Cranston Florists Don’t Want to Do Business With Atheists

***Update***: There’s now a Facebook group called “I Don’t Stand with the Cranston Florists.” Join it!

So now even the florists in Rhode Island are avoiding Jessica Ahlquist?

[Freedom From Religion Foundation] President Annie Laurie Gaylor, wishing to send a bouquet of roses to congratulate Jessica, contacted a shop based in Madison, Wis., to assist with the delivery. FFRF understands at least three florists in Cranston were contacted on Wednesday.

Floral Express, in Cranston, on Wednesday messaged the Madison shop via Dove Network, an electronic order service, that it was “closed on the requested delivery day” (which was the same day) and “. . . I am not able to fill this.”

• At 2:12 p.m. Wedneday, the Madison florist was contacted by Twins Florist, refusing the order via Dove Network message: “I will not deliver to this person.”

• Then Flowers by Santilli in Cranston was contacted by phone. The owner, upon hearing the name of the recipient, said he would rather not get involved and refused to fill the order.

• Seeking to go outside Cranston, the Madison flower firm on Wednesday next contacted Greenwood Flower and Garden in Warwick, which agreed to accept the order, but today called back saying patrons were phoning and emailing threatening to boycott his business so he refused the order, too.

FFRF was forced to go to an out of state business, Glimpse of Gaia, in Putnam, Conn., which not only agreed to deliver the flowers but threw in a second bouquet from the shop with its own message, “Glimpse of Gaia fully supports our First Amendment and will not be bullied by those who do not. Here’s to you, Jessica Ahlquist.”

Damn… well, if you ever have floral needs in that region, take your business to Glimpse of Gaia. They’ve earned your business by taking an anti-gelato-ey route.

Meanwhile, FFRF has asked the Commission for Human Rights in Rhode Island to investigate these companies on grounds of religious discrimination.

And the Cranston florists who didn’t want to deliver flowers to Jessica? They think they’re being “intimidated” and “harassed” and created a Facebook page called “I stand with the Cranston Florists.”

Because, you know, they’re the real victims in all of this…

The fundraiser for Jessica is still going strong:



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Chris

    Refusing to sell. Is that legal?

    • Eivind Kjorstad

      No it isn’t. Generally speaking bussinesses are free to decide what services they want to offer, at what times, and to whom. But there are limits. They are specifically forbidden from discriminating based on gender, race and religious affiliation.

      That is, it’s entirely legal to not (say) allow people who wear jeans. While it’s *not* legal to exclude people wearing a kippah (jewish head-wear) while allowing other kinds of hats.

      That’s because the latter would be discrimination based on religion, and that is not allowed.

      There’s little doubt that their refusal of delivering flowers to Jessica, was based on her high-profile court-case as an atheist, and as such, the refusal is illegal.

    • P. J. Reed

      It depends on why you refuse to sell; there are certain categories that are protected.  If you’re discriminating based on religion, then yes, that’s illegal.

      The hard part, though, is actually proving that the discrimination was based on religion.

    • Erik Cameron

      I don’t think so. I think it’s illegal to refuse sales based on being a member of a Protected Class (
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class). 

      Religion is a protected class in every state. I’m fairly sure that religion in US law also includes lack thereof.
      Of course the florist might say that they were discriminating based on Jessica’s lawsuit rather than her religion. Not sure how that would go.

  • Anonymous

    A Cancer treatment organization won’t accept ‘atheist money’……a baker refuses to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple……and now this.

    ’tis a proud day for ignorance and bigotry.

  • Rich Samuels

    That facebook page is the simultaneously the worst / funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. 

    Who have the florists hired to do their PR? Paul Christoforo? 

  • Drew M.

    If any of these florists go under because of this, I wonder if they’ll be intelligent to realize it was their own fault.

    Naw, they’ll likely blame all the evil atheists.

    • Anonymous

      Judging by the public reaction to the whole case, the entire area is as backwards and ignorant as them

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ5VEXJ3IYNGQBHI5APT4DETJI FSq

        I called each of the florists and asked them why they refused delivery, and if they knew they were breaking the law. The loud mouthed New Englander at Starellis (or whatever the hell is it) got loud and yelled at me, asking “Would you deliver to her!?!” To which I responded “You don’t have many skills in situational awareness, do you?”

        Call these pricks and let them know we push back.

        Let them be the ones that scurry under the fridge when the lights get turned on.

