Quantcast

«

»

Mar 02 2014

The Christians are climbing up on that cross again!

The dominant, oblivious majority in the US are once again preparing to moan about how oppressed and persecuted they are. The Christian Right is coming out with a movie quite literally called Persecuted, a drama about what they expect will happen to them in the next few years.

On the surface, "Persecuted" plays out like many government thrillers. Similar to movies based upon Tom Clancy novels, it has a hero with limited resources faced off against corrupt politicians and government officials. Central to the plot, though, is an effort by the president and his cronies to pass the "Faith and Fairness Act," which would be similar to a "fairness doctrine" for religious groups. If this law were passed, religious broadcasters would be required to present all religious points of view when presenting their own point of view.

The notion that such a law could actually be passed in the United States is not out of the realm of possibility, Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, explained to The Christian Post. The law is similar to a resolution that was passed at the United Nations about the defamation of religion.

"It’s backed predominantly by Islamic countries, but in the name of tolerance, so that they can criminalize defamation or defamatory speech so that you effectively become a criminal if you say Jesus is the only way, that becomes criminal. So it’s real," Sekulow said.

Do I need to point out that their fictional law, this “faith and fairness act,” is something atheists would oppose, and that atheist organizations, such as Atheist Ireland, have openly rejected the UN declarations against defamation of religion? And that American Christianity has a long tradition of supporting blasphemy laws? The closest thing to this imaginary “faith and fairness act” in this country isn’t official, but is the social sanction against people who dare to drop “under god” from our semi-mandatory loyalty oath, the pledge of allegiance.

Oh, wait, that’s right: Jay Sekulow is all in favor of requiring everyone to present the theistic point of view in that case — he was shit-spewing furious when a television broadcast dared to omit “under god” from the pledge. He’d love a version of that act that required everyone to acknowledge god all the time.

You know what is out of the realm of possibility? That the US would pass a law making it illegal to say “Jesus is the only way.” Christianity is a de facto standard to get elected to office, and no one dares to annoy faith-based bullshit artists ever. You know what is in the realm of possibility? That our nation, with its constitutional promise to never allow religion to meddle in government and vice versa, would make “In god we trust” our motto, slap it on all the currency, and demand that school children acknowledge our subservience to a god in a daily promise.

But that’s not what all the furor is about. You know what it is. It’s because those damn liberals are all insisting that it is perfectly reasonable to put contraception in an insurance package, and that it is also perfectly fair to expect employers to meet the needs of their employees. It’s because Christians are being told that they cannot pretend that gay people are not human. They have been told that their ignorant superstitions are hurting other people, and that while they are completely free to live lives in which they marry one person of a specified sex in a religious ceremony and have unprotected sex monogamously with them for the rest of their lives — jebus, that’s my lifestyle — they do not have the right to tell everyone else how to live their lives, nor do they have the right to punish people for not being Christian.

This seems to be a very difficult point to get across to some people.

Here’s a handy chart. Maybe this will help.

It says something that when these loons make a movie about how they’re being persecuted, they can’t openly say what offends them right now — that invariably makes them look like bigots — but have to invent an imaginary law and bring on hypocrites like Sekulow to claim that it is “real”. No, it’s not.

38 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    AndrewD

    I thought that, for a Christian, being persecuted for your faith was a Good Thing as matyrdom garanteed a place in Heaven. Why do they complain or is ther faith weak?

  2. 2
    Al Dente

    All too many Christians and other theists want everyone else to follow the dictates of their religion.

  3. 3
    ehmm

    Talk about a timely post. I just found the trailer for this about 30 minuted ago. I even endured some promotional videos with the cast and crew. Yes, it’s all kinds of wrong. Yes, it’s that terrible.

  4. 4
    raven

    Well look on the bright side.

    The uglier and more cuckoo they get, the more ex-xians there are.

    Or so I hope. It worked for me, ex-xian for years now.

    The fundies do seem to be rapidly getting uglier, dumber, and crazier. And they are losing about 1%, 2 million members a year as it is. I’m not seeing that doing more of what hasn’t worked is going to change that.

  5. 5
    Thomas Hobbes

    Nice chart. I like it. Does the Arizona government know it?

