As the world changes all around them, conservatives are becoming increasingly panicked, bewildered, and belligerent -- and they're lashing out everywhere. We're seeing it in the hysterical, overblown rhetoric from the Religious Right and leaders of the Catholic Church, in the GOP shutting down the government because they can't handle the fact that they lost the fight over health reform, and the chorus of whining from marriage equality opponents that they're being "persecuted" for their bigoted views.
They're called privilege tantrums, and they're everywhere these days. I've rounded up a few of the best from the past few days and present them here for your enjoyment.
The Air Force is "Punishing" Fundie Airmen by Telling Them Homophobia is Bad
Faux Noise Fox News:
Evangelical Christian airmen at Lackland Air Force Base are facing severe threats and retribution for their religious beliefs and some personnel have been ordered to publicly express their position on gay marriage.
"There is an atmosphere of intimidation at Lackland Air Force Base," said Steve Branson, the pastor of Village Parkway Baptist Church in San Antonio. "Gay commanders and officers are pushing their agenda on the airmen. There is a culture of fear in the military and it's gone to a new level with the issue of homosexuality."
Branson tells me at least 80 airmen attended a private meeting at the church where he heard them voice their concerns about religious hostilities at the Air Force base. It was a standing-room only crowd.
"The religious persecution is happening," the pastor said. "It's getting bigger every day. Gay and lesbian airmen can talk about their lifestyle, but the rest have to stay completely quiet about what they believe..."
"All the guys who are active say they want to speak but they are still afraid because they see what happened to Phillip," [Branson] told me. "Guys who are good men are afraid to do anything because it will hurt them, cost them their career."
Ummm, welcome to the real world, kids, where if you make bigoted, offensive comments at work, you're disciplined. No special rights based on religious belief!
More eyeroll-inducing privilege tantrums, after the jump.
If You Attend a Same-Sex Wedding, You Are Condoning The Gay
Last month, former President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara participated in the same-sex wedding of two friends in Kennebunkport, Maine. Needless to say, the anti-LGBT right was not impressed. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote this week:
As it turns out, President Bush did not merely attend the wedding. He also served as an official witness, signing the legal documents for the ceremony and the Maine wedding license. Under a photograph with the former president the couple added the words, "Getting our marriage license witnessed!"...
The news coverage of the Bushes' attendance at the same-sex wedding points to a reality that must be understood--and fast. Attendance at a wedding is not a neutral act. The history and context of the wedding ceremony identify all those present as agreeing to the rightness of the marriage and acting as witnesses to the exchange of vows. This is why the venerable language of The Book of Common Prayer, used in the overwhelming majority of Christian weddings, calls upon anyone with knowledge that the proposed union is invalid to speak, "or forever hold his peace." Anyone remaining silent at that point is affirming the rightness and validity of the marriage, and all who are present are counted as both witnesses and those who celebrate the union...
But, this is not just about the Bushes. The same predicament remains, even if we are not the former leader of the free world. To be present at a wedding is to affirm that it is right, whether you sign a legal document or not...
No one said this was going to be easy, and this is hardly the end of the predicaments and perplexities that will challenge Christians who stand on biblical teaching in the days ahead. This is one question, however, that Christians had better think through fast. A wedding invitation might soon be headed your way.
So, to recap: don't go to a same-sex wedding unless you're ready to march in a Pride parade. Because Jesus.
Teaching Science is an Attack on Christians
A Kansas-based organization called Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) filed a federal lawsuit last month challenging the state's science curriculum because it teaches evolution, which -- get this -- the group argues is actually a religion, meaning it must be kept out of the classroom.
One of the group's attorneys explains:
John Calvert of the Intelligent Design Network, an attorney involved in the lawsuit, told conservative talk radio host Janet Mefferd today that lessons on evolution are "religious education" in violation of the rights of parents, children and taxpayers. Mefferd replied that it is "crazy" to think that public schools could teach evolution to Christian students.
"The religious rights that are being promoted here are the religious rights of parents to direct the religious education of their children and a state interferes with that when it seeks to promote an atheistic worldview. The second right is the child's right, the child has a right not to be indoctrinated by the state to accept a particular religious viewpoint, that right is being taken by the framework. The last right is the taxpayer has a right, you know I pay taxes to Kansas, real estate taxes, a good part of my real estate taxes go to fund Kansas public education and I don't want the taxes used to promote a nontheistic worldview."
"This really is a case about the establishment of a complete worldview," Calvert said, arguing that public schools violate the Constitution by teaching "materialistic science" and therefore courts should block the curriculum and instruction on evolution.
"We've asked the court to enjoin the whole package, they just need to go back to the drawing board," Calvert told Mefferd. "In the alternative, if the court is not willing to do that, the court should at least enjoin the teaching of origin science in the primary school grades from kindergarten through the 8th grade."
Calvert and Mefferd claimed it is only fair to teach creationism and intelligent design alongside evolution. Otherwise, Calvert claimed, schools would be teaching atheism.
Because that makes sense, right?
It seems like the crazy is cropping up everywhere we look these days. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy the fireworks.
Cartoon by artist Mike Ritter of the GA Voice.