        • Winto_bungle

          what did Floral Express say? there is a possibility they were closed on the day and that is the reason they couldnt fulfil the order. is that the whole story?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ5VEXJ3IYNGQBHI5APT4DETJI FSq

            I can forward you MP3 versions of each store’s phone conversation. 

  • Anonymous

    Glimpse of Gaia sounds like an awesome business.

    • Erik Cameron

      When I first read Glimpse of Gaia’s website, I was so confused. I thought they were the ones that denied her the flowers so I didn’t understand why they seemed like such hippies. Then I reread the article and realized that they were the cool ones.

      • http://profiles.google.com/tychabrahe Lauren Eve Pomerantz

        With a name like Glimpse of Gaia, I’m wondering if they have a few Pagans on staff.

        • Derrik Pates

          I was guessing the owner was. Whatever the case, big thanks to them for being willing to deliver to another state, since apparently it’s too difficult for any local businesses.

  • george.w

    They won’t go under; they’ll get slaps on the back at church and more orders than they can handle.

  • Anonymous

    It looks like there is some complexity here, I imagine some of those florists really did reject it on discriminatory grounds, the statement of some of the others suggest they might have been intimidated into cancelling the order.

    How did outsiders know about the order so that other people can call and demand they don’t fill the order?

    • Derrik Pates

      My thought exactly. Probably just an excuse – unless they conveniently “let slip” in the middle of their store to whoever was there, so they’d have a “reason”.

    • Warzypants

      Do you think they were really fearful of angry Christians with torches and pichforks attacking their drivers?  If so, they could easily have suggested that they would make up the bouquet and asked for someone to collect it, or to have it delivered to an alternate address.

      I hear they have been flooded with calls asking them not to deliver.  I can’t imagine those calls really would be saying “Please don’t deliver because your driver might be at risk!”

      I agree that they may have been intimidated for religious reasons.  So funny when we consider this was all supposed to have been about some “historical artifact”, or at least this is what the school board hoped the judge would swallow.

      • Anonymous

        Not necessarily pitchforks, but a boycott on the part of a good part of the community could end the business, that can be intimidating enough if you’re a business person.  However, supposedly Jessica did get threats of rape and injury, so it’s possible.

  • ReligionsAreMyths

    It seems to me that these bigots can’t accept the fact that there are people who support Jessica and refuse to deliver flowers to her either due to she is an Atheist who only done what was right or because they got threats from bigots to boycott their businesses. More proof that the number of Christians who hate Atheists are actually a lot more then the sane and secular Christians say.

  • Eivind Kjorstad

    This is hilarious. These people are their own worst enemies. Jessica has done us all a great favour, not only by going trough with the court-case against the banner, but also by exposing all the bigots in the woodwork in the best possible way.

    Today they stand naked in the spotlight. And that’s a bad place to be for a bigot.

    I sent a thank-you note to Glimpse of Gaia. It bounced: mailbox full. I hope it’s overflowing with thank-you notes, and not full of christian hate.

  • Richard

    Moral of the story: maybe Rhode Island is not a place to do business.  I usually go there for Water Fire in Providence, but maybe not this year if everyone from the representatives down to the flower shops are fucking insane.

  • http://reverendredmage.blogspot.com/ Neal

    If I have to order food at work, I usually call someplace in Cranston since I work so close to the town line (in Providence).  I think I’m going to order a pizza for her and see how far this extends.

    • See All As One

      Please do follow up with that! It may also offer some insight into how the flower sending got to be such a big deal. . .

  • Jason

    I wonder if we could flood Glimpse of Gaia with business, as a thank you to both them and Jessica?  Might be a neat idea to order more flowers, and since they already have the address, just tell them the name and have them go with the address they have on file.  Just a thought.  Although, if you’re willing to give money, the scholarship fund would be more useful than flowers. 

    • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

      My firm in CT frequently sends flowers to clients.  They will most definitely be getting our business.

  • Anonymous

    They are being “intimidated and harassed” … by Christians who threaten to boycott them if they deliver to atheists.  Rather than kowtow to bigots they should unite and stand against them.

    Sadly they probably don’t see it like that.

  • ff42

    Being as I’m 1000+ miles west, I’ll probably never have an opportunity to directly support Glimpse (or boycott the others), but if I do I’ll not remember the specifics (nor that the information was posted here).  Does anyone know of a list of atheist friendly companies (as I’d also like to support local companies, but don’t know which is which)?

    • walkamungus

      A website listing atheist-friendly companies is a good idea. 

