Every morning, most of us leave our loved ones and head off to work.
We fire up our engines, turn on our computers, or flip on the lights of our shops, ready to put in a full day’s work. And we work hard knowing that we live in a country where we can achieve success for ourselves and for our families regardless of where we started out and what our personal beliefs are.
This is the American Dream. And the unique and beautiful thing about our nation is that this dream belongs to everyone, not just a select few.
When our Founders wrote the words “We the People” in the preamble of the Constitution, they created a nation by the people and for the people.
The Pilgrims who first came to our country were escaping a place where they could not live out their faith. They left everything behind and formed what the third governor of Massachusetts John Winthrop called “the City upon a Hill,” a beacon of freedom, shining for the entire world.
Today, every American should be able to work consistently with their beliefs without the government getting in the way. This is what our Founders envisioned. After all, if you are not able to live out your convictions, are you really free?
Unfortunately, we all know well that this dream is under attack. Some government officials are punishing people for living consistently with their faith.
Take for example Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Washington State. Barronelle serves everyone, and she served her friend Rob for nearly a decade. She knew that he was in a same-sex relationship, but that never mattered to her. Yet when Rob asked her to design custom floral arrangements for his same-sex wedding, Barronelle made the tough decision to respectfully decline his order. The two hugged, and Rob left the shop.
It should have been over there, but then the Washington Attorney General learned about the story through social-media posts and decided to sue Barronelle in her professional and personal capacity—all without a formal complaint from Rob.
Everything Barronelle had worked for her entire life—including her business and all her savings—is being threatened. All because she wanted to live consistently with her beliefs.
Or consider the example of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. Jack designs, sketches, molds, and paints custom cakes. In 2012, he declined to design a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding—a decision that would throw him into a six-year legal battle that ended at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Even though Jack serves everyone, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission punished Jack, ordered him and his staff to be “reeducated,” and disparaged his religious beliefs.
Small businesses have always been important to our society. Our nation was built by people willing to work hard and make sacrifices. The fact that, now, people like Jack and Barronelle have to choose between their businesses and their beliefs goes against many founding principles of our nation. This is not the America we know.
Thankfully, because of your prayers and generous support, Alliance Defending Freedom has been able to help Jack and Barronelle stand up for their constitutionally protected rights.
This summer, the Supreme Court gave Jack a seven-to-two victory and sent Barronelle’s case back to the Washington Supreme Court to be reconsidered in light of the decision in Jack’s case.
But there is still so much work to be done. Barronelle is waiting to hear about her case from the Washington Supreme Court. And, even though Jack had a major victory this summer, the same state agencies who fought him all the way to the nation’s highest court—and lost—are harassing him again.
We do not have to sit idly by while some government bureaucrats attack the freedoms of creative professionals like Barronelle and Jack—your gift today will help them and others like them. You can help preserve the American Dream for your children, grandchildren, and generations to come.
Because the American Dream belongs to every American—not just those whose beliefs are favored by the government.