Who knew that devout Christians were being kicked out of entire professions?
According to the American Family Association, LGBT individuals are destroying the job prospects of Christians in the following fields for the following reasons:
Photography — A Christian photographer in New Mexico was fined $6700 for politely declining to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony. The Supreme Court allowed this fine to stand.
Baker — A Christian baker in Oregon is facing both civil and criminal penalties, including jail time, for politely declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding ceremony. Her business has closed.
Florist — Baronelle Stutzman, a Christian florist in Washington, is being sued by the state attorney general for politely declining to prepare an arrangement for a gay wedding ceremony.
Broadcasting — Craig James was fired by Fox Sports Southwest after only one day on the job for expressing his support for natural marriage while he was a candidate for the United States Senate.
Counseling — Jennifer Keeton was dismissed from the counseling program at Augusta State University for her religious reservations about the homosexual lifestyle.
Innkeeping — The Wildflower Inn in Vermont was fined $30,000 and forced to shut down its wedding reception business after politely declining to host a lesbian ceremony.
Teaching — Ms. Gillian John-Charles was kicked out of a doctoral program in education at Roosevelt University for expressing in class her belief that homosexuals aren’t born gay.
Man, those bigoted Christians sure are polite, aren’t they?
In each of those cases, the issue wasn’t that Christians were being too devout. It’s that they were either unable to follow the law or unable to fulfill the obligations of the profession.
When you have a public business like a bakery, you can’t say “I’m not making this for you because it’s for a Bar Mitzvah” any more than you can say you won’t make a cake because it’s for a gay wedding. In those cases, what the Christian business owners are doing is just illegal. Same with photographers and florists and innkeepers. Do your job and treat your customers equally or get out of the business. If you can’t handle customer requests, you’re in the wrong line of work. (I’m with Dan Savage on this one — just make your bigotry public. Put a sign on the door that says “We don’t serve gay people here” and everyone who opposes that can just take their business elsewhere.)
The counseling case is much more straight-forward. Jennifer Keeton wanted to be a counselor, but she made it clear that, if she had gay clients, she’d tell them they needed to be “cured.” She supported unscientific, unproven “conversion therapy.” Of course her graduate school couldn’t keep her in the program; she violated the ethics code of the profession. Christian counselors who don’t want to harm their clients are more than welcome in the profession.
What about broadcasting? AFA says Craig James was fired for expressing his religious views, but they neglect to tell you that fellow bigot Chris Broussard is still employed by ESPN despite making anti-gay comments last year. So broadcasting is a viable profession, but as with many non-punditry jobs in television, no one wants to hear your opinions when they have nothing to do with the topic at hand. If you’re hired to talk about sports, then talk about sports, not your false beliefs about homosexuality.
The only information I can find on the teaching case is one story repeated multiple times on right-wing websites, so I don’t feel comfortable commenting on it. Needless to say, there’s no shortage of conservative Christians teaching in public schools everywhere. It’s one of the main reasons we still have Creationism and abstinence-only sex education controversies in school districts across the country.
So Christians are welcome to hold all of those professions in America. The list of opportunities isn’t shrinking for them just because they’re very religious. The only people losing their jobs are the people who refuse to do those jobs properly. Just as it should be.
The bigger question for AFA members should be why they want to belong to an organization that has to lie in order to take their members’ money.