Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Family Research Council exploits religion, homophobia to side with the NRA against Delta Airlines

The Family Research Council is exploiting religion & LGBTQ community to attack Delta Airlines.

Yesterday, I wrote about how the American Family Association is pushing an inane solution to the problem of gun violence in schools. Today, I am sad to report, the Family Research Council has sunk even lower. The hate group is attacking an organization attempting to lessen the violence and has involved the LGBTQ community in its attack.

Delta Airlines is in the middle of a huge controversy because recently it announced that it was ending a discount program for National Rifle Association (NRA) members. This action was done because of the recent Florida school shooting and activism by the survivors of that tragedy pushing for gun control laws. The NRA has vehemently opposes this, therefore it and its supporters have been pushing back rather aggressively.  Due to this, Delta and other companies have announced that they are breaking ties with the NRA.

But Delta seems to be getting a large part of the backlash for this announcement, particularly in Georgia. The Lt. Governor of that state, Casey Cagle, threatened to kill legislation giving Delta tax breaks unless it reinstate ties with the NRA.

While there is a serious back-and-forth going on about the legality and ethics of this threat, the Family Research Council has stepped in to attack Delta, making it seem as if the company is bullying Georgia and the NRA by throwing in a little homophobia and "religious liberty."

Part of FRC's Washington Update reads as follows:

Four years ago, Delta Airlines filed trademark protection for their motto: "The World's Most Trusted Airline." While they might be able to protect their motto in a court of law, it's becoming more difficult to protect their claim in the court of public opinion. In 2016, after high-profile religious discrimination cases like former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Georgia lawmakers introduced a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Despite broad public support, politicians like Gov. Nathan Deal surrendered religious freedom protections to economic threats from Fortune 500 companies like Delta Airlines. 
 . . . In a slap at the National Rifle Association, Delta tweeted that it would be "ending the [NRA's] contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website." The decision, they tried to explain, "reflects the airline's neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings. Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on business. Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment." Neutral? The status quo would have been neutral. This was a direct attack on Americans who believe in the right to keep and bear arms. 
  . . . Fortunately, Republican lawmakers are finally standing up to Big Business, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle (R), who's a front-runner for governor, had news for the airline. If Delta ends its partnership with the NRA, they can kiss their tax breaks goodbye. "I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with the @NRA. Corporates cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back." He's right, said Rick Jeffares, a candidate for Cagle's job. "If Delta is so flush that they don't need NRA members' hard-earned travel dollars, it can certainly do without the $40 million tax break they're asking Georgia taxpayers for." 
For Georgians, though, this must be a frustrating display. After all, Governor Nathan Deal (R) sold Georgia's First Amendment rights down the river in the fight over the religious liberty bill. Dana Loesch touched on this in her pushback to the Left's crusade, "To those saying #DumpNRATV: The NRA has been the biggest defender of free speech. I find it interesting that those individuals who simultaneously preach about free speech want to silence the speech of the millions of people who make up NRA membership." 
 . . . The problem for Delta Airlines and other companies who want to stop doing business with conservatives is this: they're only hurting themselves. These favorable business climates only come from conservative legislators who understand that real freedom leads to economic growth. That's why red states like Texas and North Carolina are so enticing to businesses, because their social values have not only built a foundation for workforce and family success but thriving corporations too. If intolerant bullies like Delta want to move to high-regulation, high-tax states, let them!

This situation involving Delta Airlines is part of a larger conversation about curbing gun violence in schools and protecting our children.  The Family Research Council can attempt to change the narrative to yet another fear tactic about the so-called radical homosexual agenda  plotting to "discriminate' against Christians (by invoking the Kelvin Cochran controversy and whining about the veto of an awful anti-LGBTQ "religious freedom' bill,) but such an openly dishonest and downright sleazy ploy to distract won't fool the majority of people.

If anything, it only proves that the Family Research Council views religious beliefs as a commodity to be manipulated and exploited. How else can one explain the fact that an organization which raises hell about transgender children using bathrooms would side with gun manufacturers over those who want to protect children

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