      Remember how, a few years ago, businesses didn’t advertise as “gay friendly” — and then they figured out that gays and lesbians had disposable income? Well, how about atheists? A similar percentage of the population, educated and thus tend to make more money, etc. And atheists are a *young* cohort — you can market to them for years!Really, once American businesses figure out they can sell things to a given group, most of them are generally very happy to do so.

    • Marco Conti

      There is one: 
      http://www.atheistlist.com/businessdirectory/ but I know if it only because I actively searched it. I have never seen it mentioned anywhere and as far as I can tell they only have a few businesses. But it’s done pretty professionally.

      I went to look for it because  I have the skill and the means to build a atheist friendly directory. I was thinking that for it to succeed bloggers like FA, PZ Meyers and others would have to actively promote it. 

      I was going to try to contact heman and see what he thought. I really would like to create such a directory. It would have to be non-profit and let members list not only business owned by atheists but also atheist friendly businesses. For free.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ5VEXJ3IYNGQBHI5APT4DETJI FSq

    WTF. These fucking so called “moral christians” can suck the shit out of my ass. Seriously. This is just so incredibly fucked up. What if WalMart posted a sign saying “No Jews”. What would the public reaction be?

    Also isn’t turning the other cheek and forgiveness two of the biggies in the xian pantheon?

    So if they are so hurt over this, shouldn’t they forgive her, and then turn the other cheek and send the fucking flowers.

    I swear we are taking steps backwards each day, and frankly, this one has me quite sad and angry.

    • Nordog

      “So if they are so hurt over this, shouldn’t they forgive her, and then turn the other cheek and send the fucking flowers?”

      Actually, yes.

      • JimG

        So put your money where your mouth is, Nordog. Why don’t you call up these florists and tell them that as a fellow Christian you disapprove of their bigotry?

        Or do you just find it easier to snipe at atheists and sit on your hands?

        • Nordog

          Of course it’s easier to snipe at atheist bigots, besides, it appears that your camp has the calling out these Christian bigots covered quite well.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ5VEXJ3IYNGQBHI5APT4DETJI FSq

            Coward. You are a cowardly little person, and quite distasteful. Yes, hide behind your musty old book and myths, and let others call out those who are wrong.

            Perhaps you should remember Martin Niemollor…of course, based on your posts, it is a safe assumption that you are woefully ignorant, so let me help you out…

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Niemöller

            Oh, and fuck you.

            • PhilGE

              Nice, friendly Atheism on display here, folks! Look, I’ve been an activist for many social causes for years. I also happen to be Christian and also happen to have friends and family from all walks of life. I don’t know about Nordog, but bigoted behavior by anyone is still bigoted behavior. Good for the Glimpse of Gaia folks, more power too them, regardless of their beliefs or non-beliefs.

              • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ5VEXJ3IYNGQBHI5APT4DETJI FSq

                Oh my ass. Tolerance of intolerance ISN’T. And calling someone a coward or bigot when they in fact are bigots or cowards is not “stooping” to their level. It is speaking facts.

                And frankly, I could give a shit about being friendly to a fuck like nordog; he/it is not deserving of such courtesies. 

                • Nordog

                  This is rather surreal.  All this vitriolic and hateful rhetoric because of what I wrote.

                  So, this far down one may wonder, what did I write to cause all of this?

                  I simply agreed with FSq that Christians should turn the other cheek and send the flowers as HE suggested.

                  I can’t imagine what would have happened if I had DISagreed with him.

          • JimG

            You sniveling, worthless turd. You inspire nothing but contempt. If you had any concern for your supposed religion, any real devotion to the teachings of Jesus rather than simply feeding your own sanctimonious narcissism, his condemnation of hypocrisy would be ringing in your ears.

            You’d better hope we’re right, that there’s not a Hell.

            “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16

          • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

            Hi Nordog, Usually your comments are more well considered, and so this is a disappointment. If, even after the unfortunate insults that you’ve received, you were to reconsider the challenge to take an active stance to help your brethren see the grievous errors they are making, it would be a credit to you and to how you try to emulate your prophet.  Atheists don’t have much clout with deeply bigoted Christians. They often ignore even our most well-mannered and well thought-out appeals.  Christians who actually practice their teacher’s best teaching might have more sway.

            As a demonstration, I’ll do the very same thing with my own comrades, who I think are making their own error, and I might have to face having their anger turned on me:

            FSq and JimG, when you call out someone for objectionable behavior, don’t use even worse behavior in the process. It’s not persuasive. Insults and vulgarity do not influence someone to do what you ask. They only galvanize the person’s opinion, and reinforce their defense. The effect is that the objectionable behavior is much more likely to continue. Look into your motive. Do you want to simply vent your indignation in a display of chest-thumping, or do you want to work toward accomplishing a positive result? 

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ5VEXJ3IYNGQBHI5APT4DETJI FSq

              nordog is never going to see anything other than its myth-guided idiocy, so “people” like this do not deserve such courtesies. 

              • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

                There are plenty of people who saw things exactly as Nordog does now, but they changed.  Some are among the many atheists who comment here. I don’t think they changed because someone demonstrated their own unwillingness to consider a different way of seeing things or a different way of interacting. Will you remain as stuck in your prejudicial dismissal as you predict Nordog will remain? Are you not building your own myth about Christians that you will blindly follow?

            • JimG

              I don’t expect to persuade Nordog, Richard. I never expected that he’d actually practice what he preaches.
              Persuasion and reason must have receptive audiences; Nordog has shown through repeated trolling that he’s only here to preen on his assumed superiority. Sometimes contempt is the only thing that has any chance of getting through – and if it doesn’t, in this case, nothing lost.

              • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

                JimG, regardless of any effect that you might or might not have on Nordog, please consider the effect that your stance and methods have on yourself. Beware the trap of adopting the same tactics or even worse as those of your opponent. As you practice your own contempt, hatred, and conceit, you will get better and better at them. They will become deeply-rooted parts of you. Even if your viewpoint eventually prevails, your opponent will still have won in a very important sense, because you will have taken on his ways. The negativism that you so despised in him will live on in you.

                You and FSq both have the capacity to rise above the reprehensible behaviors of others and not be seduced into using them yourselves. Both of you have the capacity to take the high road. Please consider it. The view is much better, and the air is much fresher.

                I’ll not waste any more breath or bandwidth belaboring this. Please just let my words sit gently for a while in your minds, and give them a chance.

            • Nordog

              Richard,

              Thanks for the nice words.  Not sure anyone is still reading this thread, and I don’t know how I missed it until just now.

              Your wrote:

              “If, even after the unfortunate insults that you’ve received, you were to
              reconsider the challenge to take an active stance to help your brethren
              see the grievous errors they are making, it would be a credit to you
              and to how you try to emulate your prophet. ”

              Seems I’m being taken to task by JimG on another thread for, well not sure, but it lead me back here and I discovered a bit of a conversation going on.

              So, not sure what is being asked of me or suggested.  What am I supposed to do that makes for an active stance?  Might I have done it already but just not mentioned it here?

              Admittedly, my response you found disappointing was terse and snarky.   But then I was responding to JimG.  Not sure how much consideration he deserves.

              But the fact of the matter is I’m not going to make a big personal cause about something on the other side of the country just because I read about it on the internet.  Ask my opinion?  Death threats are bad; people making them should go to jail.

              I’m not an activist by disposition or habit.

              The funny thing about all this is I don’t support religion/prayer/bible-verse-banners in public schools.

              • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

                Nordog, You’re an okay person as far as I’m concerned.

                We have in common far more than we differ.  We have our humanity, which is huge, and our opinions, which in comparison are tiny. Let us be swayed largely by what is large in us, and swayed not at all by what is small in us. If we step back for the broader picture, and see how our love for others and our desire to be loved by others unite us in wonderful and painful ways, then the differences in the styles we choose to love and to seek love become unimportant.

  • Craig Hansen

    My comments were deleted and I was banned from the “I Stand With The Cranston Florists” page.  My comments?

    Craig Hansen:
    20
    minutes ago, you wrote “The florists made a judgement call not to
    deliver the flowers due to safety concerns…” Are you saying that
    atheists were threatening to assault drivers delivering flowers to an
    atheist?!?

    Craig Hansen:
    Clearly
    not. What you have essentially admitted, is that Christians are prone
    to threats of violence, and that caused the florists to refuse delivery.
    So which is it? Are you telling the truth and Christian threats were
    the cause of the refusal to do business, or was it bigotry on the part
    of the florists? It’s clearly one of the two, and I’m sorry that
    neither option is appealing to you, but one of those is the truth.

    John DePetro (same comment he made multiple times previously):Please
    try to keep the facts straight before you comment. The florists made a
    judgement call not to deliver the flowers due to safety concerns and
    the possibility of negative impact to their businesses. Unfortunately
    for them, it appears someone may have decided to further their agenda
    and subsequently generate revenue from sympathetic donors, by reporting
    to the press that the reason the florists would not deliver is because
    the girl is an atheist. The florists should not be subjected to
    arbitrary punitive actions for simply not wanting to deal with the
    hassle surrounding this issue in our community.

