same-sex weddings

As always, it would be helpful if news orgs were precise in gay rights vs. religious freedom stories

As always, it would be helpful if news orgs were precise in gay rights vs. religious freedom stories

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. And if you read GetReligion with any frequency, you no doubt have.

I’m talking about news organizations’ tendency to make broad, sweeping statements when reporting on cases involving gay rights vs. religious freedom.

It’s almost as if there’s only one side of the issue that journalists believe needs to be reflected. Given the century in which we live, you probably can guess which side that is.

My comments in this post are prompted by a Reuters story on major companies calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of LGBT workers.

The wire service’s summary up high:

(Reuters) - More than 200 U.S. companies, including Amazon (AMZN.O), Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O), and Bank of America (BAC.N), on Tuesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that federal civil rights law prohibits discrimination against gay and transgender workers.

The companies filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that bias against LGBT people is a form of unlawful sex discrimination, and said a ruling otherwise would harm businesses and workers.

The Supreme Court in April agreed to take up two discrimination cases by gay men and one by a transgender woman who was fired from her job as a funeral director when she told her boss she planned to transition from male to female.

The justices will hear oral arguments in October and likely issue a ruling by the end of next June.

Somehow, the story moves from discriminating against gay workers to the case of a Colorado baker who declined to make a cake for a same-sex wedding:

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Shocking! Leading Southern Baptist urges Christians not to attend same-sex weddings

Shocking! Leading Southern Baptist urges Christians not to attend same-sex weddings

Stop the presses!

The Louisville Courier-Journal — a Gannett newspaper that all too often eschews quality journalism in favor of advocacy on same-sex issues — reports this "shocking" news:

The president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary says in a new book that Christians should not attend a same-sex wedding ceremony — even of their own child — because it “signals moral approval” of the union.
Writing in “We Cannot Be Silent,” R. Albert Mohler Jr. says that while it may be “excruciatingly difficult” to boycott gay weddings of friends and loved ones, “at some point attendance will involve congratulating the couple for their union. If you can’t congratulate the couple, how can you attend?”

Can you believe it? A leading Southern Baptist theologian who believes God ordained marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman says Christians shouldn't — by their presence — endorse same-sex rites that they consider sinful. 

Again, I say: Stop the presses!

If the Courier-Journal holds to its usual, biased form, this story will proceed to quote lots of folks aghast and outraged at Mohler's comments while — surprise, surprise! — finding none who agree with him.

Sure enough, that's the case:

Gay-rights activists and some clergy denounced the book, to be published Oct. 27 by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, saying it will further divide gays and their families.
“Dr. Mohler's self-righteous intractability on this issue — even banning followers from simply attending the weddings of their LGBT loved ones — can cause nothing but strife, heartache and hardship,” said Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign.
The Rev. Joseph Phelps, pastor of independent Highland Baptist Church, praised Mohler’s intellect but called his words “harsh and offensive,” and said they will cause “damage and division” in “families and society.”

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