Should a business be allowed to deny service to customers that have offensive beliefs? That's the question being asked after a now-viral altercation between the owner of a Seattle coffee shop and members of an anti-abortion group.
It all started when activists from the group "Abolish Human Abortion" stopped in to grab a cup of coffee after passing out anti-abortion leaflets around the neighborhood. But these weren't your typical pro-life messages the leaflets contained a highly graphic depiction of an aborted fetus lying beneath a pair of rainbow-colored hands dripping with blood. Because context is crucial to this story, we've chosen to include the image below. Please be warned, the image is disturbing.
WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC CONTENT
Proceed with caution
Someone tipped off the coffeeshop's owner, Ben Borgman, about the offensive messages. Borgman, who is gay, angrily confronted the activists and demanded they leave his establishment. "Are you denying me service?" one asks. "Yes, I am," replies the owner. "Now get out." Before leaving, one of the activists offered to "save" the owner from his homosexuality.
A video of the incident later surfaced on Abolish Human Abortion's Facebook page with a caption that read: "Angry homosexual kicks Christian customers out of coffee shop."
A Religious Double Standard?
Unsurprisingly, it didn't take long for the video to go viral. Religious news sites jumped on the story, making a point to contrast it with the high-profile case of a Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. It's a classic example of the double standard religious people experience in America today, they allege.
"Should a gay business be allowed to deny service to Christian customers?" read one headline.
There is little difference between the two incidents, and yet only the Christian business owner was taken to court, critics argue. Why shouldn't the coffee shop owner be sued for discrimination, too?
On social media ever the bastion for respectful discourse criticism and insults were hurled by both sides. Supporters of the Christian group accused Borgman of discriminating against the activists because of their beliefs on abortion. Some called for him to get fined or sued. Others called for worse.
People siding with the business fired back, arguing that the group of customers was trafficking in offensive hate speech, and the owner had every right in the world to kick them to the curb. "What decent person would create such an awful flier?" they asked.
Coffee Shop Owner Responds
For his part, Borgman insists that the video portrays him negatively and only tells part of the story. He argues that it wasn't his intention to discriminate against Christians, or any other religion, for that matter:
"We have religious organizations that meet here regularly. These people were not thrown out for being Christian. I've been so clear about that. This removal was very focused on this group, or any group like them," Borgman explained.
"I know Christians, and they don't confront people in the street, or in a place of business," he continued. "They certainly don't print out a bunch of hate messages and fold them up like pretty butterflies and leave them in parks for kids to find. There's the crime in this story."
His motivation was not anti-Christian, Borgman said, but rather an effort to fight back against hateful messages. "They were put out because they print ugly crap and hand it out in my town, period," he explained. "I would have thrown out a group that tried to print ugly crap about Christians, too. Trying to stir up hate and discontent is not how to fix things."
Who Is in the Wrong?
Hate speech, while often distasteful, is still free speech protected under the First Amendment. Citizens are allowed to say whatever they want out in public as long as it doesn't advocate for or incite violence. By their account, the activists had already finished distributing the pamphlets when they went in search of coffee.
However, given the context, one could understand why Borgman reacted the way he did. The group's message was both homophobic and incredibly crude. If you were a business owner, that might not be the type of customer you'd want in your establishment.
So, was the owner within his rights to kick the group out? It doesn't appear as if either side will be taking legal action, so the question may remain unresolved.
If it is a privately owned business and not a publically traded franchise, the business owner has the right to do as he/she pleases. Private business property have the same rights as private home property, and you can kick out anyone you want.
They went after the Christian baker to normalize shaming the rights of conservatism, but I'm sure this coffee shop owner gets a pass.......despite the fact they are both protected by the same private property rights.
No. Businesses are covered by the public accommodations laws. Whereas I am not required to give anyone who shows up at my house a cup of coffee, if a business is set up that advertises it sells coffee, it is required to serve anyone. The only exceptions are if they are damaging something within the business, harassing other patrons, refusing to pay, or otherwise breaking the law. If the owner doesn't agree with the customers' opinions, that does not matter. This is the same class of laws that require all businesses to serve all races, religions, sexes, those with disabilities, and so forth.
Then the law is different in your country. Whereas the law in mine prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexuality, disability... there is nothing to protect a member if the public from discrimination on the basis of their 'social views'. As the business is private property any property owner (or leasee) has the right to ask a person to leave that property for any reason at any time, as long as by doing so they do not contravene the anti discrimination Act.
I agree ? with you
Fil October 18, 2017 at 12:38 am " ...for any reason at any time,... "
Except for the aforementioned, " race, gender, religion, sexuality, disability." So then, the owner asked them to leave based on their views and not their religious beliefs. Also as stated in the article, they were not distributing pamphlets in his shop and thus not an issue of free speech either. Is he then free of liability?
When you look at it from a legal viewpoint, probably. Those people had been distributing offensive, gory, blatantly anti-gay pamphlets in the neighborhood where the coffee shop was located. People would recognize them. Other people might avoid the coffee shop specifically because those people were in there. As long as the owner would have refused service to anyone who was passing out the same literature, as I'm pretty sure he would, it isn't religious discrimination. This explains how refusal of service works: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-right-to-refuse-service-can-a-business-refuse-service-to-someone-because-of-appearance
Well said beth
Also, the owner has the right to refuse customers of service, if they are causing conflict with other customers. In which a customer told the owner of the group's actions and intentions of the group's actions and cause that day. The owner had every right to refuse service to avoid a conflict in his establishment.
The customer who went blabbing other peoples business out-side the establishment was trying to stir strife, the group went in for coffee, not to be served hate from a so-called non-hater. If you don't like their views tough, the constitution protects social and political views as well.
Duane Smith October 18, 2017 at 11:02 pm " ...the constitution protects social and political views as well.... "
I disagree in this instance. If you are referring to the 1st amendment of the Constitution, it basically protects citizens from government oppression. I'm sure you know of establishments that have customer dress codes to be served.
Crap. They can refuse service as free Americans. They also are accountable for those decisions. As are the Evangelical's distributing the REALLY fucking offensive literature. Move on with your overly dramatic self.
But you can refuse service for specific actions. How many times have you seen the sign "No shirt, no shoes, no service?" If the proprietor was refusing service because they were handing out offensive pamphlets, then he is refusing service not because of their religion but because of a specific action.
Exactly! I'm sure he serves coffee to Christina every day.
Very well put!!
Every business has the right to refuse service to anyone. The coffee shop owner was within his rights.
I completely agree. Also the Bible tells us to love thy neighbor so shouldn’t we accept people who are also gay? I we stop hate and promote God’s word we become better people
Doesn’t mean we have to help them be a sinner.
Are you claiming that being born gay is a sin? Do you harbor similar feelings about other birth conditions as well?
When you think your helping your hindering your process of actually being the best Christian you can be by living example. Hence being a sinner by omission. STOP the hate. Why would you hate the condemned. According to you? If you're a Christian. I would think about it before joining your branded cult of Christianity.
Where did God . or Jesus, Say it was a sin?
Read leviticus 18 22
I'm a little confused, I'm a Lesbian who is married to a Beautiful (male to female)Transgender. Are you saying we are sinners, thus condemned by "God" to spend eternity and Hell for who we are? Not to be judged by the dreads that we have done in our lives? So..? Any of us in the LBGTQ community, it's pretty much game over. We might as well quit being good people, doing good for our communities, & the planet. It doesn't matter. We're going to Hell anyway?? No!! I don't think so!!!
No matter what, everyone else comes first, I'd give the shirt off my back to help someone. Most of us would. Don't judge us!! IT'S NOT YOUR JOB!!
If bars can have the right to refuse service to anyone why shouldn't every other business.
Depending on where you are, it may or may not be a 'criminal' act to throw someone out of your business w/out cause, but it is a violation of rights, just at it would be to throw someone of a different race out of your business because of skin tone. The thing is, a person can file a federal charge against the business for violation of civil liberties, but the general recourse is a lawsuit. The Uniform Commercial Code does not allow for arbitrary denial of service if that service is advertised for sale. You are required to provide those goods or services to anyone who enters, again, unless the person violates the 'public peace', or demands unreasonable services or prices.
Could you please point out to me where in the UCC it says anything at all about denial of service? Thanks!
The UCC deals primarily with Contract Law. Although the wording is the same for each state (save some that Louisiana has refused), the states are final determinants of how the laws are interpreted and applied. In the case in Colorado involving a baker and a gay wedding cake, the law that was employed was a law specifically against discrimination, and a Colorado Anti-Discrimination agency was the entity that received the initial complaint.
In many states, the UCC is interpreted differently than in others, leaving any issue in question to be adjudicated in the context of that state's legal framework - which could potentially involve other state, and/or federal laws. There is no clear-cut line from UCC to discrimination that exists in all states AS A DIRECT APPLICATION OF UCC.
There might be some traction under the "Interstate Commerce Clause" if it could be determined that individuals from other states patronized that business. Outside of that, it is actually the case that the law cannot force a business, say in the deep South, to serve black customers if the business offers specific guidelines that do not enumerate any racial or other bias against any party for those they serve. As long as the business has only served a highly specific group of customers with consistency, such as people in a club, they can refuse service to whomever the wish without legal liability. If there were a sign which specifically said, "We don't serve blacks," that would be a different issue.
If the parties involved in this case were to end up in court, it is very likely that the owner of the business would be held in violation of whatever version of Washington state law that covers religious discrimination. It is not sufficient to infer conduct which has not been clearly established. It could easily be argued that the parties were so socially unaware as to not realize that their leaflets were potentially offensive to other customers in that business at at that time. The accuracy of that assertion is subjective, so it would be hard to refute. It is highly likely that a court would see Borgman's remark about engaging in sex with his partner in front of the parties as "religious harassment," given that the statement was clearly meant to represent a specific religious point of view that accepts homosexuality and abortion as moral and appropriate. While many might dispute the correctness of that type of ruling, the law has been fairly consistent in that regard, as was evidenced by the ruling against the baker in Colorado.
The explanation of the legal aspects implies no agreement with any specific point of view about the incident. Rather, it is meant to enlighten the most likely outcome of any legal action against the business owner in this incident. For those of us that are not homophobic, and who find the double standards of Fundamentalist Christians offensive, the owner's outrage is understandable. Fundamentalist Christians generally support state execution of criminals, and the violent military intervention of the U.S. into other countries, while objecting to the legal aborting of a pregnancy, and the right of two consenting adults to chose their sexual partners based on personal preference.
U.S. laws are not well understood by most Americans. The laws, in their various applications, DO NOT posit that all legal decisions are "just." Because of people like Antonin Scalia, and his obtuse notion that actual innocence does not mean a guilty verdict should be overturned, laws have sunk to a dystopian-level of brutality in their application. Laws are now the "gods" which our legal system worship, and the mechanisms of legal action are seen as more important than the offenses or outcomes in question.
The incident could have been handled differently on all sides, potentially averting any confrontation. Forgetting the rage that ignorance inspires, and being focused on the immediacy of business interests. It might have been more productive to confront the Christians quietly, informing them that their leaflets were offensive to him, and offering them the chance to either remove them from his premises, or leave of their own free will. Had the focus remained on the vile nature of the leaflets, the current uproar would be happening in a different context. By focusing on the leaflets, and the very specific message it sends, rather than the people distributing the leaflets, any subsequent hostile actions on the part of the "Christians" distributing them would clearly be seen as provocative, thereby rendering the owner's more direct response to be beyond anything legally actionable. Offering them a choice, based on leaflets that may have been as offensive to his customers as they were to him, would have been a business decision, not a challenge to their personal convictions, or to any "religious message." As for those that brought the leaflets into his business, it would be better to inquire of a mental health specialist what their motivations might have been for bringing such offensive materials into his business in the first place. Peace and good discussion.