    Craig Hansen:
    We
    get it, you have a firm grasp on copy-and-paste, but you’re looking
    like Baghdad Bob, ignoring the blatantly obvious and attempting to
    substitute your own version of reality for what everyone else can
    already see. Is this why you’re a radio host? People like listening to
    you because you’re so easy to argue against?

    • Craig Hansen

      The FB update by John DePotro that started the above exchange:
      Florists are being threatened, but it is not by the Christians. Florists tried to be neutral, but obviously didn’t work.

    • george.w


      Are you telling the truth and Christian threats were the cause of the refusal to do business, or was it bigotry on the part of the florists? It’s clearly one of the two…”

      Indeed! But these possibilities are not mutually exclusive. 

      • Craig Hansen

        Technically true, but who really believes the florists were afraid of Christians attacking the florists?

        Actually…wait.  That’s not as far-fetched as it originally sounded.  If a Christian wanted to harm Jessica, and many Christians are on record as saying they do, then by extension they may want to harm any business or employee providing service to her.

        Still, I feel the more likely scenario is that the florists were just being bigoted.  If I’m wrong, then they were afraid of Christians, or they are both afraid and bigoted.

    • Annie

      I saw your comments on that page before they were removed.  You were completely out of control… trying to reason and asking clarifying questions, and in a civil manner to boot!  What were you thinking???

  • Winto_bungle

    I just cannot understand why other christians dont come out and condemn the bigots in their religion. if i was christian i would be shouting from the rooftop to condemn these bigots.

    cowards, the lot of them.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, where are the “true Christians” we always hear about? As always, nothing but crickets…

  • Winto_bungle
    • Derrik Pates

      And the “I Stand With the Cranston Florists” group made their page private just shortly ago.

  • Derrik Pates

    My question – if the FFRF just submitted the order, how did any other customers even know to apply pressure to them? Or did they announce it loudly in their stores when the order came in? Or more likely, that’s just an excuse to not do business with someone they don’t like…

    Someone needs to familiarize them with the concept of civil rights. Apparently these people don’t believe they exist.

    • Parse

      There’s another possible explanation:
      One of the first three shops contacted probably spread the word that people were trying to send Jessica flowers, and that people should support their shop because they Took a Stand For Christ.   From there, it’s fairly safe to assume that people would write to the other flower shops in town, to say “If you support Ms. Ahlquist, we won’t support you!”

      • Derrik Pates

        Hm, maybe, but it sounded like this was all in a span of a few hours; seems like it’d be awfully quick (though I suppose, not impossible) for that to happen…

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LNWAM4DYCN4MLBLHFGDHE2YKZM GloomCookie613

          You underestimate the small business grapevine.  My mother-in-law is a florist.  If I bought flowers in another shop in the next town over, she’d know about it within an hour to two hours tops.

    • walkamungus

      It seems that FFRF did the right thing, which was to warn the businesses that Jessica was “in the public eye.” (If you’re asking a third party into a tough situation, let them know what they’re getting involved in.) There might have been legit safety concerns from the florists, along the lines of “We know this kid has gotten death threats, and we’re not going to potentially put our employees in the line of fire.” Which at least indicates that they know their customer base.

      • Derrik Pates

        Somehow I’m guessing if it was the same note, but it was for the Superintendent of the school, it would’ve been delivered…

  • Anonymous

    Folks, if you go to the Glimpse of Gaia website they have an email address available for contacting them ( sean@glimpseofgaia.com, for some reason the other one fails). I’ve already sent them a thank you for their stand, and I would encourage everyone to do the same. It’s great to voice your displeasure at the bigots and cowards, but it’s also nice to tell the good guys you’ve noticed they are awesome.

    Of course, if you live anywhere near Putnam CT then I would suggest looking around your life to see if anyone in it could use some flowers…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LNWAM4DYCN4MLBLHFGDHE2YKZM GloomCookie613

      And if there’s no one in your life, you could always call the local nursing homes and see if they’d like a one-time delivery to brighten up their residents’ day. :)

  • http://twitter.com/latinone_usa The LatiNone

    Today I feel proud of being a resident of the Quiet Corner in the Nutmeg State (Putnam is really close to my home).

