You may have heard that Jessica Ahlquist won her case to get a prayer banner removed from her high school. As you might expect, she's experiencing a lot of "love" from her Christian neighbors. In situations like this, "Christian Love" means threats and personal attacks. It's even come to the point where some local businesses are refusing to serve her - like local florists.
Three refused to deliver the flowers, said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group based in Madison, Wis.
"Our jaws dropped" after two florists refused to deliver the flowers and a third said the shop was closed, Gaylor said.
Source: Providence Journal
A complaint is going to be filed with the state Commission for Human Rights, which is good. These florists are getting a ton of negative attention all over the country because of this, which is even better. They are also getting horrible reviews on sites like Google, which is better still.
There is now a Facebook "fan page" created in defense of the bigoted florists. The excuses being offered are ridiculous in the extreme -- and sometimes contradictory. First they insist that they have a right to not to businesses with someone they don't want to do business with. They don't seem to understand that refusing to do business with someone because they are an atheist is illegal.
Then they complain that they refused to deliver flowers to Jessica Ahlquist "due to safety concerns and the possibility of negative impact to their businesses." Safety concerns? So, they admit that Christians in Cranston, Rhode Island, are a threatening, dangerous, and even violent group? That's very interesting. Why would they want to be associated with violent religious thugs? Why would they want to side with people like Peter G. Palumbo, Democrat in the RI House from the Cranston district, who has called Jessica Ahlquist an "evil little thing" who is "being coerced by evil people"
Next, they insist that the bigoted florists are just trying "to be neutral" by discriminating against atheists and not delivering flowers to Jessica Ahlquist. Now how is discrimination the same as neutrality? In fact these bigoted Cranston florists did just the opposite: they took sides be refusing to accept the flowers order. Even worse, they are blaming atheists for their problems.
I hope that their decision to give in to bigotry and engage in discrimination hurts their businesses badly and costs them money. It's all well and good to appeal to people's highest ideals when encouraging them to do what's right, but sometimes that doesn't work -- as demonstrated here. In such cases, it's necessary to ensure that people pay a heavy price for doing the wrong thing.