5 Anti-Gay Persecution Myths the Religious Right Wants You to Believe
The Religious Right, losing its battle against LGBT equality on its merits, is increasingly aping that gay rights will lead to an anti-Christian state. Here are five recent examples of these ridiculous falsehoods.
1) Gay Marriage Outlaws Christians Adopting
The oft-married Newt Gingrich who fails to see the irony in his championing the sanctity of marriage, continued to lie about what marriage equality laws mean this past week, saying in a Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” interview:
“But what I’m struck with is the one-sidedness of the desire for rights,” Gingrich said. “There are no rights for Catholics to have adoption services in Massachusetts; they’re outlawed. There are no rights in D.C. for Catholics to have adoption services; they’re outlawed.”
“Does [supporting LGBT rights] mean that you actually have to affirmatively eliminate any institution which does not automatically accept [homosexuality]?” Gingrich continued.
What actually happened in states like Illinois, Colorado and in Washington D.C., is that Catholic adoption services refused to comply with anti-discrimination laws and refused to serve married same-sex couples, believing they should have a special right to discriminate. They closed their doors because they would not comply with the law, or, as was the case in Illinois, sued to try for special dispensation. They failed.
2) Gays are the New Nazis and a Christian Holocaust is Coming
Janet Mefferd, a Christian syndicated radio show host, who warned after Anderson Cooper came out that listeners might “vomit” in horror at his story, decided to take victimization to the max when, in a response to news that Gross Pointe South High School had canceled (but would later reschedule) a planned speech by fiercely anti-gay Rick Santorum, she posted on her Facebook that:
[America is moving] “toward a day when every Christian who supports real marriage might be made to wear a yellow patch on the sleeve, “a badge of shame” to identify us as ‘anti-gay haters.’ Kind of like the Jews in Nazi Germany.”
This is so obviously offensive that it doesn’t need commentary other than to point out that this is now a frequent and widespread meme among the Religious Right that shows their ignorance of history, because homosexuals were among those viciously persecuted, and their unadulterated blindness toward their own vitriol.
3) Christians Will Be Imprisoned if the Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA
In approximately 50 days, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its opinion in Windsor v. United States, the lawsuit that has the potential to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and could dispense with that which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
The Religious Right is wringing its hands because even some of the conservatives on the Supreme Court appeared leery of DOMA’s infringement of state rights, while more liberal members of the court were concerned with the “skim-milk marriage” DOMA creates.
The very first thing Obama did when he got elected president was pass hate crimes legislation inclusive of sexual orientation. The laws are now on the books to prosecute preachers who have the audacity to say in public what I just said from their pulpits.
You will find them armed with this Supreme Court ruling, if its adverse, then rounding up anyone who says otherwise and prosecuting, perhaps with fines at first but finally with jail and imprisonment. And the laws are now, at least the foundation of laws through hate crimes legislation is in place to bring fill-scale persecution on those of us who stand for truth.
The Matthew Shepard, James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 does not and cannot prosecute the religious for anti-gay opinions, it simply enumerates LGBTs for the purpose of federal tracking bias-motivated crimes and allows for extra penalties when a hate motivated crime has been committed.
One notes that Scarborough has nothing to say on the fact that race is enumerated in much the same way. This is a scaremongering conspiracy theory at its worst.
4) Gay Rights Have Made Christians a Hated Minority
CNN recently covered statements made by Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the staunchly anti-gay Family Research Council, who maintains Christians can’t oppose gay rights or they risk becoming a hated minority:
As proof, Sprigg points to the backlash that ESPN commentator Chris Broussard sparked recently. Broussard was called a bigot and a purveyor of hate speech when he said an NBA player who had come out as gay was living in “open rebellion to God.” Broussard said the player, Jason Collins, was “living in unrepentant sin” because the Bible condemns homosexuality.
“In the current culture, it takes more courage for someone like Chris Broussard to speak out than for someone like Jason Collins to come out,” says Sprigg, a former pastor. ” The media will hail someone who comes out of the closet as gay, but someone who simply expresses their personal religious views about homosexual conduct is attacked.”
Except Christianity is a majority religion in the U.S., and the Religious Right has almost total control of one of America’s two political parties as well as a number of state legislatures.
Also, no one is persecuting the Religious Right. They are being marginalized, often by religious people who do not share their views, by their own desire to take a religious text literally (but only selectively) and use it as a method to justify passing laws to discriminate against the LGBT community, such as a religious right not to counsel gay people and a right to deny goods, services and public accommodations to LGBTs, among many other issues.
What they are actually offended by here is the fact that they are no longer being allowed to use their religion as a basis for discrimination; this a push back against religious privilege that is long overdue.
5) The Scouting Association is Being Persecuted for its Anti-Gay Stance
The Scouting Association recently announced a so-called compromise over its anti-gay stance that would allow local chapters to retain openly gay or bisexual scouts, but would not allow openly gay scout leaders. This policy still has to be voted on, a move due this month, but the Religious Right has continued to pretend that gay groups have bullied the Scouting Association into making this change.
“It would be an enormous mistake if they allowed homosexuality in scouting,” he said. “They have no idea what these folks really want to do.”
Stemberger said there are already gays in scouting — “they are discreet, they are appropriate, they are private and they don’t act out in front of kids.”
“What they want is full-blown gay activism in scouting,” he said, “and that’s what they can’t have under the current policy.”
He predicted any change in the policy would devastate the program.
“We think that sex and politics should stay out of Scouting,” he said. “We think that’s utterly inappropriate where boys as young as six and seven years old are being trained to be men.”
The vague allusions to possible predatory behavior aside, this entirely fails to account for the facts of what has happened.
The pressure in this case has not come from outside of the Scouts but rather from local chapters, current and former scout leaders and members who believe the anti-gay ban is pointless and prejudiced and leads to highly qualified gay scouts being thrown out simply because they are gay.
While it is true that a number of high-profiled campaigns have been backed by groups like GLAAD and celebrity former scouts, the move has been precipitated by a general shift in public opinion that now recognizes being gay is not harmful, there is no risk to children, and that the Scouting Association’s ban is arbitrary and, in fact, against the Scout’s own credo.
Sadly, as a number of states look set to approve marriage equality, and the Supreme Court rulings looking favorable, we can expect to hear more of these tired and baseless arguments in the coming months.
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