I always read the monthly magazine from Americans United (for Separation of Church and State) cover to cover because I am vitally interested in the fight to protect the First Amendment from encroachments by the ultra religious right who seem to stop at nothing to turn our democracy into a theocracy dedicated to ending what they themselves call "critical thinking" and thereby plunging us back into the Dark Ages, where their small minds have feverishly festered for generations. The September, 2013 issue of Church and State was no exception. A story by Simon Brown, "Wedding Crashers," claims that, "As Support For Same-Sex Marriage Grows, Religious Right Groups Vow to Push Back" and brings us up to date on the doings of the usual suspects: Tony Perkins, Mike Huckabee, Bryan Fischer, &c. They might be amusing if only they did not have millions of fans, narrow-minded bigots who cling to their every pronouncement about God, gays, and guns.
For example, after the SCOTUS struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, Fischer hurriedly warned that the ruling "has now made the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest and bestiality inevitable." And here I was thinking state laws against such things might guarantee such practices would be done in private and by a rare few persons such as Mormon splinter groups (anyone heard of Warren Jeffs?) and Catholic priests. Fischer's comment is especially ingenuous considering that he also supports state bans on abortions even in the case of rape and incest because carrying babies resulting from such miscreant impregnations are nevertheless "God's will." Fischer always insists of having his sacramental wafer and eating it, too.
Then there is Gomer Shuckabee (my pet name for the formerly chubby goofball governor of Arkansas who only won the state's highest political job in the wake of Clinton's terms of office, a backlash being inevitable with so many tea party types griping about Whitewater, the McDougals, and Jim Guy Tucker: voters always go for a clean Gene in such subsequent elections, and it didn't hurt that Gomer was a preacher to boot. His take on the repeal of DOMA: "Jesus wept." Not really. If anyone wept it was Saul/Paul of Tarsus, the founder of Christianity as we know it today. Had there been no Saul/'Paul, Constantine might have gone on worshiping Father Mithras, and we would not have those self-loathing, misogynistic epistles with their internalized homophobia. And how does Shuckabee know anything about Jesus's blubbering, anyway? What an egoistic conceit that out of 300 billion people Jesus could impart present sense impressions to, He always selects Gomer Shuckabee.
Then there's Bradley Dean, described by Brown as a "fundamentalist Christian preacher and rock star wannabe," who suggests that the outcome of the SCOTUS vote on DOMA was dictated by the fact that Justices Anthony Kennedy and Elena Kagan are "secretly gay." Well, hey, why not throw in that Jew woman with the silly doily tie, and what about that Puerto Rican gal; as we all know, Puerto Rico is full of sexual preverts. "We have Elena Kagan and we have Justice Kennedy who we know they are homosexuals," Dean told a radio show audience. He added: "Barack Hussein Obama has appointed over 224 radical homosexuals to federal government positions in your country, not a Third World country, and even transvestites to go along with it."
Some readers will see in the last statement some similarities to a certain U.S. senator during the late 40s and early 50s who made his mark by investigating "known Communists and fellow travelers in the State Department," giving press conferences and releases that differed from day to day on the exact number of pinkos there actually were, one day 245, a day later, 178, and another day, 214. And so on. The irony of the senator's pronouncements and his choice of legal counsel for the hearings he held on "Un-American activities" was not lost on playwright Tony Kushner (who wrote the script for Spielberg's Lincoln, too): Roy Cohn, a homosexual Jew who happened to be a homophobic anti-Semite. God only knows what Rev. Dean might be, and He's not telling. In fact, He tells me absolutely nothing, another reason I do not believe in him. But that is beside the point.
The Usual Suspects: Tail Gunner Joe; Roy Cohn; Bryan Fischer; Bradlee Dean, Tony (the PAC man, not the actor) Perkins, and Mike (Chick-fil-a) Huckabee
I agree with you, and expand: The struggle for equality, of all people, is up to all people. No group can do it by themselves. After 2 centuries of activism against racial injustice, there is still plenty of racial injustice. Less, but equal opportunity continues to be unequally distributed. Sexual politics continues to pit women against men and men against women in the workplace and home. We are far from economic fairness. And LGBTI equality is an ongoing evolution. Homophobia happens to be a favorite bugaboo of the christian demagogues, but racism, often unspoken, implied, or denied, is all over the place as well. We all need to work together
Interesting that you put "christian" in small caps. Lately I have taken to describing the two Christianities: the one for which I have a kind of nostalgia (empathy, compassion, agape) and the one begun by Saul/Paul the misogynistic homophobe, which has evolved, if you can call it that, into a travesty of what the prophet intended. Yes, I know, there is no historical support for there ever being anyone called Jesus Christ, but the ideas of the messianic person dreamed up by the early Christians (before or even contemporaneous with Saul/Paul, just not "like" him) insofar as they are watered down Oriental philosophy and not neo-platonic, still resonate with me. Once Constantine declared Saul/Paulist theology the official religion of Rome, centuries of trouble began, starting with the fall of Rome, or so says Gibbon.
Just noticed this. James, I avoid capitalizing "christian" because it implies there is something special about christianity. It's is not like German where all nouns are capitalized. Christianity is the following of a fantasy world. It is no more deserving of capitalization than stamp collecting or gardening. At least stamps and rutabagas are real.
Sentient, I like your reason for not capitalizing christian, and it made me smile when I read "At least stamps and rutabagas are real."
Your post also reminded me of some of the rules of capitalization, which I still have trouble with sometimes. Sounds like German would be easier, although I would prefer to not capitalize anything unless emphasis was desired.
Well they're part right (but still ethically wrong). There is no reason to ban polygamy any more than there is to ban gay marriage. But that's a feature not a bug. The state has no business determining the makeup of people's families.
On the other hand, they don't have to like it any more than they have to like atheism, or BDSM or prostitution. They have the right to disapprove. It's just not their business to interfere.
You're right that they don't have to like it Jay. But most of the religious people that I have known truly believe that because they believe what they do, that it's the absolute truth. Not just one of many beliefs. That's what makes it scary to me. There's no reasoning with them.
Jay, I agree with you, as well as with Mindy (aka, Booklover).