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Broadlawns Medical Center is a government entity. And it supposedly prides itself on “diversity, equity and inclusion.” But only the diversity, equity and inclusion it believes in — not the actual idea of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Freedom Blend Coffee is a Christian organization that helps young adults get into the workplace. It falls under the umbrella of Freedom for Youth, which has a “Statement of Faith” that all employees are expected to abide by, except for youth participants in their programs.


Among its beliefs is the biblical view on marriage and sexuality. Ideas such as:

*God created each person as either male or female.
*The rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
*Marriage only means the union of one man and one woman.
*God intends for sexual intimacy to happen only between a man and woman married to each other.
*God has commanded no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
*Any form of seuxal immorality (adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest or use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God.
*God offers restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
*Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any person are to be repudiated and not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Freedom for Youth Ministries.

Pretty basic biblical beliefs.

But those beliefs will not be tolerated, ironically, by those in charge of the tolerance train at Broadlawns Medical Center.

Broadlawns announced that Freedom Blend Coffee’s “Statement of Faith” does not align with its diversity, equity and inclusion philosophies, so it decided to sever its partnership with Freedom Blend Coffee.

A pretty bold statement by a government entity. The “Statement of Faith” is just that, a statement of faith — of religious beliefs. And keep in mind that religion is supposed to make one a protected class as well in the state of Iowa.

But alas, Broadlawns believes in tolerance for me, but not for thee — especially if “thee” happens to be a Christian.

Being a government entity, one would think Broadlawns would have a little less flexibility in discriminating based on religious beliefs.

And, what should not get lost in all of this, is the fact that I’m almost certain the same people who think they have the right to sever the agreement with Freedom Blend Coffee over its beliefs probably aren’t huge supporters of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act — giving Christian business owners the right to choose who they do and do not do business with.

As I read the letter that was sent out by the intolerant CEO of Broadlawns, a person called Anthony B. Coleman, I noticed it was also signed by a fellow intolerant individual, a woman called Renee Hardman.

Hardman is a member of the West Des Moines City Council. And this is not the first time she has allegedly used her position in a government entity to “punish” someone for the exercise of their First Amendment rights.

Hardman led the charge in West Des Moines to terminate the city’s contract with The Conley Group due to comments made by CEO Tom Conley in private email conversations.

Hardman was quoted as saying she is a proponent of free speech, but added a “but.”

“But I am also a proponent that if we have someone that is using the language that is espoused in this article, that we need to really really examine is it the place for us to be doing business. Because it is the leadership at the top that sets the tone for its employees.”

Hardman may be a proponent of free speech — so long as she agrees with it. But here we have another instance where someone who holds political views in opposition to Hardman is losing business due to their views.

And Hardman is at the center of it — again.

It would be interesting to know just how much input Hardman had on the intolerant decision rendered by Broadlawns.

Hardman went after Conley for his political views. Now Broadlawns has severed its agreement with Freedom Blend Coffee for its religious views.

Perhaps Coleman and Hardman really don’t see the hypocrisy in their decision — citing “diversity” and “inclusion” as reasons to not honor their agreement with Freedom Blend Coffee over a disagreement in beliefs rooted in faith.

Or perhaps they don’t care. Because they’re not really interested in tolerance or diversity or inclusion — unless it is with those who agree with them.

Author: Jacob Hall

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  1. Broadlawns also does not stand behind their Patient Rights materials, whether in their Patient Handbook or on their web site. Their complaint process doesn’t follow its own rules.

    I am on November’s ballot for Broadlawns County Hospital Trustee to support patient rights and fiscal responsibility. I served on the Board of Directors at Disability Rights Iowa for five years and am a Certified Public Accountant.

    [email protected]


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