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Gordon College and the city of Salem, MA
July 17, 2014 7:05 AM   Subscribe

In the wake of the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby ruling (previously), Gordon College -- one of the most conservative colleges in Massachusetts -- became the only higher educational institution to request a presidential exemption from current nondiscrimination laws against LGBTQ people. This action has not been without controversy, both from within the college community and without. Most notably, Salem mayor Kim Driscoll has terminated the school's contract to maintain the Old Town Hall building due to the school's discriminatory stance (PDF).
posted by pxe2000 (70 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's a school in Oregon that has also invoked the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby ruling to retain the right to deny a transgender student on-campus dorm housing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:09 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


But I thought the Supreme Court said the Hobby Lobby ruling shouldn't be taken as a precedent and applies only to that single case. Is my understanding flawed or was the Court just writing bullcrap?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:12 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


The mayor is also donating $5 to the NAGLY for every angry Glenn Beck fan that calls her office.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:13 AM on July 17 [51 favorites]


Ah, the Slippery Slope in action. Funny how this was the argument against gay marriage that for some reason hasn't actually happened.
posted by tommasz at 7:13 AM on July 17


I just don't understand the depth of hate (fear?) that drives people and groups to make discrimination an active part of their business model. How can you consciously allow yourself to sink so low. It must be a truly miserable existence.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:14 AM on July 17 [10 favorites]


Glenn Beck's hordes are flooding Salem city offices with anti-LGBT calls [specifically over Driscoll's contract termination]. The mayor's response is awesome.

On preview, thanks backseatpilot I could not find a non-twitter scanned version of that response.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:15 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


But I thought the Supreme Court said the Hobby Lobby ruling shouldn't be taken as a precedent and applies only to that single case.

You believed them?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:17 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


All this reminds me of King Cnut trying to hold back the sea.

Plus, bonus wordplay on his name in this context.
posted by arcticseal at 7:20 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Here's a decent article explaining how they were essentially full of legal dookie.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:21 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


But I thought the Supreme Court said the Hobby Lobby ruling shouldn't be taken as a precedent and applies only to that single case. Is my understanding flawed or was the Court just writing bullcrap?

Considering that it took them all of 48 hours to go from "HHS can totally provide accommodations" to "LOL just kidding you fucking chumps" it's definitely the latter.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:22 AM on July 17 [14 favorites]


I live in Salem and this is one of the reasons we put up with the madness of October to live here. Without all those tourist dollars helping to remind some folks that it's in their best interests to be as inclusive as possible, we'd be in danger of becoming Lynn.

My library is in the same consortium as Gordon and Salem. I admit I checked our bylaws to see if there was anything about discrimination as a reason to suspend Gordon from the exchange. I'm actually a bit surprised that Salem has not pressed for it already - if severing ties between the city and Gordon is complete, then why should Salem-purchased materials go to help Gordon?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:22 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


But I thought the Supreme Court said the Hobby Lobby ruling shouldn't be taken as a precedent and applies only to that single case.

The majority opinion claimed this; the dissent correctly recognized that there was no way this decision could be limited in scope, whatever the court majority might claim, due to the inherently broad nature of all the logical contradictions the decision created in law.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:23 AM on July 17 [17 favorites]


The amazing thing about this is what idiots they are. If they had waited a few more news cycles, no one would even have noticed and it might have gotten approved.
posted by corb at 7:24 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


No, corb, the amazing thing is that they thought they had the right to do such a thing in the first place.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 AM on July 17 [39 favorites]


But I thought the Supreme Court said the Hobby Lobby ruling shouldn't be taken as a precedent and applies only to that single case. Is my understanding flawed or was the Court just writing bullcrap?

