Like any American with both a head and a heart, I am appalled that Washington State is about to destroy the livelihood and savings of Barronelle Stutzman, the kind grandmother whose florist shop enjoys serving homosexual customers but doesn’t wish to participate in the celebration of their marriage.
Stutzman’s response should make every Christian proud. When asked what she would say to her old friend who is suing her (and winning), Stutzman said, “I would love to give him a hug and tell him things are going to be OK.” She continued, “I had a good relationship with Rob and I served him for years. We did have a personal relationship, and I think the world of him. We just disagree on what marriage is.” And for that, she will lose the business she has operated for more than thirty years. Her employees will lose their jobs. Her shuttered shore will contribute to urban blight. All because an old friend felt slighted about his wedding.
On the other side, last week I heard about a pediatrician in Detroit who refused to take as a patient the child of a gay couple. It isn’t clear from the article if the doctor is Christian or Muslim, but regardless of the religion, every Christian I know believes this is indefensible, abhorrent, and needlessly offensive. It is wrong to discriminate against any person, whatever your religion.
So how about this for a sensible middle ground? Any business must serve any person, but it must not be required to serve every act. Despite what they say, the left is capable of making this distinction. I know this because a staple of Oprahesque self-help seminars is that people are human beings, not human doings. That is all Mrs. Stutzman is saying. She is pleased to serve the human being, as long as she doesn’t have to participate in the human doing.
This simple distinction between being and doing will free religious folks to continue to serve all comers, and it will free homosexuals to not act as Bridezillas, destroying the lives of loving grandmothers, damaging the local economy, and contributing to urban blight. Will this happen? Only if America has any sense. Either way, Jesus must be very proud of Mrs. Stutzman.
The homosexual lobby likes to say that gay rights is the new black. But there is another lesson from the civil rights movement that is more instructive. The tide turned against white supremacists when they were seen beating up innocent, kind-hearted black people. Righteous indignation goes a long way. The left may bully Mrs. Stutzman, but with her defeat, the tide may be already turning.