Discrimination | Iowa

Fired Editor Sues for Religious Freedom to Write About 'Gaystapo'

Robert Eschliman, former editor-in-chief of the Newton Daily News, is suing his one-time employer on the grounds that he was terminated because of his religious beliefs. Eschliman was ousted last May after taking to his personal blog to express his thoughts on what he understood to be the “LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo effort to reword the Bible to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.”

ImagesWhile Eschliman wasn’t using the Newton Daily News to voice his opinions, the paper nonetheless felt the need to distance itself from him after its readers expressed their outrage.

“The First Amendment does not eliminate responsibility and accountability for one’s words and actions,” wrote John Rung, president of Shaw Media which owns the paper. “As previously stated, he has a right to voice his opinion. And we have a right to select an editor who we believe best represents our company and best serves the interests of our readers.”

In his lawsuit Eschliman describes the entire situation as pure religious persecution.

“That blog post described my sincerely held religious beliefs regarding Holy Scripture and the definition of marriage,” Explaind. “My comments on my blog were personal in nature and reflective of my sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Read Eschliman’s full intake questionnaire detailing his side of the story AFTER THE JUMP...

Final Eschliman Eeoc Charge.072214gcs1

 

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Comments

  1. Oh, boy. Here we go. The flood of lawsuits post-Hobby Lobby has begun.

    Posted by: Hawthorne | Jul 25, 2014 12:27:53 PM


  2. You work at the pleasure of your employer and your employer was not pleased that you showed the world that they hired an asshat of an idiot.

    Posted by: bkmn | Jul 25, 2014 12:27:55 PM


  3. His will to be obnoxious is not protected under the law.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 25, 2014 12:28:12 PM


  4. The employer can also cite religious reason for terminating his contract. Employers do have religious freedom as SCOTUS has recently decided. Jesus said "love thy neighbors". He is violating Jesus' commandment. The question is who has more "religious freedom".

    Posted by: simon | Jul 25, 2014 12:30:00 PM


  5. His religious freedom is not affected. He can still observe his religion as he wants.

    The important question is how old do you think he was when he began wanting to give guys BJs.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jul 25, 2014 12:34:39 PM


  6. The bible is just a book written by ancient men. Crackpot christians should try reading at least one other book. They should also travel outside their provincial neighborhoods to experience a little of the world's diversity. Airlift this slob to Times Square.

    Posted by: Richard | Jul 25, 2014 12:42:36 PM


  7. More supposed tolerance from the Left. Because if this many doesn't agree with the current LGBT agenda, he must be fired and shunned from polite society.

    The real issue most straight men have with gay men is their lack of masculinity. If gay men can embrace the same standards of masculine behavior that our straight counterparts do--including a willingness to fight when necessary, then you will be accepted.

    I hope its instances of intolerance like this by the "Gaystapo" (that's what it is these days) that helps bring some awareness to young gay men to see the light and helps steer them away from the culture of effeminacy and the self-destructive behavior that usually results from embracing it....and towards an embrace of masculine values that will result in them being fully accepted by other men and by society in general.

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 25, 2014 12:43:41 PM


  8. I hope the judge takes one look at this case, informs this idiot that his right to free speech was not infringed upon, as the blog was not taken down, and that his right to free speech does not guarantee his right to be employed if he brings unwanted publicity to his employer due to his opinions.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jul 25, 2014 12:53:38 PM


  9. "If gay men can embrace the same standards of masculine behavior that our straight counterparts do--including a willingness to be interested in only women when necessary, then you will be accepted."

    Posted by: KevinVT | Jul 25, 2014 1:01:38 PM


  10. The newspaper was probably horrified at his lack of creativity and dependence upon tired, overused hyperbole.

    Posted by: Sammy | Jul 25, 2014 1:03:57 PM


  11. Remember when Rick said yesterday on the Jason Collins story "The real imperative is for men to liberate ourselves from women entirely--socially, emotionally, and sexually--and everything else will then take care of itself"?

    He's an actual crazy person. He's like a white supremacist but instead of promoting the white race (though he does that too) he seeks to eradicate the female sex.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jul 25, 2014 1:05:17 PM


  12. Blogs--or Facebook--are public forums, unless you have them open to no one but yourself. So, even if it's only your personal views you're expressing, you're in essence broadcasting them at a town meeting. Not everyone in town is there, but it's not your living room. Don't pretend it is.

    If you have a public career (newspaper editor, teacher, public servant, human resources) that depends on your ability to be fair, rational, and diplomatic toward a broad group of people, the way you publicly express your personal views reflects on your professional capabilities and reflects on the company you're employed by. Rule of thumb: if you wouldn't say it in front of your work peers and aren't willing to publicly defend your views, don't spout it on your public blog. Or spout it and be willing to take the consequences.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 25, 2014 1:08:03 PM


  13. Rick is talking about his party and how he is not accepted by his masters. News flash:
    WE DON'T need acceptance from your party in case it is not obvious to you.

