Norman is known as the most liberal town in Oklahoma. So when Mr. Dodson, the owner of Dodson’s Health Foods and Vitamins store, asked that the Norman City Council consider making Norman a sanctuary city for the preborn, it came as no surprise that he experienced backlash.
Two female council members reportedly turned their backs on him while he was talking. One of the women, Alexandra Scott, is the representative for Dodson’s district. Scott justified her behavior by saying the Dodson’s words made her “uncomfortable” and that they were, “hateful speech.”
Another council member, Robert Castleberry, apologized to Dodson for the actions of his coworker. Scott responded to both Castleberry and Dodson, stating that she was not sorry for turning her back on someone she is supposed to represent. Scott later stated that Dodson’s request was conflating church and state, despite the fact that while Mr. Dodson is a Christian, abortion is not just an issue that concerns the Church. Non-religious anti-abortion groups exist, albeit with less legal protection than religious ones.
The meeting closed with the Mayor pleading for civility, stating, “We have an obligation to our public to be courteous and to be respectful and to listen, and I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
The backlash did not end there. A Norman citizen took to Facebook to call for a boycott over the pro-life comments, going so far as to say, “…we could possibly hurt his bottom line so much that he might have to close his business. Maybe he will think twice about coming to another City Council Meeting and getting people all riled up and even putting people in fear of violence.”
She then began backtracking, emphasizing she was engaging in “peaceful protest” and not calling for Dodson’s to go out of business, in direct contradiction to her earlier message. The point of her post, she says, is to encourage Mr. Dodson not to go to future council meetings and discuss abortion.
Norman residents close to Mr. Dodson are reporting that he and his store are expected to face protests outside of the store in the coming days.
We stand with Mr. Dodson as he courageously stands with the preborn and hope that, contrary to the desire of his adversaries, his business will flourish from fellow Christians and their support.