What Is Anti-Gay Speech? And How Protected Should it Be?

What Is Anti-Gay Speech? And How Protected Should it Be? October 8, 2019

An actress was fired from a British theater production after she expressed her Christian views about homosexuality. She is now suing her agent and the theater.

This story pits Christian anti-gay viewpoints (which I hate) against free speech rights (which I like). Where is the right balance?

Background of the case

In September 2014, actress Seyi Omooba wrote a Facebook post that expressed her conservative Christian views about homosexuality. Her father is a pastor who advocates gay conversion therapy (so you can see where she gets it from). She said, in part:

It is clearly evident in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 what the Bible says on this matter. I do not believe you can be born gay and i do not believe homosexuality is right, though the law of this land has made it legal doesn’t mean its right.

Fast forward to March, 2019, and she’s offered the role of Celie in “The Color Purple,” a character who has sex with another woman.

Another UK actor noticed the conflict between her conservative beliefs and those of her new role and tweeted:

Do you still stand by this post? Or are you happy to remain a hypocrite? Seeing as you’ve now been announced to be playing an LGBTQ character, I think you owe your LGBTQ peers an explanation. Immediately.

The tweet promptly generated a negative response, and Omooba’s agent asked her to retract her comments. She refused and was fired by the theater and dropped by her agent. She recently decided to sue them both.

The Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Omooba in the case, said,

This is another in a string of cases involving Christians being hounded out of their careers because they love Jesus. . . .

This story sends a chilling message that if you express mainstream biblical views, you will be punished and lose your career if you do not immediately renounce your beliefs. This cannot go unchallenged and we are determined to fight for justice in this case.

Is this a “mainstream biblical view”?

She’s just sharing what the Bible says. What’s wrong with that?

What’s wrong is that her views aren’t what the Bible says but one interpretation of what the Bible says. It’s like Westboro Baptist Church, the tiny band of troublemakers with the “God hates fags” signs. Westboro has Bible quotes to back up everything they say. The reason millions of mainstream Christians aren’t rallying to their banner is that, here again, this is just one viewpoint. The Bible says lots of contradictory stuff and can be interpreted to say just about anything you’d like.

The interpretation a Christian picks is a choice. Omooba can’t say that her hands are tied and the Bible says what it says, so don’t shoot the messenger. She’s picking a conservative interpretation over an interpretation that would be more palatable in the West in the twenty-first century.

I do acknowledge that she may not be as free to change views that have been indoctrinated in her by a Christian upbringing as if she were, say, picking from a menu. My point is that she can see that her views are in the minority and that other Christians have chosen different views but worship the same god. She has no grounds for thinking that her view of homosexuality is the only one.

Free speech

(Note that this case was filed in the UK, so “free speech” is defined by UK laws.)

Omooba filed her lawsuit because “I want to make sure no other Christian has to go through something like this.” She says she’s fighting for the right to express her religious views.

But where’s the problem? She had and continues to have the right to express her religious views. What she’s unhappy about is that free speech can have consequences. She’s free to state her opinion, but then everyone else is free to object.

Omooba’s guarantee of free speech came from the government. The theater company presumably still had a contract with Omooba that allowed them to fire her for cause. Any theater company would be wary of a production that is controversial or might even be boycotted, and an anti-gay cloud is not what a theater would want for a show with a gay theme.

Part 2: the justification from her legal defense team + what the Bible actually says about homosexuality.

You want people to show your religion respect?
Then your religion is going to have to do
what every other organization on earth
that wants respect has to do:
stop being such a monumental, obnoxious
pain in the ass and earn it.
— seen on the internet

.

Image from Vlah Dumitru, CC license
.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Cozmo the Magician

    “because they love Jesus. . .” no, because they hate gays. Big difference.

    • Michael Neville

      More and more Christians are known for who they hate. It’s coming down to hating everyone who isn’t a conservative, fundamentalist, Protestant Christian, cis-hetro, white male.

      • NS Alito

        There are humanist Christians out there who’ll give free hugs to gays, of course, but they’ve long been out-shouted by the money-grubbing, child-hitting, pro-hell, pray-in-public types.

      • Michael Newsham

        Seyi Omooba is black.

        • Michael Neville

          Your point is what?

        • Michael Newsham

          I doubt she hates everybody who, like her father, isn’t white. There is a type of person who fits all those categories; there are some who don’t. Many Catholics are opposed to gays; many of those opposed are non-white
          There was recently a campaign against gay marriage where I live – Taiwan. Most of the people involved in it were not fundamentalist Protestants; were not even Christians (mostly from Buddhist/Taoist temples) and were not white. There is very strong anti-gay prejudice in neighboring countries like Indonesia and Malaysia who are not white or Christian. There is strong anti-gat feeling among many black Africans

    • TheNuszAbides

      Thank you for getting that in first. My immediate reaction to that monstrous turd of a lie was “you can love Jesus and decline to abuse your position in society at the same time, you fucking pathetic attention-seeker.” I know several folks who managed it their entire adult lives.

  • Milo C

    *formal request for a link of the XKCD comic strip about freedom of speech/showing you the door*

  • epicurus

    She’s a hypocrite for taking the role, how can she not see this.

    • NS Alito

      Ah, but the Bible only talks about men should not lie with men as they lie with women (which means, of course, that men should use different positions when lying with men).

    • Raging Bee

      Playing such a role doesn’t make her a hypocrite; but playing it sympathetically and credibly would kinda discredit her bigoted opinions.

      • epicurus

        True

      • epicurus

        Good point. I should have given more thought to my comment before posting it.

    • I can’t imagine how she could perform it. If she won’t apologize for her FB post because it would make baby Jesus cry, how can she play a woman who has sex with a woman?

      • epicurus

        Raging Bee’s reply to my comment has me rethinking what I said. Maybe it’s like actors who play evil characters. You don’t agree with their actions/philosophies/lifestyles, but have to become them to play the role, knowing that they didn’t think of themselves as evil. It might be uncomfortable to play, but that’s acting. On the other hand, many Christians have far less dislike of violence and killing than they do of “improper” sex, so playing a mass murderer and pretending to kill people would probably be ok, but pretending to have sex with someone of the same gender – much harder. I guess.

        • If we imagine that she still had the role, how would that have worked? Baby Jesus would be bawling every time she took to the stage to play a woman who had sex with another woman.

  • Otto T. Goat

    Maybe liberals who preach tolerance could try practicing it.

    • epeeist

      Have you ever thought about Nazi conversion therapy?

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Was the actress thrown in prison?

      The theater company decided she was bad for business and got rid of her.

      YOUR KIND seem to be all about rampant capitalism, so whatthefuck69 are you complaining about?