    Posted by: simon | Jul 25, 2014 1:10:54 PM


  14. Rick cracks me up.

    Posted by: uncle walt | Jul 25, 2014 1:39:51 PM


  15. "He's an actual crazy person. He's like a white supremacist but instead of promoting the white race (though he does that too) he seeks to eradicate the female sex."

    I think Rick means to eradicate thought. He's a Lovecraftian troll devoted to inspiring chaos and madness through the non-Euclidean hatred of racial minorities and women.

    Posted by: Sergio | Jul 25, 2014 1:50:53 PM


  16. Yes, Rick, anyone who does not agree with the LGBT agenda for full equality for all Americans and all people everyone on this earth SHOULD be shunned. What's not to shun?

    Posted by: Zlick | Jul 25, 2014 2:00:35 PM


  17. @Rick helps me to remember why I mostly don't really care what anyone thinks about me. I'm lucky to have been this way since puberty [that I can remember] and even before that [knit, crochet, did needlepoint, baked, gardened, all the manly pursuits, lol]. I'm not saying I "learned" not to care, I just don't care. I generally don't respect their opinions [or Rick's] so they don't matter to me. They have a right to them, I just don't care what they are. I'm even surprised when someone asks MY opinion, but try and give the most honest one I can. More surprising is how often I'm asked, very.

    Posted by: ben~andy | Jul 25, 2014 2:13:26 PM


  18. This case would have nothing to do with the Hobby Lobby ruling. In reality, this is exactly the type of discrimination that anti-discrimination laws attempt to stop. In this case the privileged group is religious, but newspapers have a first amendment right to hire and fire based on religious or political views, so his case will go nowhere. If he were a janitor he might have a case, but otherwise, no.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 25, 2014 2:55:48 PM


  19. Anyone who uses the phrase "sincerely held religious beliefs" needs to be beaten all day long.

    Posted by: Steve | Jul 25, 2014 3:00:44 PM


  20. While Bobby Boy is at it, he should just have a big, red "Victim" tattooed across his forehead. Then when anyone asks him why he is a victim, he could freely tell them to his heart's content. Of course he might have to put up with lots of uproarious laughter at his expense when he tells his little sob story.

    Posted by: john patrick | Jul 25, 2014 3:05:34 PM


  21. His freedom to write isn't anyone else's obligation to publish.

    Posted by: Vint | Jul 25, 2014 3:48:59 PM


  22. Editing takes a certain amount of intellectual skill. I'm surprised he has enough of that to hold such a job. I'm often surprised at who wants to make a public issue of their personal belief in "Holy Scripture." Really? You believe the Bible had supernatural origins? You've read it, and concluded, "yep, that's god's words alrighty."

    Posted by: james street james | Jul 25, 2014 4:02:48 PM


  23. "Sincerely held" is the lowest possible standard of belief. If a belief is less than sincerely held, we don't even call it a belief. At that point it's just a hunch, an inkling, a suspicion, etc. Higher standards of belief are: demonstrable, confirmed by evidence, independently corroborated, cross-examined, etc. The fact that a belief is sincerely held doesn't make it worthy of respect, much less protection.

    Posted by: JJ | Jul 25, 2014 4:10:03 PM


  24. @JJ: Excellent analysis. In my experience, "sincerely held belief" is equivalent to "too stupid and lazy to think rationally for yourself." It might be my "sincerely held belief" that the world is flat. Who cares how sincere I am? The belief is wrong and just dumb. For some sincerely religious people in the world, women are to be subjugated by men, and if they go outside or take action without their husband's, father's, or brother's, they can be stoned to death or have their throat slit. Are we supposed to respect that because it's "sincere" and "religious"? Similarly, I don't give a damn whether Eschliman and his ilk think that I am a sinner in the sight of his god. I find it an objectionable and hateful belief undeserving of any respect or accommodation.

    Posted by: ajax28 | Jul 25, 2014 5:31:46 PM


  25. Using a term like "LGBTQXYZ" shows that he is not fit to be an editor. This is not a comment about his beliefs but about his abuse of the English language.

    Compare Eschliman's language to that of Maureen Down in her column, "Bush-league Remark Reveals The Inner Frat Boy" (about an incident during Bush's first campaign for president where he made a crude remark about a New York Times reporter):

    'Here at The New York Times, we were exceedingly dismayed at the news that George W. Bush had called our redoubtable reporter Adam Clymer "a major-league (expletive deleted)."

    'It caused quite a tizzy. How could we cope with that sort of insult? By midday Tuesday we had searched our hearts and come to grips with the delicate problem. Al Siegal, our estimable arbiter of language, sent a memo to the editors on the political desk: "Folks: If we have to refer to it again, let's call Bush's word a vulgarity, not an obscenity. It has nothing to do with sex. Nor is it profane, having nothing to do with religion or the deity."'


    Posted by: Bill | Jul 26, 2014 2:01:55 AM


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