Thursday, September 24, 2015

It's Not a Requirement for Christians to Annoy Gay People with Copies of "Audacity"

Remember this guy? He's the guy who repeatedly pushed an anti-gay movie called "Audacity" on lesbian co-workers and eventually got fired after they complained and after his boss had told him to leave them alone. He set up a GoFundMe account to support his family and it's presently raised nearly $5800, as of this writing.

I have not contributed towards his account and I have not left any messages on his GoFundMe page. But I somehow got on an email update list and this guy updates his page. A lot. Sometimes, he's just thanking people for contributing. Sometimes, he's giving updates on his job search. But other times, he's posting material about how he should be allowed to share his faith on the job.

Which most people don't have a problem with. But Chris Routson's faith isn't "Audacity." His faith isn't an anti-gay film that tells gay people that we're going to Hell if we don't change. His faith is Christianity. They aren't the same thing. Chris Routson wasn't fire for being a Christian. He was fired for annoying his co-worker's and (by extension) disobeying his employer when his co-worker's complained about his unwanted behaviors.

Chris recently shared a video on his GoFundMe page that talked about how gay marriage has made it so that those who disagree with it are now being fired and that's one of the reasons that it's bad. Here's a few holes with that argument:

Chris Routson wasn't fired for disagreeing with gay marriage. He was fired for repeatedly proselytizing to his gay co-workers with an anti-gay movie. This could have happened a year ago and still resulted in the same results (especially since Ohio is an "at will" employment state). Others, who arguably have their employment threatened over gay marriage are people like Kim Davis or other municipal employees whose jobs are to serve the entire community with processing their marriage licenses. But most of the people who've lost employment opportunities haven't lost them because of gay marriage but because of rude behavior towards gay people.

On the other hand, I can find a whole long list of LGBT people, family members, and our supporters who have lost jobs because of getting married or for liking a gay-friendly Facebook post or for attending the wedding of a gay relative. Was Chris Routson fighting for the rights of these individuals when anti-gay employers purged these folks of their employment. Absolutely not.

Here's the deal. It sucks that Chris Routson lost his job. Most LGBT people have had a co-worker or someone similar annoy us with anti-gay tracts or videos. Most of the time we ignore them or tell the people to knock it off. Sometimes someone complains and on a handful of occasions, someone like Chris Routson loses his job.

But Chris Routson could have used better judgment. After getting warned by his boss about annoying the one lesbian co-worker with a copy of "Audacity," he could have waited more than a few days before annoying another lesbian co-worker with the same old routine. But he pushed things and he eventually got hurt for it.

In the meantime, he's received more through GoFundMe over the past 15 days than he would have earned at his old job and he supposedly has some potential new job opportunities. So my sympathy towards him has a limit. But hopefully he will remember what happened at his old job once he eventually finds new employment and not repeat the same mistake.

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