  • Anonymous

    Hey I just ordered flowers from Glimpse of Gaia!  They were really, really nice!  Let’s show their Yelp page some love!  http://www.yelp.com/biz/glimpse-of-gaia-putnam

  • Nordog

    “Also isn’t turning the other cheek and forgiveness two of the biggies in the xian pantheon?”

    FTR: Christians don’t have a pantheon; they’re monotheists.

    • Ubi Dubium

      Father, son, holy spook, satan, that’s four supernatural beings with power and influence.

      Next, there’s a whole bunch of angels, many of whom have names and duties.

      And if you’re Catholic, you need to include the Virgin Mary and all the saints.

      Sounds like a pantheon to me!

      • Nordog

        What you wrote is the atheist counterpoint (and about as accurate as) a Christian saying there are no atheists in foxholes.

        • Ubi Dubium

          Wait, what?  That doesn’t compare at all.  I just differ as to how I would define “monotheism”.  I’d define a monotheist as someone who believes in one and only one all-powerful supernatural being.

          Christians (and I’ve been one, so don’t try the “atheists don’t know anything about it card”) believe in an all powerful being who is somehow simultaneously three beings, plus a whole host of lesser supernatural beings, all of whom supposedly have an effect on humans.  I don’t see how that fits “mono” at all.

          And I thought we were talking about bigoted florists, anyway.  I love the idea of sending Jessica some pizza, because she probably has plenty of flowers by now.

          • Egleberisa

            I’ve heard some Hindus believe the gods and/or everything and everyone are all different aspects of one God (Brahman), which is as monotheistic as Christianity.

            I’d still consider that mono, though. The trinity is still one God, it’s just a God with some alter-egos. It’s like… Bruce Wayne is one man, but he’s two. I think. I didn’t really pay attention those few times in Sunday School.

  • http://twitter.com/hipopotamo Hipopótamo de Río

    As a foreigner, I find these behaviors completely nonsensical. Any florist in my country would have just pocketed the money and quietly deliver the flowers… And privately badmouthed Jessica with his friends (which by the way, is fine, you have the right to be an idiot). None would have to be the wiser. But no, they have to make it an issue!

    This event makes me realize the ordeal Jessica has gone thru, and it makes my appreciation skyrocket!

    Virtual flowers on the way to her, full support for her funding!

    Live long and prosper

    The Hippo

    • wright

      It’s because the religious have so seldom been openly challenged in the US. When they are, they’re so frightened they get ugly.

      They’re shooting themselves in the foot, though. Thanks to mass media (especially the net), their bigotry and hypocrisy are increasingly visible. Not that they can’t do damage, but their attacking people like Ms. Ahlquist will only lead to them being challenged more often.

      Sent an appreciative email to sean@glimpseofgaia:disqus .com.

  • Anonymous

    I’m checking out the Glipse of Gaia facebook page . Lotta love, including some additional orders for Jessica! Somehow though, I suspect these lovely florists were awesome long before this incident.

    • walkamungus

      Oh gosh. Check out the fb page for the “Flying Cthulhu” arrangement someone asked for! Awesome!

  • Anonymous

    Hemant, there’s a news segment about the matter that might warrant an update:

    http://www.abc6.com/story/16558428/connecticut-florist-delivers-flowers-to-atheist-teen-after-four-ri-florists-refuse

    Several things of note:
    - The order from FFRF came with a warning that Jessica was under the public eye, so any person delivering would have to show ID (since threats had been made against her). That’s how the florists realized what was going on so quickly.
    - One of the florists, Floral express, said they’d be closed on the day of delivery. A reporter went to check and they did seem to be closed. This seems important, because that means that Jessica had nothing to do with the refusal for these people. If so, they need to be taken off the list.
    -Sean, from Glipse of Gaia, has gotten harrassing phone-calls for the temerity of delivering flowers to a teenager. Check him out in the video, he rocks.

    • Derrik Pates

      Just dropped the guy an e-mail thanking him for not bowing to outside pressure. I don’t have anyone to send flowers to in their area right now, but if I ever do, I know who I’ll be doing business with (and I told him so).

    • Anonymous

      What’s the deal with “a Wisconsin ANTI-RELIGIOUS GROUP wanted to send…”

      I love the media. /sarcasm

    • Parse

      For Floral Express, is it possible that they closed (early) so they’d have a legitimate reason to refuse the order?  

      • Anonymous

        It’s certainly possible, but I don’t think it’s something that can be assumed without evidence. I think it’s legitimate to ask the owner why the store had to close early. However since they have not specifically refused one order and not others and (unlike the other two in different news items) have made no statement clearly showing that they were overtly taking the side of the threatening Christians, I would give them at least some benefit of the doubt.

  • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

    What a sad fall for the state of Roger Williams.

  • Anonymous

    I just got a very pleasant reply from sean@glimpseofgaia.com

    “Thank you very much for your kind words.  It is an odd experience to be congratulated and thanked for doing something so ordinary.  We’d like you to know that the response has been overwhelmingly positive and that Jessica is getting more flowers today as are several charities in our area, thanks to donors.  This is a funny little chapter in the history of a state founded on religious liberty.

    Thanks again – Sean & Steph”

    • Tim

      Good people.

    • Derrik Pates

      As did I. Glad that whatever flak they’re getting from Cranston’s “christian” community is not drowning us out. :)

  • bigjohn756

    I didn’t expect Glimpse of Gaia to have FTD service and apparently they don’t. I expect theirs is too small a company. But, if they did, I would order all my flowers here in Texas from them.
    After all, they were willing to drive a half-hour to deliver flowers whereas the locals were too bigoted to do so.

  • Greg

    Really, going to Yelp is a good way to express your opinion…

  • PhilG

    Gee, as someone who identifies as Christian, I’m a bit taken aback by the bigotry towards Christians by many of those commenting here. I am no fan of bigotry by Christians – or any other group, for that matter. Take a good look in the mirror and see if you can’t find at least one bigot there. I used to say I was bigoted against bigots until I realized the hypocrisy of that remark. I’m all for the Gaia florists – good for them for moving beyond bigotry.

    • Anonymous

      Please be specific.  I’m either turning a blind eye to those comments here, or I just don’t see them.  Thanks.

      • PhilG

        There’s a lot of hatred and judgmentalism being thrown around this site towards Christians. If we were talking the same about Muslims, I’d expect more of an uproar. I am no big defender of Christianity – my family background is extremely diverse and I don’t hold any belief system as “better” than another. I completely get that there many who’ve been hurt by organized religions and I will never defend any offender. I would simply ask anyone with a rational mind to take a look at what’s here and see how similar it is to those who behave similarly under (whatever label you don’t like). Check out Wikipedia’s definition of bigotry here:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigotry

        FSq’s comments below in response to Nordog seems to fit the bill here pretty well. Hateful comments, name calling, and dismissive responses do nothing to build dialogue. They are self-serving and rally only those who you hope think like yourself. I’ve left “Christian” sites or groups for the same reason. I don’t think anyone is above hypocrisy. People who walk around proclaiming their Christianity in a big public way do a pretty good job of setting themselves up for a fall. Again, more power to the Gaia florists for their humble response. We could all learn more from their behavior.

        • Marco Conti

          @5918ef7e0a970d8459ce04680ff780e7:disqus  Have you checked out the Christian comments on facebook and twitter about Jessica? I personally don;t like to bash other people. If they are bigots, I will tell them in the face, but I like to keep the discourse civil.  
          I have read many comments on this page, and I saw very few that were outright and maliciously offensive. 
          But what these stores did, after all the hoopla in that town, is truly despicable. 
          So if there are some hateful comments in this page, there are much worse elsewhere on this topic. And we didn’t start the bashing and the name calling. 
          We certainly did not tell anyone they were going to suffer in hell forever. When you think about it, anything you can say to someone in this life, would pale compared the torment in the Christian hell. Luckily, we really don’t care and we don’t believe in hell. But  from a Christian it is pretty much the ultimate punishment reserved for wicked people. 
          Shouldn’t we be upset that if they could these people would send us in the same place they believe Hitler, pol pot,  stalin and every serial killer sand child molester are?  A bit excessive.

          Going back to the posts and the insults on this page, you’ll have to admit that most of the post are passionate but very few offensive and none seek to deliver eternal torment the the opposite side. 

          You guys have a skewed look on life and a level of hypocrisy that if it was an Olympic sport you’d be gold medalist. 

          Look at your friends first, what they wrote about a 17 yo girl and then come back and let us know how we stack up against them.

        • Maddy

          I see a lot of disgust at bigoted Christians, sure, and something that looks like a personal issue between a few posters, but is there stuff that’s just random hatred and dismissal of ALL Christians in general?

    • Derrik Pates

      Somehow I suspect if the situation were reversed – by some magic, it was a Christian person who someone was trying to send flowers to, and every flower shop in their town said “no way, we’re not delivering flowers to them” or “well, we *would* but then we’d lose a bunch of other business”, the Christians would be doing far worse than using the freedom of speech that the First Amendment grants us all.

