In an expletive-filled elucidation, a Seattle, Washington, coffee shop owner told a pro-life Christian group that they had to leave the store because he apparently found their presence offensive.
An organization called Abolish Human Abortion uploaded an NSFW (for language) video of the encounter at Bedlam Coffee to Facebook, where it has received almost 600,000 views as of this writing, and then found its way to YouTube.
A barista apparently had informed the owner that the members of the Christian activist group, who were taking a coffee break in the shop, had been handing out pro-life pamphlets on the street corner, which the owner evidently didn’t appreciate, as he explained to them.
“I’m gay; you have to leave. This [apparently holding a pamphlet] is offensive to me. I own the place. I have the right to be offended.”
He admitted that he was denying them service. The Christian customers attempted to point out that no pamphlets were being distributed inside the cafe, but that didn’t fly with him, as he is heard telling them to shut up several times, and advising them to alert their friends not to patronize the shop. The NSFW remarks by the owner included an edgy discussion of the meaning of tolerance, including a profane reference to Jesus.
One of the members of the Christian group told The Liberator that “They had good coffee, It’s just too bad the service sucked.” She also highlighted the potential implication of hypocrisy in that Christian business owners from time to time have faced legal jeopardy for incidents of denial of services, particularly in connection with same-sex marriage.
Parenthetically, Washington is the same state where a Christian florist was hauled into court for refusing to provide services for a same-sex wedding. Earlier this year, a unanimous state supreme court ruled that great-grandmother Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, violated the state’s anti-discrimination law as it relates to public accommodations, CBS News explained. Through her lawyers, Stutzman had unsuccessfully argued that she was exercising her First Amendment, religious freedom rights under the U.S. Constitution. Stutzman’s attorneys indicated they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which already has a similar case from a Colorado Christian baker on its docket.
According to the Washington Times, the Bedlam Coffee shop owner posted several Facebook responses to what happened, suggesting the rant might have been taken out of context, but those posts appear to be no longer available.
In what some might possibly consider an example of rhetorical bedlam, watch the very NSFW video that was recorded at Bedlam Coffee and draw your own conclusions.
As the Seattle coffee shop owner who ejected the Christian group is a developing story, please watch this space for updates.
[Featured Image by Full_chok/Shutterstock]