(I never return to see the reactions to my comments online. I am not engaging in a "dialogue" with anyone, but am simply looking to offer personal insights wherever I feel they MIGHT be useful. I don't feel any need to follow-up because my words can either be accepted or rejected on their own merits. If I have misstated anything, there will likely be some occasion in the future where fate brings that to my attention.)
The UCC deals with contract law, but also deals with many other commercial dealings, such as anti-trust, corporations, parole evidence, partnerships, etc. A contract is the appropriate place to start. When a business puts up a sign or other clear indication it has a service or product to sell, that is an offer, which is element 1 of a contract. If the product or service is legal, then element 2 has been met. If the customer and owner agree on the price (or other asset for trade),and it is tendered,that is 'consideration' and element three has been met. The other element, 4, is 'mutual assent', and that can be considered as met if the parties have agreed to the conditions (the exception is real estate, in which the 'contract' for sale must be signed) The business can decide on certain pre-conditions of sale or service, but needs to 'notice' these conditions in a way in which potential customers are aware, such as acceptable dress code (restaurants, etc) or other pre-conditions which are part of the business model. They can also legally deny service for other reasons such as disruptive behavior, foul language, poor hygiene, low CRA score if credit is involved, etc.
Bull Hockey! In the USA anyone can be refused service if they are causing a disturbance inside a business owner’s premises. I have run into those who call themselves “Christians” and have no idea that others have different views on life. Each of us, if we live in a country where freee expression is allowed; have to live with the consequences of our actions. We have to remember that for every action there is an opposite reaction. Scientific fact not speculation. But, we have to live with the consequences of out actions. If someone offends me, I have the right to react to it, just as anyone would. Most offensive actions are promulgated by those who are of the “me” generation. That is to say Me is always right and to Hell with what you feel or think. This type of action is inheritantly wrong. If we are to be a society of others, then we have to allow others to live as they wish to live as long as their activities do not harm others or themselves. Again, this is a moral issue and oftentimes a legal issue is the rights of the affected person is impugned upon in a negative manner. It is, at bottom, that (again that awful word) respect for others must be maintained at the risk of offending others.
In the UK those people spreading homophobic literature would have been prosecuted for incitement of a hate crime, enough said. I don't know what happens in the USA, but UK is at the point where there has been a national discussion about diversity in our society and I believe we are about to achieve universal acceptance of a diverse society where all are accepted and more importantly accepted. Christ taught us to pray for those whom hate and persecute us, so that is my response.
Gerry Your response is remarkable I can't help but feel that should have been the response of the Christian baker in Colorado Suppose he were to mix his prayers for the couple into the cake he baked and word got out . Then couples who wanted prayers would go to his shop Those who didn't would go elsewhere
Any business owner has the right to deny service. However, they also have the societal consequences of that decision. Period.
I agree Chuck. Both the coffee shop owner and the baker should have the right to refuse service to people or groups they find offensive. Then, the customers can decide to continue doing business with them, or not.
If a privately owned bakery is not allowed to refuse business to fags, then it is equally fair (since people wants to focus on what is "fair",)then to be consistent and rational fags shouldn't be allowed to discriminate towards moral Christians.
Your choice of words are offensive as I'm sure you intended them to be so. And you are far too quick to use the phrase 'moral christians' as if every Christian who holds a particular theological position is thereby moral. Not so. It does seem though, that you have some work to do on your own morals.
reveran mary October 18, 2017 at 11:21 pm
I wish upon you all the Grace of the Creator.
Disgusting that some people resort to such horrible pictures to push their own twisted view of abortion. IN THE BIBLE, THERE IS ZERO MENTION OF ABORTION. JESUS MENTIONED ZERO WORDS ABOUT IT EITHER, I've looked. If it was that important, he would have mentioned it specifically. But I don't believe a soul is permanently there and even after birth. The situation is complex and fools just follow what they are taught in churches etc. So its just a political position as far as I can see. If someone is against it, fine, don't do it. As far as to what the business did, its their $$$.
But there is mention of abortion. In Numbers. If a man suspected his wife of infidelity but had no witnesses, he took her to the temple for the Ordeal of Bitter Waters. That would eliminate the possibility of her giving birth to another man's child. It might also kill her, but, you know, that's an acceptable risk to assure that all her children are his.
Numbers is in the Law of Moses. And the Law of Moses was fulfilled in Jesus. Therefore, hat Jesus taught has much more relevance for Christians. Jesus NEVER mentioned abortion or homosexuality. If you are a follower of Christ, you are commanded to love everyone, not just heterosexual, pro-life people.
I believe the thought came from GOD telling Jeremiah " I knew you when you were in your mothers womb"
Under the federal UCC (Uniform Commercial Code), you are wrong. Any licensed business advertising goods or services has an obligation to serve anyone who comes in. That is part of the conditions you agree to when you get a license to do public business. The exceptions are obvious on when a person can be denied - Improper clothing; intoxication; lewd behavior; disturbing clientele, theft; arguing, etc. If the customer has not violated any of these, the owner should not throw anyone out. The owner would not be arrested, unless the customer was physically grabbed and thrown out (Battery/Assault). Other than that, it is a civil offense and it is something a business owner can lose their license over. There a countless cases where owners have lost considerable money and assets by denying service to a citizen without any proper cause. Can an owner ask someone to leave ? Yes. Is it a violation of civil law ? Yes. Will the owner suffer ? Depends on the jury.
I’ve never understood where that “public private” thing got started. There is no difference under the laws that determine discrimination (which by the way this was not).
If a Christian baker is required to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, then the owner of the coffee shop must be required to serve those with opinions he finds distasteful. A double standard cannot be tolerated.
I see no indication that this has anything to do with religion. If he simply finds them personally offensive, that’s not legally discrimination and he can choose not to serve them.
In the video he was screaming about having sex with his significant other in front of them, and i do believe something about Jesus.......he is back peddling now.....he made religious remarks
Yeah, he's specifically said he has nothing against Christians or anit-choice folks being in his shop, he just didn't like that they were passing out fliers with the picture of an aborted fetus on it, grossing out his customers. So if you want to make a comparison, it would be a like people going to a Christian baker and handing out gay porn. Nice try though
But the article says they “stopped in to grab a cup of coffee after passing out anti-abortion leaflets around the neighborhood”. So it sounds like they weren’t passing up offensive material in the coffee shop.
