By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
“A hate crime is usually defined by state law as one that involves threats, harassment, or physical harm and is motivated by prejudice against someone's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.” - USLegal.com
Blatant religious bigotry has reared its ugly head again. Another individual has been targeted for a hate crime because homosexual activists and others are motivated by prejudice against his religion.
Jerrry Buell, a former “Teacher of the Year” in Mount Dora, Fla. and a 22-year veteran of the classroom with a spotless record, could be fired for supporting natural marriage on his private Facebook page. If getting fired from your job for exercising your constitutional right to freedom of speech isn’t harassment, I don’t know what is.
In response to New York’s passage of a same-sex marriage bill, Buell criticized the new law in a pair of Facebook posts. He wrote, “If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool of whatever. God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable?”
Just minutes later, he added, “By the way, if one doesn’t like the most recently posted opinion based on biblical principles, then go ahead and unfriend me...I will never accept it because God will never accept it. Romans chapter one.”
This reference to Scripture and man-woman marriage has now been labeled as a “code ethics violation” by school officials.
Says Buell, “It was my own personal comment on my own personal time on my own personal computer in my own personal house, exercising what I believed as a social studies teacher to be my First Amendment rights.”
Buell will now be subject to an Inquisition-type investigation. The Torquemadas of the Lake County School District have put him on the rack and will not let him back into the classroom, says a school official, “until we do all the interviews and do a thorough job of looking at everything – past or previous writings.” If you think that sounds more like Communist China than the United States, you’re not the only one.
Buell correctly observes that this is an all-out attack on Christian teachers and a Christian worldview. “There is an intimidation factor if you are a Christian or if you make a statement against it (gay marriage) you are a bigot, a homophobe, you’re a creep, you’re intolerant. We should have the right to express our opinions and talk about things.”
A former student called his remarks “hateful language.” Bizarrely, truth has now become hate speech in the world of secular fundamentalism.
It’s worth noting that Florida’s constitution prohibits recognition of same-sex marriage, the exact view Mr. Buell supports. In essence, he is now being accused of hate speech for expressing a view enshrined in the state constitution.
Buell treats all of his students, regardless of their sexual preference, with respect and courtesy. Speaking of his classroom, Buell says, “This is the place where you will receive the most respect out of any place you’ll be all day. I love my kids. I take my job very seriously. I treat my kids – every single one of them – as the creatures and creations of God that they are. They all have value. They all have worth.”
In other words, he is exactly the kind of teacher we want filling every classroom in America, a principle-driven man of values and genuine interest in the welfare of his students. Rather than being punished, he should be honored and celebrated by the very people who have given him an in-house suspension, the kind of thing you do with disruptive students.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, until everyone in the United States agrees with me. America must choose between homosexuality and religious liberty, because we cannot have both. America must choose between homosexuality and freedom of speech, because we cannot have both. America must choose between homosexuality and freedom, because we cannot have both.
The kind of flagrant, unconstitutional, unconscionable anti-Christian bigotry Lake County Schools is inflicting on Mr. Buell must not be allowed to stand.
It’s time to bring hate-mongering heterophobia to a screeching halt, and the place to begin is today in Florida.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)