Before I wade too far into this post, let me say this: I know there are parts of the world where Christians are horrifically persecuted, and I think that is awful. Even though I think most religious beliefs are absurd, that doesn’t mean I don’t support the freedom of choice to believe whatever you want to believe. That being said, let’s take a look at what the American Christian right has claimed as their Top Ten Instances of Christian Bashing in Amerca, 2008. (Hat tip to Pam Spaulding.)
INSTANCE #10: Jack Black Musical Video
In a short video posted on FunnyorDie.com entitled, “Prop 8 The Musical,” an all star cast of Hollywood celebrities perform a low budget musical farce that defames Christ, mocks Christians and distorts the teaching of the Bible. Jack Black played the lead role of Jesus.
#10: So… just so I understand…
» Showing that Christ would try to protect people’s rights = “defaming”
» Showing Christians discriminating through legislation = “mocking”
» Accurately referring to unpopular Bible verses = “distorting”
» For the record, I love Neil Patrick Harris and Allison Janney. Go watch!
INSTANCE #9: Bill Maher Gratuitously Attacks Pope
Bill Maher, host of the HBO program Real Time, made light of the Pope during his recent visit and the tragic sexual abuse scandal. Maher said, “Now I know what you’re thinking, Bill. You can’t be saying that the Catholic Church is no better than this creepy (radical Mormon polygamist) Texas cult. For one thing, alter boys can’t even get pregnant. But really, what tripped up the little cult on the prairie was that they only abused hundreds of kids, not thousands all over the world. Cults get raided; religions get parades… If you have a few hundred followers and you let some of them molest children, they call you a cult leader. If you have a billion, they call you Pope.”
#9: I know the Catholic church doesn’t condone all the sexual abuse, but they’re certainly accountable for it. I think Bill makes a good point. It makes me sad that verbal analogies are no longer on the SATs, because people are missing out on these important logic and comparison skills. SMALL ORGANIZATION THAT ALLOWS SEXUAL ABUSE : CULT :: LARGE ORGANIZATION THAT ALLOWS SEXUAL ABUSE : RELIGION.
INSTANCE #8: ESPN Anchor Dana Jacobson’s “F— Jesus” Remark
Speaking at an ESPN corporate event in Atlantic City, N.J., to honor ESPN Radio personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, Dana Jacobson let go with a steam of vulgar remarks; “F— Notre Dame,” “F— Touchdown Jesus” and finally “F— Jesus.” Jacobson was suspended for a few days for the incident.
#8: Does anyone think Jacobson was suspended for the “Jesus” part? I bet he was just suspended for the “F—“ part. I mean, I know technically Jesus is on Notre Dame’s library, but everybody calls it Touchdown Jesus. Does Jesus have anything to do with football? Is Notre Dame somehow a better team just because Jesus is looking over the football field? I think it’s all a little silly when you consider the context, though I guess “F— (anybody)” is at least kind of mean.
INSTANCE #7: Minnesota University Professor Desecrates Communion
A Biology Professor from the University of Minnesota, Paul Zachary Myers, recently desecrated a consecrated communion wafer from a Catholic Mass. Meyer’s has also asked people to steal the Eucharist for him in order that he might desecrate it and display it on his blog.
#7: Myers is a professor of biology. It is his job to run experiments on living things. If Catholics believe that a consecrated wafer is now the Body of Jesus, then that would mean it would have skin cells and DNA and such, right? I completely understand why Myers would want to run experiments on that. Or, maybe he just wants to get a good laugh at how markedly upset people get over a plastic piece of bread while people the world over are starving with not even a gross little wafer of delusion to chew on.
INSTANCE #6: Religulous the Movie
Bill Maher released a very shallow, pseudo-intellectual documentary entitled Religulous. The movie did not cover any new intellectual ground. It simply raised the old attacks on the faith. Maher studiously avoided being fair and did not allow for legitimate Christian answers from any leading Christian intellectuals.
#6: I confess I have not seen this film yet, but I don’t see “Expelled” being condemned for not allowing legitimate scientific answers from leading scientific intellectuals. I find it disturbing that people try to compare “Christian” to “scientific,” and yet I find it amusing the very idea that “Christian intellectualism” is considered legitimate academic discourse at all. Is slavery still okay? No, oh… how about being gay? Ok, gotcha. And tell me how this Holy Trinity works again…? OH! And I kind of need to know when that whole apocalypse is going to happen… for real this time.
