I’ve addressed the Catholic League in a prior post, which amounted to a disappointing lack of action from an organization that seems to be content in its role as a repository for outdated views on the world and society. I really wish they would have contacted me.
In the absence of a good story to tell about Catholic visitors, let’s talk about the religious freedom to discriminate. Catholic League’s Bill Donohue makes inconsistent and ignorant claims about a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a teacher against a Catholic school. The teacher is a gay man who got married, was so happy about it he posted about it on Facebook, and promptly got fired. You know, for being married.
Bill Donohue says that any teacher entering into employment with a Catholic school would already be aware that the school’s rules follow Biblical teachings, which apparently include discrimination and a zero-tolerance policy for being happy. He suggests that getting married to another man would make you knowingly in violation of these rules and therefore unjustly surprised when the school fires you. That may be true, but if this teacher were gay when he got the job and yet able to educate children effectively, nobody could really blame him for being upset when he lost his job for entering into a legal marriage under the laws of the country in which he lives.
[Note: husbands are men and wives are women, so if Billard’s partner is his husband, that would make him his wife, and no one really believes that to be true. The Catholic League does not tolerate fake news.]
Part of what makes Donohue a gigantic asshole is that he views this man’s marriage as a “marriage” (no doubt in sarcastic air quotes with as much eye-rolling as he can manage) and is clearly setting the foundation for his argument that, as a Catholic, he doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage as anything other than an affront to god and the Catholic Church. That being the case, Donohue can not only blame the teacher for breaking the rules but can claim that the teacher broke some kind of important moral law and is therefore even more culpable for his crime. Still, as with any religious argument, Donohue doesn’t have the law on his side (until Pence ramrods his Religious Liberty legislation down our throats) and will never understand that his religious beliefs don’t give him and his church license to run other people’s lives.
On the topic of the Christian Persecution Complex™, Donohue asserts that the ACLU is “at war” with the Catholic Church. While I can understand why a Catholic leader would feel that way, I can also recognize that the ACLU wouldn’t give the first crap about the Catholic Church, Christian businesses, or religious fundamentalists if they weren’t constantly oppressing people and breaking the law. Donohue views it as a chicken/egg riddle but I don’t. The Catholic Church started this particular battle – and all others like it – when they stepped across the line demarcating personal beliefs and civil liberties. You, Bill Donohue, have 100% freedom to practice your religion on yourself. You have 0% freedom to practice your religion on other people. What about this fundamental concept is so difficult to grasp?
In a classically clueless Christian fashion, Donohue closes his statement with a truly – and bafflingly – stupid paragraph (emphasis mine):
Billard and the ACLU are suing to make a cultural statement. Their bigoted attack on the autonomy of Charlotte Catholic High School shows a contempt for tolerance and diversity. They don’t have a moral, or a legal, leg to stand on.
Hey Donohue, I’m still waiting on that phone call, you coward.