Banned From Farmers Market For Marriage Beliefs – Inalienable Rights Violated: In this episode, we talk to Kate Andreson from Alliance Defending Freedom and Steve Tennes.  Last August, Steve was banned from the farmers market because they learned about our religious beliefs of marriage between a man and a woman. Ultimately, the city developed a new policy specifically to exclude Steve from the farmer’s market. Tune in now to hear all about the case and where it’s headed legally. 

Air Date: 07/12/2017


Guests: Kate Anderson, Steve Tennes, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers.  Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times.  We apologize in advance.

Welcome

Rick:

You found your way to the intersection of faith and the culture, WallBuilders Live! Where we”€™re talking about today”€™s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always looking at it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

Just think about it, that”€™s the three resources right there. What does the Bible tell us about it?  What can we learn from history, and how does the Constitution apply?  If you look at those three perspectives, you are going to get the right answer on virtually any issue that we are dealing with in the culture today.

We’re doing that today here with David Barton. He”€™s America’s premiere historian and the founder of our organization at WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name’s Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state rep, national speaker, and author.

Find out more about us and the organization at our websites WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com. Both are relatively new sites with incredible information, great stuff there. In fact, if you go you’re going to get some great resources at the WallBuildersLive website. You’ll find out more about the stations we’re on around the country. You”€™ll get to dig into the archives and be able to pull programs down for the last few weeks.

Then at WallBuilders.com, super information there. David Barton has the largest private collection of Founding Fathers documents in the world and so many of those now available at WallBuilders.com to give you access to that treasure trove as well.

Later in the program, we’ve got a special guest with us that is actually dealing with a religious liberty issue that we need some Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective on. And he and his attorney both will be giving us an update on that particular case. But for now, let’s kick things off with David and Tim Barton.

The Five Principles Of American Government

Guys, let”€™s kind of take a step back before we have our guests on later to talk about their particular case, let’s set this up in terms of just our basic rights, what the Constitution actually protects, especially with regard to this concept of religious liberty.

David:

Well, the Constitution protects things that are first set forth in the Declaration of Independence. Going to the Declaration is the best place to start because it starts with the five principles of American government.

It starts with the principle that number one there is a creator, God. We say that in the Declaration, we announced that to the entire world. We then say that the Creator God gives us a certain set of rights that we call “€œinalienable rights.”€ Number three, the Declaration says that government exists first and foremost and primarily to protect the exercise of our inalienable rights. Then after that, we get around the fence and economy and everything else. But first thing is the inalienable rights.

The fourth point that the Declaration makes clear is that there is a fixed moral law, it”€™s called “€œThat the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”€ And the fifth point is that you make decisions by the consent of the governed. When they do not involve unalienable rights or a fixed moral law.

So you take that premise that there is a God who gives us inalienable rights and the government exists to protect those rights. That’s what the Constitution does. Ok, now that we’ve told you how this works now we’ll take the Constitution to show you specifically how to apply it.

So in the Constitution, there are probably 15 or 16 inalienable rights, and by the way, there are three inalienable rights given in the Declaration and the Founders said, “€œHere’s three, among others.”€

Then 11 years later they come back in the Bill of Rights and said, “€œHere are some of the others and they give us about 15 or 16 there. So now we’re up to about 19. But the Founding Fathers specifically identified somewhere in the vicinity of two dozen inalienable rights.

Not A Snowball”€™s Chance

One of those inalienable rights they identified is now one this under direct attack-

Tim:

Do we get to guess what that is?

David:

You can guess what that is but-

Rick:

Do we get a prize if we get it?

David:

You know what, there’s got to be a prize for this. Because I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance you”€™ll get this.

Tim:

A snowball’s chance in where? Like in Antarctica? Because I”€™ve got a great chance in Antarctica.

Tim:

Mt. Everest-

David:

A snowball’s chance in Texas on the 30th of August.

Tim:

But you know, Texas weather is weird. You never know.

David:

It’s not that weird.

Rick:

You never know, we had ice at my house just a week and a half ago.

David:

If there was going to be a global warming it would be in Texas.

Tim:

Global warming is in Texas.

David:

We get it for all the rest of the country.

Tim:

But we can make a snowball out of hail, the ice that was in our driveway the other day.

David:

We’ve done that before.

Rick:

It would hurt.

Tim:

Yeah, that’s what those no balls that were thrown back at that the Boston Massacre, right? That was part of the problem like, “€œWait a second, these guys aren’t throwing snowballs, that’s ice. Shoot them.”€ Anyway, we’ve gotten really sidetracked.

