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12/09/2013

Protecting vulnerable people from discrimination makes you non-Christian?

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 At 6.35.17 AmIn a new ad that's drummed up lots of attention over the past week, Democratic U.S Senator Mark Pryor (AR) professes to be a bible-believing Christian for whom God is "my compass, my North Star." Yet this simply cannot be so, asserts the anti-LGBT movement's Andrea Lafferty, since Pryor voted in favor of a law that would strengthen workplace protections pertaining to LGBT people:

"I was outraged when I saw this [ad] because that is the furthest thing from the truth," says Lafferty, noting that Pryor recently voted for ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

"And what that bill does is override Arkansas law and will require schools to hire and retain transgender teachers," Lafferty alleges.


SOURCE: One News Now

Let me first admit that I'm not Sen. Pryor's biggest fan. He is one of only three Senate Democrats who opposes marriage equality, with his opposition stated in both a personal and political way. I've already said that his opposition, here in the historic year when a bipartisan majority of his colleagues came out in favor of equality, was a boneheaded move that very well might cost him his political future, as it will depress enthusiasm among crowds that would otherwise support him. I still believe that.

That said, supporting ENDA was a good move on his part. Not only is it on the right side of history, but it is also one of the most loving, most tolerant, most Christian things he could've done. One need not even support LGBT rights, in full, to support the notion of judging workers on the basis of their qualifications rather than on their sexual orientations and/or gender identities. In fact, you can be a theologically anti-LGBT evangelical and still see the common sense need for such protections. There is no conflict.

Yet here we have Andrea Lafferty, longtime purveyor of anti-LGBT animus, citing these very basic protections as the reason to deny Sen. Pryor of his personal faith? That is just plain ludicrous, even for someone who proudly carries water for a societal vision that forcibly excludes LGBT people from every facet of life. It's also more terrible PR for a church that might want to pay some mind to the alienation and exodus-ing that years of this kind of thing has cultivated here in America.

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