Discrimination dressed up as religious rights

Peter Jackson pjackson@thetelegram.com
Published on August 13, 2014

I thought twice about writing this column. Not because it’s a trivial issue, or too controversial, but because there should be no need for it.

Last week, the Newfoundland Herald got in hot water by publishing a letter to the editor in which a U.S. evangelical blogger (the Internet is awash in such creatures) lamented that homosexuals are ruining everything for good Christians.

Some readers were outraged. One activist launched a human rights complaint.

The blogger then reacted to the reaction. It’s a recurring narrative which, frankly, is becoming a bit threadbare.

When Mr. Garden Variety Anti-Gay Fundamentalist discovered his letter caused a scandal, he had a field day.

“The left is anything if not predictable,” he wrote gleefully. “It tickles me to no end when, by way of their utterly unhinged reaction to one of my columns, secular ‘progressives’ end up proving true the very point I was trying to make.”

Progressive leftists, you see, are predictable. Not like U.S. evangelicals, who are a diverse and deep-thinking lot. It would be presumptious to think, for example, that a Christian right pundit in the U.S. would probably be gun-obsessed.

Except that this particular one began his missive with a mass shooting metaphor. Let’s call it, the Parable of the Ivory Tower Progressive,

As our story begins, a maniacal liberal is picking off pesky Christians from his lofty perch with a “smoking sniper rifle” as they “scatter for cover behind the word of God and the U.S. Constitution.”

The moral: progressives are violent and deranged, whereas Christians are just ordinary people — “the baker, the photographer, the florist, the innkeeper, the Christian school administrator, etc.”

Think about that. Not only are lefties homicidal, but also have a hard time holding down honest employment. Real menaces to society.

But let’s get to the meat of the matter.

The whole piece was mostly about U.S. health legislation that compels employers to include abortion and contraception in their health insurance.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling has already thrown doubt on its constitutionality.

But our blogger is still not satisfied.

“Where your desire, intense though it may be, for me to employ you despite your antagonistic values system, pay for your abortion, or host, photograph or otherwise bake a rainbow cake for your faux ‘wedding,’ comes into conflict with my absolute right to religious liberty, the result is a foregone conclusion. … I win, you lose.”

OK, that does it. It’s one thing not to hire me or pay for my abortion, but he won’t even bake me a cake or take a snapshot? Worst boss ever!

Seriously, this letter is pretty tame by hate speech standards.

Want to see real hate? Check out a documentary by Roger Ross Williams called “God Loves Uganda.” The feature-length film shows how a cabal of U.S. anti-gay zealots exported their hatred of gays to Uganda and incited leaders to enact draconian legislation.

Check out a pastor named Scott Lively, who peddles incendiary fantasies about homosexuals and equates them with everything from Nazis to Communists.

He’s is being sued in a U.S. court by a coalition of Ugandans for his part in spreading lies and inflaming hatred against gays in their country.

Meanwhile, back in North America, gay-haters are gradually losing relevance. This recent lobby for religious rights is primarily a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

The fact remains, you can believe homosexuals are sinful if you want, but that doesn’t give you the right to actively discriminate against them.

The real gay agenda is quite simple: stop making pariahs out of the LGBT community and let them participate in society as equals.

Is that too much to ask?

Peter Jackson is The Telegram’s

commentary editor. Email: pjackson@thetelegram.com.