Saturday, March 01, 2008

Perhaps the wrong phrase to use.

If you have a strong stomach, and a taste for the absurd, then trolling the sites frequented by fundamentalist Christians can be a real hoot. For a people notoriously lacking in a sense of humor they say some of the funniest things around. It's hard to watch the antics of a Rev. Fred Phelps without thinking of a court jester, for instance.

I was reading a press release put out by the so-called "Christian Anti-Defamation Commission". They claim their function is to protect "Christians from defamation, discrimination, and bigotry from any and all sources by means of education and selected legal services including litigation..." I guess we have to call off feeding the lions. No doubt that's a good thing. The people from PETA were complaining it gave the lions indigestion. Apparently there are some things that not even lions are willing to swallow.

On their website these battling Christians quote the far Right loonies at World Net Daily (who no doubt look mainstream to them) as saying that American mosques are teaching "anti-Christian discrimination". No doubt things are very different in American fundamentalist tent revivals where they preach tolerance and love for Muslims. Having grown up with this sort of nonsense, and thankfully having been cured of it, I can attest to the fact that the typical fundamentalist church spends an inordinate amount of time preaching against certain classes of people. Mitt Romney was dead in this campaign because large numbers of fundamentalist Christian in the Republican Party won't vote for a Mormon, no matter how much he sucks up to them. The amount of time they spend preaching against Mormons, Catholics, Jews, gays, feminists, et. al., is truly amazing. Many fundamentalist seem to think that the four gospels are Hate, Intolerance, Bigotry and Fear.

What really gets them riled up is to call them on their attitudes. That is what this so-called "anti-defamation" outfit is about. They want to do two things. First, they want to play up that they are victims. The Religious Right has adopted this disgusting tactic from the radical Left and are turning themselves into a movement of whiners and cry babies. Second, they want to shut up anyone who stands up to their bigotry by claiming that opposition to bigotry is itself bigotry. And that brings us to their press release which caught my eye.

In Florida a man was killed in what was thought to be an antigay murder. A member of the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Matt Foreman, said that fundamentalist pulpits in the area preach constant hate against homosexuals and that those messages encourage antigay actions such as gay bashings and murders. To what degree this is true can be debated but according to these fundamentalists such comments alone are "slandering the reputations of Christian ministers". I am sure that what bad reputations ministers have can't be entirely laid at the door of Mr. Foreman. Of course Mr. Foreman is not just a spokesman for this gay group. According to the "anti-defamation" Christians he is a "Radical homosexual activist" . Okay, no defamation there.

But the comment that got me chuckling was when the spokesprophet for this group said: "Foreman is guilty of gross Christian bashing...." So Mr. Foreman, leave those gross Christians alone.

On a more serious side this group is also pushing a campaign to stop criticism of fundamentalist Christianity. They claim that "Christians are the only ones left whose beliefs you can malign and whose LORD you can otherwise denigrate with impunity" Yep, I've noticed how it is illegal to criticize Democrats or Liberals -- which is why Fox News has only nice things to say about them. Equally no one is running down Islam or Mohammed or Allah. And there is absolutely no one left who has nasty thing to say about Jews. Amazingly the press release they sent out argues that Christian churches are preaching against homosexual people because their faith says "they must oppose... behavior they consider to be sinful."

I wouldn't deprive them of their right to say this crap. Not at all. But I can't see how they can admit that their faith is requiring them to preach antigay sermons while simultaneously claiming that they are the only people left in America who can be criticized and maligned. If the latter were true they couldn't be engaging in the former. That they practice the former proves the latter claim is false.

Sure this blog has criticized them for their beliefs. Along the way we have also criticized socialists, Nazis, anti-Semites, Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, Islamists, environmentalists, and numerous other groups. Playing the victim card is bad enough but trying to pretend that they are the only group in America subject to criticism for their silly beliefs is just absurd. But then fundamentalists are masters of the absurd.

Illustration: Apparently every page of their website has ample opportunities for oppressed Christians, on the way to the lion's den, to throw their last shekles to the ministry.