Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Christofascists Find a New Enemy: Other Christians

For those of us who are gay, we have grown accustomed over the years of being public enemy number 1 in the minds and propaganda of the Christofascists.  We see ourselves repeatedly described as child molesters, perverts, and even akin to Nazis.  Indeed, there is almost nothing that we haven't been accused of as the "godly folk" have fought tooth and claw to keep us inferior under the law.  Despite these efforts, the Christofascists lost the marriage equality battle and are now seeking scape goats on whom blame can be cast rather than looking at their own role in (i) driving away 34% of the Millennials from organized religion entirely, (ii) trashing the Christian brand, and (iii) making "Christian" akin to a four letter word among a growing segment of the population.  A new favored target?  "Progressive" Christians who do not adhere to the hate and fear based dogma of the Christofascists.  A piece at Think Progress looks at the Christofascists' effort to attack true Christians and blame anyone but themselves for their political and legal losses.  Here are excerpts:

For decades, conservative Christians who oppose LGBT equality have singled out the federal government or secular atheists as their preferred enemy in public settings, blasting both groups for supposedly attacking “traditional marriage” or infringing on their religious liberty. Yet in the months surrounding the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the country, right-wing Christians have become increasingly willing to cast blame — seemingly hypocritically — on a group they have often dismissed or outright ignored: Progressive Christians, especially those who support marriage equality.

The first hints of a growing front against liberal Christians came in May, when a coalition of conservative churches in Fountain Hills, Arizona publicly ganged up on a local progressive Methodist community. . . . . The source of their outrage? Rev. David Felten, the left-leaning pastor of Fountains United Methodist Church. He reportedly stoked ire by preaching a variety of progressive concepts to his parishioners, such as theological support for interfaith dialogue, scientific discovery, and, of course, LGBT equality.

This same sentiment reemerged in June in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, which was gleefully celebrated by a host of progressive faith groups. Just a few days after the decision, Kevin DeYoung, a pastor in East Lansing, Michigan, published a blog post at the Gospel Coalition entitled “40 Questions For Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags” that quickly spread through conservative and progressive Christian circles. Many of the inquiries were phrased in an accusatory manner, harping on old tropes that LGBT parents harm children and that supporters of marriage equality also support polygamy: . . . 

[W]hile DeYoung’s post was at least framed as an attempt at theological dialogue, other subsequent critiques of progressive faith have abandoned conversation for castigation. In mid-July, Peter Leithart, a Reformed theologian and head of the right-leaning Theopolis Institute, penned a piece in First Things that bemoaned the Court’s decision and explicitly asked conservatives to condemn LGBT-affirming Christians.

[C]onservative Christian denunciation of people who hold different beliefs than they do isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Organizations such as the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which has spent years lobbying against LGBT equality from within several Christian denominations, have long sought the eradication of liberal theology. Right-leaning Catholics and evangelical Christian leaders such as Franklin Graham have repeatedly made sweeping claims as to what “Christians” believe, implying that people of faith who don’t share their views are not, in fact, Christians.

Yet the newest push against liberal Christianity appears hypocritical, as it coincides with a massive campaign waged by various right-wing Christians to insist that the political left respect their “religious liberty” — namely, the right to deny jobs and services to LGBT people in the public sphere, private business, and in Christian schools by invoking faith. . . . A few conservative writers have even sought to cast progressive Christians as bullies unto themselves, calling them “heretic hunters” for speaking up for LGBT people. 

If the goal is to persuade the faithful masses back to traditional marriage, however, then conservatives may be too late. A poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute in April revealed that majorities of almost every major religious group in America now support marriage equality, including members of traditions that officially condemn homosexual acts, such as Catholicism. Only white evangelical Protestants and black Protestants disapproved of same-sex marriage in the poll, but African American pastors — unlike many white theological conservatives — appear far less willing to tout their religious beliefs as justification for policies that discriminate against LGBT people.

The take away?  Christofascists demand that their beliefs be respected and that they be granted special rights to discriminate.  Yet meanwhile, they do not believe that anyone else is entitled to similar respect or rights.  Once again, the Christofascists show themselves to be self-centered  hypocrites.

1 comment:

EdA said...

And as mentioned before, to these sociopaths "religious freedom" means a purported right to deprive others of the right to exercise THEIR (ir)religious freedom. As has NOT been pointed out nearly frequently enough.

Time to stop turning the other cheek, decent Christians. Time to stand up for what YOU stand for.