Wednesday, June 06, 2018

When 'religious liberty' breeds homophobic entitlement

An ugly incident involving homophobia at a national gym chain gives a sad, but needed lesson in the false entitlement which comes with today's definition of "religious liberty."

From Buzzfeed:

A high-ranking CrossFit employee told BuzzFeed News that he has been placed on an unpaid leave of absence after tweeting his support for a CrossFit gym’s cancellation of a Pride event, citing his belief that celebrating LGBT pride is a “sin.”  
 Russell Berger, the mega-successful fitness company’s chief knowledge officer and often its de facto spokesperson, said he does not know how long his leave of absence will last. But his work — including his writing for the Russells, a blog about scientific misconduct that he maintains with colleague Russell Greene — has been put on hold at least temporarily, he told BuzzFeed News. 
Berger got into hot water Wednesday afternoon when he tweeted about a CrossFit gym in Indianapolis, Indiana, where owners canceled a workout in honor of Pride Month. Many of the coaches and employees quit in protest, raising the possibility that the gym could shut down, according to WTTV TV in Indianapolis.

Before he was put on unpaid leave, Berger taunted folks who voiced their disapproval in now deleted tweets. He played the victim, claiming that the LGBTQ community and its allies were being "intolerant" of his religious views:

The claim of  intolerance was echoed by prominent conservative Erick Erickson in the following tweet:

The entire controversy underlines a nasty bit of entitlement on the part of those who "oppose" homosexuality.

When someone calls the LGBTQ community sinners and then tries to play the victim by accusing us of  being intolerant when we call them out, it's the equivalent of an abusive relationship where your partner blames you for him giving you a black-eye, a busted lip, and assorted bruises.

Too many folks  want to have it both ways on this thing. They want to disrespect the LGBTQ community and play the "it's my religion" card to avoid any pushback. They want to be free to express their negative opinion of us but don't want us to have the same courtesy to answer them. They want to act bigoted but then will cry foul when told they should own their bigotry. They want to portray us as lifeless hypotheticals or soulless principals. They don't want to be reminded that when they say those awful things, they are besmirching real people with families and children.

And that's their problem. It's not our problem to worry about their feelings when they call us out. Religious beliefs are not a license be treat people like dirt without any pushback.

Speaking of pushback,  Crossfit founder and CEO Gary Glassman condemned Berger's words:

“He needs to take a big dose of ‘shut the fuck up' and hide out for awhile. It’s sad,” Glassman said in an interview. “We do so much good work with such pure hearts — to have some zealot in his off-time do something this stupid, we’re all upset. The whole company is upset. This changes his standing with us. What that looks like, I don’t know. It’s so unfortunate.”

I personally blame the anti-LGBTQ industry for empowering these feelings of entitlement with their constant noise and lies about gays supposedly declaring open war on Christians. No doubt they will jump on this as the latest example of supposed gay intolerance.

Bring it on, y'all.

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