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November 15, 2016 | Podcast | Open in Browser

Publication Notice: The Alliance Alert Daily Digest will return on Tuesday, November 15th, 2016.

Today:

Floral Arist Oral Argument in Washington
The European Assault on Freedom of Speech
Make Religious Freedom Great Again
Don’t Let Assisted Suicide Come to the Nation’s Capital
Why We Celebrate Veterans Day


Floral Arist Oral Argument in Washington

We've told you extensively about Barronelle Stutzman, the florist in Washington who was sued for following her religious convictions regarding the meaning of marriage.

Today, her case is before the Washington Supreme Court.

First, read what Barronelle herself had to say about the case:

"Rob Ingersoll and I have been friends since very nearly the first time he walked into my shop. I always thought that must be because Rob “gets it” – what it means to be a particular kind of artist, working to create beautiful messages through flowers and the talents God has given me. All those years, he always asked for me, when he could easily have gone somewhere else for his arrangements. There was never an issue with his being gay (nor has there been with any of my other customers or employees). He just enjoyed my arrangements, and I loved creating them for him.

"Since I never hid my faith, I always figured Rob understood that my beliefs shape not only how I look at the world, but how I envision and create my art – the art he appreciated for so long. So it wasn’t that I wouldn’t create something to celebrate his same-sex wedding – I couldn’t. This wasn’t about selling him flowers, or celebrating a birthday. This involved what, to me, is an event of unique spiritual significance – a sacred covenant. Art, like faith, comes from the heart, from who I am. I couldn’t deny my faith – even for so dear a friend – without damaging the very creativity he was asking for."

Second, here's what ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who will argue before the court with co-counsel George Ahrend, had to say:

"If the government can ruin Barronelle for peacefully living and working according to her faith, it can punish anyone else in Washington for expressing their beliefs. Barronelle served the man who is suing her dozens of times for different life events for nearly a decade. This case is about the government forcing her to participate in an event and promote ideas against her will under the threat of punishment. She stands to lose everything simply for declining to promote the state-approved meaning of marriage."

Finally, you can watch the oral arguments live here, at 9:00 a.m. PST.

 
The European Assault on Freedom of Speech

Over at Spiked, Paul Coleman paints a picture of Europe's low opinion of freedom of speech:

"We [in the United Kingdom] can distinguish ourselves from our European neighbours that are intent on pursuing more and more censorship. Just over the summer it was reported that prosecutors in Spain initiated criminal proceedings against the Archbishop of Valencia for preaching a homily alleged to have been ‘sexist’ and ‘homophobic’. In the Netherlands, a man was sentenced to 30 days in prison for ‘intentionally insulting’ the king on Facebook. And in Germany a prosecution was launched against a comedian who made jokes against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"These kinds of cases have become normal on the continent. So much so that they barely generate news. And they are often willingly cheered on by the EU and other European institutions. Britain can tread a different path.

"There is just one, small problem: when it comes to censorship and the quashing of civil liberties, the UK doesn’t need any encouragement from the EU, or anybody else."

Read the rest of the piece here.

 
On the Blog


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68 People and Organizations Standing with Barronelle

"Anyone who stands for their faith should never have to stand alone. As you probably know by now, Barronelle Stutzman, the florist in Washington state who was sued for declining to create custom floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding, has taken a stand. And tomorrow, her stand will go one step further as she goes before the Washington State Supreme Court for oral arguments in her case."

by Sarah Kramer

Here’s Why All Americans Should Be Concerned about Barronelle’s Case

"Tomorrow, oral arguments will be taking place before the Washington state Supreme Court in Barronelle Stutzman’s case – the Washington florist who was sued for declining to provide custom floral arrangements for a long-time customer’s same-sex wedding because of her religious beliefs about marriage."

by Sarah Kramer

 
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