Karen Ocamb

Santorum-Produced Film Likens LGBT Rights to Nazis Persecuting Jews

Filed By Karen Ocamb | July 07, 2014 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Godwin's law, Jim Garlow, Nazi references, Nazis, persecution complex, privilege tantrums, Rick Santorum

santorum-one-generation-screenshot.jpgBoth Democrats and Republicans are pontificating on the meaning and impact of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, which essentially allows the owners of corporations with "closely-held" religious beliefs to refuse contraception coverage for female employees. The unscientific argument is that birth control and IUDs are basically another form of abortion, which violates the bosses' religion. Viagra and vasectomies for men, however, are still covered.

The LGBT community is waiting to see if the ruling on religious exemptions effects the executive order on any LGBT job discrimination promised by President Obama, though the Labor Department has already said it will extend protections to transgender employees under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which was signed 50 years ago last week.

But the political machinations around the case and whether the "religious liberty" of an individual or corporation trumps the civil liberties of the individual employee is just getting started. Possible presidential candidate Rick Santorum isn't waiting. His film company, EchoLight Studios, is making a documentary about the Hobby Lobby decision that will be released in September -- just in time for a final push before the November 2014 elections.

One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty -- which has been in the works for months -- "makes the case that the free expression of Christianity has lately been taking a backseat to free speech, government expansion and political correctness and the Hobby Lobby case is one example from the film," according to the Hollywood Reporter. "Besides Hobby Lobby, the movie will explore legal cases involving the U.S. military, high school cheerleaders, a few involving college campuses and a provider of wedding services," which sounds a lot like the case of a photographer and a cake maker refusing to serve gay couples.

As the trailer indicates, however, the film will be more of a political propaganda tool to rally Christian soldiers to defend their country and their faith, which are "under attack" from what they consider to be a totalitarian government. "When religious conscience is violated -- that's our signal that government has gone too far," says one man. "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction," says the voice of the late President Ronald Reagan.

Those who remember the apocryphal cries from the Religious Right during the battle over Prop. 8 will recognize Jim Garlow, who gained a lot of political traction with congressional Republicans since his appearance with radical evangelical Lou Engle for The Call Prop. 8 event in San Diego. In a section that might seem curiously out of place to some more mainstream viewers, Garlow talks about a man named Dietrich Bonhoeffer over pictures of Nazi Germany.

nazi-flags-nuremberg.jpgBonhoeffer was a 39-year-old theologian who warned about the German Protestant church's dilemma as the Nazis came to power and dictated the church's role toward "non-Aryans."

"Bonhoeffer, however, realized that the Aryan paragraph was only part of a broader campaign to exclude the Jewish people from German society. As such, he noted that the Nazi persecution of Jews demanded some response from the churches, and this response might eventually necessitate outright resistance. The church might be called upon, in his famous phrase, 'to fall into the spokes of the wheel' to bring the machinery of Nazism to a stop," wrote Victoria J. Barnett in Christian Century magazine in 1995, looking at Bonhoeffer's "ecumenical vision."

Translated for today's political context, the film warns that there is an "erosion of religious liberty happening in our lifetimes" and suggests in an ideological religious context that the new Nazis are President Obama and his administration, who are orchestrating a new totalitarianism. "Bonhoeffer knows that it's possible to wake up the German church but they don't wake up," Garlow says in the trailer. "It's time to stop talking about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and start being willing to be him."

And while the name of Bonhoeffer might entice some Jews to believe this argument is about them, too, it is really about "protecting" evangelical Christians who see their cross cut down by Obama.

Santorum's film will first be released in churches before its theatrical release. It is not beyond imagination that Garlow and other evangelical leaders will use the screening as an opportunity to hold political trainings under the guise of post-film religious discussion to enlist the believers in the latest army of God to "fall into the spokes" and serve as campaign volunteers and poll watchers.

While One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty might now seem like a simplistic exercise in free speech, the little blond featured in the trailer below echoes the little blond girl pulling off daisy petals in the powerful 1964 Lyndon Baines Johnson ad suggesting that a Barry Goldwater presidency would bring nuclear war. And remember -- the "Daisy" ad worked, and Prop. 8 passed.

Watch:


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