A reader commented last night on my “Prof. Kingsfield” post about the grim prospects for religious liberty in the post-Indiana environment:
All of this is true, and then some. I teach at one of the most highly ranked Christian law schools, and the less I acknowledge that the law school is in fact Christian, the better off I am in the legal academy. When asked about the religious affiliation of the school, I downplay it as much as possible, lest I be drawn into a hostile and judgmental discussion about gay rights (a topic that never comes up in my daily life, except for when I’m dealing with non-Christians who want to know just how much of a bigot I must be b/c I go to church or am willing to teach at a Christian university). It’s not that christian perspectives on thought are not welcome in the academy — as that presumes my thoughts would get out of my mouth before I was judged, rather Christians are not welcome in the legal academy, and there’s no turning this ship around. The next shoe to drop will be ABA accreditation. Going forward I think we will increasingly become an insular institution, serving only those who already know they want to be among us. But I’m resigned to it… I realize, not fighting all of this probably makes me a bad Christian, but to fight would mean that everyday would be a battle against thousands who would shout me down on my publicly available email address and harass me and my family online. No thanks. And, the reality is that I’m not alone, I can sense that many at the institution are drawing inward, pulling up the bridge, raising the walls.
In related news, two gay hoteliers in New York City are facing a boycott of their properties over having hosted a dinner event in their apartment for Ted Cruz. The men — Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass — issued a statement after controversy arose, and said in part:
Ian Reisner released the following statement after the meeting, “For my entire adult life, I have been an ardent supporter and activist for gay rights and LGBT organizations worldwide. I was given the opportunity to have a candid conversation with Senator Ted Cruz on why he should rethink his view on gay marriage. We also spoke about where he stood on issues including the state of Israel and national security, which are the only places where we share common ground. My support for Hillary Clinton remains steadfast and my meeting with Senator Cruz was a chance to engage head-on with Hillary’s opposition. It was just 3 months ago that I hosted a “Ready for Hillary” event for 900 people at my hotel The OUT NYC. Senator Ted Cruz and I disagree strongly on the issue of gay marriage, but having an open dialogue with those who have differing political opinions is a part of the political system that this country was founded on. My tireless support of the gay community and its causes worldwide has not and will not change; on the contrary I reaffirm my commitment to gay rights by not shying away from engaging with anyone opposed to us.”
“Mati and I have donated $200,000 to The Stonewall Foundation, which supports many important gay charities. It is well known that we’ve sponsored and hosted dozens of events at The OUT Hotel and at our home for LGBT charities and gay politicians. We have been passionate gay advocates for almost three decades. We have supported OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network for years, LifeBall Vienna, Victory Fund, ESPA, The LGBT Center, The Trevor Project, GLAAD, GLSEN, Hetrick Martin and more. We have contributed financially to the DNC and the campaigns of many gay politicians including most recently Congressman Sean Maloney. We’ve held fundraisers for gay politicians at our home for Christine Quinn and Brian Elner, who became a gay marriage champion.
Mati Weiderpass continued, “Our records make it clear that we support gay marriage 100%. I have been a major supporter of gay causes and gay charities for two decades. People on both sides of the aisle need to be able to communicate with one another even when they ideologically disagree. As a Captain in the Army, I worked tirelessly for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” While serving on the Board of Directors for the Service members Legal Defense Network, I needed to reach across the aisle to make that happen. The fact that Senator Cruz came to a gay household was a surprise and a step in the right direction towards him having a better understanding of why he should rethink his stance on the gay marriage. We spent most of the time talking about national security issues and in particular the challenges regarding the defense of Israel to ISIS and Iran — these are the only issues where we found common ground. However, I did not shy away from engaging the Senator about social issues, in particular gay marriage.”
So, none of the small fortune these guys donated to Democrats and to gay causes, and none of the work they have done on behalf of those causes, counts for anything. Nor does it count that they apparently challenged Cruz at the dinner to reconsider his views on gay rights. Their unforgivable sin was having the leper over to dinner. Readers who remember my outrage over Ted Cruz’s trolling of Middle East Christians know that I am extremely unenamored of the Texas senator, but come on, these guys can’t even have an opponent over to dinner to talk about issues without fearing for their livelihoods?
Last night, Ian Reisner abased himself thus on his Facebook page:
I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake. I was ignorant, naive and much too quick in accepting a request to co-host a dinner with Cruz at my home without taking the time to completely understand all of his positions on gay rights. I’ve spent the past 24 hours reviewing videos of Cruz’ statements on gay marriage and I am shocked and angry. I sincerely apologize for hurting the gay community and so many of our friends, family, allies, customers and employees. I will try my best to make up for my poor judgement. Again, I am deeply sorry.
It’s not going to do him or his partner a bit of good, of course. Shoot two, teach two hundred. That, of course, is the idea.
I wonder who will finally successfully stand up to this mob and its smelly little orthodoxies.