    • Sue Blue

      Calling out bigots is not bigotry.  I’m pretty sure everyone commenting here would have nothing but good things to say about a Christian or Christian business who actually acted like Jesus Christ and defended this teenaged girl against the stone-throwing zealots.  However, instead of “loving one another” and “turning the other cheek” these RI Christians and businesses are busily throwing stones and intimidating others into throwing stones along with with.   And not a single so-called Christian has the balls to come out to the media and condemn the hateful, threatening, vile actions of their fellow Christians.  

    • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy2q

      Calling people out on their bigotry isn’t bigotry.

    • rhodent

      I do not see any bigotry against Christians in this thread.  Please provide examples.

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy2q

    I sent an e-mail thanking Glimpse of Gaia for delivering to Jessica.  I thought it would be nice for them to get some kind words among all of the harassment they’re getting from the rabble of RI.

  • echidna

    More than that, reprisals stemming from civil action complaints is also illegal.  It’s not necessary to say that the action is because of Jessica’s atheism, it’s only necessary to show the acts are in retaliation for the lawsuit.  At least, that’s how I understand it, INAL.

  • Marco Conti

    Sean was very gracious too when I emailed him back. 
    In doing so I took a better look at his website and he is using the godaddy free hosting plan. I didn’t think that was appropriate for the now famous “Humanist Florist” :)

    So I just offered “Glimpse of Gaia” to build them a proper  e-commerce website of the kind I build for my paying but boring clients. I haven’t heard anything back yet, and maybe he is overwhelmed by the response, but I am serious about it. The way I see it, they did something remarkable and made all of us look better. Every time someone does something right, we all benefit from it.I am in a position to help their business since e-commerce websites is what I do.I hope to be able to do it and I’ll make sure to keep everyone up to date if they accept and we go ahead.

    • Anonymous

      That’s awesome! The extra business is great for them, but will naturally die down soon. You can give them something to improve their business over the long haul. Massive kudos :-)

  • Anonymous

    What happened here, folks? 
    Name-calling and Reason don’t play well together.   Present evidence, state opinions, offer support, and make constructive suggestions, but personal attacks are demeaning and will not advance your position.

  • Taxihorn

    If I lived anywhere near there, I would be fighting my own childish urge to wear a cartoonishly large sign around my neck saying “ATHEIST!”, while trying to order flowers in their shops.

  • tom97531
  • tom97531
  • Maddy

    Why not get the flowers delivered to her school, with her name on them? Happens enough for Valentine’s Day over here. Could really pretty up the school and also show the worst of Cranston’s bigots i.e. those horrible classmates that she has widespread support.

    Also, an idea that could extend to other businesses. Whenever you are placing an order or asking for some service or, what the hell, buying anything, just before you pay, say “I’m an atheist. Is that going to be a problem?” and see what the response is. If there is even a moment’s consideration (aside from a pause because someone is bemused as to why you’d even bother to mention it), then walk away, perhaps sighing “Oh, bigotry; shame!” as you go.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Len-Blakely/723453799 Len Blakely

    “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
    -Archbishop Desmond Tutu

  • Shayai Lucero

    This is what I posted on my facebook page: “I
    don’t know whether to be really pissed off or just pissed off about
    this. As a flower shop owner, I don’t care what my customers believe in
    just as long as you believe in the healing power of flowers. Another
    thing that pisses me off is the amount of bullying going as well.
    Someone mentioned on another board that if the first florist filled the
    order, the local police stated the floral shop would need security
    because ‘bodily harm [may be] involved.’ Ugh!”

    Bullying is bullying…. who cares at what age you are.

    So if anyone ever needs to send flowers in my floral delivery area, please give my shop, Earth & Sky Floral Designs and Gallery, a call.  We do not exclude anyone.

  • mike corsillo

    i work for a high volume floral relay center. i have added greenwood flower center to our list of “do not use” florists. i think twins might actually be “twigs” in cranston, which is already on that list. we use mercury, rather than dove, though, and the other florists involved are not on our system. unfortunately, neither is glimpse of gaia, so i won’t be able to send them any business :(

  • Revrun71

    Strange tidings. Looked up some of this on Internet to get some context for the story and it looks ugly. All I can say is that as a christian, I’m sorry for any prejudiced treatment of another person for any reason and that I am one of many religious believers who strongly believe is separation of church and state.


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