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A Testimony of Conscience and Conviction in the Workplace

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Hands On Originals is a small printing company in Lexington, Kentucky, that, up until recently, had very few problems when they declined to print a certain message.

Last year, however, the owner, Blaine Adamson, was found guilty of discrimination by a Lexington human rights commission for refusing to print T-shirts for a local gay pride festival. The commissioners ordered that Adamson must violate his conscience, and further, must participate in diversity training to be conducted by the commission.

Fortunately, this story has a happier ending than that of the baker and florist, as the Fayette Circuit Court ended up reversing the commission’s decision. “It is their constitutional right to hold dearly and to not be compelled to be part of an advocacy message opposed to their sincerely held Christian beliefs,” Judge James Ishmael wrote in his decision.

Watch below for more of Blaine’s testimony:

When this first happened and it hit the papers, businesses began to pull their business from us. Right and left we were losing customers. There came a point where I was so broken. I went home, I just laid in bed with lights out and began to cry out to the Lord, and just say, “God, I will stand no matter what the cost will be.” Because we are the ones at the end of the day that have to print that on a shirt, and it speaks a message the second it comes off the press. And for me, I’m accountable to that. I’m accountable to that first to God — of what I put on a shirt to promote.

But we did wrestle with the reality in this that we may lose our business…Why would I as a business owner — who, our business has grown year after year — want to bring this on my company? If anything, I would want to stay as far away from it as possible. But there is a cost. There is something that calls out to me that says, “I’ve got to speak truth.”

HT Joseph Williams

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Joseph Sunde is an associate editor and writer for the Acton Institute. His work has appeared in venues such as The Federalist, First Things, The Christian Post, The Stream, Intellectual Takeout, Foundation for Economic Education, Patheos, LifeSiteNews, The City, Charisma News, The Green Room, Juicy Ecumenism, Ethika Politika, Made to Flourish, and the Center for Faith and Work. Joseph resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and four children.

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