Ginsburg's dissent on Hobby Lobby seems pretty on the nose. From Scotus Blog's analysis:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the senior Justice in what we often think of as the Court’s more liberal wing, wrote the primary dissent on behalf of that group, which also includes Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Despite the Court’s efforts to portray its decision as a narrow one, Ginsburg characterized the majority’s opinion as one of “startling breadth” that would allow corporations “to opt out of any law . . . they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” And she paints a very different picture of the scope of RFRA than the majority; in her view, Congress enacted the law with the much more limited purpose of restoring the state of play as it existed before the 1990 decision that prompted Congress to pass RFRA in the first place. Congress did not mean to provide corporations with a religious exemption from laws that apply to everyone, which the Court had never done before RFRA. That would have been a huge change from the Court’s earlier cases, Ginsburg emphasized, so there is no chance that Congress would have made that change without explicitly saying so. With its decision today, Ginsburg warns ominously, the Court has “ventured into a minefield.”
If Kennedy hadn't viewed Hobby Lobby as about abortion, I don't think he would have voted with the conservatives. I am surprised at how short-sighted he seems to be in this decision.
posted by gladly at 7:26 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


The amazing thing about this is what idiots they are. If they had waited a few more news cycles, no one would even have noticed and it might have gotten approved.

That's assuming that it is primarily about getting the exemption and not about the current conservative political method.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:30 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


We were able to send three men to the moon, why not send five?
posted by Pudhoho at 7:35 AM on July 17 [11 favorites]


Good for Mayor Driscoll.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:35 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


There's a kind of grim amusement in seeing how those of us who pointed out the sweeping nature of the decision were correct while the same people who always assure us that we're being hysterical Chicken Littles were wrong.
posted by winna at 7:37 AM on July 17 [20 favorites]


More and more it is becoming apparent that Evangelical Christianity is only interested in sustaining Evangelical theory rather than Christian practice.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:39 AM on July 17 [13 favorites]


Hobby Lobby is not really an issue here -- the letter Gordon College (and others) signed is asking for an exemption from an upcoming Executive order that would require federal contractors to follow stricter non-discrimination rules wrt to LGBT folks, and in fact, the letter makes no reference to Hobby Lobby nor even RFRA.

The letter does note that the exemption sought after is the same one in the latest version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which has been OK'd by the Senate (and not the House), and has been in the works since 1994.

So, this action does not come in the "wake" of Hobby Lobby, although it does follow Hobby Lobby* in the news (and the FPP).

------------------
*Fascinating how the name of that chain of craft supply stores is becoming transformed into the name of that short-sighted and cruel SCOTUS decision.
posted by notyou at 7:44 AM on July 17 [8 favorites]


King Cnut and the rising sea - how very appropriate.

Unfortunately, it's not going to rise enough to swallow he and his court up and drown them all, a la Hy-Brasil in Eric the Viking. Or not soon enough.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:45 AM on July 17


notyou: *Fascinating how the name of that chain of craft supply stores is becoming transformed into the name of that short-sighted and cruel SCOTUS decision.

It's as if Hobby Lobby was being coated with that frothy mixture of religious fervor and buttheaded thinking that is the result of the current conservative-majority SCOTUS rulings.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:47 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


But I thought the Supreme Court said the Hobby Lobby ruling shouldn't be taken as a precedent and applies only to that single case. Is my understanding flawed

Yes, your understanding is flawed. The Justices don't even have the authority to prevent the Supreme Court in the future from relying on the court's prior decisions as precedent. Appellate courts routinely use phrases like "under these circumstances" to signal that courts in the future should be cautious about relying on the decision as precedent. That just means you need to scrutinize the facts of each case to make sure two cases are equivalent. That doesn't mean the court is commanding judges in the future to ignore its decision.
posted by John Cohen at 7:49 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


It's also a way of signaling that the decision doesn't establish a clear-cut, "bright-line rule" — instead, it's a sensitive balancing test requiring a consideration of many factors. This is nothing new — that distinction is the bread and butter of first-year law students.
posted by John Cohen at 7:50 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


John Cohen: sensitive balancing test requiring a consideration of many factors.

The primary factor, in this case, being "we, the 5-man majority, are Christian, and so are the petitioners."
posted by tonycpsu at 7:51 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


If Kennedy hadn't viewed Hobby Lobby as about abortion, I don't think he would have voted with the conservatives.

Kennedy is a conservative in practically every respect that matters. He doesn't want to be seen as intolerant of gays and that's about it for his liberal side.
posted by mightygodking at 7:56 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


Fascinating how the name of that chain of craft supply stores is becoming transformed into the name of that short-sighted and cruel SCOTUS decision.

Five bucks says that the CEO of Hobby Lobby is actually proud of that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:57 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


As a Gordon College drop-out, my sole regret is that I will no longer be able to walk into the Old Town Hall and interrupt the trial of Bridget Bishop to argue the finer points of doctrine with a twenty-year-old student dressed as a forty-year-old puritan minister, desperately trying not to break character.
ME:
Are you familiar with the story of Ananias and Sapphira?
HIM:
Of course.
ME:
Then tell me, was it by God's will or by Peter's that they were struck dead for their dishonesty?
HIM:
By God's will.
ME:
So you propose that God, who would not permit a lie to exist among his flock, would permit the workings of witchcraft, of communion with the devil himself?
OTHER ACTOR:
(interjecting)
God is showing his mercy.
ME:
(pointing at chairs meant
to represent the children
tortured by witchcraft)
It is a strange sort of mercy, that would torture these poor children so.

posted by The Confessor at 8:03 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


I tend to interrupt the actors by being insistent that they finish telling me the shipping news they were about to reveal before all that shouting about Bridget Bishop. DEAR GOD MAN, I CARE NOT ABOUT WITCHCRAFT! I HAVE A LOAD OF SPINDLES DUE IN TO PORT WITHIN THE FORTNIGHT!

My son, on the other hand, successfully got one to break character by shouting "Pirate! Calm down!" at him.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:08 AM on July 17 [20 favorites]


Gordon College insults our intelligence
I only wish Father Bob was still alive because I’d like to know what he thought of all the holy rollers, encouraged by a Supreme Court that’s a little slow on this separation of church and state stuff, who are swanning around, dressed in a cloak of bigotry they refer to as religious freedom.

Would Jesus really have a problem with a gay kid going to, or a gay person working at, Gordon College?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:14 AM on July 17


Related.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:20 AM on July 17


Christ, what an asshole. [I can say that, now that Gordon College is apparently a person with religious beliefs.]
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:21 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


I want to know when Congress is going to define Christianity in the legal sense. Because it kind of has to now, right? If we're going to say that Christians don't have to obey certain laws, we need to be able to determine who is and is not Christian, and I don't see how we do that without some kind of legal standard that defines what is and is not Christianity.

(I mean sure it directly contravenes the Constitution to do so, but that's never stopped us before, amirite?)
posted by Naberius at 8:24 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


The "Learn the facts" link at the gordon.edu site is interesting. Perhaps hypocritical, but interesting, especially this line from the letter to the POTUS.

"We believe that all persons are created in the divine image of the creator, and are worthy of respect and love, without exception. Even so, it still may not be possible for all sides to reach a consensus on every issue. That is why we are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identity and beliefs motivate them to serve those in need."

In my mind I believe, one can accurately summarize the statement: "faith communities whose religious identity..." statement to "other groups."

So, to wit: "We believe that all persons are images of God, and deserve respect and love without exception. While we firmly believe that protection of one group should not come at the expense of other groups, this is precisely what we want here, because... umm.. well... buttsex, y'know? Like, ew... and umm... Jesus and stuff."

While I haven't always been, I am now a deeply spiritual person, and I attribute the entirety of my life, happiness, and well-being to a Higher Power, which I choose to call God. But shit like this, is exactly why it took me so long to come around to the God idea.