  6. 6
    twas brillig (stevem)

    Central to the plot, though, is an effort by the president and his cronies to pass the “Faith and Fairness Act, [...]”

    looking at you Arizona… Arizona just tried to such a thing (the exact opposite of it, though?) by making discrimination legal, as long as you said, “…my religion forbids me…” They just tried to disguise it as “Religious Freedom”, that to freely exercise one’s (sacred) religion means you are allowed to discriminate as your religion requires you to do.
    Xians really envy, and wish to emulate martyrs, don’t they. They will look at any attempts to be fair as an attack on their Right to be UNfair. They’ll even distort the message of the first amendment: that if there is ever a law forbidding a religion to be unfair (to people outside that religion), that the government is violating that amendment by attacking a single religion’s beliefs. I wonder why my “Atheism” labels Xians as “dramaqueens” all the time.

  7. 7
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re reading the OP; I noticed the slam against “In God We Trust” on our (USAnian) money. I’ve always, mistakenly, taken it for satire. Drawing from whatshisname’s book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.
    ;-D

  8. 8
    DaveH

    Their answer is kinda sorta logical, although still screwed up beyond belief (no pun intended). Their religion demands they go out and covert the heathens, build God’s Kingdom, etc., so anything that interferes with that (like the basic principles of a secular democracy) is godless, wicked, evil, repressive, ad nauseum.

    So I would guess that, yes, the more self-aware fundies are quite aware of what’s in that chart. They just disagree with it. Clash of values indeed.

  9. 9
    Zeno

    AndrewD: I thought that, for a Christian, being persecuted for your faith was a Good Thing as matyrdom garanteed a place in Heaven. Why do they complain or is ther faith weak?

    Anyone else remember these lines from the 1973 production of “The Wicker Man”?

    Sgt. Howie: I believe in the life eternal as promised to us by our lord, Jesus Christ.

    Lord Summerisle: That is good. For believing what you do, we confer upon you a rare gift these days—a martyr’s death.

  10. 10
    vaiyt

    I thought that, for a Christian, being persecuted for your faith was a Good Thing as matyrdom garanteed a place in Heaven. Why do they complain or is ther faith weak?

    Because they want to claim the martyr status without actually risking anything. They want the rush of righteousness that comes with persecution, without dealing with its pitfalls. So they make up anyone trying to challenge their hegemony to be a persecutor.

  11. 11
    Akira MacKenzie

    The uglier and more cuckoo they get, the more ex-xians there are.

    Or the more Oklahoma City or Olympic Park bombings will occur.

  12. 12
    Lynna, OM

    Speaking of claiming “martyr” status without risking anything, christians are claiming all kinds of persecution at the hands of judges in the USA.

    There is NO mention of sexual orientation in the Constitution, and any judge who imagines one is a domestic enemy of the Constitution, and should be impeached and removed from office. We must demand Congress hold the line, and protect the traditional definition of marriage FEDERALLY, like the Oklahoma people did by state.

    That’s former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt speaking. He also claimed that the right to vote was somehow being withheld from Christians. Klingenschmitt runs the “Pray In Jesus Name Project.”

    He calls on Congress to impeach and remove from office any judge who sides with pro-gay rights plaintiffs, since any such judge is “a domestic enemy of the Constitution.”

    “These lawless judges replace Democracy with dictatorship, abrogate the U.S. Constitution, flaunt the laws of God and nature, assume jurisdiction they don’t have, and overturn the overwhelming vote of good people,” Klingenschmitt writes. “May God have mercy on these tyrants’ souls, when they are judged in eternity. […]

    Christians do not lose their right to vote simply because they are religious. These lawless judges replace Democracy with dictatorship, abrogate the U.S. Constitution, flaunt the laws of God and nature, assume jurisdiction they don’t have, and overturn the overwhelming vote of good people. May God have mercy on these tyrants’ souls, when they are judged in eternity.

    Bolding in above quote is mine. Methinks Klingenschmitt is suffering from a basic misunderstanding of the Constitution and of the judicial system.
    Right Wing Watch link.

  13. 13
    Nemo

    Speaking of TV broadcasts omitting “under God” from the Pledge, I noticed that this happened in the premiere of the new show “Star Crossed” — all the more notable because the scene featured a bully harassing the alien characters for not saying the Pledge. The show is set in 2024, so perhaps they’re projecting the phrase’s removal by then (I wish). Also, in the second episode, a human character says “Your family is in our prayers,” and the alien responds “Oh, right, you do that”, in a “how quaint” kind of tone. Waiting for the Christian backlash now…

  14. 14
    lesherb

    Lynna, OM…….thankfully the subject of your post is retired. It is truly frightening to know such pathological thinkers are in the military.