If he saw it, it was obviously visible to his customers, whether they were passing it out or not.
Wow I'm reading so much about "hate or offensive material." The Bible I read everyday says that killing people just because they are people is wrong. Saying that killing babies is wrong shouldn't be offensive to any person. That is God's child, not a tumor or growth, but a living, heart pounding little person. That shouldn't be offensive.
They did not pass out leaflets in his shop, or did you miss that point? What they did outside is not his concern. It would be a reason if they disrupted his establishment, they did not, so he should be sued or closed by the city.
As a public accommodation he may not discriminate based on certain criteria. One of these criteria is religion. However, the difference is that he was choosing not to serve them based on their actions, not on their religion. We have free speech in this country but you can be held responsible for that speech by private individuals. He was fine having a bunch of Christians drinking coffee at his establishment. To pretend otherwise is willful ignorance. People handing out hate literature should not be surprised when others get angry and lose their temper. If someone were to hand that image to a member of my family, I would probably deck them on the spot. It has nothing to do with their religion, it has to do with them being a jerk.
Here is my take on this:
If religious individuals want to claim their religious beliefs should allow them to ignore anti-discrimination laws, then turn about is fair play. As for the idea of a business being able to turn away customers for religious beliefs, a BUSINESS does NOT have any religious beliefs, a person does. If you get a business licence you agree to follow the laws.
Speaking of following the laws: Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Basically the Bible says follow the laws.
So if the laws say do not discriminate against same sex couples, the Bible basically says it too.
Not to mention, and i do not have the actual book chapter and verse right now, the bible does not speak against abortion, nor does the Bible support the idea of pro-lifers. After all, does the Bible not specifically mention life with the first breath? Something along the lines of life after God breathes into the born child. As well as the Bible does have a recipe for a drink that was "used" to test if a pregnant woman was cheating, Administered by a priest if a woman had cheated it would cause her to miscarry. Basically an old time abortion potion.
Also, there is the verse in Numbers where God gives directions to Moses about taking a census. Infants were not counted until 1 month after they were born.
Also, the thing in Leviticus where if a man injures another man's pregnant wife such that she has a miscarriage, the culprit must pay the husband for the loss. He was not to be stoned, as would happen if he killed the wife or any other person.
Thats because the "god" commanding Moses was no God.
Also, an aborted fetus was merely property, and someone who caused an unwanted abortion/miscarriage was supposed to pay the father a fair price. Only after birth was it considered a child, and therefore able to be murdered. Thereby making the punishment death, if the baby were killed.
And if a woman was suspected of committing adultery, she was taken to the temple for an abortion by the ordeal of bitter waters. That's in Numbers. That's definitely abortion used as birth control.
According to SCOTUS, businesses can have religious beliefs under some circumstances.
I support freedom for bakers, photographers, and coffee shop owners. First amendment doesn't apply on private property. This case seems clear since the discrimination was based on offensive behavior, not religion or political viewpoint.
Thank you. I also saw no indication of any religious issue.
I most ultimately agree with about the lack of religious reference.I believe that it was a matter of decorum and the tasteless act of displaying such a disturbing picture in view of many that would find such a display tasteless and morally incomprehensible.
According to the laws of pretty much every state in this country, a business open to the public is not private property when it's open for business. Bakers, photographers, florists, barbers, coffee shops, tattoo studios or whom ever are legally bound to follow the laws of the individual state. I was a business owner for almost 25 years. I was required by law to take in business that I found to be highly repulsive when it was religious in nature. I wanted nothing more than to throw some of those people out. But, the law says otherwise. I produced very high quality and in my personal views, repugnant work, for those customers, not because i approved of their message, but because i had no choice.
But, when a client asked me to design art for him based on his love of the SS uniform and his nazi views, I told him to get out of my studio. I see no difference in the trash these people were spreading around Seattle and that nazi scum I tossed out.
Good for you. I'm glad you stood up for your beliefs. As your example illustrates, freedom serves a useful social role by allowing expression of disapproval. In the long run the freedom to disapprove makes our society better even though it can be abused, e.g. for racial discrimination. Laws restricting freedom were a reaction to the persistent affects of other bad law, e.g. enforcement of slavery, Jim Crow, gender discrimination, and restrictions on consensual sex. I think society has reached a point where we can safely return to the concept of individual freedom. Markets and public opinion will punish inappropriate discrimination. Few businesses can afford to turn away customers and they face harsh judgment from the public when they discriminate for inappropriate reasons.
I agree Paul. Discrimination situations making the news help stimulate the dialogue...the more communication, the more opportunity for healing. At our core, I believe we all know anything but love for one and other is false. And our fear of those different from ourselves is the best provider of that lesson. Good discussion!
THE LESSER EVIL FAR OUTWEIGHS EVERYTHING WORSE THAN ITSELF. IT'S HOW OUR LAW AND COURT DECISIONS OPERATE. YOU'RE NOT WANTED SOMEWHERE? GET OUT! WHY WOULD ANYONE RESIST TO LEAVE AND MAKE MATTERS WORSE THAN THEY ARE INDICATING THEY ARE? YOU'RE BREAKING THE LAW? IT'S YOUR CHOICE! STOP BREAKING THE LAW! [AND I MEAN IT LIKE IT WAS SAID IN THE MOVIE- LIAR LIAR]
TAKE YOUR SELF ELSEWHERE!
YEAH BEN BORGMAN is just PISSED because HE HAS NO OVARIES, the POOR BITCH !!!
Why to you feel the need to make your comment ugly and personal? You are entitled to your free speech as well but on a site like this that certifies ministers of all faiths, backgrounds, genders,etc. I resent the misogyny. That is part of the problem, not solution.
I fully support your statement, Dana. Courtesy and respect carries no cost while the nature of a reply or comment is the only idea the reader gains of the nature of the contributor. In this case, it is a very negative one.