    • eric

      Maybe conservatives who support business rights should not be hypocrites about it.

      • Otto T. Goat

        There is no hypocrisy on my part.

    • Raging Bee

      Maybe racists who preach white superiority could try to actually be of superior intelligence and character.

    • NS Alito

      It’s true. As a liberal I am not tolerant of a man beating up his wife, or of people trying to limit the rights of gays, or of people hiding the sexual abuse of children. I am such a hypocrite!

      • Otto T. Goat

        An opinion expressed on facebook five years ago is a bit different than child rape and wife beating, at least to sane people.

        • Michael Neville

          Since you don’t qualify as sane, your opinion is meaningless.

        • NS Alito

          She wasn’t fired because of a five-year-old statement of opinion, but because of a reassertion of that: a dismissive and seemingly contemptuous view of her gay colleagues. She lost the role of playing a homosexual (or bisexual).

        • Otto T. Goat

          No, she refused to renounce her past statements. Has she ever tried to get her “gay colleagues” fired for being gay, or does she tolerate them?

        • Is the theater the bad guy here? The theater was looking at a failed theatrical production. What should they have done?

        • Otto T. Goat

          The outrage mob are certainly “bad guys”. Perhaps the theater had no choice, but that has nothing to do with those who applaud her firing and demand renunciations. If a theater fired a gay actor because Christians protested I don’t think you would be defending the theater.

        • If a theater fired a gay actor because Christians protested I don’t think you would be defending the theater.

          Why not? Give me an analogous situation.

          If an actor suddenly has baggage that will sink the entire production, I understand why the theater would do something–cancel the show or replace that actor. What did you think I was going to say?

    • Recommend a route to a better outcome.

      • Otto T. Goat

        Insisting liberals who preach tolerance actually practice tolerance is a route to a better outcome.

  • Lark62

    Change the labels.

    Compare –

    “I disagree with eating lamb. I think eating lamb is gross. But other people’s food choices are none of my business.”

    vs.

    “I disagree with eating lamb. People, especially children, who enjoy eating lamb should be forced into conversation therapy and tortured until they never want to see lamb again.”

    vs.

    “I disagree with eating lamb. Every person who eats lamb is an animal abuser who should not be allowed around children and should not be allowed to marry.”

    Big difference. If a Christian said “My religion says gay marriage is wrong. And I don’t understand it. But other people’s choices are none of my business.” that probably would not ne a problem.

    However, I have never heard a Christian say that.

    They say “I disagree, therefore those people are perverts who should be denied legal recognition of their families.”

    Therein lies the problem.

    The problem is not beliefs. The problems are making vile accusations, advocating torture and interfering in secular recognition of families.

    • NS Alito

      I’d prefer that people who believed in the Abrahamic god said “It’s the ultimate hubris for me to act as either a communicator or an enforcer for my omnipotent God.”

    • I never hear a Christian say, “Look, I don’t see the problem with same-sex marriage. I mean, I don’t stand in judgment over other marriages, so why these? I may not care for what they do in their bedrooms, but, again, the same is true for straight marriages. But God’s word is clear, and my hands are tied. I must say that SSM is wrong.”

      I’d have a bit more respect for that position. But it always seems that “God” is imagined to say just what they would say. (Did I say that? Freudian slip! I meant: they say what God says.)

      • TS (unami)

        There are a few Christians who accept all LGBT families, but sadly they are rare in American politicized religion.

        As for the Fundies who pretend to speak for god, I completely agree: it’s their opinion only. And when they try to impose their religious opinion on the rest of society, that’s when they cross the line, definitely.

  • Jim Jones

    > + what the Bible actually says about homosexuality.

    Google “lyings of a woman”

    Google centurion pais

  • On a slightly related topic, we have businesses like the NBA, and Activision/Blizzard, that are taking action against people for making statements about the Hong Kong protests. While I can agree that private corporations have the right to do what they’re doing, it seems particularly scummy when they’re acting on behalf of a totalitarian government, simply because they’re more interested in money (and access to the Chinese market) than the human rights of those who living under the Chinese regime.

    Is anybody else concerned about the extent of the influence that the Chinese government has over large “American” corporations? China really isn’t our ally, but they wield enormous influence on the rest of the world.

    • Raging Bee

      Yep, they’re on the rise, at a time when we’re slacking off and on the decline; and their influence is happening at many levels, from “Confucius Institutes” to pro-Chinese messages in movies of various subtlety. They have a long-term strategy, and we don’t yet have a decent response.

      • NS Alito

        My prediction decades back was that a growing Chinese middle class would eventually stand up against polluters. I don’t know if they’ll grow to desire democracy and freedom of speech, but look what Americans have done with it.

        • Raging Bee

          Well, they’re the #1 exporter of wind-turbines, so that’s a start…

        • NS Alito

          A lame-duck Republican’s warning from 2010:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4jtDSfMUsE

        • On that point, I was in Maui some years ago. Someone was building a small wind farm, and each wind turbine was in 5 pieces. Every evening for a week or so, 5 trucks would block traffic as they slowly drove those enormous pieces through Makena and Kihei.

          Here’s the punch line. The generator part had the name of the company. It wasn’t Westinghouse. It wasn’t GE. It was Siemens.

          Climate change or no, there’s a new industry happening, and US companies (and the US government with its research funding) are ignoring an opportunity if they don’t pursue it aggressively.

        • al kimeea

          I’m not sure Canada is any better. The Lieberals recently bought a pipeline and the Cons believe various shades of climate change denial. The Harper years were not kind to science, especially of the climate kind & likely based on creationism. Even if a Canadian business were to produce generators, they would prolly be Made in China. Like the BC startup making electric motorcycles or Stanley Tools, which surprises a lot of people…

    • NS Alito

      I heard the groveling on some podcasts today. My disinterest in sportsball limits me to saying I found it disgusting, but just focus on the many other problems I have more influence on.

  • Michael Murray

    A kind of related problem in Australia with a rugby player.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Folau

    Personally I think it’s slightly easier to sack in Folau’s case as international level players are regarded as some sort of ambassador for the sport so their actions and opinions off-field matter. You could argue that is one of the reasons for their high salaries. I haven’t actually read the detail of his contract though. Having been an asthmatic kid picked last for all the sports teams at school I’m not a great fan of organised sport.

  • If you’re spouting harmful trash, you should face consequences.

    • Raging Bee

      Yeah, generally speaking, people do tend to get fired if they’re heard saying ignorant and insulting things in public. Businesses don’t like being embarrassed by employees’ conduct (and lately they make employees sign agreements not to criticize their employers in public, so clearly this recent firing isn’t unusual for employers infringing free speech).

    • Otto T. Goat

      Her facebook post from 2014 is “harmful”? How?

