From the L.A. Times:
Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.
Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she’s a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.
I can relate to the source of her complaint. In a free society, one should be permitted to have whatever views they want, on any subject.
Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she’s demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.
With her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment. The religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs: diversity training that promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes that ban harsh words against homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies that require college clubs to open their membership to all.
Here’s where she (and the religious right) lose me. But let’s walk a little further down the road first.
The Rev. Rick Scarborough, a leading evangelical, frames the movement as the civil rights struggle of the 21st century. "Christians," he said, "are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian."
In that spirit, the Christian Legal Society, an association of judges and lawyers, has formed a national group to challenge tolerance policies in federal court. Several nonprofit law firms — backed by major ministries such as Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade for Christ — already take on such cases for free.
The legal argument is straightforward: Policies intended to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination end up discriminating against conservative Christians. Evangelicals have been suspended for wearing anti-gay T-shirts to high school, fired for denouncing Gay Pride Month at work, reprimanded for refusing to attend diversity training. When they protest tolerance codes, they’re labeled intolerant.
Their so-called "legal argument", not to mention logic, is fundamentally flawed. They demand to behave intolerantly, yet then when they behave that way, they whine that they are being labelled "intolerant". All I can say to that is this: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Look, Christian Kids. It’s quite simple. You are entitled to your beliefs, however fucked up they are. You have the right under our laws to express them. But, as the saying goes, your right to swing your arm ends when it hits another person in the nose. Get it?
It’s like slaveowners complaining that they don’t have the right to own slaves. And anyone who tries to take away their slave-owning right is discriminating against them.
"What if a person felt their religious view was that African Americans shouldn’t mingle with Caucasians, or that women shouldn’t work?" asked Jon Davidson, legal director of the gay rights group Lambda Legal.
Christian activist Gregory S. Baylor responds to such criticism angrily. He says he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race and gender. But he draws a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when he argues that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait.
Well, I guess it is still debateable about whether sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice. Personally, I don’t know a single person who chose to be gay — at best, they chose to acknowledge that they were inherently gay.
But that debate aside, I know one thing is definitely true: one’s religiosity really really is a lifestyle choice. So if discrimination is okay when it is based on a "lifestyle choice", religious zealots have cut themselves off at their own knees with that legal argument.
Now, more silliness:
By equating homosexuality with race, [Christian activist] Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists. He predicts the government will one day revoke the tax-exempt status of churches that preach homosexuality is sinful or that refuse to hire gays and lesbians.
And now the money quote:
"Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don’t address this now, it will only get worse."
Boo-hoo. Anti-homo bigots don’t want to be marginalized like all them racist bigots.
I honestly think some of these people have a screw loose. It’s one thing to dislike homosexuality, but it is entirely different to hurt and discriminate against people who adopt (for whatever reason) a homosexual lifestyle.
And whatever happened to "Hate the sin; love the sinner"? This latest movement from the religious right shows an abandonment of that Christian principle. They want to be able to hate, without facing the consequences of their hatred.
Someone should ship these people to Afghanistan. I hear the Taliban is looking for a few good men.