Hypocrisy, the casual discarding of the principles which truly make up the fucking core principles of one's religion because it's convenient or beneficial to a supposed "servant" is my prime and undying complaint against organized religion. I too, believe that God loves each and every one of us, but He doesn't need champions, he needs servants to perform His will. Whatever you do, as part of your own free will, is between you and your own conception of the universe, karma, God, whatever you choose to call it. I don't have to like it (which in this case and in the Hobby Lobby drama, I don't), but far be it from me to tell you how to run your life.

So, it is my hope that Gordon and Hobby Lobby will eventually see the error of their ways, and while their hypocrisy angers me, I will try to wish them the very best. I too hope that they will come around to the actual teachings of Christ and accept the personal choices of their fellows as a demonstration of the very free will that God has granted us, and leave the *judgement of said free will up to the Judge.

Thankfully, we live in a world in which God has provided Michael's Arts & Crafts and the Craft section at Wal-Mart, and many fine universities which the LGBT community can attend without facing the idiocy at Gordon.

(*mind you I don't ascribe to a vengeful or punishing God... My personal view is that the need for vengeance or punishment, aside from being, in my opinion, a purely Human emotion, requires that at some point there was a complete lack of power and/or knowledge of the offense to occur. Which, makes absolutely no sense to me, free will or not, when considering an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God... but I guess that's a different argument entirely)
posted by Debaser626 at 8:26 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Naberius: Because it kind of has to now, right?

Not really. The Court, as presently-constituted, can simply refuse to hear cases from petitioners with other grievances that don't conform to their own first principles, or if they do take the case, find that the unique factors of that case don't rise to the level of a "substantial burden." They aren't required to be logically consistent, as there's no higher power to appeal to -- or at least not one with a published phone number.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:27 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


I just don't understand the depth of hate (fear?) that drives people and groups to make discrimination an active part of their business model.

They don't fear LGBT people.

What they fear is the erosion of their traditional theology. If they are expected to disregard the implications and directives of Adam and Eve, Leviticus, Paul the Apostle, and 20 centuries of church teaching, then what, exactly, are they doing?

What's left? What is True?

They suspect that those arguing for full LGBT equality don't give a shit about these concerns. They suspect that the liberal/progressive response is basically: "Tough. Maybe your religion is false and dumb and you should just give up."

This is the source of their resistance.
posted by General Tonic at 8:28 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


What they fear is the erosion of their traditional theology. If they are expected to disregard the implications and directives of Adam and Eve, Leviticus, Paul the Apostle, and 20 centuries of church teaching, then what, exactly, are they doing?

They've already discarded all the dietary laws, stoning of rape victims, slavery and concubines, animal sacrifice, and a ton of other stuff that appears in the Bible (much of it in Leviticus alongside the "gay" stuff). They've even dropped Paul's other teachings like "women shouldn't be allowed to talk in church". "But the Bible says..." is an empty and untrue argument.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:35 AM on July 17 [21 favorites]


Many of them also prefer to ignore "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself" in favor of particular bits of Leviticus.
posted by hydropsyche at 8:36 AM on July 17 [11 favorites]


They have certainly dropped every single verse urging them help the poor, the sick, and prisoners.
posted by emjaybee at 8:39 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


Leviticus is old-covenant. Jesus is new-covenant. I don't thing Jesus people should concern themselves with -- to them -- obsolete documentation.
posted by mikelieman at 8:39 AM on July 17


They suspect that those arguing for full LGBT equality don't give a shit about these concerns.

That's because we don't give a flying shit about these alleged concerns.

What did Jesus say? Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Go actually do those things, go demonstrate that you understand a single fucking thing about what your man said to do and how to treat people, and then maybe--maybe--I might give two fucks about your theological concerns.

Doesn't it say somewhere in Genesis that God made mankind in His image? That means everyone. Female, male, QUILTBAG, abled, disabled, etc etc etc.

Jesus wept.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:39 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


What they fear is the erosion of their traditional theology. If they are expected to disregard the implications and directives of Adam and Eve, Leviticus, Paul the Apostle, and 20 centuries of church teaching, then what, exactly, are they doing?

