Keep your opinions to yourself: The new double standard

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By Chuck Colson
Opinion — CHRISTIAN EXAMINER
Do you have an opinion on same-sex "marriage?" If you're against it, you'd better keep it to yourself. At least that's what the gay lobby wants you to believe.

Peter Vidala was being harassed at work—subjected, over and over again, to views he found offensive. When he finally spoke up, he was fired.

It's an illustration of the double standard that often prevails when it comes to same-sex "marriage."

Vidala was a deputy manager at a Brookstone store in Boston's Logan Airport. Last August, a manager visiting from another store told Vidala she was planning to "marry" her female partner. Vidala said he "quickly changed the subject." As a Christian, he considered homosexual behavior immoral, and same-sex "marriage" an "oxymoron." The woman's comments made him uncomfortable.

But the visiting manager didn't get the message—or maybe she did. She talked about her wedding plans over and over. Vidala later told Fox News she was goading him into commenting on her relationship.

Vidala said, "By the fourth time she mentioned it, I felt God wanted me to express how I felt about the matter. So I did." He told her, "Regarding your homosexuality, I think that's bad stuff." He also reported that he had intended to tell her he would prefer she not bring up the subject at work, but she just started laughing.

And then she told him, "Get over it...keep your opinions to yourself." She then complained to human resources, and Vidala was fired. Why? Because by "imposing" his beliefs on her, it constituted "harassment."

So pummeling a junior-level Christian employee with endless comments he finds offensive is OK. But making a single critical comment to a lesbian senior-level employee is a firing offense.

Even more disturbing is the reason Brookstone gave to back up its decision. In Massachusetts, same-sex "marriage" is legal. So a lesbian employee can prattle on about her wedding plans without harassing anyone.

The implications of this are frightening. If same-sex "marriage" is foisted upon other states, then expressing disagreement with it—or even criticizing the homosexual lifestyle—could become a firing offense for everyone. If employers had taken this attitude 90 years ago, people could have lost their jobs for disagreeing with laws forbidding women from voting!

This is how far the gay agenda has come in this country. Any disagreement is portrayed as hatred and harassment. And the victim—as in this case—is often a Christian.

Peter Vidala's firing will have one beneficial effect, at least. It will help the rest of us understand why same-sex "marriage" laws are like no other. Oppose them beforehand or speak out afterward, and you will be punished.

This is why the Manhattan Declaration, signed by more than 150 Christian leaders and released Nov. 20, is so important. It directly confronts the question of religious liberty, so threatened in today's post-Christian culture. You'll be able to find the document itself at www.ManhattanDeclaration.org where you can also sign it. We're looking for thousands of Christians who will have the courage to stand with us and sign on.

Copyright© 2009 Prison Fellowship Ministries
Reprinted with permission
BreakPoint is a ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries