Todd Starnes, Asshole of the Day for July 22, 2014
Yesterday President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The order only applies to federal contractors. This is after Congress failed to pass ENDA, which would have protected all workers from discrimination on this basis. So it’s a small victory for LGBT groups.
But limited though this order is, it’s not good enough for hardcore bigots who feel that the world will end if employers can’t fire people for being gay. Here’s Fox News’ go-to bigot, Todd Starnes explaining how awful this is:
The mask is coming off of the homosexual movement’s agenda. They really do not believe in religious liberty. They want forced affirmation of homosexual and transgender conduct to trump every other consideration in the workplace - including religious liberty.”
The Obama administration seems hell-bent on forcing Christians to assimilate to the militant LGBT agenda. Resistance is futile.
You see, to Todd Starnes, firing people for being gay is a religious matter. In his view Christian organizations shouldn’t be helping the poor if it means they can’t fire gays. Hating gays is more important than helping the poor.
But more specifically, here he is saying that the federal government should not be attaching strings to its funds to protect the rights of its citizens in the workplace where those funds will be spent. It’s a peculiar argument. It is not a stretch to say that, absent the Civil Rights Act, he would argue that the federal government shouldn’t attach a requirement on federal contractors that they not be allowed to fire employees for being black if they could cook up some cockamamie religious reason for hating blacks.
And since religious freedom for him only seems to apply to his particular sect of Christianity, he can’t see that what he’s asking for could also mean that a company owned by another religion could fire a member of his sect on the basis of their religion. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her dissent in the Hobby Lobby case
"Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude."
Religious freedom is a private freedom, not a right for one religious group to impose its rules on others.
So, for defending the rights of those who would take federal funds to be able to fire people for being gay, Todd Starnes is Asshole of the Day.
It is Todd Starnes' sixth time as Asshole of the Day. Previous wins were for
- comparing transgender people to people who identify as a “pine cone or weed whacker”
- whining that the non-white Miss America didn’t reflect “American values”
- his overreaction to the Coke Super Bowl commercial
- blaming God for his own homophobia
- accusing gays of turning St. Patrick’s Day parades into gay pride by participating
Full story: Media Matters