Freedom of speech for me but not for thee (continued)

Liberals love to contrast their tolerant, open minded approach to differing viewpoints, lifestyles, ethnicities for instance, as opposed to what they claim are the narrow minded rigidities of the conservatives. Doing your own thing.  Diversity, pluralism and multi culturalism is their mantra.  Of course their self righteous explanation immediately reveals the liberal mind set as one of intolerance. Even judgmental.  Exactly.  The open mindedness consists of slight nuances of approved deviation from liberal guidelines; all else is deemed intolerance.

Recall just a few weeks ago the foaming fit from self proclaimed open minded San Francisco government officials when some Christian evangelical teens came to town with a decidedly different lifestyle.  And of course tolerant open minded university types prohibit showing some mild cartoons based on Mohammed or try to bar military recruiters from campus while facilitating the admission of a Taliban murderer.

The inevitable happened in our tolerant society——students are suing  for the right to be politically incorrect.

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.

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.

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.

Well, let's see if the liberals will react tolerantly to these ideas.

Ethel C. Fenig  4 10 06

UPDATE:

The Center for Law and Religious Freedom kindly has forwarded us a letter demanding a retraction from the Los Angeles Times. Most readers will not be surprised to read its allegations that misquotations and distortions were part of the article linked above. Here it is in itse entirety:

Stephanie.simon@latimes.com

Re: Misrepresentations in 'Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies,'
April 10, 2006


Dear Ms. Simon:

After spending some time with you discussing the work of the Christian Legal Society in defense of religious freedom, I was surprised by the misquotes, misrepresentations and simple factual errors in your article. It is readily apparent that you approached this article with a firm expectation of who CLS is and who I am that was simply not going to be shaken by the actual facts. This is disappointing. By this letter, I demand that you immediately issue a retraction in both the print and on—line versions of the Los Angeles Times correcting these errors.

First, you refer throughout the article to 'tolerance' policies, a term that I've never encountered. You have apparently used this invented term to lump together very different policies that prohibit harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and those that require nondiscrimination in employment, membership and officer positions on the basis of sexual orientation. You then claim that the Christian Legal Society 'has formed a national group to challenge tolerance policies in federal court.' Thus, you have attributed to CLS an agenda to defend and claim a right to harass persons on the basis of their sexual orientation. CLS is a Christian ministry. We believe that every individual is created in the image of a loving God. We do not advocate or defend harassment of anyone. Indeed, homosexuals are encouraged and welcome to attend Christian Legal Society meetings and other events. CLS, through its legal advocacy division, The Center for Law & Religious Freedom, is challenging very different laws that require religious nonprofit organizations, including churches, to sacrifice their constitutional right to staff according to shared faith commitments in order to participate in programs by which state employees voluntarily authorize payroll deductions for their chosen charities. In Wisconsin and other states, for example, the law would require even churches to foreswear their right to hire Christians as pastors in order to participate. It is unfortunate that you have conflated this challenge with advocacy of a right to be 'intolerant' to or to 'harass' homosexuals.


Second, you claimed that I '[drew] a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when [I] argue[] that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait.' In my discussions with you I drew no such distinction. I stake no position as to whether same—sex sexual attraction is a product of genes, choice, environment, or some combination thereof. I did state that there is a difference between (a) requiring that certain employees, members, officers, etc. of a religious nonprofit organization refrain from engaging in extramarital sexual conduct (which would include homosexual conduct), and (b) discriminating against someone because of their race or gender. In my view, the morality of homosexual conduct and the legitimacy of a religious group's consideration of that conduct does not depend upon the cause of same—sex sexual attraction.

Third, you state that I 'predict[ed] 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.' I did not say this. I said that government might one day revoke the tax—exempt status of churches that take sexual conduct into account in their hiring decisions.

Your attention to this urgent matter is greatly appreciated. Please contact me by the close of business today to confirm that you will make the referenced retractions. Thank you. 

Sincerely,

Gregory S. Baylor

UPDATE 2:

The Los Angeles Times has issued a correction:

Religious expression: An article in Monday's Section A said Gregory S. Baylor of the Christian Legal Society viewed homosexuality as a lifestyle choice. In fact, he does not have a stance on that issue. As the article noted, he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race, gender and other inborn traits. He asserts that antidiscrimination policies regarding homosexuality are different because they protect people based on conduct. Baylor's organization seeks to exempt religious groups from those policies.

