The battle against persecution for being a Christian continues on until today. Last year, bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein were fined thousands of dollars for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Several hated them but many also supported them.
The same goes for Baronelle Stutzman, who is a senior and the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington. She was fined $1,001 by the Benton County Superior Court for declining to arrange flowers for a same-sex marriage. The person who complained is a longtime customer of hers, Robert Ingersoll and his partner Curt Freed.
Stutzman objected to work for the gay couple because she felt like it would violate her Christian beliefs on marriage. Ingersoll and Freed filed a lawsuit against Stutzman with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Stutzman faced the biggest challenge yet. The lawsuit basically placed the 70-year old florist at risk of losing her business and her life savings as well as personal retirement assets. The battle has been tough especially after losing against the lower court but Stutzman and her lawyers at Alliance Defending Freedom filed an appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.
What Stutzman didn’t expect in her battle was the support she got from other Christians. During the oral arguments in an auditorium in Bellevue College, hundreds of Christians flocked the area to give encouragement and support to the florist. The complex, which is capable of only 300 people, was filled up, with some even waiting outside. They rallied for Stutzman for her religious freedom.
The supporters were holding white roses and signs that read “Let Freedom Bloom,” “Freedom to Create,” and “Justice for Barronelle.” Stutzman is overwhelmed with the support she received and said, that her case has bigger implications than her own livelihood.
“The government is telling me there is one choice — either I give up my faith and my freedom or I lose everything I own,” Stutzman said.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
Source: Christian Post