      • NS Alito

        Her reassertion of that post is at issue here.

        • Otto T. Goat

          If you don’t like her facebook posts, don’t read them.

        • NS Alito

          I wouldn’t read them. But as a director or producer, I’d be concerned that one of my actors currently held her gay co-workers in contempt, and didn’t even try to argue around Scripture’s views that gay sex was rightly punishable by death.

        • Otto T. Goat

          By all accounts on the job she’s been completely professional and no one claims she has expressed any animosity to co-workers. Should employers judge every employees personal life, or just the personal lives of those whom you disagree with?

        • NS Alito

          If she has never expressed any animosity to co-workers, and even pets every dog she sees, then I suppose it would be OK for her to work with gays and dogs.

          Do you think that she was fired (a) because she had a public religious objection to gays and gay sex or (b) because she had public objection to gays and gay sex. Do you think if she had expressed the same attitude toward gays but for non-religious reasons she would have been treated any differently? That is, do you agree with the basis of her lawsuit?

        • Adolph Hitler was kind to dogs, but I’m not sure where that could plausibly take us. Therefore … Hitler was a decent guy?

        • NS Alito

          I was going for the “no animosity” to gay co-workers or dogs to show what that buys us in terms of actual respect.

        • al kimeea

          Not many people know it, but the Fuhrer was a terrific dancer…

        • I heard he invented the Twist.

        • Raging Bee

          Public comments are not part of one’s “personal life.”

        • Michael Murray

          Except that everything is public these days on social media. That’s a new reality we need to deal with.

        • Raging Bee

          There’s still a difference between stuff recorded by others without prior knowledge or consent, and stuff one knowingly says on a public forum.

        • Michael Murray

          True. But there is also stuff people say on facebook and twitter without really understanding what the privacy level is. There is also stuff you said on a public forum which you didn’t realise might turn into a twitter storm and does.

        • She had become an albatross for the theater company. How could it proceed, knowing that the show could do poorly because of her?

        • Phil Rimmer

          But audience members will and thereby the Director’s speech is compromised. The transformative power of love and of independence of spirit is the play’s narrative heft, and a visible and blanket denial of these possibilities will negate in many theatre goers’ minds the clarity intended, suspecting other readings of folly and inauthenticity.

          That the actor in question vigorously defends this view of inauthenticity of the narrative only confirms the director’s fears.

        • If you don’t like that your new coworker is a Nazi, stop worrying about it.

          … or are you saying that being a Nazi is grounds for not hiring the person?

        • Otto T. Goat

          I don’t concern myself with my coworkers political beliefs, also It’s illegal for employers to discriminate based on political ideology where I live.

        • I’ve heard of homosexuals as a protected class, but I don’t know of anything to do with political beliefs. Tell me more.

        • Otto T. Goat
        • Helpful data point, thanks.

        • MR

          Yes, I just learned that in my state, too.

      • Replace “homosexual” in her post with whatever it is that you are. Does that help?

        • Otto T. Goat

          If her post was critical of well endowed white men I don’t think she would have been fired. Before buying tickets to a play I don’t sift through the actors past decade of social media posts.

        • Let’s pursue that. She’s a black woman. So we imagine she has some tirade about white men and how they’re destroying society and blah blah blah. You’re still OK going to the show? Can you imagine that being a problem for ticket sales?

        • Otto T. Goat

          I’m not watching a play with that message, because I’m not a masochist, but If an actress in a play that I want to see has expressed opinions I disagree with I really don’t care.

        • Let’s imagine a stronger parallel. Instead of an actor playing a lesbian with anti-gay baggage, it’s a black actor playing someone who’s crossing racial lines to bring people together who has anti-white baggage.

          Let’s assume that you’d be interested in seeing the play about bringing people of different races together. You still want to go with that actor having said hateful things about white people?

  • eric

    Legally, no problem here from the US perspective. Free speech doesn’t generally protect you from a business firing you because they don’t want your negative publicity.

    Morally, I hope that businesses will be tolerant of both conservative and liberal employee perspectives so long as they don’t significantly interfere with job performance. Social media is practically inescapable now; businesses are sooner or later going to have to grapple with the fact that they can’t fire everyone who made some past idiotic or bigoted remark, or pretty much nobody under the age of 30 will be employable. Yes she’s a hypocrite. But if she can act in the role, let’s consider the possibility that letting her do so might make for a better performance and might teach her a bit about empathy. I doubt very much it’s a coincidence Hollywood is liberal; constantly putting yourself in other people’s shoes very naturally changes how you feel about them.

    • NS Alito

      It wasn’t just a past remark: She reaffirmed her position.
      That makes this different from, say, an old post when someone with a sixteen-year-old brain was trying to shock everybody by posting something outrageously offensive.

      • Agreed. It seems clear that she hasn’t changed her position. Her only regret was not making her posts private.

        • al kimeea

          Unlike TrueDoh! with his blackface scandal. He apologized for being hurtful, stupid and insensitive. That didn’t stop Scheer from leading with it in the last debate.

        • In a case like that, you do wonder if there’s a statue of limitations in effect. “Youthful indiscretion” might be plausible. But in the case of Omooba, it was only 5 years ago.

    • smrnda

      When it comes to employers conducting surveillance on their employees, part of me sees it as excessive. But for some jobs, it doesn’t really seem unreasonable for an employer to act based on social media content.

      If a police officer or teacher was making racist remarks online, that raises doubt as to whether they can do their job without bias. Same with someone at a company in charge of hiring or firing.

      Entertainers and the entertainment industry tends to sell both a product and a service but also an image, and the field is very competitive.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        When somebody makes an intolerant 42ass of themselves in public, I don’t see it as employer ‘surveillance’…more like *damage control*.

    • Lark62

      The two sides are not equal.

      “I disagree with you, but will not interfere with your choices”

      Is not the moral equivalent of

      “I disagree with you and will make your life a living hell.”

      Until conservatives can figure out other people’s choices are none of their business, “tolerance” is not an option.

      • eric

        Who’s life is she making a living hell?

        As far as I can tell, her only act was to express her (bigoted, conservative) opinion. Unless you want to go full ctrl-left and claim that a stranger publicly expressing a bigoted opinion on social media makes ones’ life a living hell, I don’t see how this particular actresses’ situation fits in with your claim.

        • Lark62

          Religious bigots fight against legal recognition of other people’s families.

          They advocate for sending children to “pray away the gay” programs that use physical torture in their unsuccessful attempts to “cure the gay.”

          Their abuse and rejection leads to increased suicide rates.

          They block adoption by gay couples.

          They advocate for making it legal to fire an employee or evict a tenant merely for being gay.

