Lots of people are still wasting breath talking about polygamy, but Lydia explains the main danger well:
Yes, yes, we have a First Amendment in the U.S. But that is being continually whittled away by employment law, fraud law, and public accommodations anti-discrimination law, as I have discussed above in this entry and as numerous events in the U.S. attest. (To make it concrete in just one case: If you try not to discriminate and hire an openly homosexual employee, and another employee admits at the water cooler that he doesn’t think the homosexual is really married and that he opposes the homosexual lifestyle, you as the employer will be pressured if not outright coerced to fire the employee who spoke out or else face a “hostile work environment” lawsuit. To say that this sort of government-coerced employer harassment of employees for their free speech is consistent with either the free speech or free exercise clauses of the First Amendment is a joke.)
This is what I worry about, much more even than having our Churches taxed out of existence. Anti-discrimination laws are or easily can be rigged to get anyone who disapproves of homosexuality fired and subsequently unemployable. This isn’t just bakers and florists–this is everybody. Fortunately, I don’t think most people would support a law forbidding Christians from holding a job; I’m guessing they don’t realize the far-reaching implications of anti-discrimination laws. It’s not inevitable that they will be interpreted in this sense, but it will happen if we don’t seriously push against it.
I don’t think Christians and gender essentialists have enough clout to stop homosexuals from becoming an officially privileged class throughout the country. There’s probably no point in even fighting over that. Nor do we have the influence to assure that mere disapproval of sodomy (in an “over the water cooler” comment) shall not be a firing offense. (We should try to fight this, but we’re going to lose.) I think we might have just enough influence to be able to protect silence. That is, perhaps we can get some assurance that positive affirmation of homosexuality shall not be required of all employees to ensure a non-hostile work environment. The negative form of this would merely state that employers shall not be required to demand political statements of faith from employees in order to satisfy anti-discrimination laws. I think this is an achievable goal.
Unfortunately, it would only give us limited protection, because sodomy normalization is largely not something the state is forcing onto unwilling companies; it is the sincere and zealous will of “the party of the CEOs”. They want to purge us. Really, we’ll need anti-discrimination laws to protect us, but I don’t see that happening. If we say that Apple and Google shouldn’t be allowed to force their employees to be “gay allies”, they could always retort that the Catholic Church shouldn’t be allowed to force her clergy to not be “gay allies”. If we try to argue that the latter case has to do with the Church’s mission, they can go on about how important–from a purely business perspective–it is for Apple and Google to have employees with the correct “diverse” and “tolerant” attitudes. That’s balderdash, of course, but it’s the sort of thing businesses have been encouraged to say for many years, so we’re not going to have any luck calling them on it now.
These are not idle worries. Silence may not always protect us. At colleges, it won’t. From commenter Scott W.:
When my parish organist was getting his degree in a music program at a college in Buffalo, they assembled everyone for a faculty/student meeting where one of the professors announced he was going transgender. Everyone gave a standing ovation. My organist and a few others remained seated not clapping. Later, he was summoned to a star chamber of faculty because someone reported it. They proceeded to threaten his academic career unless he took sensitivity training. Being still young and intimidated, he took the class.
A document provided to Breitbart News shows the investment banking behemoth JP Morgan Chase has joined a long line of major corporations in putting pressure on employees to sign up for the cause of gay rights. And they have not-so-subtly let each employee know not signing up will be noted…
P Morgan urges employees to “print and display your ally placard,” which implies the recalcitrant will be noticed…
Besides the gay pride placard each employee is supposed to display in their workspace, perhaps the most intrusive article in the documents calls upon employees to “include LGBT issues in your everyday life.” JP Morgan brass want employees to “include [LGBT issues] in your life and conversations, just as you would any other topic.”…
his follows a controversy last year when JP Morgan Chase sent each employee a survey asking them if they were a “gay ally.” JP Morgan employees reached out anonymously to Breitbart News and other outlets about the pressure put on them to violate their own religious consciences.
I wasn’t making up that “ally” thing.
If the goal is just to avoid a “hostile work environment”, then what organizations are really interested in controlling is the public consensus, not private beliefs. (For more on this distinction, see here.) In that case, their goal would be consistent with the following protections for us.
- We shall be allowed to remain silent and not forced to prove our “tolerance” (except by behaving professionally to everyone). If another employee by the water cooler confides to me that he likes to sodomize other men, I am not allowed to express disapproval, but I am not required to express approval. People may think they can infer things about my private beliefs from this silence, but that does nothing to threaten their monopoly on the public consensus.
- Some reasonable warning should be given before any given opinion is ruled out of bounds. For example, if someone posted disapproval of gay marriage on Facebook five years ago, it shouldn’t be a firing offense now. (I’m afraid employers will demand that old now-forbidden statements be removed by their authors when possible, because then retaining them could be interpreted as a current speech act.) Given how many Democrats used to claim (unconvincingly) belief that marriage is a heterosexual institution, I’m guessing this allowance will have wide support.
- Employees needn’t be hounded and fired for beliefs expressed in private or under cover of anonymity, even if these opinions are exposed by a hostile third party. For us, this is crucial. We must be able to teach our children the truth in our own homes, and today pseudonymous blogs are our primary means of public expression. However, it might be possible to convince the state and employers to go along with this, because they must realize that anyone could be a victim of malicious slander, and they would rather not have the job of parsing rumors. The liberals will fight hard against any such allowance for secret “haters” (because our very presence constitutes a hostile environment, presumably), but this is something we must really fight for.
That’s the best-case scenario, in my opinion: a world where we can speak our minds at home behind closed doors and in disguise on the internet, and where we are allowed to save our jobs by refusing to speak where dissent is forbidden. We’re going to have to work very hard to achieve this.
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