For what it’s worth, that’s what I generally think of people who self-identify or else clearly qualify as members of the religious right. Based on the kinds of public statements their most prominent spokespersons frequently make, I confidently assert that the burden is not on me to defend my assessment of them. No, it’s on them or their defenders to show that I’m wrong. My contention is that their own hateful words on a wide range of topics unequivocally put them in the category of despicable, deluded, callous scumbags. Consider Pastor Fred Phelps and his followers at the infamous Westboro Baptist Church (slogan: “God Hates Fags”). If I so characterized that group, is there any way in a sane world the burden would be on me to justify the use of those pejoratives?
Admittedly, bringing up Phelps and his loony band is an extreme, but not unfair, example. There are plenty of other leaders on the religious right who are not that far behind him, as I shall soon show. And I’m sure it comes as no surprise that they base their hateful bigotry on the words of an alleged holy book supposedly authored by the omniscient, omnipotent, all-loving and all-caring Creator of the Universe, aka “Almighty God.” It’s just one of many related ironies that the Old Testament section of the “inerrant” book they worship clearly shows that their “perfect” god possesses none of those qualities.
Holy book? Holy shit, give me a break!
The more I’m exposed to the Bible-inspired rants spewing from the religious right, the more they sound like the Nazis of the 1930’s. And I don’t care to hear about all the “good works” they do – thanks but no thanks, Nicholas Kristof. The same argument was no doubt made many times in defense of the Nazis.
So many right-wing Christians, so few lions.
Below is the first part of a blog post by Ophelia Benson that aroused my ire. The quotes in her post were taken from an update to a comprehensive report by People For The American Way detailing the religious right’s outspoken opposition to anti-bullying programs in the public schools (no, that’s not a misprint). I urge you to read it here and support People For The American Way if you can.
Note: My final 9 to 5 job was behavior analyst in a large public school system. In that capacity I witnessed bullying on an almost daily basis, and it affected me to the extent that I made it a cause to raise administrators’ awareness about its prevalence, the harm it inflicted on vulnerable children, and the absence of effective remedial action by school personnel. I would be lying if I said my efforts made a difference; but now, eleven years later, I’m encouraged to see that the cause has finally gotten the national attention it demands.
But there’s strong pushback coming from right-wing Christian @$$holes, who want to dismiss bullying as “part of the maturational process.” Why? Because some of the targets of bullies are LGBT or LGBT-perceived students. And because their children are the bullies. And because they think LGBT students need to be bullied for their own good. Pastor Phelps must be proud, seeing as how “God Hates Fags.”
Here’s the beginning of Ophelia’s blog, Bullying is healthy.
So people are trying to combat the bullying of LGBQ teenagers in school, and religious conservative lunatics are trying to combat the efforts to combat the bullying. Yes that’s right. Grown-ups in grown-up organizations full of grown-ups are trying to prevent people from stopping bullying in schools.
Last year, many conservative political organizations, including Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel and Concerned Women for America vocally opposed attempts by school districts and public officials to combat bullying based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity—categories typically considered along with other attributes such as race, sex, age, disability and national origin. Moreover, these groups smeared and demonized advocacy groups that collaborate with teachers and administrators in developing best practices to combat bullying, warning that anti-bullying groups would encourage everything from “homosexualizing” youth to anti-Christian persecution to pedophilia.
Religious Right organizations demanded that schools and localities adopt policies that would effectively leave LGBT and LGBT-perceived students unprotected and tie the hands of schools that try to deal with the problem.…