Misogyny, disrespect, cursing and using CAPS (i.e SHOUTING) seems, to me, to be contrary to the peaceful, rational and inquiring nature of this forum.
Good point, Dana. Isn't this a moderated forum? Where is the moderator?
I agree ? with what you said!!! Very well spoken!! Much love and light to you!!
Hi Dana, I thought I've read some of your posts for a while. I think you know by now there are a few here that let personal agendas dominate their monologue. It gets really bad when vulgar rants are directed to fellow posters. Keep your faith and live your best.
(pssst, personally I can only take so much and have to go elsewhere and read stuff.)
That's a rather abusive and totally transphobic remark to be making.
Pay no attention to "John Maher". He is an offensive troll who delights in making incendiary remarks and has no core beliefs. He shows up everywhere and is considered little more than a poor joke.
This is how refusal of service works: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-right-to-refuse-service-can-a-business-refuse-service-to-someone-because-of-appearance The coffee shop owner seems to be within his rights to refuse service.
I can see where the rainbow colors might make the gay community feel like this is somehow aimed toward them as, perhaps, being complicit. However, the rainbow, religiously, represents God's covenant with mankind which, through abortion, we are throwing back in god's face. Perhaps this misunderstanding might have been averted if the Christian context of the colors had been somehow pointed out in the picture.
I really don't think it was the rainbow that was so upsetting. You could have any hands holding the image of an aborted fetus and it would be gross
Read the text inbetween the rainbow colored hands. It's pretty obvious they were talking about the LGBTQ community.
"This is the truly oppressed person ..." There are only 2 people portrayed in that poster, one being an aborted fetus and the other being rainbow colored hands. Since hardcore Christians are typically pro-life/anti-abortion, that rainbow would not be referring to them or God's covenant .
I think the imagery was deliberate. The anti-abortionists meant to target the LGBTQ community.
Can't really comment on this.We don't know the whole story.
Ralph Miller October 14, 2017 at 4:33 pm " We don’t know the whole story. "
Barring before and after footage, the video pretty much sums up the text story. What I found unfortunate was Mr. Borgman raised his voice in anger, and the profanity.
Don't bring the bible or God into this. These People should have been deported from the city as well . Some Americans are realy lost in there religious ways.
The pamphlets are showing what groups like planned parenthood does to a fetus when they abort one........it is murder and is against God's commandment.....
No it isn't.
Terry October 18, 2017 at 4:34 am " The pamphlets are showing... "
And what of the rainbow hued hands? The mercy of God as was said elsewhere? And the blood? Jesus?
Imagine the same hands. See the blood. Imagine not a fetus but a dead, bloodied baby. Now instead of colors see the stars and stripes. Imagine Afghanistan, or Iraq or Iran. Graphic imagery and symbolism are powerful tools for the mind.
I must be missing something. Why even mention the fact that the owner is gay? What does being gay have to do with the owner's objection to this group?
The poster is insinuating that the LGBTQ community 'thinks' they are oppressed, but in reality it's the aborted fetuses who are opressed, at the hands of the LGBTQ community. This is an old and tired argument used by the Religious Right.
Does any business have any right to refuse service to any person or group? Does a baker have a right to refuse service to gays? Does a coffee shop owner have the right to refuse service to a bunch of religious zealots? I think not if there are no mitigating circumstances. I'm not an attorney (nor do I play one on the internet), but the courts generally agree.
Offensive language or actions are not illegal and, more importantly, take nothing from - or harm - the offended.
Mike, next time you're eating in a restaurant there is a sign in them all. "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." It's been around forever and literally applies to anyone.
Asserting a right doesn't make it so.
What happened to "I have the right to refuse service to anyone" if it's a private business. BUT this should go with ways. am getting tired of coddleing the current in fashion ideas. Leave people to figure out their life, un less they ask for help.
They can and should always be able to exercise that right. Been around since before we had to coddle.
Sure, a private business should be able to ask folks to leave, but the owner did not acquit himself well with his commentary. The article states, "However, given the context, one could understand why Borgman reacted the way he did." That's too generous. His reaction was bizarrely over the top, and he brought his own position down considerably to the extent that neither side of the argument appeared to be worth a flip.
As the most ignorant group of people to ever populate the Earth, christians can safely be ignored. Their lives are based on nonsense and bullshit.
Not only is your comment offensive it is wrong. This country was founded on the idea of religious freedom. I suggest you read the Constitution. We all have religious freedom. We have a right to be different and no where does it say we are not entitled to our own beliefs. Are some wrong...? Possibly but since I am not God I will let him be the judge.
One more time guys....... despite what media would have us believe, a privately owned business can refuse anyone they want, as they have the same right that apply to a private residential home. So let these people on both sides, do as they please in peace, and they in turn will have to deal with any patronage blowback (if any). Welcome to America.
Well said Chuck. This is America. And God bless it as the song says.
Thank you Chuck. Well put.
No, they do not. Once they open their doors to the public, they obey public accomodation laws or they are sued. Want to avoid it, don't open to the public.
Wrong..... a private business can do as they please. However, if they are a public (publically traded) business, then they must be inline with PC nonsense.
Did you see the reply from Beth K to your previous comment? Do you have evidence to support your statement that a business has "the same right that apply to a private residential home"? Wedding photographers and bakers have consistently lost this argument in court. It isn't entirely settled and a Colorado wedding cake case is headed for the Supreme Court. Perhaps you meant to say that private businesses should have rights to decide who they serve and on that point I would agree.
I don't need to know the whole story to know the basic fundamental rule of restaurants, written and understood in every one: "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." Plain and simple. Religion or not. Gay or not. That man did not have to serve ANYONE anything if he didn't want to and it's his prerogative.
Since the US Supreme Court has decreed that that companies are private entities with all the sovereign rights of an individual, it stands to reason that a privately owned company can refuse to serve anyone just as you would in your own home.
