Sunday, December 29, 2013

The ugly collusion between 'religious faith' and bigotry

There is no need to rehash this Duck Dynasty mess. We have all said our bits and pieces about Phil Robertson's racism and homophobia. And it will continue to reverberate. But a larger picture of the entire controversy needs to be stated.

Remember last year when a pastor of an NC church got into trouble because he said gays should be put behind an electrified fence. Even with all of the backlash, there was a few who stood behind him because according to them, "the Bible says homosexuality is wrong."

But the anger was due to the fact that this man said lgbts should be placed behind an electrified fence like they were cattle to be abused and killed off. Still,the pastor had a loyal bunch who continued to justify his words by claiming that he were merely preaching in accordance to his "faith."

Never mind that his faith encompassed genocide.

Decades before that in the 1970s was Anita Bryant and her opposition to the pro-gay ordinance in a Florida county. She said as a Christian, she couldn't support such an ordinance. But she wasn't content on leaving her opposition rooted in her faith. She snuck in a little nugget. According to her, since gays can't reproduce, we supposedly recruit children.

She was able to pull off that lie by reminding folks of her "Christian values."

Years after Bryant came a plethora of anti-gay and supposed morality groups standing against lgbt equality. Using junk science, discredited sources, venomous accusations and name-calling, and out-and-out lies, they claimed to oppose lgbt equality because supposedly because it is a "public health menace."

These groups, amongst them the Family Research Council, the American Family Association,and the Traditional Values Coalition, still exists today.

And what would generally happen - and still does happen -  when these groups are called out on their lies, i.e. the complaints of misappropriation of scientific work, the omission of CDC data which easily dispels their idea of homosexuality being a "public health menace," the usage of work from discredited sources?

Well these groups would cling to their crosses of martyrdom so hard that their fingers would get splinters. They would claim that they were simply standing up for their faith and those who called their "facts" into question were trying to silence them. And thus all of the negative, untrue things they said about gays would be wiped away by the media as simple inconveniences which didn't deserve any attention because apparently "making a stance in accordance to one's religious values" trumps the methods in which the stance is made, even if the methods contradict said religious values.

There is an ugly collusion between religious belief and bigotry which we don't talk about and it didn't begin with the lgbt community. It wasn't that long ago when religious belief and faith was used to justify slavery, segregation, and Anti-Semitism on a large scale. Sadly, the lgbt community seems to be the last bastion where it is okay to justify demonizing people under the guise of "adhering to one's faith."

 We need to call out the fact that just because your "faith" says that homosexuality is a sin is no justification to tack on lies geared to demonize the lgbt community. It's no justification to perform a humiliating psychological dissection on lgbts by saying things like "I don't hate you as a person, just what you do." It's not about your alleged hate,but your proud display of your ignorance. And it is certainly no justification to judge lgbts based on your view of the Bible and play the victim when you are called out for it.

Folks who do these things always seem to think that they own the word "Christianity" and everyone else is beholden to their interpretation. They forget that many lgbts are also Christians and bring up good points when they lay out their case in proving that God doesn't condemn them for being who they are.

But as it is, those who are so damn eager to speak against the so-called sin of homosexuality would be best to remember the sin of lying, speaking ill of one's brother, or bearing false witness.

More often than not, it applies better to their situations.


How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America