INSTANCE #5: Chaplains Fired for Praying in Jesus’ Name
Chaplains for the State of Virginia are being denied their right to pray in Jesus’ name. Six chaplains were fired for continuing to pray in Jesus’ name. Earlier this year in Virginia, Rev. Hashmel Turner, a city councilman in Fredericksburg, was told by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that his prayers during city council meetings that ended in Jesus’ name will continue to be banned.
#5: Seriously? This is “defamation”? Let’s see, why would a state want to avoid establishing a specific religion? Frankly, I’m annoyed there is prayer at all, but if there is going to be prayer in the government, at least let it just be to God, so it includes Jews and Muslims. Well, I guess you would need to pray to “God or Gods” so the Hindus can feel included. But I don’t pray to any god, so maybe it would have to be “In the name of God, Gods, or nothing, we pray.” That sounds much better doesn’t it? What? You think it sounds absurd? Me Too.
INSTANCE #4: Colorado Law Criminalizes the Bible
SB200, a Colorado state bill recently signed into law, criminalizes the Bible. Section 8 of the bill entitled “Publishing of discriminative matter forbidden” makes publishing the Bible illegal because it contains anti-homosexual passages. This is part of a larger effort to criminalize the expression of certain opinions and beliefs.
#4: Wow. Okay. At least in this brief description, they left out all of the horrid nonsense about sexual predators. I think an interesting way to consider this is to look at how the Human Rights Campaign describes SB200. Basically, the Christians are saying, “Your civil protections are inhibiting our Constitutional right to discriminate based on our beliefs,” to which I’d reply, “These civil protections limit your discriminatory beliefs to your church, where they belong.” And if you are worried about not being able to print the Bible because of its anti-homosexual passages, just stop interpreting them (and inaccurately translating them) as anti-homosexual passages. Problem solved!
INSTANCE #3: Barack Obama Defames Christianity
According to research into President Elect Obama’s own statements about faith, and an examination of Obama’s position on moral issues, CADC has determined that by any biblical and historic Christian standard, Barack Obama is not a Christian, although he claims he is a “devout Christian.”
#3: Last time I checked, there was no Christian “test.” In fact, my experience and observation has been that no two churches, congregations, or Christians themselves are the same. I thought it was just good enough to call yourself a Christian. Heck, I did that for almost two decades. But apparently, Obama is not Christian enough, so the mere fact he calls himself a Christian is actually anti-Christian. I like how one of the reasons is because he “affirms Muslim prayer.” Picky, oversensitive, racist, xenophobic… or all of the above?
INSTANCE #2: Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin Is Attacked
Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, came under sharp attack by some in the mainstream media because she self-identifies as a Christian. The Washington Post published a cartoon by Pat Oliphant mocking Palin because she has a background as a Pentecostal/Charistmatic Christian. A suspicious arson fire at Sarah Palin’s home church recently caused over $1,000,000 in damage.
#2: First of all, there is nothing more offensive to me then suggesting that people who are gay need therapy to get fixed. Palin’s church believes that and Palin herself believes that. Then there was that whole crazy thing with the witches. She (and anyone) should be challenged for her religious beliefs, especially when they are dangerous and discriminatory. A lot of these churches still promote traditional patriarchal gender roles, and I think that is awful. Arson is never a respectable behavior, but political cartoons? That’s the #2 most Christian-defaming act of 2008?
I cannot even imagine what could possibly be worse than those nine items!
INSTANCE #1: Radical Homosexuals Assault Prop 8 Marriage Supporters in California
During and after the November campaign stories flooded in of pro-Prop 8 signs being taken, people verbally and physically assaulted, church property and private automobiles vandalized, and person’s jobs and pastor’s lives threatened simply for exercising their right to campaign and vote in support of traditional marriage.
#1: Sigh. A few people openly and actively promoted discrimination against a population of citizens specifically for an immutable quality of their identity and then faced a little backlash. I’m not condoning the specific acts listed by any means, but seriously folks, stop crying and whining. You want to see some horrific theft, verbal assault, physical assault, destruction of property, vandalism, threats to jobs, and threats to lives? Take a Queer Studies class. Or better yet, try coming out as non-heterosexual or non-gender conforming. You’ll love it. Every day is a new adventure of peace, safety, and respect.
Well, I’m irritated. I find it galling that these are the best examples they could come up with for Christian defamation. Although, I don’t find it surprising. Was there any legislation passed to take the right of Christianity away? No. Were there any horrific murders of people (in America) specifically because they were Christian? No. All of the above events took just a little bit of power away from the American Christian stronghold, and frankly, I’m okay with that. If you think Christians in America deserve pity or are worthy of being called “victims,” you’re going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that to convince me. Christ!