Craig James, Claiming Religious Discrimination, Preps for a Lawsuit Against Fox Sports
Craig James' tenure as a college football analyst on Fox Sports Southwest was hilariously brief. It took all of one day for the station's corporate parent to learn of the hire, review James' comments on homosexuality from his failed U.S. Senate campaign, and show him the door.
Craig James for Senate
College football fans greeted the news with some combination of guffaw and shrug and quickly moved on, but religious conservatives were not amused. Groups like the Family Research Council and Texas Values penned impassioned jeremiads calling Craig James the "latest face on religious liberty," fired for expressing his sincerely held Christian belief, which is that God will judge gay people.
James himself has now joined the persecution chorus.
"I was shocked that my personal religious beliefs were not only the reason for Fox Sports firing me but I was completely floored when I read stories quoting Fox Sports representatives essentially saying that people of faith are banned from working at Fox Sports," James said in an "exclusive comment" to Breitbart News. "That is not right and surely someone made a terrible mistake."
What Fox Sports representatives actually said, in reference to certain anti-gay comments he made on the campaign trail, was "We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn't say those things here."
Whatever. James isn't going to let such minor details derail his crusade, which is intensifying. He recently enlisted Plano's arch-conservative Liberty Institute, which made its name suing Plano ISD in the infamous Candy Cane Case, as legal representation.
Today, Liberty's Jeffrey Mateer fired off a three-page letter to Fox Sports demanding that James get his job back.
"The termination of Craig James raises serious issues of religious discrimination, unlawful disparagement of the character of Craig James, malicious interference with his employment, and unlawful termination of your employment agreement with him," Mateer writes.
See also: Liberty Institute: Assault on Religious Liberty is at All-Time High (and That's Just Counting Christians)
What follows is a lengthy description of James as a "fair and open-minded person" who "show[s] love and kindness to all those around him, regardless of whether they share his beliefs." Case in point was the openly gay political consultant to run his 2012 Senate campaign.
The letter goes on like that for a while, but Mateer eventually gets to an ultimatum: give James his job back or face a possible lawsuit.
"Craig James believes that he, as a Christian, is called to love everyone regardless of their sexual orientation," Mateer says. "Craig James simply wants to receive the same tolerance for his religious beliefs that he himself practices towards others."
Which is one way of looking at it.
Here's the letter: