Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Iowa Editor Fired for Blogging about the "Gaystapo" // Files Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Against Former Employer

Back in May 2014, a Newton, IA, newspaper editor was fired from the Newton Daily News after writing an April 2014 blog post against the "Queen James Bible." Bob Eschliman not only complained about the two-year-old book, but he accused "'the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo' of trying 'to make their sinful nature right with God.'" The blog went viral and within a couple weeks his employer, Shaw Media, placed Eschliman on paid suspension and eventually fired him.

Now Eschliman has teamed with the Liberty Institute and filed an EEOC complaint against his former employer, arguing that he is the victim of religious discrimination:
"No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs," said Matthew Whitaker, a former United States Attorney, partner of a Des Moines law firm, and a volunteer Liberty Institute attorney. "In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing a religious belief in public. This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today's welcoming workforce."
I remember this case when it originally erupted. Frankly, I'm surprised today that I didn't write about it back then. This is one of those cases that just makes me cringe. Of all the things to fire a man over, this was not one of them. I mean, the guy complains about the power of the all-powerful "Gaystapo" and then his message gets reinforced by him getting fired. Over a stupid blog criticizing a two-year-old book.

That said, hopefully Eschliman has spent at least a portion of the past three months pondering the expression of his religious beliefs. Maybe his outdated criticism of the Queen James Bible wouldn't have gotten him fired if he hadn't spouted off about homos and the Gaystapo. I mean, there is some merit to communicating an idea without having to depend on inflammatory terminology.

I am interested to see how this all plays out.

No comments: