Political Correctness Gone AmuckPosted: December 22, 2015
Political Correctness Gone Amuck
by JBS President John F. McManus
Any mention of persecuting Christians spurs thoughts of the crimes of Nero or Diocletian or one of the other Roman emperors. In portions of today’s world, murdering or persecuting those who won’t budge from their religious beliefs has again become common.
In the early years of the 20th century, Christians made up 14 percent of what is generally referred to as the Middle East. Today, they number only four percent. There were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq in 2003, mostly Catholics. Today, more than a million have either fled or been killed. Even in Israel where Christ lived and died, the number has shrunk dramatically. In Egypt, Coptic Christians who formerly were left alone to enjoy freedom are being targeted. They live uneasily under the new government and the rise of Muslim Brotherhood power. Elsewhere, non-Christian Yazidis have been brutalized for their beliefs.What about America? Christians themselves aren’t being physically abused but their beliefs are under attack. In a Boston suburb, a man applied for a job at Catholic Fontbonne Academy. During a July interview, he matter-of-factly responded affirmatively to the requirement that all school employees were expected to be “ministers of the mission.” The mission, of course, was to uphold Catholic values and beliefs. Having assented to that rule and other requirements, he was given the job.
Later that same day, this man listed his “husband” as an emergency contact. Within days, he was told that he could not be hired because his relationship with a male partner was incompatible with Catholic beliefs and principles. With lawyers supplied by the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, he sued Fontbonne claiming that he was being denied the job because of his sexual orientation and had suffered harm as a result.
The case went to court and Superior Court Associate Justice Douglas Wilkins ruled that the school violated a Massachusetts anti-discrimination law. Judge Wilkins stated that the school was not exempt from the law because it was a religious institution, and that it had no constitutional protections regarding the matter.
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts protested on the basis of religious liberty found in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Even more, the League pointed to the Massachusetts Constitution that guarantees not only freedom to worship as one chooses, but also affirms the right of religious institutions to govern their internal affairs free of state interference.
Catholic Action League Director C. J. Doyle noted that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had stated in his dissent in the Obergefell decision that the high court’s approval of same gender marriage would have “potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.” Doyle also pointed to the “charade-like character” of the religious exemption to the Massachusetts gay rights law. An appeal is expected.
Forcing a Catholic institution in America to hire a man who admits to holding views that openly mock Catholic principles is certainly not the equivalent of what has transpired for Christians in Roman times or in today’s Middle East. But Catholics can wonder if their rights and those of others will be further eroded in the coming days and years. Will the nearly insane political correctness already sweeping through America lead to physical violence? Or will America turn back to the sanity and good will that marked the nation a mere 50 years ago? Time will tell.
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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.