I kid you not. Taking the cue from deplorable white trash Americans like Kim Davis who became infamous for refusing to grant marriage licenses to same sex couples because of personal religious objections, these people, whose group stands for Freedom of Religion South Africa, are fighting for the same thing.
Here’s their Facebook page. Their main purpose seems to be opposing a civil union amendment bill which would not allow state employed civil servants to opt out of approving same sex unions. In other words, they believe that freedom of religion means that they can impose their homophobia, which they use religion to justify, on others. So they are fighting for the right to discriminate against others based on “religious” beliefs, exactly the opposite of what freedom of religion is actually about. And as such bigots always do, they are crying Christian persecution, playing the victim while they fight for the right to victimize others.
Note the wording of their status above. They make it about themselves, as if their rights are being suppressed. (They aren’t.) Incidentally, I only managed two perfectly reasonable comments there before being blocked.
My second comment was a reply on my comment thread (My screenshot above was immediately after posting it and doesn’t show the reactions and replies), to clarify what this is, as I see it, to someone who claimed that asking them to approve such unions is the same as forcing a Muslim to serve bacon. (A false equivalence anyway. In reality, them refusing to do their jobs is more like Muslims and Jews forcing everyone not to eat bacon because their religions oppose it.)
Here’s the thing: Freedom of religion is about the freedom to practice your religion, and the same goes for all other religions or lack of religion. (Nobody is stopping these people from practicing Christianity.) It does not mean you can impose your beliefs on everyone else. Anyone refusing to do their job is committing a fireable offense. It is misconduct, and I know how I would handle such people. It’s quite simple: Final written warning the first time, and if they do it again, immediate termination of employment.
This is not new to South Africa. Under apartheid, I heard several Christians arguing that racial segregation was backed by the Bible. That’s what bigots do – they use their religion to justify their oppression, and they will find ways of reading their prejudices into their religious texts, regardless of which religion they practice.
There’s a bigger picture here… Emboldened by the openly fascist, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, tyrannical US president Donald Trump and the wave of white is right straight male evangelical Christian repugnance that he extolls, this flood of bigotry is spreading worldwide. Anti immigrant, anti feminist, anti black, anti LGBT… it’s everywhere.