Follow the Flower

Do you know who Barronelle Stutzman is? You should, she’s playing the role of Rosa Parks in our state and warrants our prayers and deserves our applause. She’s the owner and florist of “Arlene’s Flowers” in the Tri-Cities who sells flowers to everyone and hires gays and straights as employees. But she stood up to culture’s “universal tolerance” axiom, choosing not to celebrate iniquity by refusing to sell her floral skills to a homosexual couple wanting to get “married.” Washington’s Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, chose to make an example out of Mrs. Stutzman by taking her to court.

Last week, our elected official using our tax dollars won. The “gracious” winner that he is, Mr. Ferguson turned right around and offered the grandmother and small business owner a settlement. He’d make all this go away for her if she pays a fine of $2,001, agrees to no longer do any weddings, and pledges not to appeal the ruling. And Mrs. Stutzman, bless her heart, had the “petunias” to write the Attorney General the following letter of refusal:

Dear Mr. Ferguson,

Thank you for reaching out and making an offer to settle your case against me.

As you may imagine, it has been mentally and emotionally exhausting to be at the center of this controversy for nearly two years. I never imagined that using my God-given talents and abilities, and doing what I love to do for over three decades, would become illegal. Our state would be a better place if we respected each other’s differences, and our leaders protected the freedom to have those differences. Since 2012, same-sex couples all over the state have been free to act on their beliefs about marriage, but because I follow the Bible’s teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, I am no longer free to act on my beliefs.

Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, 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. Washington’s constitution guarantees us “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.” I cannot sell that precious freedom. 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. That is something I will not do.

I pray that you reconsider your position. I kindly served Rob for nearly a decade and would gladly continue to do so. I truly want the best for my friend. I’ve also employed and served many members of the LGBT community, and I will continue to do so regardless of what happens with this case. You chose to attack my faith and pursue this not simply as a matter of law, but to threaten my very means of working, eating, and having a home. If you are serious about clarifying the law, then I urge you to drop your claims against my home, business, and other assets and pursue the legal claims through the appeal process. Thanks again for writing and I hope you will consider my offer.


Barronelle Stutzman

I mentioned earlier Rosa Parks, the African-American woman who sparked the civil rights movement of the 60’s, who refused to move to the back of the bus. Congress called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”

The homosexual agenda crowd portrays us as today’s bigots, standing in the way of progress—no we’re not. Bigotry was a sin back then just as sodomy is today. Rosa Parks stood up against sin and brought many to the cause. Barronelle Stutzman is standing up against sin. May her actions bring many to the cause; especially the pastors, churches, and Christians on the sideline having capitulated, given up, or who cower in fear.

We’re long past the time of smelling the roses. There’s a florist out there on the front-lines. It’s time we join her.

Pastor Rich Hamlin

February 26, 2015


  1. The young men in the fiery furnace chose obedience to God over worship of the state. May Mrs. Stutzman be as victorious against the state sponsored persecution as they were.

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