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Monday, February 24, 2014
At NewsBusters, Discriminating Against Gays Is 'Religious Freedom'
Topic: NewsBusters

The boys at NewsBusters sure have a funny definition of freedom -- it involves denying others freedom. They'll support the proposed Arizona bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against gay people.

Ken Shepherd rants in a Feb. 21 post that it's inaccurate to portray the law as Jim Crow-style discrimination because Jim Crow was forced and this is merely voluntary:

The Daily Beast is at it again, portraying attempts by state legislators to protect religious freedom in the workplace as enshring "discrimination" at best and mimicking "Jim Crow" at worst.

[...]

 And lastly, comparisons to Jim Crow are needlessly inflammatory and insulting to real victims of Jim Crow repression and violence. What's more, Jim Crow laws FORCED businesses -- and in some cases religious institutions -- to discriminate against patrons -- or, in the case of churches, worshiper -- whether or not the business owner wanted to discriminate or not.

In the Jim Crow South, a free market remedy to discrimination was impossible thanks to government requiring all business owners of all races to discriminate and/or segregate in some manner. By contrast, laws being considered in Kansas and Arizona would leave plenty of room for competitors to open their doors wides to all comers and pick up the business both of gay persons and straight individuals who would rather not patronize a business which refuses to work with gays and lesbians.

Again, there's a reasonable debate to be had about whether such a free-market remedy is "enough" to address the real or perceived injustice of the matter, but the fact remains that Jim Crow FORCED discrimination whereas laws being considered in statehouses in 2014 are about allowing business owners to make business decisions which obviously threaten their bottom line while adhering to their religious scruples.

You gotta love how Shepherd frames anti-gay discrimination as a "free-market remedy."

In a Feb. 23 post, Jeffrey Meyer criticized network newscasts for allegedly framing their stories on the proposed law "against the religious freedom argument," adding, "ABC and NBC seem perfectly content arguing on behalf of the bill’s opponents and jumped on the left’s “outrage” and “controversial” nature of the bill rather than adequately include the religious freedom side of the debate."

In a Feb. 24 post, Paul Bremmer also called the bill a "religious freedom bill" and got huffy because somebody on MSNBC called it discrimination when a real conservative "would have argued for the need to protect freedom of conscience for business owners with certain religious beliefs, even if, perhaps, questioning whether this law was the best mechanism for doing so."

Bremmer then took umbrage at MSNBC cutting away from that discussion to a Q&A with Michael Sam, a prospective NFL player who recently came out as gay: "It was another sign of an obsession with homosexuality from a network that doesn’t usually cover sports, much less the NFL combine."

 


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EST

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