          This bigot sided with all of that. Her family advocates conversion therapy.

          If a Christian ever said “My religion opposes being gay. But I live on a diverse world and I respect the right of others to live their lives without interference.” I might have a different reaction.

          But I know of no Christian who has ever said or thought that. Instead, their religious disapproval comes with an implicit or explicit belief that they are entitled to interfere in the lives and choices of others.

        • Right, but to eric’s point, her FB post was just stating her opinion. That was perhaps a hateful and hurtful opinion, but she didn’t say that she was going to take action to change society, and she didn’t call others to take action.

          To your point, she didn’t add a caveat like the one you suggest. (And that’s perhaps because she doesn’t feel that way.)

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04bc2f4774a0883a9d50e5bf18bf9fb52063fff02d9463f81667642f71bef204.jpg

        • Lark62

          Yes, but why did she post about homosexuality rather than greed or christians suing christians or adultery?

          If she whined about abortion, would she need to say “there should be a law” for her point to be clear?

          Christians always think they are the “designated adult” entitled to use secular law to interfere with the choices of others.

        • Good point–she needs to be comprehensive if she claims to be speaking for the Bible. But we’d presumably need to scour her entire FB history to know for sure. Perhaps she does progress from rant to rant, today whining about teh gayz and tomorrow hassling the greedy or liars or whatever.

          Christians always think they are the “designated adult” entitled to use secular law to interfere with the choices of others.

          And this gets back to your point that if she’d only had some sort of live-and-let-live caveat to her original post, this might have been avoidable.

        • Lark62

          And this gets back to your point that if she’d only had some sort of live-and-let-live caveat to her original post, this might have been avoidable.

          Agree.

          “I disagree, but your choices are not my business.” is fair.

          “I disagree and I wish your choices were illegal.” not so much.

        • eric

          Maybe she doesn’t believe in ‘live and let live’.

          In the US, it’s IMO not only legal but also vital for our democratic system of government for people to be legally allowed to argue against current laws and to support or propose changes. Arguing for change is how gay rights progressed. How women’s rights progressed. How African American rights progressed. If this woman wants to argue publicly that some acts legal now be made legal, well, that’s regressive. It’s bigoted. And I personally think it’s wrong. But it also falls directly under what we consider to be important political speech.

          I feel like a lot of these discussions miss the elephant in the room; which is that yes, speech can be hurtful. Not just psychologically, but when compelling can lead to changes in laws that take away rights and damage some people’s physical and social abilities to live peacefully, equally. But we must allow such speech anyway. Because shutting such discussion down eliminates the possibility of progress. No progressive should be arguing against the possibility of someone vociferously opposing current law in favor of what they think is a better set of laws. Yes, such an argument can be used to oppose liberalism. But it’s quintessentially a liberal right to make such arguments. And frankly, from a realpolitik perspective, the rare conservative successful use of this right is nothing compared to the vast successes liberalism has scored using this ability. Trying to remove this ability because Kim Davis uses it to argue against gay sex is to shoot ourselves in the face in order to get rid of an annoying fly on our nose.

        • rubellapox2

          Yep.. exactly..

  • Susan

    Once again, Bob. Another thoughtful and eloquent article.

    Cleanly and clearly written.

  • Chakat Firepaw

    What’s wrong is that her views aren’t what the Bible says but one interpretation of what the Bible says.

    And given the passage referenced, an interpretation that relies on a known mistranslation of “porneia”. What Saul was referring to was the temple prostitutes involved with the worship of Aphrodite/Venus¹. Even a broad reading of it would be a condemnation of prostitution in general.

    1: There is doubt that they ever existed at the level sometimes claimed in early Christian circles, if at all. However, all that means is that Saul was wrong and was condemning a (near) empty set of people.

    • Many early Christian writers exaggerated lied about both how horribly persecuted they were and how horribly anti-Christian the rest of the world was. In fact, in the early days of Christianity, most Pagan Romans thought that the Christians were silly because they accepted the tenets of their cult without proof¹.

      ¹See Catherine Nixey’s book The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World.

      • Chakat Firepaw

        In other words: Christians are like they always have been.

        (Although I have to wonder how your comment follows from what I said.)

        • It follows because you brought up the possibility that Saul was exaggerating about the prevalence of temple prostitutes to cast non-Christians in a bad light.

  • MadScientist1023

    No offense Bob, but I feel like your argument is sidestepping the real moral and philosophical points on this one.

    Your first argument, that she doesn’t have to interpret her religion this way, feels a bit disingenuous. There are religious sects who genuinely believe that about gay people. Saying she doesn’t have to interpret her religion that way may be true on an individual level, but seems tantamount to saying a religious person should always just change their views to conform, and that as long as they do that there shouldn’t be a problem. It feels akin to giving Jews nothing but meals they consider non-kosher and then getting into a technical argument about the Biblical origins of what has now become Jewish kosher law when they object. We’re not discussing whether the kosher laws are justified, we’re discussing whether Jews should be able to get kosher meals.

    Your second argument is also rather double-edged. Saying that a company has a right to fire someone because they’re controversial or might be protested could just as easily be used to justify firing, say, a transgender woman who just started transition and who lived in a conservative area. The boss could make the same argument and say that the employee was controversial, that keeping her might lead to protests or unwanted attention, and use that as justification. I realize it’s not a perfect analogy (saying something isn’t the same as being something), but the parallels are close enough to make me uncomfortable with the entire line of reasoning.

    I’m not a fan of the kinds of ideological purity tests we’ve started enforcing on people. It sounds like this actress didn’t even really say anything since she was hired to prompt this. She said something on facebook years ago. This wasn’t done for anything she said after she was hired, but for something that was available to employers to see during the hiring process. As a gay man, I’m really uncomfortable with this level of modern McCarthyism. It may be ostensibly to my benefit now, but it has been the other way around in the past. There’s no guarantee the pendulum won’t swing back the other way.

    • Lark62

      We’re not discussing whether the kosher laws are justified, we’re discussing whether Jews should be able to get kosher meals.

      Wrong. We are discussing whether a person is justified in saying someone else must keep kosher. And we are discussing whether that person can block the legal recognition of someone else’s family if they don’t keep kosher to the standard of the self appointed god bot.

      • MadScientist1023

        That’s not accurate. Others with her beliefs may have said that but nothing here indicates she did anything to block anyone from recognizing anyone else’s family while she was employed at this theater. You’re generalizing the actions of other Christians to her.

        • Lark62

          It doesn’t sound like she’s too happy about the fact that being gay is legal.

          She quoted 1 Cor 6. Yet she said not one word about:

          Christians suing other Christians
          Other sexually immoral people
          Idolaters
          Adulterers
          Thieves
          The greedy
          Drunkards
          Slanderers, or
          Swindlers

          She doesn’t say it’s a shame adultery isn’t illegal.

          She doesn’t call out televangelists who swindle the poor.

          She doesn’t mention lawsuits, when that is covered by nearly half the chapter.

        • MadScientist1023

          So she’s not happy about it being legal. So what? I don’t need everyone I see to approve of my husband and me if they’re keeping their unsolicited opinions to themselves. Allowing people like that to see gay people, interact with us, and start seeing our perspective is how minds change. Making enemies of people just to prove how ideologically pure you are is an Evangelical move. I want no part of it.

        • Lark62

          Agree in theory. But she presummably knows gay people and it hasn’t made a difference.

        • Lark62

          Her arguments are indistinguishable from the arguments of people wanting to block gay marriage.

          Read the passage she cited. Read the whole damn chapter. “Men having sex with men” is 5 words, not even a complete sentence.

          Why isn’t she going after adulterers? Why does she mention “not born that way”?

          This is culture war interference in other people’s lives not a theoretical opposition to gossip.

        • MadScientist1023

          Really? You’re telling someone who was barred from getting married for years that?

          A preacher’s kid had a religious opinion that she kept to herself for years until someone directly asked. But that’s not good enough for you, is it? Anyone who disagrees with you must be permanently blacklisted, right? Do you really need to be exactly what conservatives accuse us of being?

        • Lark62

          I appreciate your comments. And I’m glad we disagree. Echo chambers are boring. It also helps me think things through.

          No, I do not think disagreement in general warrants blacklisting. Someone said (wish I knew who): If two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary.

          But I do think if a person makes a comment indicating she wishes her co-workers’ marriages were illegal, she can’t leave it at that and say let’s all be happy happy now.

          What’s missing from her comment is compassion and empathy and acknowledgement of the humans who would be impacted if she got her way. Maybe a touch of humility would help.

          But she did none of that.

          It’s the difference between:

          “I do not believe people are born Christian. And I don’t believe being a Christian is right, though the law of this land has made it legal that doesn’t make it right.”

          And

          “I do not believe people are born Christian. It’s a choice. And I don’t believe being a Christian makes people better. In fact, it is sometimes the opposite. However, I respect and value freedom of conscience and I’m glad I live in a place and time where Christians and all religious people can practice their religion in their own lives even though I disagree.”

          The second, btw, is pretty close to what I do in fact believe.

        • MadScientist1023

          I strongly disagree with what she said. I think she’s completely wrong. I don’t know enough about her to call her a bad person, but she sure doesn’t seem like a great one. I don’t agree with her religion, and I sure wouldn’t want to work with her.

          But I can deal with religious people who disagree with gay marriage but hold their tongue on it until pressed on the matter. I have family members and in-laws I have very deliberately never pressed on the issue because of that. If they’re willing to leave me alone about it, I can return the favor.

          That’s not what happened here.

          Someone dug up an old comment she made and pressed her on the question. They were looking to pick a fight, bully someone, and did so. Those are tactics I cannot agree with. That is not accepting the fact that there are other religions with other views. That is targeting someone because of their view, picking a fight with them, and getting them fired. That is not tolerance, not in the true meaning of the word.

          Tolerance has come to be synonymous with multiculturalism, but that’s not really what it means. It means putting up with things you don’t like and don’t agree with. Tolerance requires a certain level of leaving each other alone, letting sleeping dogs lie, and agreeing to disagree. That didn’t happen here, and you’re actively arguing against letting that happen in the future. You say you respect the fact that we let Christians believe and practice their faith even if you disagree, but the moment you’re faced with what that actually means, you change your tune quite quickly.

          I despise what she said, but it’s her right to say that and think it. I don’t think she should be fired for it. It’s not like she was some anti-gay crusader, just a normal person with a distasteful opinion. I’m rather disgusted at the people who think they’re somehow helping me and those like me by calling her out.

        • I don’t think she should be fired for it.

          That’s the real injury, and I agree with you that it’s regrettable that her punishment was so draconian. But (and this is probably splitting hairs) the theater didn’t fire her for saying something or even being anti-gay. She made herself a liability for the financial success of the production. That’s why she was fired (as I understand things).

        • MadScientist1023

          I can’t help but see that as a distinction without a difference. If a gay person comes out in a conservative town in a state with antigay protections, the town goes nuts and the employer fires them, is that fine?

        • In many states, sexual orientation is a protected category, so you can’t fire someone for being gay (or black or female). But perhaps you’re saying something else: they don’t fire someone for being gay but for bringing disrepute on a company. I certainly wouldn’t like that, but I’m not sure what to do about it. If that’s your point, maybe you have a set of rules that you’d impose if you were boss.

        • MadScientist1023

          Exactly. The employee here isn’t fired “for being gay” but for the way other people are reacting to them for coming out. It’s another distinction without a difference.

          Let’s try a different example. Let’s say we’re in the same conservative town and the person isn’t gay, they just describe how pro-gay rights they are on social media. It generates a reaction. Is firing that person fine? Should the boss be commended for doing so?

          Whenever I see these kinds of reactions, I rarely see liberals imagining the situation in reverse. I’ve studied enough gay history to know that this kind of thing happened in the past. Teachers, healthcare workers, and many others would be fired after they were outed and an uproar ensued. And now here we are, either lighting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks ourselves or providing support for those who do. Our side is now using the tools that have been used to oppress us in the past. I find it disgusting.

        • So then what is your analysis of what happened to Omooba? How should it have played out?

        • MadScientist1023

          The angry mob of internet liberals should have left well enough alone and not taken it upon themselves to act as the thought police. They should have realized that not everyone was going to agree with them, and allow people who don’t to have lives. And then you wouldn’t have to get up here, defend the actions of the mob, and show just how many people in this group are perfectly fine with this form of mob justice.

        • I agree with you that “angry mob of internet liberals” is very much a thing, and I’m often not pleased with their tactics or their results.

          In a perfect world, yeah, maybe that’s how it should’ve worked. But how easygoing can one be? “I’m not happy with what appears to be anti-LGBT ideas in your lead!” is what the theater heard, and that got her fired. On its face, that doesn’t sound all that bad. No, there were no pitchforks (arguably, not even figurative pitchforks).

          Are you OK with not acting on that opinion (or any equivalent opinion about other minorities, political issues, etc.)? You sign up for a lecture series, as you always do each year, but this time, there’s a slot filled by Kim Davis or Rick Santorum or The Donald. Are you still going to attend that one, or will you boycott, or will you complain? You normally go to the local theater for every production, but you’re surprised to find a person with hateful views in a lead role. There’s no casting that would cause you to opt out for that show?

          This isn’t rhetorical; I’m honestly asking. I think that every example that you lament, I do too. IMO there is no obvious answer, just one that minimizes harm, and that point will likely be different for different people.

        • MadScientist1023

          I think comparing Omooba to a Kim Davis or a Rick Santorum is false. She wasn’t an anti-gay activist. She was a random person who happened to believe something unpopular. Kim Davis and Rick Santorum worked long and hard against the rights of the LGBT community. She didn’t. She made one public comment five years ago. She didn’t try rewriting laws against gay people. She didn’t refuse to do a job she was elected to do to oppose gay people. She didn’t try stirring up hatred or animosity. She didn’t actively recruit voters against LGBT individuals. She didn’t turn us into scapegoats. She didn’t write anything more than one facebook post five years ago, and then answer honestly when asked about it. It’s not remotely the same thing, and frankly it’s disrespectful to the real opposition the LGBT community has faced in the past to pretend they’re the same

        • I don’t pretend that she’s the same. I put her in that category only because she’s a person who might be objectionable (like the others). I agree that she’s different in the ways you list.

        • MadScientist1023

          In that case, I find someone who has an opinion I dislike but who does nothing to act on said opinion tolerable. I’m not going to want to interact with them individually, but I don’t need to go out of my way to avoid them either.

          Personally, I make it a point of never learning anything about the actors in shows I like. I never read news about them and turn off the television the moment they’re breaking character in some interview. I make a point of not avoiding all knowledge about them because I don’t want said knowledge to color my enjoyment.

          I can’t recall, have you done any posts exploring the moral issues of enjoying to works of artists who turn out to be terrible people in real life? Because this seems to be a related question.

        • I don’t do things your way, but that’s a great way to focus on the real issues and avoid social media brushfires.

          No, I haven’t done a post on that, but that’s a fascinating question. Bill Cosby did bad things; does that mean that “The Cosby Show” has no value? Or that I should never watch it?

          George Washington had slaves; does that tarnish every noble thing he did? (Washington’s evil is only evil in modern eyes; Cosby can’t claim that, so that’s a complicating factor.)

          Or vice versa: here’s Alan Turing, who was convicted of homosexuality, and yet today no one cares.

          Or, here’s a centuries-old bishop/cardinal/saint in the Catholic church that, in modern eyes, did bad things. Should the original or modern evaluation carry?

          I don’t think I have anything original to add, but yeah, interesting question.

    • Lark62

      She said it years ago, but she reconfirmed it this week. This is current.

      Also, “This is who I am” is not the moral equivalent of “This is what those other people are not allowed to be.”

      “I am trans” is a personal statement that does not impact anyone else.

      “Those other people should not be allowed to have legal recognition of their family.” is entirely different.
      As is “Those other people are perverts who must be cured.”
      As is “Those other people should not be allowed to exist.”
      As is “Those other people do not exist.”

    • No offense Bob

      No problem. Thanks for the honest feedback.

      There are religious sects who genuinely believe that about gay people.

      Of course. But it’s not the case that “the Bible objectively says X about homosexuals” is necessarily true. For example, I don’t think it says anything relevant to today about loving homosexual relationships.

      Saying she doesn’t have to interpret her religion that way may be true on an individual level, but seems tantamount to saying a religious person should always just change their views to conform, and that as long as they do that there shouldn’t be a problem.

      No, I don’t mean to say that. I’m saying that she has the option to pick a more socially acceptable interpretation of Christianity. Of course, a 25yo coming from a family with a strong father figure pastor who’s very anti-gay may not really feel that they have much of an option.

      It feels akin to giving Jews nothing but meals they consider non-kosher and then getting into a technical argument about the Biblical origins of what has now become Jewish kosher law when they object. We’re not discussing whether the kosher laws are justified, we’re discussing whether Jews should be able to get kosher meals.

      But Jews wanting to eat X but not Y doesn’t hurt or offend anyone. Is this a good parallel?

      Saying that a company has a right to fire someone because they’re controversial or might be protested could just as easily be used to justify firing, say, a transgender woman who just started transition and who lived in a conservative area.

      Yes, perhaps so. Or: “You shouldn’t sell your home to a black family, because they’d be the first, and then our property values would decline. I’m not saying I approve, but that’s what would happen.”

      the parallels are close enough to make me uncomfortable with the entire line of reasoning.

      Yeah. I still feel stuck in supporting the theater. Is there an alternative?

      I’m not a fan of the kinds of ideological purity tests we’ve started enforcing on people.

      Yes.

      It sounds like this actress didn’t even really say anything since she was hired to prompt this. She said something on facebook years ago. This wasn’t done for anything she said after she was hired, but for something that was available to employers to see during the hiring process.

      Right—this is her argument. “You guys knew about my Christian beliefs when you hired me. What’s the problem?”

      As a gay man, I’m really uncomfortable with this level of modern McCarthyism.

      The bottom line (literally) is coming from the ticket-buying audience, not the government (as in the McCarthy case). If we imagined that the production would have a far greater chance of being a bust with her on board, what should the theater do?

      It may be ostensibly to my benefit now, but it has been the other way around in the past. There’s no guarantee the pendulum won’t swing back the other way.

      Yes, imagining “the shoe on the other foot” scenarios makes good sense. Let me know if you would have the theater take another course of action.

      • MadScientist1023

        As far as this case specifically goes, I’m not sure the theater could have done much different. They hired someone who might have tanked their show (or who might have generated free publicity). It was probably legal for them to do it.

        The broader cultural shift that caused the situation in the first place is what’s troubling. I obviously don’t agree with what she said, but that doesn’t mean I think she should be unemployable. The argument that one woman’s unsolicited opinion is harmful to someone seems weak. While her opinion may be offensive, she wasn’t exactly broadcasting it. She kept it to herself for years until directly asked, at which point she answered honestly. While it would be nice if absolutely every homophobe would simultaneously change their opinion, them keeping it to themselves if not asked seems like the most we can ask. Yet we have apparently decided that even that’s not enough. We must have total compliance with our opinion or be completely exiled from society. I don’t like it. I don’t need someone to agree with me to think they have the right to have a job. You don’t tolerate people you like and agree with, you tolerate the ones you don’t. I can tolerate an antigay Christian who keeps their opinion to themselves unless they’re asked.

        • It was probably legal for [the theater] to do it.

          That’s my feeling. It gets to what’s legal vs. what’s ethical.

          I obviously don’t agree with what she said, but that doesn’t mean I think she should be unemployable.

          Yes.

          The argument that one woman’s unsolicited opinion is harmful to someone seems weak. While her opinion may be offensive, she wasn’t exactly broadcasting it. She kept it to herself for years until directly asked, at which point she answered honestly.

