Seattle Coffee Shop Illustrates Bedlam Surrounding First Amendment

Oct 13, 2017 by

by Edward J Hamilton, Public Discourse:

A Seattle coffee shop owner’s refusal to serve “these people” stands in stark contrast to artists’ cases.

On Sunday, October 1, the owner of a coffee shop in Seattle confronted a group of customers, cursed at them, and forced them to leave the premises. That’s the PG version; the specific details are decidedly less pleasant. If you have the stomach for it, you can view the entire exchange here. Please be warned that the summary I give below will reference sexual profanities.

According to reports, the customers were “peaceful Christian abolitionists” who had been sharing about their faith and pro-life views for several days, handing out literature and conversing with passersby on sidewalks and public property. One of the group’s members said they entered Bedlam Coffee to rest and enjoy a cup of coffee; they did not engage in any advocacy or distribute literature while inside the shop.

However, someone alerted the owner, Ben Borgman, to the group’s presence. Borgman obtained a pamphlet—found outside—that the group had been handing out. The pamphlet “featured an image of an aborted child, as well as rainbow-colored imagery along with an explanation of what the rainbow means according to Scripture; a symbol of God’s long-suffering mercy toward sinners.”

Borgman then confronted the customers, telling them “I’m gay, you have to leave.” He went on to state that the material “offends me,” told the group to “Shut up! Shut up!” and at one point asked the group if they would “tolerate my presence . . . if I go get my boyfriend and f*ck him in the a** right here.” He added, “Tell all your f*cking friends, don’t f*cking come here.” Suffice it to say, the conversation went downhill from there, and the group exited Bedlam Coffee.

Coffee, Cake, and Flowers: A Study in Contrast

Read here


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