Here are highlights from Dreher’s post:
I can understand why CrossFit did what it did. You can’t be a spokesman for a company and tweet out something that can be so damaging to the company’s brand. Berger had to make a choice between his job and his personal convictions, and though he had the choice made for him by his imprudence, I believe he wouldn’t have changed a thing.
The case that caused Berger to tweet is more troubling. The owner of the now-closed Indianapolis CrossFit gym did not want to host a Pride event, out of religious conviction. … Lots of staff quit the gym over this, and it had to close. Again: that is people’s right. The owner, apparently a Christian, has now lost his business (temporarily, one hopes) because of his faith stance. It did not involve the government, but the choice of his employees and customers not to associate with a Christian business owner who does things like this. It’s a free country.
However, don’t underestimate the power of this gesture. Gay activists and their supporters among the gym’s employees destroyed this Christian’s business, not because he wouldn’t allow gays to work out at the gym, but because he would not permit them to celebrate gay Pride there.
Dreher added in an update:
Let me make it clear again, since on evidence of the comments, some readers don’t understand. I think it was foolish for the CrossFit spokesman to tweet what he did, and I think that it was fair for the company, given its values, to fire him over that (even though I wish they had not). I support the right of the employees of this Indy CrossFit gym to quit in protest, and the right of customers to leave it in protest. It’s a free country. Whether they were morally right to do it is a separate question. It is an indisputable fact that the owner’s business was destroyed by the insta-boycott. Had he allowed the Pride workout, he would still have a business. He didn’t, and so he doesn’t. …
In a normal world, Christians on staff at a gym owned by an atheist could have scheduled, I dunno, an Easter Worship Workout (silly, yes, but so is a Pride workout). The atheist owner could say, “Wait a minute, I welcome your business, Christians, but hosting an event that celebrates your religion is too much for me. I believe that religion is a destructive force.” The Christians may be hurt by that, but they respect his beliefs, and realize that he is acting out of principle.
To act to force an atheist business owner to host a religious event that violated his deeply held principles ought to have been seen by those seeking to host that religious event as disrespectful and indeed as bullying, and an affront to the kind of virtues we need to live together in a pluralistic republic.
The CrossFit pride controversy again raises issues of whether small business owners (in this case a franchisee) who are traditionally conservative religious believers should be able to opt out of participating in LGBT rites and celebrations while otherwise welcoming LGBT customers.
Dreher’s position will displease both conservative Christians who are condemning the corporate executive’s firing, and Pride supporters who felt that the Indianapolis CrossFit was hostile to LGBT equality, as exemplified by refusing to host the Pride event.