  15. 15
    anuran

    True Freedom ™ lies in accepting Christ.
    Slavery and bondage come from sin.
    Anything that makes people come to Jesus and puts Godly Men in charge on Earth is True Freedom(tm)
    Anything else is slavery.
    QED

  16. 16
    Roberto Teixeira

    I think this is going to be a whole new category of movies. There’s another one coming out this year called God’s Not Dead about an evil professor forcing his poor Christian students to reject their god.

  17. 17
    anuran

    Meanwhile the Good Christians at Bryan College are forcing faculty to sign a new loyalty oath

    But over the years, more diverse views on Genesis 1 and 2 crept in. Some professors, staff and students didn’t just identify as young-Earth creationists. Their views became more nuanced. They called themselves progressive evolutionists and theistic evolutionists and old-Earth creationists; they found ways to reconcile faith and science.

    Now the administration is making a statement against these aberrations. The board of trustees is requiring professors and staff to sign a statement saying that they believe Adam and Eve were created in an instant by God and that humans shared no ancestry with other life forms. If they don’t sign, they fear that jobs could be on the line.

    There is even a pharyngulable poll

  18. 18
    jnorris

    All of this persecution crap is cover for there not being Just-the-One True Christian Sect ™. True Christians would be better served by deciding exactly what is a TC before making the rest of us commit.

  19. 19
    microraptor

    Their answer is kinda sorta logical, although still screwed up beyond belief (no pun intended). Their religion demands they go out and covert the heathens, build God’s Kingdom, etc., so anything that interferes with that (like the basic principles of a secular democracy) is godless, wicked, evil, repressive, ad nauseum.

    So I would guess that, yes, the more self-aware fundies are quite aware of what’s in that chart. They just disagree with it. Clash of values indeed.

    I think that it’s not just a clash of values: part of it is an organized campaign. They’re busy playing up the “we’re so victimized” angle in order to create the public perception that they are somehow victims and garner sympathy. Then, when the people who are really being victimized by them try to speak out, they’re accused of trying to bully the “poor, oppressed religious people.”

  20. 20
    DaveH

    @microraptor:

    Quite true, but really nothing particular to religion. You want to win a court case, try to make the judge or jury sympathetic to the plight of your client. Ditto for politics or celebrities. Even works in business (soft spot for the local underdog shop vs. corporate giant). Religion has been in the PR business longer than almost anyone, they are bound to use some of the best tricks in the book.

    What I think is most prominent about religion is the towering sense of rectitude that their absolute conviction that they are correct gives them. If I am 100% convinced I am right (i.e. I have faith), then I can get a lot past my internal bullshit filters. Although, human psychology being what it is, we do this with do this to some degree with any in-group. I try to view religion as one of the most egregious cases of the worst of human psychology, but ultimately a product of it, and understandable as such. There is no use attributing all sorts of special explanations and attributes to religion, when the basic ones do just fine.

  21. 21
    numerobis

    “Funny” — this morning I was on another forum reading the rantings of a poor oppressed catholic who figured that his inability to openly hate gays would inevitably lead to gas chambers. As I was reading, my host and her lovely wife were preparing breakfast for me (I couldn’t fit in the kitchen, so I volunteered for dishes duty later). The juxtaposition was stark.

  22. 22
    David Marjanović
    would be required to present all religious points of view

    Jesus Christ. Do they have any idea how many religious points of view there are!?!?!

    I like the chart. :-)

    There is even a pharyngulable poll.

    There is!

    “Do you approve of Bryan College’s revised pledge of faith?
    26% Say Yes (337 votes)
    73% Say No (914 votes)
    1251 total votes”

  23. 23
    mikehuben

    That last item in the table:

    Do we really want to say parents have a right to indoctrinate their children in their religion? Any more than we’d want to say parents have a right to hook their children on drugs such as tobacco or opiates? I understand the desire not to much around in family life, but there is also the question of what life-altering decisions we allow parents to make for their children. Genital mutilation? This is a gray area that cannot be easily resolved, but that doesn’t mean we should give away the store and say that parents have such a right.

  24. 24
    Dena N.

    this morning I was on another forum reading the rantings of a poor oppressed catholic who figured that his inability to openly hate gays would inevitably lead to gas chambers

    A few weeks ago I came across a creationist ranting that soon they will be persecuted for not being gay. I wasn’t quite sure how he thought that was going to play out. You want to believe these are just the rantings of a crazy person on the internet but then someone devotes an entire movie to fundamentalist paranoia.