Rick:

What was the question?

Tim:

I would say, Rick, something we both hold very dear is the Second Amendment the right of self-defense is under attack.

David:

It”€™s under  But that’s not the right we are leading to.

Tim:

Well, private property is certainly under attack.

David:

Under attack, but it”€™s not the right we’re leading to.

Tim:

Rick, if you want to throw out anything you”€™re welcome to.

Rick:

Even the right to assemble, with the way that we now force you to let people in your group whether they are totally diametrically opposed everything you believe it or not. I mean, that’s that’s violated on college campuses across the country.

David:

Right of Association.   That’s violated right. The government is going after it rather than protecting it. But that’s not the one we’re talking about.

Tim:

Well, I mean, Rick we just ran through. There”€™s five in the First Amendment.

David:

It’s one of the rights that is not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights or the Declaration and it’s guaranteed by the Privileges and Immunities clause of the Constitution.

Rick:

Interesting. Ok, so, we’re not talking free speech or religious liberty then?

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

Those seem to be every other time we turn around, right? I mean. if you disagree with certain belief systems they shut you down and don”€™t allow you to have your free speech.

Tim:

Yeah, whether you’re on a college campus or if you’re a chaplain in the military, it”€™s across the board. So interesting. Ok, so if it’s not one of the ones and enumerated in the Bill of Rights, which of course then we know part of the Bill of Rights, the Ninth Amendment says there’s even more that we haven”€™t listed, the rights of the people. So it’s one of those rights.

Rick:

I’m glad we established the prize because I don’t know what I’m missing out on. I don’t get this. And how did you phrase the question? We might have to go back to that.

David:

Well, you guys asked the question, “€œDo you get a prize if you guess what right it is.”€

Tim:

I just thought my snowball had a much better chance than that.

David:

I feel pretty safe in saying that I”€™m not going to have to give an award on this.

Tim:

Ok, alright, I surrender, what is it?

David:

Will it help you if I tell you that it was in many of the original 1776 state constitutions, that it was in the Articles of Confederation, and that it”€™s privileges and immunities clause as well, the US Constitution?

Tim:

Well, I don’t know, because I was going to say that many of the original state constitutions listed rights of conscience. Which is, I mean, we would argue that’s part of what the first term was all about anyway.

David:

Right, well the Founding Fathers argued that Jefferson, Madison, Washington, and others said that the First Amendment is conscience.

Tim:

Ok, man, what was enumerated in state constitution in 1776-

David:

I will tell you it has been most recently violated by two governors of two very blue states one of New York and California.

Tim:

Then I know exactly what it is because California said, “€œHey, federal employees you cannot travel to Texas anymore.”€

David:

State employees.

Tim:

State employees-

Rick:

You can”€™t use your state funds to travel to Texas.

Tim:

So, inner commerce trade, between states trading.

David:

Well no that’s business. That’s not government.

Rick:

So, that would be the Commerce Clause in Article 1 Section 8-

Tim:

Ok, so California just said that their employees can’t travel. I mean, California has done so many bad things, though. So how do we narrow this down?

David:

Well, you’re on the right track. So let’s take a break. We’ll talk about the right after the break.

Rick:

I”€™m stumped. I’m still pulling out my Constitution now. Hang on. We’ll be back in just a second with David Barton to figure out what this right is and then we have some special guest later in the program that are in the middle of fighting for that right. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live!

Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. After the final victory at Yorktown, the Continental Army awaited the outcome of peace negotiations with Great Britain.

Pastor Israel Evans, a chaplain in the army, proposed to George Washington that they build a structure where church services can be held during the months of waiting. 

Washington approved the plan and urges officers to ensure that the soldiers attend that service.  Pastor Evans further knew if we were to secure the liberties they had fought for, sound education would be crucial.

He declared, “€œEvery parent and every friend to the freedom of his country ought to be attentive to the improvement of our youth and the principles of freedom and good government. And then the people will stand fast in their liberty for a long time.”€ Our schools today need to return to teaching the principles of freedom and good government in order for America to survive and prosper. For more information about Pastor Israel Evans and other colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com

Inalienable Rights Violated

Rick:

Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! Later in the program, we have a special guest, also his attorney with him to talk about the infringement upon his religious liberty, which I thought is the one we were guessing, David. So you”€™ve got me stumped for sure. And Tim, we”€™ve guessed about as many as we can think of. And you said this inalienable right is in the privileges and immunities clause? So this is Article 4, but I can’t think of what it would be that you’re referring to, so you”€™ve got me stumped, man.

