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02/11/2014

'They're suing churches!' screams article lacking even one example of people suing churches

by Jeremy Hooper

Milton, Massachusetts' Fontbonne Academy and Sammamish, Washington's Eastside Catholic High School are not, in fact, churches. They are affiliated with churches, sure. But they are schools.

Leave it to Joseph Backholm, the guy who tried and failed (hard!) to stop marriage equality from coming to Washington, to flat-out lie about this basic fact as he tries to stir up animus by claiming Jbackholm No Background1317082757-1that LGBT activists are now suing churches:

Recently, Eastside Catholic High School caused an uproar when they dismissed their vice-principal who entered a same-sex “marriage” in violation of church teaching.

In a story that could have implications for this case, as well as for churches everywhere, last week the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) filed a complaint against a Catholic girl’s prep school which refused to hire a man who is “married” to another man.

Matthew Barrett applied for a job as the food service director at the Fontbonne Academy in Milton, Massachusetts and was offered the job. When his pre-employment form listed him as having a “husband” the school informed him that they could not hire him.

The news is not that the homosexual community is suing people for doing things they don’t like. That’s actually pretty old news.

The news here is that they’re suing churches, something they assured us would NEVER happen because they just respect religious freedom far too much.
...
We’ve come a long ways since homosexuality was removed from the list of mental disorders and you’ve been quiet all the while. They’re suing churches now. They moved out of the closet, slept on the couch for a while, eventually sent you to the guest room when they took over the master bedroom, and now you’re standing with all your stuff in the front lawn while a guy is changing the locks on the doors.

At what point does one’s desire to avoid conflict become cowardice? It’s a question worth asking because there are tens of millions of people in America handing over their freedoms without so much as a disapproving look. After all, there’s so much negativity already.

Maybe you resent the implication. Fair enough. Then answer this question. Where is your line in the sand?

Is it when they sue you? Is it when you can no longer get a business license because the state mandated non-discrimination policy to get a business license violates your beliefs? Is it when they sue your church? When they sue your friend’s church? When they close your church? When they put your pastor in jail? When they take your kids from you to prevent your brand of hate from being spread to the next generation?

FULL:
Washington: Now They’re Suing Churches [Focus on the Family Citizenlink]

Yes. Precisely. It's when we gay folk start taking people's kids—that's when there will all out civil war, Joe. [::writer rolls eyes, shakes head, takes a swig from his water bottle since no heterosexually-raised children are within his reach::]

Look, it's one thing to defend these schools and their right to discriminate against employees. But to say that these schools are churches is an abject lie! The reason why there are legal cases to be made against these schools is because there is, in fact, legal murkiness about how much leniency a religiously-affiliated school has when it comes to applying local nondiscrimination law. This is especially true with an institution like Fontbonne, which does not only enroll Catholic students and does not only hire Catholic employees (and which, according to at least one alum, has even been known to hire out LGBT employees). The question of whether or not a faith-based school can stringently apply a conservative church view on an employee who is serving in a very secular are like food service is, in fact, an open and valid question. Thus the lawsuit.

These schools are not churches. No LGBT equality activist is saying that actual churches (remember those?) have to marry gay couples, stop preaching that gays are abominations, hire or retain anyone on the basis of sexual orientation, or do just about anything that they do not wish to do. As long as a church does not overstep its bounds (e.g. they can't nakedly politick from the pulpit and retain tax-exempt status), then LGBT equality activists (and progressives in general) are some of the most respectful supporters of religious freedom—true religious freedom, that is—that you will find anywhere.

But rational assessment and nuance would not benefit Mr. Backholm's fear mongering. Instead, he makes us out to be bullies who want to tear down steeples. We're spending our Sundays figuring out ways to incarcerate the local Pentecostal preachers. Oh, and we're of course scheming ways to kidnap conservative Christian children. We're awful, basically.

If the anti-LGBT movement wonders why it is among the most disrespected and distrusted of any political cause in recent memory, this is exactly why. It's not enough for them to just be discriminatory practitioners of a movement that typically culminates in "changing" us. That would be bad enough, but they take it even further. Their movement's top voices choose to be both discriminatory and deceptive; they opt to bear both hostility towards our rights and false witness.

This movement has earned the reputation it deserves.

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