Discover more from Wonkette
Sad Newspaper Editor Fired After Complaints About 'Gaystapo,' Proving The Gaystapo Is Real
An Iowa newspaper editor who was fired after blogging about how The Gays are going to hell and taking America with them is now suing his former newspaper, claiming that he's a victim of religious discrimination.Let's all pour one out for poor oppressed Bob Eschliman, the former editor of the Newton Daily News, who was shitcanned just because he wrote a piece on his personal blog decrying a website called "The Queen James Bible" and saying that "the Gaystapo" was out to "make their sinful nature right with God." And now he's threatening to sue, because of course his employers shouldn't have the right to get rid of an editor that makes their paper look stupid. It's all aboutfree speach, which means that you get to say anything you want to, with no consequences ever, especially if you're certain that Jesus agrees with you.
Now, let's be clear -- if Eschlimann had any proof that the owners of the Newton Daily News, Shaw Media, were weeding out all their Christian employees just because they were Christians, we would write to the ACLU and say hey, go help this guy! But so far, nobody else at the paper appears to have been purged for going to church.
In his April blog post, since deleted along with the entire blog, Eschliman wrote,
[Jesus] said there would be deceivers. He said those deceivers would cause Christians who remain true to His teachings to become reviled. He said false prophets would follow to deceive even more, and that lawlessness will abound.
If you ask me, it sounds like the Gaystapo is well on its way. We must fight back against the enemy.
The story started getting attention after media critic and Friend of Wonkette Jim Romenesko called attention to the blog post. Romenesko had emailed Eschliman to ask him whether the Newton Daily News could really "cover gay issues fairly and objectively when he’s declared gays the enemy"; he also asked whether Eschliman would "let one of his reporters write a similar blog post."
Shaw Media suspended Eschliman and later fired him, and ran an editorial explaining the dismissal:
Last week, he expressed an opinion in his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media... While he is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.
Eschliman is being represented by Christianist law firm The Liberty Institute, the same crew that threatened a lawsuit against a Florida school for a probably-nonexistent incident where a cafeteria worker allegedly forced a five-year-old to stop praying.* The oleaginous Jeremiah Dys, an attorney at Liberty, was joined at a press conference by former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, who'll also be representing Eschliman. Whitaker said he's absolutely 100% certain that newspaper owners have no right to get rid of an editor just because he's a bigot, as long as Jesus approves of that bigotry:
"No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs," Whitaker said. "In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing a religious belief in public. This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today's welcoming workforce."
The Des Moines Register also spoke to Drake University constitutional law professor Mark Kende, who suggested that it's possible Eschliman has a case, since his writing occurred outside the workplace, but also said that the paper's owners could argue that
"we are not firing him for his religious beliefs. We are firing him because his job is to be an impartial reporter, and as an impartial reporter he has lost his credibility, so it has nothing to do with his religion."
We wish Mr. Eschliman the best of luck as he becomes an icon of Christian Persecution, and hope that he can somehow find a way to prosper on the Christian Victimhood circuit.
*As far as we can tell, nothing more has happened in that case since April.