An executive at CrossFit put out on Twitter that he was happy a local gym decided to cancel a workout session in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month because, in his view, “celebrating ‘pride’ is a sin” and “the intolerance of the LBGTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.”
For that, he was fired.
And bam, his point’s underscored, highlighted, bolded and capitalized: “The intolerance of the LGBTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing” indeed.
This is what happened.
Russell Berger, who until this week served as the chief knowledge officer for CrossFit, tweeted this, according to BuzzFeed, which captured the message before it was deleted: “As someone who personally believes celebrating ‘pride’ is a sin, I’d like to personally encourage #CrossFitInfiltrate for standing by their convictions and refusing to host an @indypride workout. The intolerance of the LGBTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.”
Other CrossFit executives, facing complaints, initially put Berger on unpaid leave. But then they changed their minds and fired him.
And the company put out this set of tweets, making clear Berger’s comments are his and his alone: “CrossFit is a diverse community in every way, and that’s what makes us strong. No matter who you are, how you’re built, what you believe, or who or how you love — we are proud of you.”
Except, of course, if you happen to have the view that homosexuality is wrong — like most of the Bible believers, Koran readers and Torah followers of the world — or if you just don’t think a gym should be in the business of promoting select programs based on sexual choices.
Anyhow, CrossFit tweeted this, too: “The statements made … by Russell Berger do not reflect the views of CrossFit Inc. For this reason, his employment with CrossFit has been terminated.”
But isn’t that just what Berger pointed out with his own tweet — that the LGBTQ movement is intolerant of all views, save the ones that tolerate its sexual deviances and practices?
Adding fuel to the fire was CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman.
In a statement to news outlets reported by The Hill, Glassman said Berger’s views were “appalling,” and that he should — umm, hey there, Tolerance is calling; could someone please answer? — but that he should shut the “f—” up and go away.
“[Berger] needs to take a big dose of ‘shut the f— up’ and hide out for a while. It’s sad,” Glassman said. “We do so much good work with such pure hearts. To have some zealot in his off-time do something this stupid, we’re all upset. The whole company is upset. This changes his standing with us. What that looks like, I don’t know. It’s so unfortunate.”
Once again: Personal view. Personal Twitter feed. And as Glassman himself noted, “off-time,” off-the-clock, not-at-work tweet. But because the content seemed critical of the LGBTQ movement, it’s see you later, Berger. Is this really the United States of America, land of the free?
“My actual point I was making,” Berger said to BuzzFeed, “I still affirm it.”
And well he should.
The intolerance of the tolerance-claimers of the left is rabidly out of control. LGBTQs can have all the freedoms they want — they’re welcome, for the most part, to do as they wish with their lives, their sexual choices, their relationship arrangements, their political and cultural choices. But they’re not the only ones in the room.
Those with differing views have the same constitutional and God-given rights to speak and express themselves as those with membership in the special rights clubs. And when individuals can publicly champion LGBTQ rights and openly petition for causes related to this special segment of society, but those with countering voices cannot, a disparity exists. A discrimination occurs.
Berger’s firing was nothing short of discrimination.
That Glassman and other CrossFit executives found the firing justified only underscores the very point Berger was making in the first place — the LGBTQ movement and its leftist supporters have crossed a line and moved firmly into a camp that clamps all dissenting speech, a la North Korea, or Iran or Venezuela. And if the left doesn’t put a stop to the madness and start policing its own factions and special groups, it won’t be long before it’s a la America, either.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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