That being said, there is no doubt in my mind who this disgusting image was aimed at. This is not furthering any cause other than the cause of HATE. The zealot far right live in constant fear of loosing their hold on their followers through the dissemination of true information. They cannot control a free mind and all it takes is one spark of Enlightenment to remove their bonds. So they rule through fear and ignorance.
This business owner had every right to throw them out. It's what any thinking, feeling HUMAN BEING would do. It had absolutely nothing to do with religion, other than the fact that these people hide behind their "faith" as a reason for their own inhumanity.
" We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."
and I reserve the right to take action if I feel I have been unlawfully refused service. Doesn't mean I am right. Up to the Courts to decide if I elect to pursue it.
No. You can not throw someone out of your business unless there is a good reason-Arguing loudly; threatening behavior, etc. I hate to sound political, but the American left has wrongly sub-divided every possible group it can, telling them they are being discriminated against and they (DNC) are there to protect them (propaganda). This has made many in the "sub-divisions of bias" feel entitled to certain rights, that are above other people because they are 'special' (and protected by DNC and the media). This self righteous moron business owner should face a lawsuit for discrimination in the same way that the 'Cake Baker' had to deal with for not delivering a cake. Keep in mind, that there is political motivation in all of the idiocy we are seeing today. Taking the knee (NFL), BLM, Antifa, etc. There are very powerful people with an interest in destroying our culture (pay attention to what the UN has been doing; Look at the George Soros' of the world (Soros is a billionaire ($34+Billion). Soros started his fortune in Hungary working for the Nazi SS and Gestapo. His job was to clear all the furniture out of homes that had been cleared of its' occupants (Jews, Catholics, 'Gypsies') and leave it ready for a 'good family' to move into. He got to keep all the furniture he stole, and of course sell it. He is responsible for wrecking the British economy a few decades ago by manipulating the money market (currency). The British pound had been the international currency of trade. It was so unstable at that point, the world changed to the US dollar for international transactions. There are many like Soros who are what is known as 'Globalists'. These are very wealthy people and groups hell bent on seeing a 'one world government' (Not possible without complete 'state' control over citizens). In other words, a combination of communism and Nazism. Many in the democrat party have had their elections paid for by these groups and are nothing more than pawns in this goal of a UN run world (actually, an oligarchy with a whip and a sword. The reaction of the shop owner, which is an act of implanted 'self-righteousness' which the media and the left have been instilling in their lemmings is now showing its' true face. Note: George Soros is jewish, but his father anticipated the Nazi takeover of Hungary and being 'prominent', he had records changed to hide their jewish heritage.
While a public accomodation is required to serve people regardless of age (if the person has reached their majority), sex, religion, racial or ethnic heritage, and, in some areas, sexual orientation or gender expression. They can refuse people for reasons outside those criterion. It appears the owner does have the right to refuse people who hand out antiabortion pamplets that also denigrate homosexuals as a class.
A 'We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone' is not law. It is shorthand for 'if you are not properly dressed, intoxicated, loud, disturbing customers or diners, or one of the many other recognized reasons to not serve someone, your not welcome. But, if none of these conditions exist, a business owner can be found liable in civil court for denying service. The 'sign' is only hung there so the manager has something to point to when the drunk says 'you can't through me out'.
Most establishments have signs that say the reserve the right to refuse service to ANYONE...I am a Christian and a Gay Ally and I would be repulsed by their flier and if it were my business I would refuse them service especially if they came in with those awful fliers. My customers have the right NOT to have to be subjected to that kind of message. Out in public on the sidewalk they can say or distribute whatever is legal to do so, but NOT in a private establishment.
When ideas, actions, and images like the ones above can wrap themselves in the flag of "Christian", you have to ask what, if anything, it means to be a Christian. Certainly not a follower of the lessons of Jesus, which were firmly centered on compassion, love, and service. If you want to be a bigot, a racist, a homophobe, whatever you want to be, that's your right, but for Jesus' sake, don't pretend those are Christian values or that you are a Christian when you shove them in peoples' faces.
While it seems that the homosexual movement like other movements believe they have rights, they do not practice that others with a different opinion should also have them. That however is not my main comment so without even trying to be politically correct, you are not born a homosexual, it is a life choice, proven by what God says in the Bible. God says homosexuality is an abomination, so why then would he allow his creation to be born an abomination? Why if you are born a homosexual and it is not a choice, can many be helped from the lifestyle and become normal (thats right I said normal) and enjoy the life of heterosexuals and marry and have lasting relationships? Now I ask why do you not keep it in the closet rather then flaunt it and disrupt the lives of others, why are you so proud and wish to draw others into your sick lifestyle? You have parades and marches exposing young minds to your lifestyle, leaving parents with the task of trying to explain your evil to their children. Anyone that supports this lifestyle that is not a homosexual must either be an atheist, or have an IQ lower then the size of the their waistline, think about the filth of it, you'r helping to promote an exit hole that is filthy and degrading, to something that homosexuals claim is Gay. They are so misleading in using the word gay instead of what it really is, it proves they have a motive or maybe are really ashamed of themselves or why do they not call it homosexuality? Taking a beautiful thing like the rainbow and using it to promote this evil is another prime example of how they are not only homosexual but deceitful at best. The homosexuals knowingly or not, are doing the work of Satan, and they now have many that are not homosexual helping to not only promote this evil, but many that call themselves christian even helping them by promoting it and that they have the right to marriage. which makes all of it against the will of God almighty, and in favor of Satan. Sodom and Gomorrah are alive and well in the USA and if you think that there will not be a price to pay as Sodom and Gomorrah did then your mistaken. All I would ask is take it back into your bedrooms and do what you wish in private and work it out with God later,(good luck with that), and stop all the problems that arise by you'r doing the work of Satan.
Were they thrown out because they were Christians or because they are against murdering babies? This is the same conduct that caused the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment.
From my perspective there are two divisions in this issue:
1) Legal 2) Moral/Ethical
1) The constitution of America does not grant unlimited rights. All rights are limited. I may not scream “FIRE!” in a crowded theater, or publish untrue or defamatory comments about others. I may not burn a cross on the street next to a house and claim it is part of my religious practice. Thus the ability of a business owner, whether it is a large corporation, closely held corporation, partnership, or sole proprietor to refuse service is limited by protected classes.
