In yesterday's Lexington Herald-Leader, Tom Eblen cheered on the witch hunt currently in progress over a Christian businessman's refusal to print T-shirts with a message that contradicts his religious views.
The man is being hauled before the Lexington Human Rights Commission, which is being called upon to throw him into the political water to see if he floats.
Taking up his torch, Eblen adds his voice to those of the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, and now the University of Kentucky (an institution increasingly on the forefront of left-wing activism, on campus and off), which are chanting the political equivalent of “burn him!”
Eblen and the rest of the mob are arguing that the business, Hands on Originals, has violated the Lexington Fairness Ordinance, an ordinance which added “sexual oriention” to race, religion, gender, and national origin to anti-discrimination laws governing housing, employment, and public accommodations.
The ordinance prohibits a business from refusing to serve a person on the basis of his sexual orientation. But this is not what happened in this case.
In a famous scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a woman is accused of being a witch. The reason? “She looks like one.” To Eblen and the rest of the witch hunters, Hands on Originals looks like it’s discriminating, even though, if you actually look at the law, it’s not.
What Eblen and the mob haven't noticed in midst of their frenzied denunciations (“He’s a witch!”) is that Hands on Originals did not discriminate against any customer on the basis of sexual orientation. In fact, the business has an express policy against it. What it did do was refuse to print a T-Shirt with a message that went against its religious convictions.
It didn't refuse to print the T-shirts because of who was asking it to print them; it refused to print them because of what the T-shirts said.
The ordinance only prevents businesses from discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation; it does not require businesses to agree with their customers.
Ironically, the people really discriminating are the University of Kentucky and any other organization that pulls its business from the T-shirt company, since they are doing so on the basis of the owner’s religious beliefs. If they were providing the service rather than receiving it, they would be the ones violating anti-discrimination laws.
It used to be witches who contorted themselves into strange positions, but now gay activist groups, marching under the banner of “tolerance,” are twisting themselves into the Tolerance Police, intent, not on preventing discrimination against individuals, but using the power of government to force others to agree with the politically correct views of certain favored groups like themselves.
But in their increasingly intolerant crusade, they have apparently failed to take note of the consequences.
Imagine that you ran a T-shirt business and a White supremacist group came to you to print T-shirts that said, "Down with N______s! According to the reasoning of Eblen and the mob, anti-discrimination laws would require you to print them. Not to do so would be to discriminate against a racial group: in this case, Aryans.
It's not often you see gay rights activists--and liberal journalists--spouting views that would benefit the Aryan Nation. Ideology makes strange bedfellows indeed.
But Eblen’s bizarre reasoning doesn’t end there. He ventures into the issue of what Christianity actually says about homosexuality, saying that, the way he reads it, the Gospels aren’t against it. Notice the subtle avoidance of the rest of the New Testament, in which Paul leaves little doubt about the issue. Or the Old Testament, which doesn’t exactly read like a gay rights tract.
Then, as if to amuse those of his readers who have actually read the thing, he charges those who disagree with him with selectively reading the Bible!
Might as well burn the Bible along with the witch.
I’ve got a new slogan for a T-Shirt: “Down with the Gay Thought Police!” I’ll take it to a gay-owned T-shirt company and point out that, according the groups who say they represent them, they have no choice but to print it.