DES MOINES, Iowa — A newspaper editor who was fired earlier this year for opining on his personal blog that the Queen James Bible is an attempt by homosexuals “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God’” has filed a complaint with the federal government.
As previously reported, Bob Eschliman has worked as the editor of the Newton Daily News since 2012, and has served as the publisher of the Clarinda Herald-Journal. But he found himself out of a job this past May when he spoke his mind about the Queen James Bible on his personal blog.
“It’s pretty easy to brush off a nonsensical contrived version of the Bible, but that’s not the deceivers’ end goal,” Eschliman wrote. “No, they want all Christendom to abandon their faith. They do that by ‘proselytizing’ to church leaders to change their view on homosexuality.”
“[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,” he continued. “If you ask me, it sounds like the Gaystapo is well on its way. We must fight back against the enemy.”
However, journalist and commentator Jim Romenesko then picked up on Eschliman’s post and wrote about it in an online article entitled Iowa Newspaper Blasts the ‘Enemy Gaystapo’ and the ‘LGBTQXYZ’ Crowd.
Romenesko outlined in his brief report that he emailed Eschliman and inquired if he could report about homosexuality objectively because of his published views. Eschliman ignored Romenesko’s correspondence, but removed the post from his blog.
The Newton Daily News then reported shortly thereafter that management had learned of Eschliman’s comments and placed him on suspension. Days later, Eschliman was officially fired.
Shaw Media President John Rung, who owns the publication, issued a statement about the matter, asserting that Eschliman’s views could have harmed the newspaper’s reputation.
“Last week, Mr. Eschliman expressed an opinion on his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media,” he commented. “While Mr. Eschliman is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”
“Mr. Eschliman 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,” he added.
But now, Eschliman has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, asserting that he was wrongfully discriminated against because of his Christian beliefs.
“To be fired for—basically, on my own time—expressing my personal and deeply-held religious views is shocking,” he told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday.
He was joined by Jeremy Dys of The Liberty Institute, a Christian legal organization in Plano, Texas, as well as former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, who are providing legal assistance to Eschliman.
“No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs,” Whitaker stated. “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.”