Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Conor Friedersdorf is killing it on religious freedom

By Thomas V. Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 03, 2015

I remember taking note of Atlantic writer Conor Friedersdorf back in 2012, when despite his liberalism he refused to vote for Obama because of the President’s assault on civil liberties and his murder of innocent kids (and American citizens!) with drone strikes. After a while, I forgot about him – but apparently he hasn’t stopped writing great commentary. In the past month, this gay-marriage-supporting civil libertarian has proved himself a Christian’s best friend when it comes to religious liberties.

Needless to say, Friedersdorf is wrong to support gay marriage, but in a way, his arguments for religious freedom are that much more powerful (at least they will be to the left) because he isn’t arguing in his immediate self-interest.

On Good Friday, for instance, The Atlantic published Friedersdorf’s essay called “Should Mom-and-Pops That Forgo Gay Weddings Be Destroyed?” A response to the attacks on Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana (it includes a summary for those who haven’t heard about it), the essay is a plea with his fellow supporters of gay marriage to stop, reflect, and acquire a sense of proportion as well as some compassion for those who disagree with them. Friedersdorf argues that the situation in Indiana is, in fact, quite different from Jim Crow, and that neither legal force nor destroying people’s livelihoods is warranted.

Perhaps even more valuable is Friedersdorf’s March 5 essay, “Refusing to Photograph a Gay Wedding Isn't Hateful.” In this piece, Friedersdorf simply seeks to combat the universal assumption that the only possible reason one might oppose gay marriage is bigotry against homosexuals. The argument is familiar to those who support traditional marriage, but it hasn’t even occurred to many people, and Friedersdorf has performed a valuable service in exposing them to it.

UPDATE: ...Oh, and if people won't leave us alone, there's always Fr. Zuhlsdorf's strategy:

When some homosexual couple comes to your Christian business for services at their immoral event, don’t panic.  Go ahead and take their business! ...And then inform them that all of the money that they pay for the services will be donated to a traditional pro-family lobby.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Terri11 - Apr. 08, 2015 8:07 AM ET USA

    Or if the pro-family lobby isn't scary enough, donate it to Courage or JONAH. There's nothing scarier to the gay community than a happily abstinent gay man.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 04, 2015 9:53 AM ET USA

    I like it. "I'll take your money, but will not use it for personal gain. Instead it will go to support a truly worthy religious cause. Thanks for your donation."