          Again, I agree. It seems like an unfortunate situation with no obvious workaround. I can’t point to any one person/entity in the entire story and say that that’s where the whole problem lies.

          Yet we have apparently decided that even that’s not enough. We must have total compliance with our opinion or be completely exiled from society. I don’t like it.

          It’s like every step is justifiable, and yet the end result is something bad. Seems vaguely like a Tragedy of the Commons.

          Like you, I’m frustrated by a hair-trigger public that doesn’t tolerate dissent and is quick to punish violators. I think the Left and the Right in the US do it in their own ways, but both do it.

          I can tolerate an antigay Christian who keeps their opinion to themselves unless they’re asked.

          Right—it’s a thoughtcrime . . . which isn’t actually a crime (particularly for atheists, who bristle at the thoughtcrimes defined in the Ten Commandments).

        • Otto

          We have the right to be offended, we don’t have the right to not be offended.

      • “Let me know if you would have the theater take another course of action.”

        How about offering her a different role on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis?

    • Raging Bee

      Saying that a company has a right to fire someone because they’re controversial or might be protested could just as easily be used to justify firing, say, a transgender woman who just started transition and who lived in a conservative area.

      That’s already been happening, for at least as long as I can remember.

      Also, maybe it was wrong to fire someone for something they said many years ago — but then again, we’re also taught to watch what we say, because if someone overhears you saying something insulting, that could damage your reputation and make people not want to be near you.

      This person had a chance to at least walk back what she’d said, just to show she could work and play nicely with others she’d insulted. She chose not to do so.

      PS: there’s a difference between BEING someone other people hate, and SAYING things that are false or insulting.

      • abb3w

        That’s already been happening, for at least as long as I can remember.

        It seems Lark62’s thesis was not about whether it is or isn’t happening, but whether or not it should or should be happening.

        EG, saying that a company lawfully ought to be allowed to fire someone because they’re controversial can just as easily be used to say that what is happening with transgender firings ought to be allowed, because they also are “controversial”.

    • Phil Rimmer

      Those putting on the play want to make a clear statement about the patriarchy and about the empowerment of women. The political heft of the production was compromised by a cast member dissenting from its message in a very public manner.

      Its tough being an actor at this provincial level. Its no way to get rich and the recompense for many is being able to partake in social change, doing something worthwhile. Theatre, at its best, is often political in one way or another. Commitment reads off the stage. That the fired actor doubled down on her lack of personal moral commitment to the project and marked herself as a mercenary so to speak, really compromised the integrity of the project. Was the director offering a more complex message? Were Celie and Shug wrong in some way? Is there something else to be got?….No. The message is plain and against this actor’s publicised beliefs.

      It is unfair to the under-recompensed others, fully committed to the project to risk a dilution of their efforts.

  • Thanks4AllTheFish

    IF someone says they are following the dictates of their religion to justify marginalizing fellow human beings, then they must also show that they follow all of their other religious teachings with the same fervor. Somehow I doubt any of these pious folk follow through on most of the dictates from their sacred tome regarding a disrespectful child or wife or observe the other abominations set forth in Leviticus, et al. This whole anti-LGBTQI is purely tribal in nature and religion is the sacrosanct cudgel used to drive their agenda and promote divisiveness.

    • TS (unami)

      Well said, @Thanks4AllTheFish:disqus.

  • Lark62

    I’m tired of christians thinking their religion gives them a right to impose their will on others.

    It is that imposition that is unacceptable and not worthy of tolerance.

    We all have things we think are weird, disgusting and/or unworthy of existence. Stilletto heels, coconut candy, german opera, and so much more. But my opinions stop with me. It baffles me that some people enjoy those things, but not my problem.

    I don’t give a flying flip what people believe about anything. But if they cannot manage an “Ok. Not my problem. Whatever floats your boat.” then their opinions impact others and cease being worthy of tolerance.

    • It’s living in the Bronze Age vs. living today. Tolerance wasn’t a requirement back then.

    • Michael Murray

      But if you knew that stilletto heels was going to cause someone to burn in hell for all eternity you’d want to help them. Right ?

      • Lark62

        Umm, not really. Who am I to interfere with the deity and her judgment of stilletto wearing heathens? I will sit here in my unstylish flats and chuckle quietly.

    • Michael Neville

      Mozart wrote a couple of very nice operas. The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute are bright and sprightly Although I will admit Don Giovanni is definitely “heavy” opera..

      • MR

        Noooo…, Don Giovanni is a hoot. Just ’cause he gets dragged down to hell in the end…. It’s my all time favorite opera. I find it very playful.

        • Michael Neville

          The Commendatoreador (or whatever he’s called) is not a joyful character.

          ETA Although, being a baritone, I do appreciate that Don Giovanni is also one. I also like Carmen because the baritone gets the girl (the tenor, in a fit of jealousy, kills her for straying from the tenor gets the girl motif of most operas).

      • Lark62

        My tastes run more toward Gilbert and Sullivan.

        “I polished that handle so carefully that now I am the ruler of the Queen’s Navy.”

        • Michael Neville

          I’m also a G&S fan.

          As someday it may happen that a victim must be found,
          I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list
          Of society offenders who might well be underground,
          And who never would be missed—who never would be missed!

  • Michael Murray

    Interesting post and discussion. Australia is debating religious freedoms and protections at the moment. This is a backlash coming from our recent legalisation of marriage equality. With a conservative government and an evangelical PM, the latter is unusual for Australian politics, we are bound to get something unpleasant on the statute books. Hopefully it will just prove unworkable.

  • Cute! But you need to pay more attention to the comments. A sharp-eyed commenter just yesterday pointed out that employers mustn’t constrain their employees when it comes to voting, activism, political party affiliation, and so on.

    https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/politics-at-work.aspx

    … wait, what? That sharp-eyed commenter was you. Did you forget?

    • Brian Shanahan

      UK law not US. The UK rightfully constrains speech much more to take into account the negative effect on others.

  • Joe_Buddha

    I think you’re missing the point. I would compare this to a white nationalist playing a black character in blackface. Not to mention the fact that (as noted below) it could have been a problem for the production if it became an issue with the LGBT community and supporters.

  • Lord Backwater

    Off-topic: File away in your anti-Creationism “mutations are impossible because they would destroy everything” file:

    Over 150,000 Americans Have Rare DNA Fluke and Don’t Know It, Study of 23andMe Data Finds

  • 3vil5triker .

    While there may be a broad spectrum of beliefs and interpretations of the Bible within Christianity as a whole, when you drill down to particular denominations, there isn’t that much wiggle room at an individual level. By asking her to retract her comments they’re basically asking her to renounce her religion and potentially alienate herself from her family and community. That’s not something one can be expected to do at the drop of a hat and actually mean it, especially under duress.

