The Texas-based, religious-right group Liberty Institute has hit a repulsive new low: equating the firing of an anti-gay sports commentator/politician in the United States with the January massacre of 17 people by Islamic extremists in France.

In a series of tweets this month, Liberty Institute has been claiming that sports commentator Craig James of Texas and two other people have lost their jobs because of their Christian beliefs. The latest such tweet was this morning:

It is tyranny: freedom for thee only if you agree with me. http://bit.ly/1zWz7Ag #JeSuisBob #JeSuisCraigJames #JeSuisEricWalsh

First, the claims about why these individuals lost their jobs is in dispute. But in any case, note that each of the tweets includes hashtags that play off #JeSuisCharlieHebdo, a hashtag that went viral after the massacre at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The Paris attacks also included murders at a Kosher deli and of a policewoman near a Jewish school. (A shrine in memory of the 17 victims of the terrorist attacks has been vandalized in recent weeks.)

You might recall that James has charged that Fox Sports wrongly fired him because of anti-gay comments he made during his run for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas in 2012. James and Liberty Institute, which represents him, claim that the firing amounted to religious discrimination. Liberty Institute’s tweets note two other individuals the group claims have lost their jobs because they expressed their religious beliefs about various topics, particularly homosexuality and evolution.

As we have said, honest people can disagree about whether Fox should have canned James. But the network didn’t fire him because of his religious beliefs. They discharged James because they thought his intolerant and offensive public statements about gay people and his advocacy of certain public policies would hurt their business. After all, having a commentator who alienates potential viewers with his controversial political comments is a risky thing. Similar things happened over the years to commentators who have made offensive statements on matters like race and gender.

And James’ political statements have been controversial. He has said — during political campaign debates — that gay people choose their sexual orientation and “are going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions.” He also has expressed opposition to any legal recognition for same-sex couples, including civil unions. James has used the controversy over his remarks and political positions to bolster his support among far-right activists.

But whatever one thinks about James and what he has said, it’s vulgar and appalling to equate his firing to the brutal, senseless slaughter of 17 innocent people by religious extremists. Frankly, James should be ashamed that Liberty Institute is making such a comparison in some bizarre attempt to turn him into a Christian martyr. What’s next? Equating him to Joan of Arc? St. Peter?

What Liberty Institute is doing here is insulting and offensive to the victims of terrorism in France and, frankly, anywhere in the world. And it’s one more reasons Texans should take a very skeptical view of anything that organization says or does.

2 thoughts on “#JeSuisAppalled

  1. Oh NO! Christianity is under attack! We’re going to see its demise almost any day now. The churches are emptying, nobody is attending anymore. WOW, who ever thought that we would see the day. (Wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth)

    Christians want exactly the same thing as ISIS except they don’t go around actually cutting people’s throats, they just scream as though their throats were being cut.

    Why is it that Christians feel they can say things that HURT others and think that there should be no consequence in the offing? Oh, I get it, CHRISTIANS WANT EXACTLY WHAT ISIS WANTS: TO BE THE ONLY RELIGION IN THE WORLD AND IF ANYONE DOES NOT WANT TO DO THAT THEY ARE GOING TO A SCARY PLACE THEY CALL HELL where a loving and gracious god will burn people for ETERNITY for not believing in their story.

    I live in a city that has in the neighborhood of 500 churches. There are no mosques and there are no synagogues. What in the world are people going to do with 500 former places of worship?

    Horrors of horrors! One very mean spirited Christian says something false and hurtful (gays DECIDE to be gay) and so loses his job, that means that Christianity is going down the tubes! Yup. We’re going to have 500 empty buildings because that guy didn’t have the intelligence or heart to keep his big mouth shut. Yup, Christianity is being attacked.

    How asinine can they get? It is unlawful for a person to yell FIRE in a theater. Does that mean that their free speech is under attack? No, it just means that there ARE limits to free speech. Likewise, lying about people with the intent to hurt them is not anything a person can do without expecting to get away with it.

    When I was a young girl, boys had “cooties” all over them and I knew that if I ever so much as touched one, “I” would get them too. Then one magical days their cooties disappeared and some of ’em were CUTE! It just happened.

    My gay friends were shocked to find out that their attraction was to others of their same gender. It had nothing to do with a decision that they made, it just happened!

    I ask bigots “when did you decide to be straight?” Their answer is ALWAYS “it just happened.” Our sexuality is determined while we are still gestating. No, there is no such thing as a “gay gene.” There IS, however, a part of our brains that determine to whom we are going to be attracted.

    The problem with funny-mental Xians is that they do not bother to recognize that their bibles were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. What the word “abomination” does not MEAN abomination–it was “translated” that way by Christians who had a preset concept of homosexuals and thought that the word abomination would fit their way of thinking.

    It merely means that “this is not what we do.” That was spoken to the nascent nation of Israel and they discussing not homosexuality itself, they were discussing TEMPLE PROSTITUTION.

    The same word is used to describe sea food. And it was for the same reason. Yet most people love slurping down oysters, clams, etc. And how many lobsters (the cockroaches of the sea) do people scarf down every year?

    There is no good “abomination” or bad “abomination” other than the way some people think it does.

    Bottom line: If you think that homosexuals make a decision and that it is wrong, fine, have it your way. BUT DON’T SAY IT WHEN YOU ARE ON THE AIR unless you expect to be sanctioned for pushing YOUR religion on others.

    And YES, it is about religion. My faith does not proselytize. We do not think that we are THE WAY, THE TRUTH, ETC. Your religion is just as good as mine and I respect ALL religions. That means, of course, that I am not in any way a Christian. It is none of my business what someone else should be worshiped. So continue to believe what you want to believe but KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. If you shoot your yap out in my face, I will bring you to your knees, crying because I think your religion is wrong. So keep your ideas away from me and I will continue to respect you and your faith. Fair enough?

  2. Imagine NO Religion! The stories and myths written about in the bible are just that, stories and myths. If only the age of enlightenment had produced more intelligent people to stomp out the religious myths that keep people ignorant of science and the truth of how our world was born.