Breaking Baronelle: Washington Punishes a Florist (a Satire)

The Columbia County Courthouse, located on 341 E Main Street in Dayton, is the oldest working courthouse in all of Washington’s 39 counties.
The Columbia County Courthouse, located on 341 E Main Street in Dayton, is the oldest working courthouse in all of Washington’s 39 counties.

We should all breathe a sigh of relief over what just happened in Washington state.

Baronelle Stutzman, an elderly florist, was just found guilty of discrimination because she declined to provide floral arrangements for a gay wedding. She’s on the hook now for the ACLU’s legal bills, incredibly. Here’s a quick breakdown of what has just happened.

How thankful we should be in this age for a culture that punishes Christians for living out their faith. First, we saw the exposure of Chip and Joanna Gaines, clearly two of the worst people in America. Why? Because the Gaineses of “Fixer Upper” attend a Protestant church that believes marriage is between one man and one woman. How kind of Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed to splash this fact, for the Gaines family poses an evident threat to American health and safety. How can ordinary people function if Chip and Joanna attend church, and even believe in traditional marriage?

In a similar vein, Baronelle Stutzman operated by her religious convictions. She declined to provide business services for a wedding because she too believes that marriage is made for one man and one woman. In a world of perpetual terrorism and unending violence, this elderly grandmother in Washington state is clearly Enemy Number One. She is the one we need to shut down. Sweet justice, thou hast done thy work. 

Sure, we might feel a little itchy over this. Yes, our secular culture has publicly cheered and smirked as the Rockettes, Marc Jacobs, and several New England Patriots have each snubbed Donald Trump because of his political views. Jacobs, for example, declined to dress Melania Trump for the presidential inauguration. In other words, he did much what Baronelle did: he declined to provide business services for someone whose convictions he does not share. So did Tom Ford. So did a woman named Sophie Theallet. Here’s what she said about not dressing Melania:

“As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles. I will not participate in dressing or associate myself in any way with the next First Lady. The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by.”

Well this is an awkward one, isn’t it? It would seem that Sophie, who also wrote a viral letter extolling her heroic decision, has acted upon her foremost principles in making this choice. So is the case for Jacobs and Ford. Sophie and others earned lavish praise for taking a stand for their views. But when a person like Baronelle Stutzman chooses in a similar vein to not do a wedding that clashes with her own beliefs, she is sued, embroiled in a long legal battle, and now punished by the state.

So yeah, The Grand and Self-Promoting Crusade for Justice may have swallowed a hairball here. Yes, we may be choking on our self-aggrandizing logic right now. As I’ve said elsewhere, we want it both ways today–we want to act according to conviction when it suits us (and when it suits progressive viewpoints), but acting according to conviction in support of conservative, Republican, or Christian viewpoints is a bridge too far. In that case, call in the heavy artillery. Call in the guns. Loose the hounds on a Washington state grandmother who loves Jesus.

This makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Just like Chip and Joanna, the thought that a Christian might be out there, acting to live out their convictions, should terrify us. You might wonder to yourself whether this is all needed, whether it’s all in point of fact horribly unfair, but remember, there are people out there who disagree with progressive thought. I know, it’s positively horrifying. It turns you into a puddle just thinking about it.

Give thanks, ye citizens. Baronelle Stutzman, Destroyer of the American Way, has come to justice. Despite the fact that we all intuitively know that it’s awful to force someone to violate their conscience, and despite the fact that the American Constitution offers religious liberty to all as the “first freedom,” we can all cheer what just happened in Washington. Of course we would never want this to happen to us–that goes without saying. Of course if we heard about an African-American t-shirt designer, a Black Lives Matter supporter, being forced to provide business services for a local neo-Nazi group wanting new t-shirts, we would riot. Of course the news cycle would blow up, and the public would not cease to protest, and we all would seek to promote justice.

But in this case, you see, we’re dealing with an evangelical. So we’ve laid aside our logic, and we’ve set aside fairness, and justice we kissed goodbye a long time ago now. Now, we’re in attack mode, and we’ve found the scourge of America. It’s not terrorists. It’s not those who sow dissension in our midst. It’s not law-breakers. It’s a quiet, unassuming elderly woman who declined to provide flowers for a gay wedding.

She is the worst. She is the enemy. In the new American culture, which rewards the progressive and scorches the rest, she deserves to taste the full force of judicial fury.

I don’t know about you, but I’m breathing a sigh of relief over here. Right?

Isn’t this what I’m supposed to be believing? Isn’t this what they tell us? Isn’t this, despite its clear violation of logic and ethical principle, right and fair?

This is what being on the right side of history feels like, isn’t it?

**************

Note: support Baronelle here, and pray for this dear woman.

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