|Gym bunnies, by Rabbids/Giphy.|
In an astonishing and totally unexpected development it turns out that a substantial number of members, coaches, and staff members of an Indianapolis CrossFit affiliate gym, CrossFit Infiltrate, don't hate gay people! It's possible that some of them may even be gay themselves! So that, according to WTTV,
when a special workout planned by coaches at CrossFit Infiltrate in support of Indy Pride was cancelled by gym ownership[, i]n an email sent to members by gym management, it was explained that the event was cancelled because “the owners of the gym value health and wellness, and they believe that this event does not”—they got upset, though the box's local owner, Brandon Lowe, tried to soothe them by explaining they weren't opposed to gay people, merely to pride, which is unhealthy:
Total health involves the body, the emotions, relationships, and the spirit. At the foundational detractor from health, as we believe God sets the parameters for, is pride. We believe that true health forever can only be found within humility, not pride. Humility is seeing oneself as they truly are, and as God truly defines them to be. As a business we will choose to deploy our resources towards those efforts and causes that line up with our own values and beliefs.And things weren't improved when somebody from corporate calling himself their "Chief Information Officer" (the company said he was a "legal researcher") defended the decision on the Twitter:
So upset, in fact, that members, coaches, and staff quit in sufficient numbers that the company fired Lowe (in this "affliliate" model of franchising they can do that, I guess) and closed the place down, while Chief Information Officer Russell Berger was fired too, according to his Twitter feed, or "placed on unpaid leave while management completes a thorough review", according to their Twitter feed, which took about three hours, and then fired, according to RTV6.
What's really remarkable is David French at the National Review (h/t edroso) complaining that the Chief Information Officer is the real victim here:
So, for those keeping score, that’s a job lost and a gym closed because it’s just intolerable that a Christian either publicly express his moral point of view or that other Christians refuse to host events they find objectionable.
In reading comments and commentary about this latest turn in the culture wars, I’m struck by the extent to which Berger’s views are cast as pure, indefensible bigotry — and that it’s entirely acceptable to not just label his Christian beliefs false but also to believe that they’re actually malicious.Apparently unable to comprehend that Lowe himself, with Berger's overeager assistance from the corporate headquarters, had forced the gym to shut down by driving its customers and employees away. I don't want to exaggerate the virtues of capitalism, but that, Christian morality aside, was a bad business decision, and the company that did it didn't deserve to survive.
I notice this time French skipped the traditional wingnut “of course as a private business they can do this” disclaimer. These guys are getting closer to demanding gay-haters be declared a protected class who can denounce their employers and not get fired. https://t.co/EKJGRMFBv7— Roy Edroso (@edroso) June 9, 2018
But if you look at the story a little more closely, Berger never denounced his employers. It was the people who pay good money to work out in the gym and the professionals they want to work out with that Berger denounced. What reactionaries like French are really looking for is freedom to denounce the entire business, especially the people who pay for it, and to blame somebody else when they've destroyed the whole thing.