  25. 25
    Jeff Wunder

    Yeah i’d like to believe all of this but conservopedia says that pz is just a fat beer drinker. Me too, but I still don’t believe him.

  26. 26
    mikeyb

    This paranoid fantasy is so laughably absurd, it confirms that religious right film makers have a serious deficits in imagination. It’s as patently absurd as the themes in 2016 Obama’s America or Expelled.

    I wish Christians would just look in the mirror for a change. They will find that a large part of the history of Christianity are wars (literal and polemical) about who are the true Christians and who are the heretics. To a typical Christian, his/her particular views or the views of his (mostly) pastor is Christianity. The so called ecumenical movement has largely been a failure. Mostly its a war with large sects and factions – Southern Baptists, Catholics, megachurch evangelicals, claiming that there brand of Christianity with all of its peculiar superstitions is the true Christianity. Even if America were to become 100% Cbristian, it would disintegrate internally like all other Christian countries and empires have in the past, Constantine’s Eastern and Western Roman Empire, Henry’s alternative protestant and catholic England, Germany and France after the Reformation, etc etc through factionalism and infighting like it always has in the past.

  27. 27
    zibble

    The most ludicrous part of this movie is the idea that you have to frame a pastor for a horrible crime.

    Like what, the near daily stories of systemic theft and child rape weren’t enough? (or maybe the message is they were framed, too)

  28. 28
    Christopher Cassidy

    Note that PZ, understandably, read the Sekulow quoted in the article as Jay, the founder of ACLJ. No, no, it’s the nut that took root right under the tree, his son Jordan, similarly blessed with a J.D. from Regents University, and now ensconced as Executive Director of Dad’s organization. You see, it’s all about making your way through life on merit, and some bootstraps, and elbow grease, etc.

  29. 29
    vaiyt

    You see, it’s all about making your way through life on merit,

    The merit of your skin color, your gender, your daddy, your cronies…

  30. 30
    robro

    The people who persecuted Christians the most are other Christians. Of course, they prefer to highlight persecution by others (the Romans, the Muslims), but none of those can compare to Christians persecuting “heretics.”

  31. 31
    Atticus Dogsbody

    Similar to movies based upon Tom Clancy novels, it has a hero with limited resources faced off against corrupt politicians and government officials.

    Given that they’re incapable of a comprehending Tom Clancy plot i.e. A hero with huge resources, backed by politicians and government officials, facing off against Soviets/Muslims/Chinee, I can understand how these tools can be stupid enough to believe they’re persecuted.

  32. 32
    zenlike

    Hey, I take offence at the implications: Jay seems to have exactly the right merit needed to be part of a Christian right-wing organisation.

    Being a lying scumbag is a merit, right?

  33. 33
    anteprepro

    Christian persecution is just like the Christian God: They say it is obvious, monolithic, and everywhere, but it is invisible to everyone who doesn’t BELIEVE.

  34. 34
    Atticus Dogsbody

    incapable of a comprehending

    Ooops.

    incapable of comprehending a

    Ritalin makes me a little woozy, maybe I need to take more.

  35. 35
    numerobis

    @24 Dena N: the nutbar I paraphrased is someone I know IRL. Very nice in person. He engages in paranoid fantasy ideation online. I used to make an effort to go see him when I was in his spot of the world, but he’s gotten worse with age — much worse.

  36. 36
    weatherwax

    I can’t help but remember this poor persecuted pagan

  37. 37
    weatherwax

    sigh

  38. 38
    John Horstman

    @mikehuben #23: While I think you’re probably interpreting that sentence as it was intended, it technically isn’t problematic. I, for example, was taught the creation stories of MANY faiths as a child. I wasn’t taught that any of them were TRUE. (I liked the Mayan one best, perhaps becasue the gods failed so many times in trying to create people. A god that can fail always struck me as more honest than Christianity’s nonsensical perfect being. I also very much enjoyed the Greek and Egyptian stories.) As a result, my only movement from the agnostic atheism into which I was born was toward a greater certainty that there is no ‘god’ – that none of the gods proposed so far could possibly exist and that the concept of the “supernatural” is self-contradicting and simply a label we slap onto things we don’t entirely understand.

Comments have been disabled.