Nope. The source of their resistance is that they pick and choose which implications and directives from both the Bible and the Constitution, and from theology and law, that they want to follow. Most of the time, they just pick and choose a certain time at which they want to complain. After all, Hobby Lobby not only paid for contraception in their health plans, they invested the company's retirement plans into funds that made profit off of contraception manufacturers and distributors, even though they had the option to invest in funds that didn't. The Quaker denomination directly affiliated with George Fox University said that there was no theological basis for discriminating against transgender people.

The only Almighty cared about here is the almighty buck.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:44 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Gordon College student publication from a few years ago with essays from LGBT students:

If I Told You, Issue 1
If I Told You, Issue 2

Later issues deal with other topics.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 8:44 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


Leviticus is old-covenant. Jesus is new-covenant. I don't thing Jesus people should concern themselves with -- to them -- obsolete documentation.

Jesus was super concerned with economic sin and basically not at all with sexual sin. The only bits in the New Testament that care about what people do with their own bodies is from the Pauline Epistles. The real hermeneutic that Evangelicals seem to follow is whether a given passage allows them to gain in economic comfortability while raging against the Secular Other-- so there is a need to identify non-Christian morals which they can declaim as immoral while not going out of their way to have a difficult life.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:46 AM on July 17 [10 favorites]


Female, male, QUILTBAG, abled, disabled, etc etc etc.

Best Autocorrect ever. QUILTBAG Rights!
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:47 AM on July 17


I just sent Mayor Driscoll a note saying that even though she can't stand up for me as one of her constituents, I am grateful to her for standing up for me as a human being. I also donated $5 to NAGLY. Next Glenn Beck-worshiping asshole is on me.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:47 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


QUILTBAG isn't an autocorrect, Trismegistus.

Queer/Questioning/Unsure/Intersex/Lesbian/Trans/Two-Spirited/Bisexual/Asexual/Gay
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:49 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Oops! Not an autocorrect at all. Learn something new every day. Go QUILTBAGs!
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:50 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Best Autocorrect ever. QUILTBAG Rights!

It's a real acronym.
posted by winna at 8:50 AM on July 17


> Ah, the Slippery Slope in action. Funny how this was the argument against gay marriage that for some reason hasn't actually happened.

Conservatives assume liberals are going to behave as underhandedly as themselves.
posted by at by at 9:11 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


notyou: Fascinating how the name of that chain of craft supply stores is becoming transformed into the name of that short-sighted and cruel SCOTUS decision.

EmpressCallipygos: Five bucks says that the CEO of Hobby Lobby is actually proud of that.

Oh, I'm sure of it. "Why haven't I heard about what Christians were doing in support of Chick-fil-A?" I told Dad the reason is because the mainstream media, where he gets his news, is in the pocket of the socialists/progressives who embrace same-sex marriage. (That was in 2012, before Chick fil-A CEO Dan Cathy "sold out" and realized heeded the advice of others that it would hurt business to be on the wrong side of history).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:19 AM on July 17


"We believe that all persons are created in the divine image of the creator, and are worthy of respect and love, without exception.

Sounds good!

Even so,

How do you even...Do you hear yourselves? Did no one proofread this before you released it into the wild? Can you not hear your Lord and Savior weeping?
posted by rtha at 9:21 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


QUILTBAG isn't an autocorrect, Trismegistus.

Queer/Questioning/Unsure/Intersex/Lesbian/Trans/Two-Spirited/Bisexual/Asexual/Gay


Thanks for that; I haven't been involved with the community tables/committees where the orgs and groups around these issues are present for a few years now, and while I had puzzled out most of this, the U and the A had me scratching my head.
posted by nubs at 9:25 AM on July 17


notyou: Hobby Lobby is not really an issue here -- the letter Gordon College (and others) signed is asking for an exemption from an upcoming Executive order that would require federal contractors to follow stricter non-discrimination rules wrt to LGBT folks, and in fact, the letter makes no reference to Hobby Lobby nor even RFRA.