I may refuse you service because you walked into my business without a shirt, but not because you are black. (On a practical level this will be hard to prove. That is why the signs that state they can refuse service to anyone stand.) Social views are not a protected class. In some states, sexual orientation is. Colorado is one of those states. Thus the coffee shop owner was legally entitled to do as he did, and the baker in Colorado was not. (The baker specifically stated that he would not serve the people in question because they were part of a protected class.) The question of which classes are legally protected is more murky on a federal level and the courts are in the process of sorting that out. Once that is done, then states will have to follow the federal statute. If they do not, the officials on a local level that refuse may be sent to jail as being in contempt of court.
The American government doesn't “care” if you think this is “fair” or not. It is an entity for the collection of taxes, provision of services and infrastructure and to generally smooth the interactions of a functioning society. It is not a moral authority, although sometimes it pretends to be.
2) This issue seems to be a direct result in our culture of the lack of understanding of the Peace of Westphalia that ended the Religious wars in Europe. This problem shows in a) treating tolerance as a moral absolute rather than the contractual agreement it is, and b) the dissolution of public civility and recourse to violence. I know that seems like a mouthful. It's taken me months of research and contemplation to find out about this. I found this article helpful to explain what the Peace of Westphalia did:
The short version is that treating hate groups with the same amount of tolerance that you treat less odious groups with is incorrect. There is a social contract that says “Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.”
Because we have allowed the violation of the this contract, there are many people who instinctively know that this is wrong and grow angry and frustrated with the state of things. This does not excuse the reaction though, which is often a descent into violence. The incorrect application of tolerance has also given groups the green light to try enforcing their personal beliefs on others, mistakenly thinking that this a “right” to practice their religion, when it usually has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with tyranny of the minority.
I am not here to insult you. I am here because the ULC provides me with the resources of people who know their prospective religions inside and out. As religious/spiritual leaders in our communities we are in a unique position to help people. Making rigid comments and being unable to question your position/view are only going to lead to further violence. This makes me sad that the people most in need of reevaluating their beliefs are the ones least likely to try. We are a unique community and I am grateful for all the support I receive here.
I would like to see us arguing less about who is “right” and instead circulating ideas about how we can help. Has anyone thought of reaching out to either the shop owner or the group who are putting out these horribly graphic flyers? I shudder to think of a child looking at those. Can we help people find non-violent ways of defending themselves from social contract breakers? Can we employ the “bystander effect” to help with the bullying we are seeing?
What we have here is a mixture of two issues. The fact that the shop owner was homosexual is not relevant to the issue at hand. Question is: Does a shop owner have the right to refuse service to someone because of how they practice their beliefs? In a truly free society, the answer should always be "yes". If anyone is running a private business, they should be free to choose the clients they serve. However, due to the influence of special interest groups and overreaching governments, that freedom is rapidly being taken away.
Lets bring back a free society that allows everyone in private business the freedom to conduct their business as they see fit. If a gay bar owner wants to exclude heterosexuals, no problem, If an Baptist wants to serve only Baptists, so be it. While we will not agree with many of these decisions, it is not our place to try to tell others how to run their private business.
Of course, this cannot apply to government entities, since people of all stripes pay taxes and support these entities. Therefore, they must be held to a absolute non-discriminatory operation. Christian, Muslim, gay, straight, black, white, European, Asian, African, liberal, or conservative; all should be treated equally.
Medical MJ is a necessity for many people. Especially if you have pain problems or many other medical reasons that requires opiates or helping people get off opium based medicines. There are so many reasons pot should be medically approved. The laws should require a doctors script, do not sell to under 21 unless they are vets. Under 21 should get their education first and dropouts still have to wait until they’re 21 or over! It was stated in the Bible that man will take away plants that have so many practical uses to do anything about it you have to go against Big Pharma! Someone should start a petition to get MJ regulated down below alcohol! We need 1 million signatures and we can show it’s not a few kids, but adults. I’ll be glad to join anyone’s petition and help you get all the signatures! Bill Feel free to contact me, Bill
IGNORANCE is BLISS, JUST ANOTHER REALITY SHOE*, DUMP the ORANGUtRUMP DOTAR !!!
I've seen anti-abortion activists in my town. They don't stop anyone from getting an abortion; the reality of being an inept parent is far scarier than any poster/signage. But what those signs do is deface the town in a way unseen elsewhere. Not even spray-can graffiti is that vulgar. I'd suspect those abortion signs aren't displayed on the sides of the activists' homes, for example.
Stand up for what you believe in, but instead invite people to your line of thinking.. don't FORCE it on the community. For example I've never been hit on by a gay man despite hanging out in similar circles etc, but I certainly have felt uncomfortable by people shouting hateful obscenities against LGBT simply because vulgar is vulgar.
It just speaks volumes about any community, any group, any religious sect, any organization that supports the injection of hate into a community to try to make that community a haven for any people. I don't know why anyone would want to live in a community filled with hate. If you want a community of people solely of one opinion, start a commune.. totally legal! But attempts to break a community is hijacking, and nobody agrees with hijacking.
You have a very good point. Id like to see the same rationale used in dealing with LGBTQ pride parades where people walk around almost naked during times kids are getting out of school.
No shoes, no shirt, no tolerance, no service. An individual has/should have a right to choose his/her customers and clients. As to public accommodation laws, I would differentiate between privately and publicly owned businesses. Government cannot compel you to love your neighbor and should not compel you to serve him/her. The exercise of individual rights and liberties should trump communal aspirations. A civil society can respect opposing views. I can respect your right not to like me or want my business. I can get my coffee or cake somewhere else, at least until Amazon is the sole vendor of all goods and services.
RESPONSE TO THIS ARTICLE: The beauty of capitalism is that a business has a right to refuse service to anyone, and the consumer has the right to go to a different business for it's needs or even boycott the business. It's that simple. Anything beyond that is unnecessary - meaning taking legislative action or physically damaging the business. This applies to both of the well known related topics: the Gay coffee shop and the Christian bakery.
That's right! Wish more supposed Americans were aware of that.
This seems to be the trend now. Anybody who opposes somebody else tries to shut down their business, ban them from speaking, etc., etc. A bar in California wouldn't serve Trump supporters. A restaurant in Arizona was boycotted because the owners were Trump supporters. This level of hatred is unsustainable, and the people who hate this much will reap the consequences.
The question is was the group tossed out because they were causing trouble within the establishment while purchasing and/or drinking coffee or were they tossed out because of their beliefs and handing out graphic flyers? All businesses have a right to ask or remove a customer who is disruptive. At the beginning of the article it is noted that someone tipped off the business owner about the group and the type of flyers they were handing out. Towards the end of the article it says that the group had already distributed their flyers prior to entering the business. Now had this been the other way around where a gay group had been distributing flyers about gay rights or gay pride and walked into a coffee shop run by a person who was very much against their alternative lifestyle and they were told to leave, you can be very sure there would be a lawsuit filed.
I have read comments here that are not how I read my bible it tells me that Gods law always trumps mans law and murder is a sin and so is homosexuality but the good news is that God gives us freewill to choose our path and without the true love of Jesus Christ in our heart it is impossible to love everyone
As a minister ordained by the Universal Life Monastery, I believe the Monastery, as a non denominational religious organization, should refrain from politics and political subjects and even the reporting of political subjects and the asking for comments on political subjects. Often a political viewpoint can be made while disingenuously acting like one is just reporting news and asking for viewers comments. I believe the Universal Life Monastery, by publishing political articles, is going outside of what its non denominational religious purview should be, and by doing so, could be jeopardizing its foundational status as a non denominational religious organization. I believe no political articles of any kind should be published on this site. There are thousands of other online news venues to do that. This site should stick to stories about Universal Life Monastery activities, its ordained minister's activities, and the positive impact Universal Life Monastery and its ministers have on the lives of others and leave politics out of this site altogether. Let others "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's (political discussion) and render unto God (a non denominational creator or even no creator) what is God's".
Hate is never acceptable. Practicing divine love raises one's vibration, which in turn, raises the vibrations of others, creating harmony & peace. What we focus on, expands. Love thy neighbor as thyself....and - Love Thyself. Those who promote hate, negativity, gossip, etc. are those who do not like themselves.
I'm bisexual and think he overstepped his bounds here. He should have asked for them to stop handing out discriminating pamphlets, and let them eat their croissants or whatever as they drank their coffee. However, if they refused to stop passing out paraphernalia in his establishment, then he could throw them out.
Thats sad christian started all the troubles,they need to grow up.plain & simple truth from the beginnng.they should leave it to God.That is God's business.
The pornographer passing out bloody mangled fetus pix is lucky they didn’t get served with a summons (or worse). Distributing pornography freely? And in close proximity to minors? No. If you can only get your ideas across through the shock-horror use of bloody grim pornography, you’re in need of more than a cup of coffee. Also, beliefs aside, can we stop saying “lifestyle” when we refer to our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters and non-binary family? “Lifestyle” suggests it’s a choice, like living on a houseboat, or raising miniature ponies. Being Gay isn’t a lifestyle. It’s not a choice. Being intolerant, however, is a choice. And being a bigot in this day and age is certainly a choice.
It is only One fault and a half here with this issue. The half people at fault here is the Christian people. They shouldn't have had that disgusting image on that piece of paper because it is just gross. The One person who is really at fault here is the Coffee Shop owner. He shouldn't have refused to those people. The owner and all his LGTBQ buddies wanted to have service because they wanted to be treated "equal" because of them being a LGTBQ. All they preached about was they wanted to have service and they forced us traditional marriage folk to give it to them. Basically its his fault and not the Christian people.
This isn't about "fault". It's about rights. Did the business owner have the right to refuse service to an easily identifiable group of people who had been hounding people in the immediate vicinity, handing out a disgusting image that no sane person would want his or her children to see? Legally, he did. Having those people in his coffee shop could certainly affect his business because many people, not just his "LGTBQ buddies" would have avoided coming in if they recognized them as the people responsible for the flyers and the hate speech. I would certainly have avoided going in.
Sister look I am trying to give facts here us traditional marriage folk wanted to refuse service to the LGTBQ people but we were forced by the Supreme Court allowed it in all 50 states. Then he refuses service to them because of the photo I mean look at who is being the hypocrite here. I can tell you it is not the Christian people. If him and his buddies didn't want us to refuse service then he shouldn't have refused service to them because that is being a hypocrite!!! Key word here HYPOCRITE!!!!!!!
Christians and their imagined persecution. And complete inability to understand how law works. You can't target a group based on religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. That's what you seem to want to do. You can, however, refuse service to people because of behavior. They weren't refused service because they were Christians. They were refused service because of their disgusting pamphlets and gay bashing. As long as any group who had behaved in the same way would have been treated in the same way, it isn't religious discrimination. And it isn't hypocrisy, It's actions and consequences.
I am not gonna argue I am gonna be the bigger person and leave this before it gets out of hand. The bigger person wouldn't continue to argue which I am the bigger person because I ain't gonna argue!!!!!!
His business and his property he can do what he likes. If a group of gang members came in spouting offensive language he would throw them out too & rightly so. There are all kinds of issues here including health & safety of his staff & customers. It's up to the owner to decide what is ok and what isn't in his own cafe. It's not even the same as the strange people who can't make a cake for a gay wedding coz God apparently told them that would be a terrible thing akin to being an axe murderer. It's just someone exercising their rights to be safe in their own premises. (makiing cakes for gay couples does not entail having the gay wedding in your kitchen)
Hate speech? Offensive flier? Your sexual orientation is in no way comparable to the murder of innocent babies. Everyone is expected to be so tolerant and accepting of the homosexual community. Not anymore, not if you cant stand for what's right and what humane. Killing the unborn is the lowest thing and those aborted babies have had it way worse than any of us. They ARE the real victims.