Monday, April 23, 2018

Religious right says CA legislation will outlaw the Bible, but didn't they claim the same thing about hate crimes legislation?

Religious right and conservative organizations such as the Family Research Council are quick to cry about persecution and make predictions about future persecution Christians like them will suffer if certain pro-LGBTQ bills become law.

The ease with which they do it would be funny if it weren't for the fact that they are able to repeatedly do it even when their dire predictions prove wrong.

For example, there is a bill in California which would outlaw marketing or selling the fraudulent practice of ex-gay therapy.  At first, religious conservatives were attempting to portray it as something called a "must stay gay" ban. However, sensing how inane that was, they moved to a familiar lie - claiming that the bill would ban  the Bible.

On several fronts, from the Family Research Council, to the American Family Association's fake news source One News Now, and to other areas, the religious right and conservatives portrayed California's bill as an attack on Christianity.

The claim is a basic lie. According to the fact-finding site Snopes:

In reality the legislation, which was introduced in February 2018 by San Jose-based Democrat Evan Low, enhances California’s already-existing prohibition on “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE), commonly known as “gay conversion therapy.” In 2012, the California Assembly passed Senate Bill 1172, which banned mental health professionals from performing SOCE on children under the age of 18.  
The law defines SOCE as: “any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” 
A.B. 2943, as it stood on 20 April 2018, would extend that earlier prohibition in the following ways: 
Prohibit SOCE from being performed on anyone, not only children under the age of 18
Prohibit the advertising or sale of SOCE as a service 
 . . . Anthony Samson, a Sacramento attorney and policy advisor told us by email that the bill would prohibit conversion therapy “as a commercial service in exchange for monetary compensation,” adding: It does not apply to the sale of books or any other kind of goods, and it does not prevent anyone from speaking or writing on the subject of conversion therapy in any forum. 

So again, the religious right pushes a horror story which they claim "could happen" if a pro-LGBTQ law is passed.

That's the problem. "Again" denotes that they continue to get away with what they do.  This nonsense about the California bill reminds me of when they claimed that adding LGBTQs to hate crimes legislation  was an attack on Christianity. They spun predictions of pastors being arrested in their pulpits for declaring homosexuality a sin and claimed that it was deliberate chaos which would eventually outlaw the Bible.

The legislation (The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Law) was passed in 2009 and since that time, none of the spooky predictions of the religious right have come true.  It would be comical to point this out except here we are with a new bill (i.e. the California legislation to outlaw ex-gay therapy) with the religious right pulling the same routine. And receiving a degree of credibility because very few are reminding folks of about their other false predictions of anti-Christian persecution.

1 comment:

Hunter said...

It occurs to me that this is a multi-valent phenomenon: yes, the "Christians" lie about these bills because telling the truth would leave them with nothing scary to report to their constituency and, consequently, would give the constituency no reason to donate money.

And they get away with it because no one -- meaning the "mainstream press" -- will call them on it, and continues to play stenographer to their lies, giving them credibility. Although I've noticed that in a couple of instances -- most notably involving Tony Perkins, one of the most constant liars in a stable of liars -- when they were called on it (not mind you, by the hosts but by other guests on the show), they stopped appearing on those venues. Perkins, after those instances, limited his "public appearances" to Fox and "Christian" radio and television shows.

And that constitutes a third prong: they have their own propaganda machine that keeps feeding the lies into the public domain, and that audience is convinced that thinking for yourself is the Original Sin.