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Christian abolitionist on his group’s removal from Bedlam Coffee in Seattle

(File, Associated Press)
LISTEN: Christian abolitionist on his group's removal from Bedlam Coffee in Seattle

Jonathan Sutherland, a Christian abolitionist with a group promoting the outlawing of abortion, was visiting Seattle last week when he and the group he was with decided to visit Bedlam Coffee in Belltown.

RELATED: Should coffee shop owner be prosecuted for refusing service?

They filmed their confrontation with the shop’s owner when the owner discovered their affiliation and asked them to leave.

According to Sutherland, the abolitionist group was in the coffee shop to do one thing: drink coffee.

“We came to Seattle because we are Christians who want to see abortions abolished,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “We want to show we are Christians who are not afraid to be seen acting like Christians in a culture where child sacrifice for the murder of children is legal.”

The “Dori Monson Show” has reached out to the owner of Bedlam Coffee for comment.

Sutherland says the group was not trying to disseminate information inside the business, he said. According to Sutherland, he and his friends were in the coffee shop for “about five minutes,” talking “about random stuff,” when an employee went into a back room. That’s when the owner of the business told them to leave.

You can watch the video here.

Sutherland says the group did not know the coffee shop was owned by a gay man and that the literature the shop employee showed the owner was brought from outside.

“I was actually really surprised,” he told Dori. “Because we weren’t there creating a ruckus or a commotion. But it was sort of expected because it was after a few days of us being in the city — talking about the sin of abortion. Most people knew who we were.”

A fascinating issue

Putting the confrontation aside, the incident brings up an issue that Dori wonders will get the same attention as that of a Christian florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding.

In that case, the Washington state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Richland florist discriminated against two long-time customers by refusing to provide flowers for the wedding in 2013. The couple, along with state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the American Civil Liberties Union, sued the florist.

Dori wants to know if AG Ferguson will be as quick to take up this case — if there is one — as he was with the case against the Christian florist. He says if not, it shows a double-standard and an example of how the highest legal office in the state is only going to use its power against groups the AG’s office disagrees with on a social level.

Listen to the interview here.

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