In Froma Harrop's recent defense of A&E's suspension of Phil Roberson over his remarks about homosexuality, she offers the opinion that A&E "executives have every right to suspend Robertson from its programming for violating its code of conduct."
Wrong. So very wrong. Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination by employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Roberson was exercising his religion at the time of the interview.
The GQ reporter conducting the interview invited Robertson to define the word "sin." Robertson responded by quoting and offering an interpretation of the Bible. Believing that the Bible is a God-created book containing the message of God to humankind, reading the Bible, and explaining the Bible to inquirers is a normal part of practicing Christianity.
Employers have no legal right whatsoever to take any adverse action against any employee on the basis of their religion. They have a right to respectfully edit Robertson's comments as they wish during the production of their show, but they certainly have no right to punish him for religious beliefs expressed either outside or inside of the workplace.
Those who advocate gay rights often make reference to tolerance and inclusion. Yet they act in a way which is intolerant and demeans those of different cultures (such as rural, Southern culture), often raining hate-filled name calling down onto the heads of those with traditional views on sexual morality.
The fact is, the tens of millions of people of faith in America will never accept homosexuality as normative. That doesn't mean they are "bigots" or "homophobes." Actually they are loving people who believe God has mandated restrictions on sex for the good of human beings. Their views should be respected by the media, graciously discussed and fairly presented.
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