Freedom of Speech? Oh Hush.

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A friend of mine works at a public school in a conservative, overwhelmingly Evangelical Christian community.  She told me that she feared for her job if the other staff found out she is in favor of legalized abortion.

I was appalled.  I think my friend is terribly, terribly wrong on the question of abortion.  But still, it seemed wrong to me that a government employee might be fired for favoring the existing laws of that very government.

Which I suppose shows you again how hopelessly American I am.  I tend to view the Bill of Rights as something near to sacred in part because of the education I received at home and school.  Freedom was in the water we drank and the air we breathed.  It was normal. It was worth dying for.

Part of that view, though, is also due to my limited knowledge of history: I really can’t think of a scenario where persecution and political oppression turned out to be good for anybody.

Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion come to fisticuffs every now and again, and I’m fully in favor of religious groups being able to hire and fire in light of their religious practices.  I would never stand for a Lutheran church being told they had to keep the newly-converted Catholic on pay as their pastor, and give him the pulpit every Sunday to tell the congregation why Lutherans are dead wrong after all. There’s a balance here.

And I’m all about boycotts, because, daughter of the Civil Rights movements.  Not buying things?  Or buying things from a supplier whose values better align with mine?  I’m an American: All problems can be solved through better shopping, right?

So I would understand if there were a groundswell movement to boycott Firefox because the company were funding objectionable practices.  But to campaign to fire an employee — even a high level employee — for privately supporting a particular political view on a ballot amendment?

No. Just no.

I don’t understand this.  I don’t understand how someone who knows just how deadly, how terrifying it is, to be subject to the evils of persecution for holding a minority view, can turn around and say that a man ought to lose his job for holding the wrong opinions.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

Is this not true?

And if it is true, is it not because there is some fundamental right to the respect of our fellow men?  Do we not all have certain inalienable rights for the simple reason that we are human?  Or is discrimination based on religion or political opinion to be the new normal now?

About Jennifer Fitz

Jennifer Fitz is the author of Classroom Management for Catechists, and vice president of the Catholic Writers Guild. In addition to her pile of Catholic writing for Patheos, you can find her at CatholicMom.com, New Evangelizers, and Amazing Catechists. When she isn't blogging, teaching, or complaining about something, she likes to play outside.


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