Iowa Newspaper Editor Files Discrimination Complaint After Being Fired for His Biblical Beliefs About Sexuality

Bob Eschliman speaks during a news conference Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Newton, Iowa Photo By David Pitt/AP
Bob Eschliman speaks during a news conference Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Newton, Iowa Photo By David Pitt/AP

An Iowa newspaper editor is claiming his former employer fired him because of his biblical beliefs about sexuality. Bob Eschliman, the former editor-in-chief of the Newton Daily News, filed an official discrimination charge on Jul. 24 with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

“No American—especially people in the journalism field—should be fired simply for expressing their religious beliefs,” said Jeremiah Dys, senior counsel for the Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal group representing Eschliman.

Eschliman, a Christian, took to his personal blog in April to lambast the Queen James Bible, a revision put forward by gay activists. They say Greek and Hebrew passages on homosexuality either refer to pagan rituals or promiscuity. “We edited those eight verses in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible,” the editors say.

Eschliman’s April 28 post brought statewide attention. “I’d like to talk a little bit about deceivers among us, most notably the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo effort to reword the Bible to make their sinful nature ‘right with God,’” he wrote.

He accused Queen James editors of “’proselytizing’ to church leaders” on homosexuality, citing New Testament prophesies that false prophets will encourage lawlessness. “If you ask me, it sounds like the Gaystapo is well on its way,” Eschliman concluded. “We must fight back against the enemy.”

The Newton Daily News is a member of Shaw Media, a small Iowa and Illinois news network. Shaw Media and Daily News leaders suspended Eschliman and eventually fired him on May 5, even though he took down his blog in response to their concerns. While some people defended Eschliman, others called the post “hate speech,” and four former Newton staffers wrote to company managers decrying his “deep-seeded, zealously hateful views toward a societal group.” By declaring “gays the enemy,” wrote media critic Jim Romenesko, he likely compromised his journalistic integrity.

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SOURCE: WORLD News Service
Andrew Branch

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