White Christian privilege
White Christian privilege

Conservative Christians are determined to retain their “right” to discriminate against LGBTQ persons.

Tuesday, according to American Family Association, an anti-LGBTQ hate group:

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing two churches, a school, and a pro-life pregnancy clinic in their case against the so-called Virginia Values Act, the new LGBT antidiscrimination law that forces the plaintiffs to compromise their religious beliefs when it comes to hiring and operating as they set [sic] fit.

AFA propagandist, Chris Wood, is referring to Virginia SB 868 Discrimination; prohibited in public accommodations, etc., causes of action, civil actions. ADF’s clients want to exclude LGBTQ people from employment.

Nondiscrimination laws honor the “ministerial exception.” Organizations are free to hire ministers who conform to their religious doctrine. However, they are obliged to comply with applicable law when it comes to hiring a secretary or any other non-ministerial position.

Under federal law ADF, for example, is required to hire a Jewish person for any position that it has available if that individual is the best suited for the position. That is in spite of the fact that a Jew does not conform to ADF’s Christian doctrine by rejecting Jesus Christ as the messiah.

These days, the obligation to hire Jews, Muslims and Hindus doesn’t seem to bother the Christians too much. Yet the requirement to hire LGBTQ persons — well — that just isn’t done. Gay and transgender people are speh-SHULL.

The funny thing is that a gay Christian man is closer to doctrinal compliance than a Jewish man. So don’t tell me about “compromising religious beliefs.” Furthermore, we don’t have one set of laws for Christians and another set of laws for everyone else.

ADF has challenged this law twice. The first was Updegrove v. Herring. That suit was filed in September, 2020 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“Imagine the shit fit if a Muslim owned company decided not to hire Christians.”

In March, 2021 Judge Claude M. Hilton dismissed that suit for lack of standing. It is currently on appeal to the Fourth Circuit.

The current case was filed in Virginia Circuit Court for the County of Loudoun. The judge rejected that case on July 16, 2021. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring released a statement.

“Our landmark civil rights protections will remain in place, and Virginia will remain a place that is open and welcoming to all, no matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship, or who you love,” said Attorney General Herring. “I was proud to support passage of the Virginia Values Act and am so proud of our work to successfully defend the law twice against legal attack. As CNBC recently confirmed when it named Virginia its ‘Best State for Business,’ inclusion and diversity make our Commonwealth stronger.”
Which brings me back to American Family Association

AFA solicited a statement from Alliance Defending Freedom:

“We’re concerned about it and disappointed, because everyone should be free to live and work according to their beliefs without fear of unjust government punishment,” says ADF attorney Kevin Theriot. “At this point, we have to decide whether to appeal, and we are in a process of making that decision in consultation with our clients. But I think it’s pretty clear that we can’t let this stand, because the government should not be able to force a religious organization to violate its own beliefs the way that this law does.”

I am an atheist and I own a company. Therefor, I have decided not to hire conservative Christians. Am I “free to live and work according to [my] beliefs without fear of unjust government punishment?” Federal law says I cannot discriminate on the basis of religion.

“ADF’s Kevin Theriot has a set of balls calling for ‘tolerance.'”

Imagine the shit fit if a Muslim owned company decided not to hire Christians. ADF would litigate the matter. Moreover, ADF does not believe that everyone has the right to discriminate. Only Christians. It is called Christian supremacy.

Undoubtedly, ADF will appeal this case, either to the Virginia Supreme Court or to federal court. Moreover, ADF’s Kevin Theriot is terribly displeased:

The appeal process could reach into 2022, but Theriot says ADF is trying to go as fast as possible because “government hostility toward people of faith is unconstitutional, and it just doesn’t have any place in our society.”

“It doesn’t matter where you live or worship; tolerance, respect for good faith differences are essential for a pluralistic society like ours, and if we don’t have them, then we can’t peacefully co-exist,” Theriot insists.

He believes everyone should be concerned about this law.

Mr. Theriot’s undergraduate degree comes from Oral Roberts University. Roberts, by the way, was a faith “healer.” In 1987 Roberts announced that unless he raised $8 million by that March, God would “call him home.” Theriot’s law degree from Vanderbilt is more respectable. But choosing to attend ORU says something about the individual.

I am not arguing ad hominem. Rather, Theriot’s background is an important consideration. Kevin Theriot has a set of balls calling for “tolerance.” That seems only to apply to Christians. It is Christian privilege. As for “respect,” Mr. Theriot works for an anti-LGBTQ hate group. He only respects (perhaps marginally) people he approves of.

Furthermore, nondiscrimination laws are not “government hostility” to religion. They sure as hell are not unconstitutional. It is discrimination “that doesn’t have any place in our society.”

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.