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Memories Pizza

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When debate broke out last month in Indiana over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, you might remember the story of Memories Pizza. If not, here is a quick summary. A reporter for ABC57 walked into the pizza place located in Walkerton, Indiana and asked if they would cater a same-sex wedding. Although the question was hypothetical (after all, few people order pizza for a wedding reception), Crystal O’Connor answered truthfully and said they would decline the opportunity.

A firestorm broke out when the story hit the news. More than 900 people took to Yelp to criticize her comments and gave the pizza parlor a negative rating. One person said they should burn Memories Pizza to the ground. After seeing and hearing the vicious comments, Kevin and his daughter Crystal decided to close down the store and go into hiding.

That’s when Christians and other concerned citizens decided to step in and provide income to the family since their means of making an income was closed. The donations through a GoFundMe account began pouring it at a pace no one expected. The original goal of $25,000 was met almost immediately. When the account was closed down earlier this month, there was $842,442 in the account given by 29,161 people in just 18 days.

I wanted to talk about this since I have found that many people never heard what happened to Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana. But there is more. When the O’Connors decided it was safe and reopened their pizza parlor, hundreds of Hoosiers drove miles to this small town to buy pizza. On some days, the seating area was filled with people wanting to show their support for Kevin and Crystal O’Connor.

And you might also wonder about all the money. Crystal and her dad wanted to return the favor to others and decided to send a share of the money in the account to another Christian facing hostility: Barronelle Stutzman. She is the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington who is also being supported through a GoFundMe account because of the attacks she has received.

I hope you are as encouraged as I am about the rest of the story from Indiana.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

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