Thinking Out Loud

October 27, 2014

Religious Persecution in America: The Gay Wedding Trap

Filed under: current events — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:33 pm

Whether it involves a wedding cake, printed invitations, or floral arrangements, everyone has heard a story involving a principled store owner who refused to do work for a gay wedding. But this story has a few twists. First, the proprietor, Barronelle Stutzman, had in fact done work for the couple previously; she was simply uncomfortable with doing the flowers for the actual wedding. Second, the couple didn’t file the complaint; if I understand correctly the state’s Attorney General heard about the situation on social media and filed its own charges.*

This video was produced in March by ADV, Alliance Defending Freedom. It’s newsworthy today after being shown hours ago in Nashville at a conference of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, where the owner of the flower store then greeted attendees in person.


*I hope I got that right; as a Canadian I don’t always get the nuances of U.S. law, but clearly there wasn’t the normal “plaintiff” that you usually find in stories like this.

September 28, 2009

The Tranquility Prayer: Life on Planet Trid

Filed under: Humor — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 11:14 am

It was a dream that I woke from remembering it vividly.

I was living on Planet Trid, very similar to ours in many ways.   I was an activist, an angry activist pushing for every type of change, from major social change to why the clothing store never stocked enough of the statistically verifiable most common sizes.

I wrote letters.   I left messages.   And they even had blogging on Trid, and not to be outdone, I had a dozen of them; venting each day on a variety of topics that were the target of my latest frustration.   I would be attacking the government for a flaw in its tax plan on line one, while on line two chastising a local restaurant for having seating capacity for 200 but only a dozen parking spaces.

Ranting had become a lifestyle.   It was hard to change this pattern because, for one thing, I was always right.    Not that everybody else was dead wrong, they just didn’t have my wisdom.   How could I see these anomalies, I could I know so many better ways of doing things, and how could I be aware of so much injustice without commenting?

Then some of the Tridians came to me and had the nerve to suggest that it was I who wasn’t getting it.

“Nonsense;” I replied; “Yes, some things are good; but some could be better; others are on the threshold of being great.   What’s wrong with a little concrete criticism?   What’s wrong with a little objective commentary?”

“We have a something here;” the Tridians informed me; “It’s called The Tranquility Prayer, and it goes like this:

“God give me the peace and tranquility to realize that I can’t reform or renovate everything; the insight into those situations and structures that are actually pliable; and the discernment to know which is which.”

I paused and thought about the wisdom that one sentence contained.   You can’t fix everything; certainly not all at once.   And where I came from, only one man ever lived about whom it might be said he truly, totally revolutionized the world.

It was time to relax and experience the tranquility about which the Tridians spoke instead of trying to force my suggestions or my agenda on their lifestyle.

“Alright then;” I said; “We need to get that sentence on some plaques, and maybe some posters and bookmarks and greetings cards, and then after that we need to…”

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