My Christian group refused to serve at the restaurant. But we did not weaponize the government for this crime

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Ever since Richmond’s Metzger Bar & Butchery canceled our organization’s order an hour and a half before our guests were due to arrive for dessert, we’ve received an outpouring of support from Americans who don’t want to eat at a place that uses a religious or political litmus test. in front of the door.

For those unfamiliar with the disturbing story, our organization refused entry to a restaurant because the officers refused to serve us because of their beliefs.

It’s very disturbing when officers in any restaurant prejudge people they’ve never met based on those people’s faith-based values. For many conservative Christians, hatred and intolerance are something they know all too well. They are tired of being subjected to irrational fear and hatred by the awakened elite, who want to be shut out of the public sphere and the market. Many have strongly urged us to take this matter to court.

As an organization with a legal arm, the Constitutional Freedoms Law Center, a lawsuit or prosecutorial request seems like the obvious next step. Every day, our attorneys work on legal actions in situations where people of faith, including doctors and teachers, have lost their jobs or suffered other serious consequences because of their religious beliefs. When employers trample on the fundamental religious freedoms of their employees, we allow legal rulings to remind them of the Constitution and their civil rights.

Victoria Cobb is president of the Virginia Family Foundation.

Metzger’s officers were wrong, and his owners should have taken the opportunity to educate their team about customer service, despite the differences, without succumbing to prejudice.

Although our guests and I may be very upset that we’ve been flagged as “safe” for refusing service and simply sitting down to eat, the confidence of the wait staff in such a threatening manner makes us turn the other way. will teach. We simply and politely found another restaurant without making a scene or demanding to be served.

Also, unlike many in the LGBT community, we believe it is not always necessary or appropriate to arm the government against those who deny us services because they do not agree with our beliefs. This was Colorado, where there are several bakeries. Jack Phillips bakes anyone, any cake they want, except a cake that violates his beliefs. Her customers include LGBT people, she doesn’t just cook for same-sex weddings, the free market is the solution, not the government.

When prohibited discrimination causes harm to people that can be remedied by the justice system, legal recourse may be an appropriate solution. Although a victory in court here may satisfy the suffering felt by many people of faith because of the mistreatment, such a path does not define for us to live in peace with all. Since Metzger’s is far from the only restaurant in Richmond, we were able to direct our guests elsewhere. In this case, Metzger was judged in the court of public opinion.

The lesson for other businesses couldn’t be clearer: Embarrass yourself on the national stage by disparaging people of faith. This is not a recipe for success. Metzger needs to learn that.

Some say that if Jack doesn’t bake pies, he should “get out of the kitchen.” Is that what they say about Metzger?


I have news for everyone. Principled Christians are involved in every career, and they are not swayed by the intolerance of others, and you do not want a world without their influence. Pro-life doctors should not leave the medical field because they believe that life in the human womb should be protected, not purged. Catholic adoption agencies should not be closed because they think it is acceptable to give a child a mother and a father. Christian psychologists should not push gender-confused children into hormones and amputations because counseling can heal them.

In a pluralistic society, there should be room for all viewpoints. Those who shout “tolerance” the loudest should do so, even against those they deem unworthy. I believe that their tolerance of believers may not be as difficult as they think after they come into contact with Christians. The officer’s perceived threatening belief motivates us to treat the officer with kindness and love.

Our Law Center will continue to litigate for free on behalf of others when the injury is significant and the market does not provide an adequate remedy. But not today. Not against Metzger.

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