John M. Becker

This Week in Christian Privilege Tantrums

Filed By John M. Becker | November 04, 2013 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, gay marriage, Halloween, Hawaii, marriage equality, privilege tantrums, same-sex marriage, Sandra Day O'Connor, Satan, Supreme Court

It's time for another dose of Christian privilege tantrums! This post was pushed back by an insanely busy weekend last week, but never fear: it's back, and with a vengeance! Let's dive right in and explore the best/worst homophobic Christian privilege tantrums from the past week or so.

A Supreme Hissy Fit

screaming_kid.jpegLast week, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor married a same-sex couple in a ceremony at the Supreme Court building. She became the second Supreme Court justice in history to do so.

Naturally, anti-LGBT conservatives went apoplectic. The reaction from the right is perhaps best encapsulated by this headline from Charisma, a Pentacostal/charismatic Christian magazine: "Is Judgment Far Off? Gay Wedding Ceremonies Taking Place at US Supreme Court." After briefly recounting the story, reporter Lawrence Hurley asked readers, "Is this a prophetic sign of the state of our nation?"

No, dude, it's a sign that our culture is evolving on LGBT rights and leaving your homophobic views in the dust.

More privilege tantrums (Halloween, Hawaii, and ENDA, oh my!) are after the jump.

Halloween: Harmless Fun, Or the Devil's Playground?

The Halloween holiday always brings the crazies out of the woodwork. Last year, for example, notorious right-wing homophobe Linda Harvey called Halloween "Satan's territory" and said that that explains why the holiday is "a huge celebration in the LGBT world, especially for the gender-confused folks." Seriously.

little_devil_costume.jpgThis year Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, whined in a long-winded blog post that Christians haven't taken over Halloween -- a holiday with pagan origins -- in the same way that they Christianized winter solstice celebrations. Of course, he thinks this should make Christians very afraid:

"The coming of Halloween is a good time for Christians to remember that evil spirits are real and that the Devil will seize every opportunity to trumpet his own celebrity. Perhaps the best response to the Devil at Halloween is that offered by Martin Luther, the great Reformer: 'The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn.'

"On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther began the Reformation with a declaration that the church must be recalled to the authority of God's Word and the purity of biblical doctrine. With this in mind, the best Christian response to Halloween might be to scorn the Devil and then pray for the Reformation of Christ's church on earth. Let's put the dark side on the defensive."

A major right-wing figure spreading irrational fear and hysteria? Color me shocked.

What's With Hawaii?

America's 50th state is on track to become the 15th to grant same-sex couples the freedom to marry. While this is great news for equality, it's making conservative Christian proponents of marriage discrimination in the Aloha State very angry indeed.

Predictably, anti-LGBT business owners are whipping out their tiny violins and complaining that the marriage equality bill will trample on their "religious freedom." They're demanding a special exemption in the law that would invent a "right" to discriminate against same-sex couples for as many people and businesses as possible -- all so they wouldn't have to provide photography services, cakes, or floral arrangements for same-sex weddings.

Nice folks, right?

Equally predictably, marriage opponents are deploying tired and debunked slippery-slope arguments about how allowing loving and committed same-sex couples will somehow lead to bestiality, incest, and polygamy. However, Jim Hochberg, president of an anti-gay group called Hawaii Family Advocates, got so carried away by his hysteria that he concocted a new problem I'd never even heard of before: "self-marriage."

That's right, Hawaii fundies want scared conservatives to believe that if marriage equality passes, there will be nothing standing in the way of people marrying... themselves. Hochberg literally says "I read on the Internet that a woman somewhere married herself because she had her 'inner groom.'" Seriously.

Watch. It's delicious:

HFA-4 from OFM LLC on Vimeo.

(Bonus for misspelling "bestiality," dude!)

The Hawaii House has been taking public testimony from proponents and opponents of marriage equality, and as always happens whenever an open microphone is involved, the loonies are crawling out of the woodwork. I watched several hours of testimony, and as you might expect, marriage supporters were by and large eloquent, heartfelt, and passionate. (The testimony of Dr. Ashley Maynard, a psychologist and university department chair, was particularly brilliant.)

nutty_fruitcake.jpgMany opponents of marriage equality, on the other hand, have been nuttier than fruitcakes. I watched one speaker say that the time she spent living in Germany, where Nazis committed evil acts, led her to oppose equal marriage rights. Another equated gays with Nazis and shark-infested waters. Still another advised lawmakers to hold off on passing marriage equality, lest some of the many straight Japanese couples who wed in Hawaii balk at sharing wedding facilities with same-sex couples.

One lady proudly told representatives that she'd skipped her own birthday party in order to register her opposition to marriage equality. (How sad is that?) The next speaker was so worked up that she began to cry as she recounted the horrors of a pride celebration she and her husband attended in California (She saw nipples! And masturbating! And "long-tongued" kissing!). Others compared same-sex marriages to mongooses and claimed that acceptance of LGBT people was responsible for the death of U.S. soldiers. (Paging Westboro Baptist Church!)

Testimony continues today in Hawaii.

ENDA: The Right Explodes

By far the most epic right-wing privilege tantrums this week center around the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which the Senate is scheduled to debate tonight. The bill would make it illegal for employers to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Nearly three in four Americans and two-thirds of small business owners support these common-sense protections, but to hear LGBT opponents tell it, you'd think the sky is falling.

The National Organization for Marriage Discrimination is convinced that ENDA is a secret weapon in the marriage equality battle. ("The Senate is Building a Trojan Horse," the group hysterically claimed in a recent blog post.) Groups like the Traditional Values Coalition, the Family Research Council, and the Heritage Foundation are working overtime to spread fear and misinformation about the proposed law. And the rhetoric is getting nasty: the editorial board of the Washington Times placed the blame for ENDA at the feet of the right's favorite boogeyman, President Obama, writing:

"[Obamacare] could be used, and probably will be, as a club to bully religious institutions into violating their precepts, even rewriting the Bible to avoid giving offense to the irreligious.

"Employers, religious and secular, should have the right to insist that men dress like men in the workplace; he can dress in milady's frilliest frock where such frocks on men are better appreciated. It's up to the Republican-controlled House to defeat this unnecessary and divisive legislation. Special privileges have no place in the law."

You know our opponents are scared when they're resorting to these kinds of gutter-level lies and bigoted, nasty smears. Let's continue pushing the cause of equality forward and relegating their hateful views to the dustbin of history where they belong.

Until next time!

UPDATE: Last night, in an historic vote, the U.S. Senate advanced ENDA to the floor for debate.

UPDATE 2: During yesterday's final hours of public testimony about marriage equality in Hawaii, the president of the state police officer's union had a major privilege tantrum. Tenari Maafala, who is also an active police officer with the Honolulu Police Department, told lawmakers that he opposes the marriage equality bill on religious grounds and would never, ever enforce it if it became law. "You would have to kill me," Maafala said.

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