But the Hobby Lobby ruling has a bigger (assumed) impact: Gay rights groups withdraw support of ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) after Hobby Lobby decision
Several major gay rights groups withdrew support Tuesday for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would bolster gay and transgender rights in the workplace, saying they fear that broad religious exemptions included in the current bill might compel private companies to begin citing objections similar to those that prevailed in a U.S. Supreme Court case last week.
So these issues might not be tied 1:1, but there is a broader concern stemming from the Hobby Lobby decision.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


How do you even...Do you hear yourselves? Did no one proofread this before you released it into the wild? Can you not hear your Lord and Savior weeping?

rtha, the way they square that circle is through a belief that sexual preference is a choice. Homosexuality isn't something you are, it is something you do, like cheating on your taxes or gambling or excessive drinking or something.

That's why the "hate the sin, but love the sinner" gets trotted out - Christian charity, in their eyes, requires them to love the person, but hate the icky sex stuff; to their eyes, it's no different from a person who's getting hammered on two bottles of whiskey a night. Theology teaches that you should try to help someone who's stuck in a sinful way of life - and thus, just as you'd push someone who had a drinking problem into giving up drinking, the logic is that you should also push someone who had a gay-sex "problem" into giving that up too.

So hating homosexuality itself is perfectly logical in their eyes.

Also, it's only been within fairly recent memory that homosexuality was decategorized as a mental illness, so it's not surprising that there are a lot of people who still haven't gotten the memo that sexual orientation is actually an inborn, innate thing. Especially when you work the whole Kinsey scale into play - there may be quite a few people who are sort of in a midpoint on the Kinsey scale who are thinking "well, hell, I also kinda dig guys too, but I just decide to leave that be and stick to women. Why can't they do the same? It wasn't hard for me...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:23 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Note that the above should not be taken as my trying to defend that mindset; only to explain its origin story.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:32 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Hobby Lobby is a smaller part of a larger whole. Antichoice, *phobic, etc. forces have been using religious exemptions for a while, whether or not those exemptions come from RFRA. The transphobic nonsense at Gordon had been in the works for a while, and it didn't rely on anything within the Hobby Lobby decision itself.

Where Hobby Lobby intersects with ENDA, it gets sticky. Hobby Lobby declared that for-profit institutions could receive protection under RFRA, yes, and that is of course a big deal. However, the holding had also hinged on what could be construed as the "least restrictive" way for women to have access to contraception. The government had already set up an arguably "less restrictive" means of granting access to contraception. It was an exemption which had been tailor-made for nonprofits. The Court butted in and said that the government could apply that same system to for-profits.

That detail doesn't necessarily translate so well to a discrimination case. If the Court could agree that the government has a compelling interest in ensuring equal employment opportunities for LGBT persons, then what on earth would be the "less restrictive" alternative to, well, you know, ensuring equal employment opportunities for LGBT persons? With Hobby Lobby, the Court said that contraception could be covered by the insurance company itself, or through the government. But how could that logic map onto a discrimination case? If you are discriminated against, the government will cut you an equivalent paycheck?

Anyway, my point is that Hobby Lobby is big and flashy, but it's just one part of a much larger set of systems.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:34 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Leviticus is old-covenant. Jesus is new-covenant. I don't thing Jesus people should concern themselves with -- to them -- obsolete documentation.

This, in a nutshell, is my feeling on contemporary conservative Christianity, as well. "Love thy neighbor" is a pretty damned clear directive. It's not "Love thy neighbor, except in cases where those old books, which I am here to replace, might imply you can do otherwise, depending on how you read them."
posted by Thorzdad at 10:35 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


rtha, the way they square that circle is through a belief that sexual preference is a choice. Homosexuality isn't something you are, it is something you do, like cheating on your taxes or gambling or excessive drinking or something.

Oh, sure, I understand that - that's the rhetoric I grew up hearing. And it's never been lost on me that it's awfully ironic to be told this by people of this or that sexual religious orientation.
posted by rtha at 10:36 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


This, in a nutshell, is my feeling on contemporary conservative Christianity, as well. "Love thy neighbor" is a pretty damned clear directive. It's not "Love thy neighbor, except in cases where those old books, which I am here to replace, might imply you can do otherwise, depending on how you read them."

I 100% agree, however the super conservative on my FB like to make the (bullshit) claim that "We do love them, that's why we want them to know their homosexuality is a sin and wrong" and blah blah blahvomit.
posted by Twain Device at 10:43 AM on July 17


Ah, yes, the "Hate the sin, love the sinner" escape hatch. If I had a nickle...
posted by Thorzdad at 10:48 AM on July 17


If anyone has a good counter argument for THAT insipid crap, I'd love to hear it for future use.
posted by Twain Device at 11:03 AM on July 17


I 100% agree, however the super conservative on my FB like to make the (bullshit) claim that "We do love them, that's why we want them to know their homosexuality is a sin and wrong" and blah blah blahvomit.

As the saying goes, "With friends like that..."
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:13 AM on July 17


They suspect that those arguing for full LGBT equality don't give a shit about these concerns. They suspect that the liberal/progressive response is basically: "Tough. Maybe your religion is false and dumb and you should just give up."

Well, I do. Private religious concerns and communities are just that, private. Creating a god-ordained intentional community based on theological beliefs and rigorous religious practice is a grand old American tradition (much of which was erased from history because many of them were communal, and you just couldn't say that in the 50s and 60s when Christianity because a shibboleth for anti-Communist). I don't care whether it's a revival of Shakers or a community built around the ideals of Mary Daly, it's not my concern.

But if your college budget depends on my tax dollars subsidizing your students, your professors, and even your perpetual construction projects, at that point I'm going to say that the letter and spirit of Equal Opportunity, the Civil Rights Acts regarding education, and federal policies regarding educational discrimination are going to apply. You don't get to take Department of Education cash and get a loophole in federal law on those limits.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:10 PM on July 17 [13 favorites]


If anyone has a good counter argument for THAT insipid crap, I'd love to hear it for future use.

"You can't love someone and simultaneously refuse to believe them when they tell you who they are. That's not love; it's demanding someone cut away a part of themselves to accomodate your comfort."

I mean, I doubt it will work, but you might as well try.
posted by emjaybee at 5:44 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


If anyone has a good counter argument for THAT insipid crap, I'd love to hear it for future use.

Matthew 7:3-5

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
posted by corb at 5:58 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


filthy light thief: "Oh, I'm sure of it. "Why haven't I heard about what Christians were doing in support of Chick-fil-A?" I told Dad the reason is because the mainstream media, where he gets his news, is in the pocket of the"

That "American Thinker" stuff is satire, right?


Right?
posted by notsnot at 7:28 PM on July 17


Love Salem's response; if every mayor held every stakeholding entity to basic standards of decency like this, we'd live in a much better world.

It's bizarre to me, strategically speaking, that Gordon College would want to die on this hill. Aside from being bigoted, it's just plain self-destructive. Is their administration actually so chock-full of True Believers, or is this just an incredibly misjudged vie for conservasphere fame? Because there is no meaningful future whatsoever for a vocally and explicitly homophobic institution here in urban Massachusetts. Unless they can airlift their entire college to a site in the rural Bible Belt, or the actual Evangelical Rapture occurs, they're looking at a dead end. I have a strong hunch that there are a lot of high-level people at Gordon who are deeply regretting having selected Michael Lindsay as their president.
posted by threeants at 11:52 PM on July 17


And before you say "the Catholic Church", yes, ok, but it's complicated.
posted by threeants at 11:52 PM on July 17


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