Skip to comments.Mainstream Christians Must Stand Up to the Religious Right (Thou wilt hurl, verily!)
Posted on 09/20/2011 6:07:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In August, fundamentalist preacher Dr. Michael Brown organized a regimen of red shirted Bible-thumpers to infiltrate Charlotte's gay pride event. Hundreds of zealots confronted and harassed festival attendees with their arrogant slogan "God Has A Better Way."
The hatred and religious bigotry was appalling, but not surprising. What truly bothers me, however, was the lack of mainstream Christians standing up and speaking out against such fanatical behavior. Virtually every time I write about the Religious Right I'm reminded by the faithful that "not all Christians are like that."
Of course, this is true and some of the most dedicated activists I have worked with are people of faith. Last week, in fact, I teamed up with Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church to host a week of educational seminars designed to counter an "ex-gay" conference in Houston.
Still, the number of mainstream Christians fighting the hate campaigns of the Religious Right is disappointing. With thousands of churches, millions of members and a vested interest in fighting back against religious extremism, they have consistently underachieved and failed to reach their potential.
What would it look like if mainstream churches fought back against the Religious Right?
Picture two hundred of Dr. Brown's "Red Shirts" smugly descending on innocent families at Charlotte Pride. Out of nowhere, five hundred mainstream, mostly heterosexual Christians appear and surround the theocratic thugs with blue shirts that read: God's Better Way - Love & Acceptance."
These despicable bullies would likely have no idea how to react in such a situation where Christians were calling them "unchristian." Instead of the expected rush of self-righteous glory, I could see these folks slinking off, dazed and ashamed.
Of course, this is just a pipe dream. I've organized or attended dozens of protests over the past decade. Time and again, I'm disillusioned by the lack of support from liberal and mainstream Christian organizations. It seems they are either afraid to offend their most conservative members or they are mired in passivity that allows extremists to define their faith.
This lack of coherent opposition has led to a dire situation where Religious Right backed presidential candidates are vying to eliminate or reduce social safety nets, persecute immigrants, undermine working people, shred the middle class, turn the poor into destitute beggars, and roll back minority rights.
This reluctance to stand up and speak out has created a hazardous vacuum where only the shrill and unreasonable voices of fundamentalism are heard. Instead of the dialogue that many progressives of faith claim to desire, this perceived weakness creates a lopsided right wing monologue, which is having a deleterious effect on our nation and the world.
It is time to stand up, speak out, and give voice to our values. If not now, when? Are we going to wait until it is too late and we have lost our country?
Here are four recent examples of the Religious Right flexing its political muscle:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry held a stadium prayer rally in Houston that preceded his announcing his candidacy for President of the United States. The event was hosted by the American Family Association, a Southern Poverty Law Center-certified hate group. Included among the speakers were many radical clerics from the theocratic New Apostolic Reformation. Also known as the Seven Mountains Movement, this group of extremists wants to turn America into a fundamentalist Christian nation. Their aim is to take over the following seven spheres of society that they refer to as mountains: Religion, Media, Government, Family, Education, Business, Arts & Entertainment.
The American Family Association is organizing Pastor Policy briefings in presidential battlegrounds. In these events, candidates prostrate themselves at the feet of conservative pastors in Iowa and elsewhere, pledging to enact their agenda if elected.
Former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed is making a comeback with a new organization he founded, the Faith and Freedom Coalition. "Our goal is to build a file of 29 million conservative voters," Reed told the New York Times. "We'll e-mail them, we'll call them, we'll knock on their doors and, if necessary, we'll drive them to the polls."
Extreme right wing organizations have been recruiting candidates in the GOP primaries to sign pledges that lock them into inflexible positions, even at the expense of the nation.
It is critical that people realize that these zealots have a radically different vision of this country than most Americans. If their power keeps increasing, they will be able to drastically reshape this country. There would be a tremendous loss of freedom, liberty and justice, while bigotry, intolerance and religious conformity would become the law of the land.
If the Religious Right can organize and mobilize to stand up for its beliefs in such a robust manner, why can't the Religious Left? We desperately need to answer this question before Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin defile America - and permanently define Christianity.
> Does this guy live on another planet?
The one where Christians don’t read their Bibles and don’t know Jesus.
Liberals think that religion ought to be about politics.
By mainstream churches they must mean the Church of Satan.
From his bio: Wayne Besen is an American gay rights advocate. He is a former spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign and the founder of Truth Wins Out.
Not exactly another planet, but he’s full of beans. He hasn’t yet heard that you cannot be both a Leftwingtard and a Christian.
‘Hundreds of zealots confronted and harassed festival attendees with their arrogant slogan “God Has A Better Way.”’
Zealots? Who’re the zealots? Why must they have “pride” parades? Do we have hetersexual pride parades? Are we “proud” to be hetero? Funny he lambasts these “thumpers” for speaking against them, but not the scum who infest these parades, showing off their disgusting sexual promiscuity in public.
The Left already did that in Congress through "stimuli" and "bailouts." And the rest of us are on the hook.
The Falls Church Press is a far-left weekly run by Nicholas Benton, an avowed gay leftist. His columnists include Helen Thomas, Paul Krugman and assorted weirdos like Bessen (who I believe is the gay issues writer).
Unfortunately, this is the only Falls Church, Va newspaper but it does allow some dissenting letters.
By the way, did you know that Helen Thomas served in the Pelleponesian Wars, along with John Kerry?
I’ve never heard of this Dr. Brown, but from what the author described, he doesn’t seem at all unreasonable.
When are they holding the “Murder Pride” and the “Theft Pride” events? Surely they aren’t only glorifying sexual perversion. I’m guessing we’ll have an “Adultery Pride” parade soon enough.
Seriously, if you’re struggling against your sin, you can be a Christian. If you’re wallowing in it, you’ve already chosen to reject Christ.
Wow,the Catholic church was left out, I’m so disappointed/s
Actually this group headed by Michael Brown waded into the crowd with matching T shirts and banners, engaging the gay crowd with respect and love. There was no bashing or violence or hate.
Gee whiz, they don’t seem to like getting a dose of their own medicine. Maybe if the medicine were passed out to their crowd in the form of a high velocity, Coke bottle sized, suppository they’d understand that they’re not the only ones who can show up at various events and exercise the right of free speech. It’s like all the slugs leaving their trails of slime to and from the courts to get protests at mass murder facilities banned and regulated. They only believe in “free speech” and protest when they’re the ones doing it.
Broad is the path that leads to destruction... mainstream christians need not even be christian... why the charade, if you are no different, and hold to the same social morays as the rest of the world? Boinga!
Does that about cover it?
And the UCC is tolerant and speaks the truth.
>>The one where Christians dont read their Bibles and dont know Jesus.
They read the parts that seem to justify “social justice”. The declare that the Bible must be reinterpreted for every generation when you show them the parts that demand morality and responsibility. They ignore the rest. To them, Jesus is little more than an “idea” that calls us to work for “God’s kingdom on Earth” (i.e. the Socialist Utopia, Worker’s Paradise, etc).