Liberals love to contrast their tolerant, open minded approach to differing viewpoints, lifestyles, ethnicities for instance, as opposed to what they claim are the narrow minded rigidities of the conservatives. Doing your own thing.  Diversity, pluralism and multi culturalism is their mantra.  Of course their self righteous explanation immediately reveals the liberal mind set as one of intolerance. Even judgmental.  Exactly.  The open mindedness consists of slight nuances of approved deviation from liberal guidelines; all else is deemed intolerance.

Recall just a few weeks ago the foaming fit from self proclaimed open minded San Francisco government officials when some Christian evangelical teens came to town with a decidedly different lifestyle.  And of course tolerant open minded university types prohibit showing some mild cartoons based on Mohammed or try to bar military recruiters from campus while facilitating the admission of a Taliban murderer.

The inevitable happened in our tolerant society——students are suing  for the right to be politically incorrect.

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.

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.

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.

Well, let's see if the liberals will react tolerantly to these ideas.

Ethel C. Fenig  4 10 06

UPDATE:

The Center for Law and Religious Freedom kindly has forwarded us a letter demanding a retraction from the Los Angeles Times. Most readers will not be surprised to read its allegations that misquotations and distortions were part of the article linked above. Here it is in itse entirety:

Stephanie.simon@latimes.com

Re: Misrepresentations in 'Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies,'
April 10, 2006


Dear Ms. Simon:

After spending some time with you discussing the work of the Christian Legal Society in defense of religious freedom, I was surprised by the misquotes, misrepresentations and simple factual errors in your article. It is readily apparent that you approached this article with a firm expectation of who CLS is and who I am that was simply not going to be shaken by the actual facts. This is disappointing. By this letter, I demand that you immediately issue a retraction in both the print and on—line versions of the Los Angeles Times correcting these errors.

First, you refer throughout the article to 'tolerance' policies, a term that I've never encountered. You have apparently used this invented term to lump together very different policies that prohibit harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and those that require nondiscrimination in employment, membership and officer positions on the basis of sexual orientation. You then claim that the Christian Legal Society 'has formed a national group to challenge tolerance policies in federal court.' Thus, you have attributed to CLS an agenda to defend and claim a right to harass persons on the basis of their sexual orientation. CLS is a Christian ministry. We believe that every individual is created in the image of a loving God. We do not advocate or defend harassment of anyone. Indeed, homosexuals are encouraged and welcome to attend Christian Legal Society meetings and other events. CLS, through its legal advocacy division, The Center for Law & Religious Freedom, is challenging very different laws that require religious nonprofit organizations, including churches, to sacrifice their constitutional right to staff according to shared faith commitments in order to participate in programs by which state employees voluntarily authorize payroll deductions for their chosen charities. In Wisconsin and other states, for example, the law would require even churches to foreswear their right to hire Christians as pastors in order to participate. It is unfortunate that you have conflated this challenge with advocacy of a right to be 'intolerant' to or to 'harass' homosexuals.


Second, you claimed that I '[drew] a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when [I] argue[] that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait.' In my discussions with you I drew no such distinction. I stake no position as to whether same—sex sexual attraction is a product of genes, choice, environment, or some combination thereof. I did state that there is a difference between (a) requiring that certain employees, members, officers, etc. of a religious nonprofit organization refrain from engaging in extramarital sexual conduct (which would include homosexual conduct), and (b) discriminating against someone because of their race or gender. In my view, the morality of homosexual conduct and the legitimacy of a religious group's consideration of that conduct does not depend upon the cause of same—sex sexual attraction.

Third, you state that I 'predict[ed] 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.' I did not say this. I said that government might one day revoke the tax—exempt status of churches that take sexual conduct into account in their hiring decisions.

Your attention to this urgent matter is greatly appreciated. Please contact me by the close of business today to confirm that you will make the referenced retractions. Thank you. 

Sincerely,

Gregory S. Baylor

UPDATE 2:

The Los Angeles Times has issued a correction:

Religious expression: An article in Monday's Section A said Gregory S. Baylor of the Christian Legal Society viewed homosexuality as a lifestyle choice. In fact, he does not have a stance on that issue. As the article noted, he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race, gender and other inborn traits. He asserts that antidiscrimination policies regarding homosexuality are different because they protect people based on conduct. Baylor's organization seeks to exempt religious groups from those policies.