David:

Well, it’s what Jefferson and Franklin called the right of expatriation. Does that help you?

Rick:

So traveling between states?

David:

The right of expatriation is the right to move freely and without interference between the states.

Rick:

Ah, ok.

David:

Here’s what Jefferson said, “€œGod made it a law in the nature of man to pursue his own happiness and He has left him free and the choice of place as well as of mode.”€ In other words, God gave you the right to pursue your own happiness and gave you the right to choose where you want to do that.

The Pennsylvania Constitution says that all men have a natural right to immigrate from one state to another. So travel back and forth. As it turned out, last year Andrew Cuomo in New York said, “€œHey, look what North Carolina did with the bathroom bill. Look what Governor Phil Bryant did in Mississippi. No state employee in the state of New York is allowed to travel to Mississippi or to North Carolina on state funds.”€ No, that’s the privileges and immunities clause. You have the right to do that, the right of expatriation. That is a natural God given right. And you can’t stop it by government because it’s a God-given right.

Well, now you have California who steps in and says, “€œHey, we’ve already told that you can’t go to North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, or Tennessee. Now we’re telling you, you can’t travel to Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, or Kentucky.”€

Rick:

Wait, once add Texas in that’s kind of like not allowing you to go to Mecca, right? I mean, if you’re liberty-

Tim:

Although I feel like Texas would appreciate that filter.

David:

Well, it’s not that we object to that.

Rick:

To keep California out, is that what you are saying?

David:

But I’ve got to say that California probably makes economic sense for them not to allow people to come to Texas. Can you remember the U-Haul story? Where that there were so many people moving from California to Texas that to rent a U-Haul truck to go from San Francisco to Austin, for example, was $2,500 to rent a U-Haul truck to go from Austin to San Francisco was $400 because they were trying to get people to drive it back.

Everybody comes from California to Texas.

Rick:

Everybody in California knows, “€œIf we let these guys go on business to Texas they”€™re going to find out how great it is and then they might actually move there.

David:

That’s right.

The Left Prohibited A Farmer From Making A Living

David:

So all of this is about inalienable rights. We see states violating this on a regular basis and we know that inherently in any state, even a red state like Texas, hands down our wackiest county in the state of Texas is Travis County. Any time you get a state capital or a university town, that’s where you find where the wackiness comes. Wisconsin’s a really conservative state until you get to Madison University, Wisconsin. It”€™s wacky left.

So what’s happened is in Michigan you have Lansing.  Michigan State is in Lansing, you also have the state capitol in Lansing. They said, “€œWe love business, we’re promoting business, and this guy has been great, and we’ve had him for a year. Oh my gosh, we just found out he thinks marriage should be between a man and a woman. We’re going to shut him out and not let him do business.”€

They love the outcome, they love the product, until they found his beliefs. Then at that point, they’ve shut it down. So out of Lansing, Michigan you have a blueberry farmer who also does other farm products and sells them in a farmer’s market. They loved it, they loved having him there, until they found out that he put something on his Facebook page that says, “€œI believe marriage is between a man and woman.”€ And now they’ve disinvited him from selling his wares at the farmer’s markets.

Tim:

Not just disinvited him told him, “€œHe’s not allowed.”€ That’s right.

David:

And it’s not that they invited him anyway because he is a farmer and can go to the farmer’s market. I mean, it’s all open, free market enterprise stuff. But now the state has specifically- It’s like prohibiting your right to travel between states. Now the state is prohibiting him from making a living or trying to make a living, which they can”€™t do.

That’s the inalienable natural right I just read from Thomas Jefferson. God made it a law of our nature to pursue our own happiness or our own living. And he also said, “€œYou can do it where you want to.”€

Rick:

You said, “€œopen free market.”€ That’s the part they don’t understand. For them, it’s open free market only to those that will sign off on our belief system and claim to believe- as we do on on marriage and- I mean, come on what does that have to do with these blueberries that are being sold?

David:

The problem is that when you get secular you refuse to acknowledge inalienable rights and you start granting rights and taking away rights. Only when you have a God conscious government do say, “€œYou know, there are certain rights that God gave. And we’re not allowed to mess with those rights.”€

When you have a secular government they say, “€œWe can mess with any right we want to, and we can create any right we want to, and we can remove any right we want to.”€ And that’s what you’re seeing. So now we’re having to pay a higher price now just to be a Christian in this culture. And that was never the intent of the Founding Fathers.

