An Iowa newspaper editor is suing on the grounds of religious discrimination after being fired for using the word “gaystapo” on his personal blog. Via the Des Moines Register:
Bob Eschliman, former editor of the Newton Daily News, filed a complaint this week with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office in Milwaukee arguing that he was terminated May 5 because of his religious beliefs. If the dispute isn’t resolved to Eschliman’s satisfaction, he could sue in federal court to seek financial damages. In late April, Eschliman, 41, a member of Christian Reformed Church of Newton, wrote a personal blog post criticizing the “Queen James Bible,” a website that rewrites the Christian Bible to be friendlier to gays. Eschliman accused “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” of trying “to make their sinful nature right with God.” Jim Romenesko, who hosts a widely read online blog about the news media, reported on Eschliman’s post and questioned whether Eschliman, in light of his publicly stated views, would be able to fairly cover issues involving gays. Shaw Media, a Dixon, Ill., company, suspended Eschliman with pay and eventually fired him. Eschliman’s attorneys claim that violated his constitutional rights of religious expression. Newton Daily News Publisher Dan Goetz declined to comment Wednesday.
Eschliman, who is is being represented by the Christian Liberty Institute, writes in his suit:
On April 28, 2014, I penned a theologically based article stating my sincerely held religious beliefs about efforts by some to criticize and remold my faith through what I believe is false teaching. In my article, I quoted at length from a variety of sources, most prominently, from the Holy Bible. That blog post described my sincerely held religious beliefs regarding Holy Scripture and the definition of marriage. My comments on my blog were personal in nature and reflective of my sincerely held religious beliefs. Furthermore, I felt compelled by my sincerely held religious beliefs to share my Biblical view with the few folks who read my blog. I would like to have obtained a religious accommodation for my sincerely held religious belief to share my Biblical view with the few family members and friends who read my blog. Shaw Media directly discriminated against me because of my religious beliefs and my identity as an evangelical Christian who believes in Holy Scripture and the Biblical view of marriage.
And another martyr is born. (Tipped by JMG reader Ed)