At the 7:00 mark of the video below, after a long conversation about how evangelical couples should have three kids each in order to outbreed the rest of us, Christian Right leader Bryan Fischer speaks with Ed Vitagliano about the “threat of secular fundamentalists.”
I listened… because I figured they were talking about mah people.
So what were their examples of how we’re threatening religious liberty?
Brad Pitt‘s Christian mom wrote a pro-life, pro-Romney letter-to-the-editor in which she said President Obama was “a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.”
And then random commenters said nasty things to her.
Either Vitagliano thinks nasty, vicious comments are supported by secular groups (which they aren’t) or he thinks Christians/pro-lifers/Republicans are the only recipients of such hateful comments (which they aren’t)… or he thinks what certain commenters say/do reflects on any other truth claims made by secular people (which they don’t)… Anyway, this example says a lot more about Internet culture + emotionally-charged-topics to me than any “threat” by secular groups against Christians. No decent person would ever condone it.
How else are “secular fundamentalists are threatening Christian liberty in America”? Vitagliano shares the stories of Jennifer Keeton and (though he doesn’t mention her in the broadcast) Julea Ward, both of whom were in graduate school counseling programs. Both were kicked out of their programs for refusing to properly counsel LGBT clients (including one who was suicidal) because they assumed that helping them would amount to affirming their sexual orientation.
The graduate schools did the right thing in both cases. If the grad students want to preach instead of learn how to counsel everybody properly, they’re in the wrong programs.
But Vitagliano cites both of them as victims of Christian persecution.
Then the kicker: At 12:00, Fischer compares those grad schools to Vietnamese “re-education camps.”
You know, that sounds to me, Ed, like Vietnam. When I was in Vietnam, with the Underground church, my guide told me, “Look, my dad got… he was a policeman in Saigon before the fall of Saigon. He just disappeared one day and went to a reeducation camp for two years before we ever saw him again.” That’s exactly what this sounds like.
This is the amazing thing about the rhetoric of the Religious Right. Christian extremists want to prevent certain groups of people from having the same rights they do. They want to control how others live their lives. They want the Bible to serve as a substitute for real textbooks.
Secular fundamentalists? We, apparently, want all people to be treated like human beings, and that’s what makes us so evil.
When the Christian Right owns radio stations and TV stations and multi-million-dollar non-profit groups with tens of thousands of members, and there are churches on every block, and every politician seems to believe exactly what you believe, it’s hard for the rest of us to take seriously the claim that Christian rights are being trampled upon.