Todd Starnes

According to Fox’s Todd Starnes “Christian Florist Won’t Play Judas by Betraying Jesus for Money in Gay Wedding Flap.” Oh my! Starnes goes on to write:

“You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one
who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver,” Stutzman
wrote in a letter to state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “That is
something I will not do.”

Ferguson had offered to settle the case
if she paid a $2,000 penalty for violating the Consumer Protection Act, a
$1 payment for costs and fees, and agreed not to discriminate in the


“I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my homes and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important,” Stutzman wrote in a letter to the attorney general.

Starnes concludes:

The Seattle Times reported that Judge Ekstrom determined
that “while religious beliefs are protected by the First Amendment,
actions based on those beliefs aren’t necessarily protected.”

In other words—it’s OK to believe in God—so long as you don’t follow the tenets of your faith.

Starnes’ conclusion is based on promoting the false premise that belief in God requires refusing service to a gay couple in violation of the law. Most people would disagree. Aside from this being settled law (Employment Division v. Smith), it is the consensus of our society that following the tenets of one’s faith does not create an unconditional exception to otherwise valid anti-discrimination ordinances. Otherwise those laws become entirely unenforceable. The personal approval of third parties should not be a requirement for obtaining service in a public accommodation.

For example, we would not permit a member of the Christian Identity Church to refuse service to Blacks or Jews. There would be no controversy were a Christian sanctioned for refusing service to a mixed marriage or an interracial marriage no matter how convinced he was that God required him to abstain. The degree of zealousness would be understandably irrelevant. There would be no column by Todd Starnes chronicling the outrageous persecution (notwithstanding how much Starnes loves to feel persecuted).

Ms. Stutzman doesn’t need a lawyer. What she needs is a sane clergyman to explain that selling her flowers is not the same thing has entering into a same-sex marriage. Furthermore, her approval is neither required nor desired. “In other words” sell your fucking flowers to anyone who wants to buy them. It’s really none of your business how or where those flowers will be displayed.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.