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Jan 11 2013

Barber and His ‘True Civil Rights’ Nonsense

Matt Barber, who works for Liberty Counsel and the Liberty University law school, both founded by Jerry Falwell, went on Janet Mefferd’s wingnut radio show and spewed his usual nonsense about how wrong it is for gay people to claim they’re fighting for civil rights.

He complained that gay rights activists have “cynically co-opted and hijacked the language of the very, very noble civil rights movement and applied it to their disordered lifestyle.” Ah yes, that noble civil rights movement that his now-deceased boss condemned as satanic and ungodly? Right Wing Watch recounts the evidence:

He preached against Brown v. Board of Education, which banned racial segregation in public schools, telling his church, “When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line. The true Negro does not want integration.”

Falwell kept his private Christian school segregated to help families avoid integration in public schools and opposed the Carter administration’s attempt to challenge the tax status of segregated schools. He also subscribed to the belief that black people were under “Noah’s curse on Ham” and argued that school “facilities should be separate.”

“If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made,” he said, warning that integration and interracial marriage will “destroy our race.”

Sound familiar?

He condemned the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a “civil wrong” and attacked movement leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., as “Communists” who sought to “bring about violence and bloodshed.” The televangelist even opposed sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid government and said that anti-Apartheid protests were “instigated primarily by Communist-sponsored people.”

Falwell’s rhetoric against the Civil Rights Movement are actually remarkably similar to Matt Barber’s own anti-gay diatribes, as Barber seemed to have taken a page from Falwell in warning that gay rights advocates are inspired by Karl Marx and that radicals “trying to impose a globalist, Communist structure” are the real culprits behind the gay rights movement. He claimed that “homosexual activism, undermining the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic and doing away with it, that is the ice breaker that breaks the ice so that the bigger Communist ships and the redistributionist ships.”

This all fits the historical pattern. In every era, Christian conservatives were on the wrong side of history in fighting to maintain the unjust status quo, always arguing that God himself was opposed to whatever advance in freedom and equality was being fought for — the end of slavery, women’s suffrage, the end of the Jim Crow laws and segregation, every law to increase the equality of women and now the fight for equal rights for the LGBT community. And then, when the tide of public opinion had changed and the advances they fought against were entrenched in the law and almost universally praised, they suddenly change their mind and even pretend that they were for those changes all along.

And yet their rhetoric is identical in opposition to every civil rights achievement. Every single advance in equal rights is condemned as satanic, as communist, as contrary to the word of God and as the thing that will destroy society itself. Lather, rinse, repeat.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Raging Bee

    “Lather?” More like “foam rabidly at the mouth.”

  2. 2
    otrame

    Steve Shives, in one of his Riffing on Mail Call* videos (which I recommend–he sometimes gets a little juvenile and not infrequently fails in the don’t-use-gendered-insults thing, but in general, he is a great commentator on the right-wing zeitgeist), says we’ll know we’ve won on gay rights issues when they Christians start taking credit for it.

    *The playlist is here. There are more than 60 of them, and I don’t remember which one contains the talk I remember. He lives in Maryland and enjoyed gloating when the referendum to stop the legalization of gay marriage in the state failed.

  3. 3
    Modusoperandi

    …that anti-Apartheid protests were ‘instigated primarily by Communist-sponsored people.’

    Weird. What was their other choice, asking those who were supporting their oppressors for support?

  4. 4
    satanaugustine

    And then, when the tide of public opinion had changed and the advances they fought against were entrenched in the law and almost universally praised, they suddenly change their mind and even pretend that they were for those changes all along.

    And take all of the credit for the change.

  5. 5
    Pierce R. Butler

    The true Negro does not want integration.

    I propose we allow that poor overworked Scotsman to retire and start jeering at the Falwell’s True Negro fallacy.

  6. 6
    khms

    In every era, Christian conservatives were on the wrong side of history in fighting to maintain the unjust status quo, always arguing that God himself was opposed to whatever advance in freedom and equality was being fought for — the end of slavery

    I’m pretty sure it goes back at least to the Enlightenment. And I distinctly remember people talking as if the Enlightenment were actually an accomplishment of Christianity – proof that Christianity is better than other religions.

    I predict that, when creationism finally accepts evolution, they’re going to forget about Darwin and instead point to Mendel.

  7. 7
    Modusoperandi

    Howie?

  8. 8
    dan4

    @7: “Howie?”

    What? At least TRY to make sense, MO.

  9. 9
    Modusoperandi

    Howie Mendel. Too far?

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