoral abominables and their supporters.

    Praise God for His separating the sheep from the goats. Chef Howie has lost sight of Eternity and the eternal consequences of his actions. Pray that he get saved while there’s yet time. Perhaps there is still hope for him yet and he can still have a testimony to glorify God.

    • Penny
      Penny says:

      Royce – We should take no pleasure in a saint who stumbles. We are to pray for them and pray for ourselves and our loved ones that we do not do likewise.

  12. Penny Tesch
    Penny Tesch says:

    This is not surprising since just last week it was on the news that Russell Wilson’s wedding planner disclosed that Wilson wanted to get married in North Carolina but because of North Carolina’s stand on the bathroom bill Russell Wilson and his soon to be wife held it in the UK. So maybe it was our hometown hero himself that tipped off the LGBT crowd that his chef gave to the Just Want Privacy campaign. Maybe this chef had listened in on Wilson’s bible studies there at the Seahawks camp and thought it would be a good thing to do. You know, right in line with the Bible and all that. If so, it would shock him, and confuse him to know that Wilson is making the choices he is. Russell is not so much my hometown hero anymore. He needs prayer. It is so disappointing at how easily the saints cave.

    • Royce Van Blaricome
      Royce Van Blaricome says:

      Thank you for your comment. I was not aware of Wilson’s remarriage or his refusal to hold the ceremony in NC because of the “bathroom bill”.

      That said, I’m not surprised. It irked me to no end to see Driscoll and another “pastor”, whose name I can’t recall right now, bring Wilson up on the stage of the church to showcase him and parade him as the next “Celebrity Christian” only to completely ignore that he very likely got a divorce without Biblical authority and will enter into an adulterous relationship by remarrying (Matt. 19). One really has to wonder what kind of “godly man” a woman is looking for to be her Provider, Protector, Priest, and Prophet when he’s leading her into death (Rom. 6:23) to begin with.

      • Suzanne Martin
        Suzanne Martin says:

        Royce, be very careful about judging a man regarding things you have no way of knowing. Like whether or not he divorced without Biblical support. How exactly do you know that? Just be careful. And the NC thing bothers me as well, but it may have been a concession he made to Ciara who may be very young in her faith.

      • Shan
        Shan says:

        Can’t imagine the person you saw was disgraced pastor Driscoll. He is living in Arizona now where he started a church with the people who don’t know/care about his scandals.
        He’s not really doing much publicity.

  13. Virginia
    Virginia says:

    In this country of “freedom” the actions of this group against business owners is inexcusable. It is time for marches and protests from those of us who oppose the legitimization of perversion.


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