Rick:

It’s called The Country Mill Farm. Steve Tennes will be with us with his attorney Kate Anderson, one of the Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Bring A Speaker To Your Area

Tim:

Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders.  And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional. And you might be thinking, “€œAs incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”€

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you”€™ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.

Banned From Farmers Market For Marriage Beliefs

Rick:

Welcome back thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. We’ve got Kate Anderson with us, she’s an attorney and legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom and also Center for Conscience Initiatives. Kate, thanks for joining us.

Kate:

Thanks for having me.

Rick:

Hey, you’ve got a client there with you as well. An amazing story here we saw Todd Starnes’ article on this. I just can’t believe what’s happening to this family. Appreciate you defending them and appreciate you coming on and sharing the story. So, if you want to introduce Steve and tell us a little bit of the background on the case.

Kate:

* Well, I”€™ll let Steve tell you the story.

Rick:

Sounds good! Steve, thanks for coming on man!

Steve:

So, for seven years our family farm here has lovingly served every one of our customers at The City of Lansing Farmer’s Market where we pack up all of our organic apples, blueberries, peaches, sweet cherries, and drive them into that city.

And last August the city officials started to pressure us not to return to the farmers market because they learned about our religious beliefs of marriage between a man and a woman via our Facebook page. Ultimately, the city developed a new policy specifically to exclude us from the farmer’s market.

Rick:

Wait, let me get this right, Steve. says. So it”€™s not bad blueberries, corn is not the problem, it’s not your product, it has nothing to do with your product, it has to do with your religious beliefs?

Steve:

You’re absolutely right. For the seven years where there wasn’t one complaint. In fact, city officials put on their own Facebook page just weeks before this came out, and I quote, “€œWe love The Country Mill,”€ our farm. But it was all turned upside down when they learn about our beliefs of marriage and how it differs from the one they’re trying to promote.

Their Policy Is Inconsistent And Discriminatory  

Rick:

Now, were you guys, I assume to raise this kind of ire from the city, you guys were out picketing, and shouting, and causing all kinds of problems at any gay weddings in the area? No?

Steve:

Absolutely not. Our farm is located 22 miles outside the city of Lansing. All my wife and I wanted to do is to have our beliefs, speak them clearly, and live them out at here at our own home farm here as we see fit with our children.  We’ve enjoyed serving people of all backgrounds and beliefs, at the City Farmer’s Market, and we will continue to do so still once they allow us back in.

Rick:

So you are not even saying that you are refusing to sell your goods to, whether they’re homosexual, or heterosexual, conservative, liberal, at the farmer’s market I doubt that ever comes up, you don’t even ask those questions.

Steve:

No, and that”€™s the one reason why the city officials loved us for the first six years because they saw how lovingly we treated people of diverse backgrounds at their farmer’s market. It”€™s just once they found out our beliefs then they decided to banish us from being able to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to our customers.

Rick:

Now, Kate, if the property of Country Mill Farm is not even in the city and Steve and his family, like any American should be able to, can determine who they want to host on their own property and what type of events. I mean, I’m sure the city would not argue that a homosexual property owner would be forced by law and by the government to host a pro one man one woman marriage rally on their property. But yet, in this case, they are saying that because Steve and his family would not host a homosexual marriage on their property they’re going to be punished but they’re not even in the city limits.

I know that’s two questions, but number one, this seems like the hypocrisy is there. But number two, how do they even have any say in what Steve and his family allow on their property or not?

Kate:

Well, they shouldn”€™t. The Constitution and the case law that goes along with it is very clear that every person has the right to think freely and live freely their belief without fear of government punishment. Particularly on their own property. And they are throwing him out of the farmers market because of an expression of religious belief. So they are violating their very own ordinant.

To your first question, if the city is going to follow through with their policy then they would be banning every Christian that holds the belief that they disagree with. * So there isn”€™t consistency because they are allowing other people to speak freely about their beliefs on LGBT issues and other political issues. Which is discrimination and the Constitution does not allow that.

Where This Is Going Legally

Rick:

It’s punishment, it”€™s punishment for not walking lockstep, and putting the patch on, and holding your hand up to the “€œall powerful government”€ and saying, “€œI’ll agree to follow anything that you say.”€ It really is that ridiculous and it will continue unless people like you, thank you, Steve, stand up and don’t cow down to what they want. And people like you, Kate, and others Alliance Defending Freedom that are willing to defend families like this, and frankly, defend our Constitution itself. Hats off to both of you for taking on this fight.

