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5 Anti-Gay Persecution Myths the Religious Right Wants You to Believe

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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.

This hand-wringing reached a peak a few weeks ago when Tea Party Unity host Rick Scarborough declared during a lengthy tirade that:

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.

John Stemberger, an Eagle Scout and founder of On My Honor.net, whose motto is Keep Sex & Politics Out of Scouting (quite forgetting we weren’t the ones who put it in), is quoted as saying:

“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.

Related Reading:

A Religious Right to be Anti-Gay? Kansas Advances It

A ‘Religious Right’ to Not Counsel Gays?

The American Right is Waging a Global War on Gays

 

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394 comments

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6:23AM PDT on May 23, 2014

I agree with Pam W. Thank you, Pam.

11:01AM PDT on Jul 7, 2013

Religion as a whole is a disgusting sad crutch. If they need it, use it. But don't start boohooing when other people can get along just fine after they outgrow their imaginary friends. Ignorance is a choice in today's world of information! Stop telling other people how to live! Don't like homosexuality?!? Don't be gay! Oh my goodness I just solved the issue! What people do with their genitals is beyond the scope of what is your business. If I like anal, I will have anal.... your sky daddy be damned! (to clear it up though it isn't really my idea of a superb time, just an example). I don't really like people who spit on the sidewalk.. but am I pushing to have it made illegal? No, bc that would be stupid. And pointless. People will ive as they wish, without your consent. Get used to it, find a way to control something else in your life so you can get that need to be in everyones business out of your system.

8:49PM PDT on May 20, 2013

Those ''fundamentals'' are excellent definitions of what an atheist would consider TRUTHS about religion.

Now...I've never known any atheist who set out to destroy religion or burn churches, protest in front of churches, announce ''failure of natural selection'' (even though we might WONDER at it!)

In general, I think atheists are more intelligent and deliberately ethical than religious fundamentalists, simply because we CHOOSE to behave in a way which conforms with our principles.

Look at all the PROFESSED Christians who ''sin'' like crazy...KNOWING FULL WELL what they're doing is against all the Christian rules. When you've got a magical, mystical, supernatural pal who FORGIVES you....it gets easier, doesn't it?

6:18PM PDT on May 20, 2013

(cont) I'd probably assign the title extremist and maybe even fundamentalist atheist to this guy.
its any kind of intolerance we need to be wary of,from the right ,the left, or anywhere.

6:14PM PDT on May 20, 2013

from my study it seems originally " a fundamentalist" was a term used by Christians to define themselves as those who refused liberal christian movements and came up with a list of 5 "fundamentals" that a TRUE christian would adhere to.
Today the word "fundamentalist" seems to have evolved to mean "extremists."

There are extremists in every group. Some may even consider Sam Harris an extremist in his atheistic teaching . He obviously preaches against religious fundamentalism (as we all do)but he also takes a rigid stance against liberal Christians - NON fundamentalists, by declaring them bad Christians not yet atheists, which in his mind is sort of playing middle ground.
I'm not sure I'd call Sam Harris an atheistic fundamentalist but he might have a list of defining "fundamentals" that he might expect a true atheist to hold to. perhaps:

1. There is no God or devil.

2. There is no supernatural realm.

3. Miracles cannot occur.

4. Generally, the universe is materialistic and measurable.

5. Man is material.

a terrible atheist extremist once said: I am ...... "a cynical existentialist, anti-human humanist, anti-social social-Darwinist, realistic idealist and GOD-like ATHEIST. "I am prepared to fight and die for my cause," he wrote. "I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection." Pekka Eric Auvinen - Finnish killer of seven students and Atheist.
I would probably assign the title "a

3:41PM PDT on May 20, 2013

Richard, please say more about ''non-religious fundamentalism."

I've been an atheist for (essentially) my entire life. I don't care HOW the fundamentalists order their lives, celebrate their religion, etc.

What I DO demand is that they keep it out of publicly-funded venues, legislation and my private space.

Do you see that as fundamentalism?

2:12PM PDT on May 20, 2013

Sarah H. said:
"Bartley D here is a scripture for you. Jesus said "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." This is why we still live by the Old Testament.

Then why the hell did he give the "an eye for an eye..." and the "hate your enemy" speech in the first place. Sure sounds like a changing of the rules to me!

1:14PM PDT on May 20, 2013

seems any fundamentalism is intrusive in that way
attempting to change the world to fit some kind of "righteous" ideology.
But i think both religious and nonreligious fundamentalism can be damaging.
fundamentalists don't see themselves as fundamentalists...just being "right."
the fundamentalist takes the easy road...sees opposition as "evil"
demonizing anyone who opposes or disagrees with their agenda.

3:36PM PDT on May 19, 2013

Proselytizing is bad enough but attempting to legislate their dogma into laws by which we ALL must live is the worst!

I can close the door on an intrusive, uninvited Witness....but, when that proselytizer tries to force their way inside (through laws against anything they find ''sinful''....they're going to have trouble with me.

And the ACLU!

2:07PM PDT on May 19, 2013

pam w,
I respect your point of view..especially on the proselytizing bit!.
and that IS the rub isn't it? not content to keep it to oneself, they HAVE to spread their "faith" with as much rationalization as they can. Ironic, since rationalism is so "suspect".




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