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08/20/2013

Today in false dichotomy: Fair business versus repudiated science

by Jeremy Hooper

In Oregon, the debate is about whether or not a business must follow state nondiscrimination laws. (Hint: Yes, it must!)

In New Jersey, the bill is about banning a scientifically-discredited program that tells minors they are broken and in need of "change."

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 At 8.36.03 AmBut according to Pastor Robert Jeffress, proud sayer of silly things, these two situations are perfectly contrastable:

Think about the hypocrisy of this. [New Jersey Governor] Chris Christie signs a bill banning gay-conversion therapy. So he is saying it’s illegal and wrong to try to change the orientation of a person from gay to straight – but [in Oregon] you have people who are trying to change and convert people from heterosexual to the homosexual agenda. Apparently that kind of ‘rehabilitation’ is okay.

Texas Pastor Robert Jeffress

"Convert people from heterosexual to the homosexual agenda"? Ha! I didn't realize a business person stands in endorsement of every customer he or she serves. And I also failed to realize that "homosexual agenda" is now a sexual orientation.

This one really speaks to the naked opportunism that drives the other side's "ex-gay" dialogue. The reason Jeffress so easily contrasts these two situations is because, for him, the agenda attached to the two scenarios is one and the same. He is an operative for his "culture war" team, and he wants to score points. Suggesting that business owners should be able to discriminate against LGBT people, coupled with the suggestion that anyone who tells them they must comply with nondiscrimination policy is threatening their religious freedom, is just one (increasingly popular) way that his movement tries to score points. Supporting "ex-gay" therapies, which allow them to detach their movement from the "sinner" and onto the "sin," is another (quickly dwindling) way they seek to gain ground against us. For Jeffress, the two ideas are perfectly married because, in both cases, the push back poses a threat to his movement's agenda.

What Mr. Jeffress doesn't seem to realize is that his peddling of silly nonsense like this poses an even bigger threat than anything I could say in response.

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