By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com July 26 2014 10:48 AM ET
A newspaper editor says he was discriminated against for his religious views, after he was fired for publishing a post on his personal blog criticizing "the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo" for altering the Bible.
Newton Daily News editor Bob Eschilman was fired May 5 for a blog post he wrote in late April regarding the Queen James Bible, which reinterprets the Christian bible to have more LGBT-positive language, the Des Moines Register reports. He said the book was trying "to make their sinful nature right with God."
Eschilman's post was made known by media blogger Jim Romankeso, who then questioned Eschilman's ability to fairly provide coverage of LGBT news and issues.
The former editor's attorneys claim that Shaw Media firing him was a violation of his constitutional right to religious expression. He filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this week.
Eschilman has worked for several media companies, and has won nearly 70 journalism awards, seven of which came during his editorship of the Newton Daily News in Newton, Iowa. In his message to the EEOC, he says he notified his employer of his blog, and they did not ask him to stop writing it or to censor his personal thoughts.
"Shaw Media directly discriminated against me because of my religious beliefs and my identity as an evangelical Christian who believes in Holy Scripture and the Biblical view of marriage," he wrote. "Moreover, Shaw Media announced that not only were they firing me based upon my religious beliefs, but that they would not hire or allow anyone to work at Shaw Media who holds religious beliefs similar to mine, which would include an automatic denial of any accommodation of those who share my sincerely held religious beliefs."
In a May 6 editorial by Shaw Media President John Rung, wrote, "Last week, he expressed an opinion in his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media. While he is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it."