Kate, what can week’s timeline wise in terms of where this is going legally?

Kate:

We”€™re asking that the court make a prompt decision. The Constitution is very clear. And the law leans very clearly on Steve’s side. So we think the court is able to make a quick decision, and we are asking for the court to do so.

Rick:

Alright, well, we look forward to getting y”€™all back with a victory program to talk about the victory once it happens. Our listeners will be praying for y”€™all to do well and certainly we want to send folks to the ADF website today and encourage them to help fund so many great attorneys like yourself, Kate, across the country to be able to do this. Y”€™all come to so many people’s aid throughout the year.

Steve, thanks, tell your whole family thank y’all for standing for truth, and frankly, for free enterprise, the free market, and being able to participate in that market regardless of your particular religious beliefs.

Kate:

Thank you.

Steve:

Thank you.

Rick:

Alright, appreciate y”€™all coming on. Folks, stay with us, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Chasing American legends

Rick:

If you ever wonder if it’s over for America.  Can we restore those constitutional principles that made our nation great? Then we want to encourage you.  We want to show you some evidence of how it can be done. We want to show you the evidence behind what made America great in the first place. And we want to have some fun while we’re doing it.

It’s called Chasing American Legends. It’s our special television program that follows the Green family around the nation investigating myths and legends about America.  And it’s amazing what we have found and what we’ve discovered. Dove Channel is now airing Chasing American Legends and we want you to check it out.

We’ve got a link today at WallBuildersLive.com so you can find out more about Chasing American Legends, airing now on the Dove Channel. We’re going to take you and march with the Minutemen for the re-enactment of April 19th, 1775. That shot heard around the world. Take you to investigate the battles that George Washington was in.

All kinds of great episodes.  Check it out right now at DoveChannel.com.  Give our family a chance to inspire yours. We know we can give you some hope of the future of our nation. Check it out. Chasing American Legends at DoveChannel.com

Consequences Of Becoming Secular

Rick:

Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! A special thanks to Kate Anderson and Steve for joining us, and for standing firm, and fighting this particular battle.

So, guys, you can just hear it in his voice. They were loving people in the marketplace literally by serving them, by blessing them with good products, and treating them well, and the city comes along and says, “€œNope, because of your position on marriage, which has nothing to do with what you’re doing here in this business, you’re out of here.”€

David:

Now grab this, you’re not allowed to love and serve others if you have the wrong belief according to the government. Is that amazing? Now, you can’t do benevolence, you can’t help people, you can’t try to make money, can’t try to create a job, you can try to serve others with what they want, you”€™ve got high ratings, and the city loves-

Rick:

That actually makes sense with some of the other cases that we’ve had where they wouldn’t let you run a soup kitchen or wouldn’t let you do other things if you didn’t buy into their definition on marriage.

David:

Yeah, what a litmus test that is. This again goes back to this is one of the consequences of becoming secular.

What The Left Has Done To The Nation

And I was with a group here just a couple of days ago, Congressman and others, when we were talking about the four things that the Left has done to the nation.

One of those things is it’s raised the cost of being a Christian. It never used to cost you extra time, money, or effort, and penalty to be a Christian in America. But welcome to the modern America, it does now. They have really raised the price.

By the way, I’ve got to say, I hate that that happened. But I don’t object to it from this sense. Let’s find out who’s got a little backbone, who will be willing to stand up for their beliefs that doesn’t hurt at all to be able to find out if you willing to take a little bit of a negative- Or if somebody gets on you in social media, or somebody comes after you for standing up for your faith, are you going to back off from it?

It doesn’t hurt to have some backbone and maybe we’ll find out who does. But in this case, it is absolutely wrong for the government to punish people for their traditional moral beliefs.

By the way, the beliefs that man and woman, a lifelong union, marriage, hey, that’s part of the laws of nature and nature’s God. I mean, that’s part of the Declaration, the Constitution was designed to protect. So here you”€™ve got a guy exercising his constitutional rights and the government is saying that you can’t do that. That’s what shouldn’t be going on in America.

Thank You For Listening

Rick:

It only stops if we stop it. And that’s what this attorney is helping to do and that’s what Steve Tennes is hoping to do by setting the example and fortunately have some others all across the country that have stood firm.

But we the people have to win this culture war by influencing this debate. You have to speak up on truth on this one folks, because you know it’s talked about at the waterfront, it”€™s talked about at work. Make sure to let your voice be heard. Thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live!