    But really, the whole thing about putting the actress on the spot and getting her fired is ultimately counterproductive. A better option would’ve been to let her play the role and let other conservative Christians come after her for doing so. Why are we getting in the way? Let them fight.

    Let the actress be the one to defend her choice to interpret an LGBT character amongst other like-minded Christians who might give her grief for doing so. And if nothing comes of it, then good, you normalize the idea of “Bible Believing Christians” being able to portray LGBT characters in a positive light.

    • Raging Bee

      By asking her to retract her comments they’re basically asking her to renounce her religion and potentially alienate herself from her family and community.

      Tough shizzle. They were asking her to demonstrate that her bigoted opinions would not affect her conduct toward co-workers who were in a category of people for whom she’d spewed hateful nonsense. That’s a perfectly legit request for a boss to make of his/her subordinates — show you can work well with the people you have to work with. If she couldn’t do that without “renouncing her religion and potentially alienating herself from her family and community,” then: a) she has a s**ty religion, family and community and should consider finding better ones; and b) her religion doesn’t put her above the rules the rest of us schmucks have to abide by every day.

      • 3vil5triker .

        I don’t think it was established that that her opinions would affect her conduct towards co-workers; I think if that were the case, it would’ve happened by now and we would be talking about that instead of a five year old tweet. Kim Davis got in trouble because she refused to do her job, not because of her views on homosexuality and marriage. Christian bakers are being sued because of their refusal to provide services to a category of people, not for their posts on social media.

        I agree that she probably has a s**ty religion, family and community, but she didn’t ask for them, she was born into them. I think that she would’ve eventually found her way out of that community or at least distanced herself from its most toxic beliefs, simply by virtue of constant interaction with people outside her bubble, even more so given the prevalence of the LGBT community within her chosen profession.

        On the other hand, the problem isn’t so much with her co-workers as it is with the public. The truth is that she became a liability, and they don’t have the time to deal with that drama in addition to the one they are performing onstage. Its not the production company’s fault that her upbringing left her so ill-prepared to deal with the real world.

        You’d think that by now it would be standard practice for people in the entertainment industry to either be extra careful about what they post on social media or to conduct periodic revisions and purges of posts that might get them in hot water, but I guess the Christian sense of entitlement and privilege blinds them to that possibility.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You’re asking for an algorithm when a heuristic gets us close enough to decide that she’s a net negative to the production’s reputation and finances in this day and age.

        • 3vil5triker .

          *shrugs*
          I dunno, I guess I was thinking about it in terms of what would be more effective in changing people’s minds, but halfway through my post I realized that’s simply not their job or their problem. So, yeah.

        • Raging Bee

          Who the AF downvoted that comment? I can see disputing this or that part of it, but damn…

  • LeekSoup

    The Christian Legal Centre (AKA one crazy woman) says:

    This is another in a string of cases involving Christians being hounded out of their careers because they love Jesus. . . .

    No. How does “loving Jesus” mean “negating gay people”? The CLC want to paint this as someone being victimised for their harmless beliefs, but these beliefs are harmful. Their client is a hypocrite and a bigot. It’s not about who she professes to love, it’s about who she tweets hate about.

  • epeeist
  • Ed

    The other actress makes no sense when she calls her a hypocrite because she is playing a lesbian. Who has to agree with what a fictional character does to play the part? She is probably against adultery too, but that doesn’t mean she cant play an adulteress or for that matter a murderer. Actors play murderers all the time, does that mean that they are being hypocrites because they are against murder?

    • The other actress makes no sense

      You mean the whistleblower? That was a male actor.

      Who has to agree with what a fictional character does to play the part?

      A little forgetful? The entire episode is built on her 5-year-old FB post in which she said that homosexuality was bad, bad, bad. And she’s going to even consider a lesbian lead role?

      • Alan Mill

        I think that misses Ed’s succinct point about acting, Bob. I recently watched Robert De Niro in Heat and his character murders a lot of people. I’m sure De Niro thinks murder is bad bad bad but this doesn’t stop him playing a murderer as he’s done numerous times.

        I suggest the difference with De Niro and Omooba is that De Niro’s hatred of murderers is rational and this allows him to method act being a murderer and turn in a great acting performance.

        The problem for Omooba playing this gay role is that her hatred of gays is irrational and she would probably have trouble method acting a gay person and not be able to get into character and deliver a worthwhile performance in the role, therefore she is an unsuitable actor for this role and it was reasonable to replace her with a better actor.

        Add on top of that, who really wants to work with bigots.

        • I’m sure De Niro thinks murder is bad bad bad but this doesn’t stop him playing a murderer as he’s done numerous times.

          Right. The hypocrisy comes in when De Niro (1) says that murder is bad (let’s assume he’s done this) and then (2) plays a role where the murderer isn’t just the protagonist or even sympathetic but is actually arguing that there’s nothing wrong with murder. I don’t believe this has happened, so he’s not guilty of Omooba’s hypocrisy.

        • Alan Mill

          Sorry, I still don’t get your line, Bob

          De Niro’s Mafia characters think nothing is wrong with murder “It’s nothing personal, just business.” is a line I recall from one mafia flick.

          The whole point of acting is doing/saying something that you don’t actually do/say yourself so that the audience can get an insight into a characteristic that they have no personal experience of and we need actors who can do this convincingly.

          No matter how bad an actor thinks a type of person is, they should be able to act that role. Otherwise we ditch most of the classics. The question becomes whether the actor’s irrational beliefs would make it hard for them to produce a credible performance of that type of person.

        • De Niro’s Mafia characters think nothing is wrong with murder “It’s nothing personal, just business.”

          Does Robert De Niro’s movie say that murder is OK?

          Does Omooba’s play say that lesbian sex is OK?

          There’s your difference.

        • Alan Mill

          OK. Good answer. I agree.
          Thanks for clarifying that. I wasn’t clear on what your drift was in your other replies, probably cause I’m not familiar with the play.

        • Ed

          Does the play say lesbianism is ok? If it does, then yes she should not contribute to Hollywood propaganda.

        • Ed

          So you are in favor of blacklisting in Hollywood again?

  • Facebook User

    Reality is that LGBT allies in the Church are distorting history and the Bible. This article is a pain to read. Like any ancient book, the Bible cannot be made to mean anything you want. Explanations of anti-gay texts to make them pro-LGBT rip the text away from the homophobic context of the time that wrote them. Please correct that article and stop putting out rubbish.

    • Not sure where you’re coming from. Are you in the pro-LGBT camp or con? Are you Christian?