Indiana Reporters Can’t Understand Why Local Groups Are on Christian Right’s “Bigotry Map” July 17, 2015

Indiana Reporters Can’t Understand Why Local Groups Are on Christian Right’s “Bigotry Map”

By now, you’re all familiar with the American Family Association’s “Bigotry Map” — which is supposed to be a visual reminder of groups that are anti-Christian, but is really a collection of groups that simply aren’t Christians. Same thing, to them.

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There have been a couple of instances of reporters trying to understand why local groups were included on the map, and they always come up empty.

It’s not like the AFA has put forth any reasons for why these groups are included. I guess they just assume if they can put a bunch of groups on their map, it’ll be enough to scare gullible Christians into giving them more money.

The Indianapolis Star just published an article about the three groups in the state listed on the map. And what they found is hilarious because it shows you how the AFA just picks groups for no rhyme or reason other than “We sorta have a disagreement, so they must HATE us”

Group 1: Angie’s List

The map was introduced in February but updated to include Angie’s List after the national firestorm over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Randy Sharp, AFA’s director of special projects, said the group considers all opposition to RFRA to be bigotry.

But several other Indianapolis companies, including drugmaker Eli Lilly and engine maker Cummins, were not on the list, even though they opposed RFRA and helped fund the effort to defeat a proposed gay marriage ban in Indiana’s constitution last year.

Sharp said AFA selected Angie’s List because it seemed to garner the most headlines.

But when it comes to atheist groups? They’re all in if they’ve ever promoted church/state separation.

Group 2: The Indiana chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State

“I figured it meant we were doing something right,” [advisory board member Matt Barron] said. “The ironic thing is our group defends the rights of groups like this” by encouraging religious freedom without government intrusion.

Still, Barron said, “We are definitely not anti-Christian — or anti any religion.”

Wow… sounds like a total asshole, doesn’t he?

If that’s what a bigot looks like, we’ve all been getting the definition wrong.

Group 3: Atheists of Northern Indiana

This group doesn’t even exist anymore. It was started by a guy named Steve Tillman, but shut down after he became a Christian (for reasons that will make no sense to anyone). And even the new Jesus-loving ex-atheist doesn’t understand why his group was on the list:

… being put on the bigotry map, Tillman said, seemed like “a pretty poor judgment call.”

“Even when I was an atheist,” he said, “the one thing I would’ve fought and died for was religious freedom.”

Tillman said he tried to contact the AFA to let them know his atheist group no longer exists, but he never received a response.

He didn’t get a response, but the group doesn’t appear to be on the map anymore.

The AFA calling other groups bigots is like Josh Duggar telling his children not to lie because that would be unethical.

By the way, the AFA’s Walker Wildmon saw that article — including, I assume, all the points about how the Bigotry Map makes no goddamn sense — and yet he didn’t address any of that in his own article. All he responded to was the atheist who became a Christian after an “eye-opening dream.” Because that’ll convince all the rest of us.

(Thanks to Dennis for the link)


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