I've been writing for a while about the jingoism behind arguments that Christian religious freedom means that LGBT rights must be trampled. The point, time and time again, isn't about increasing freedom for everyone or even increasing religious freedom for everyone, but making sure that people deemed sufficiently Real American can't be criticized or forced to act with any decency to people deemed less American.
The jingoism is made obvious by the fact that the people who say that, for example, a high school counselor who doesn't want to see queer students should be allowed to keep their job because of religious freedom are the very same people who oppose the construction of Muslim community centers and point to any act of Islamic homophobia as a sign that the religion must be destroyed. Their appeal isn't to a higher principle when they say that LGBT rights mean less religious freedom - their appeal is for Americans to stop thinking and support the people who look and act most like them.
Bryan Fischer, a rightwing crank and neo-Know Nothing, argued just that last week when he said that the First Amendment doesn't cover Muslims, just Christians:
Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment.
His opinion is, of course, based on faulty data. He cites a fictional story about Thomas Jefferson realizing that Islam was going to destroy America and says that that means the Founders didn't want Islam protected by the First Amendment.
Here's how Jefferson described the debate over Virginia's 1779 Act for Religious Freedom (the precursor to freedom of religion found in our Constitution) in his autobiography:
Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
Oops. Maybe Fischer should have picked another Founding Father to cite as an Islamophobe.
But being right or wrong isn't important here since most of Fischer's audience isn't going to look up what Jefferson thought about Islam.
The reason I bring this up is that Fischer just plain says what we've been accusing the Religious Right of believing: that religious freedom is important to them insofar as it benefits them, not anyone else.
He put it right out there that claims for religious freedom are in fact about promoting Christianity. Last I checked, that was against the Constitution. Maybe someone should tell these folks.