December 21, 2013 7:09 AM

Hey, Christians: Would Jesus defend your "right" to spread hate without consequence?

A nation founded by pilgrims who came here to worship the God of the Bible freely without interference and persecution from ruling elites and those opposed to Christianity’s influence on the culture, has now come to the proverbial fork in the road. After years of attempting to balance traditional Americana with political correctness, those pushing the new “my way or the highway” definition of “tolerance” have decided accommodating our differences of opinion is defeat.

I’ve long since grown tired of the Radical Christian Right’s desire to portray themselves as an oppressed class. In their delusional view of the world, the sole raison d’ĂȘtre of Godless Liberals is to deny Christians their God-given right to live their beliefs and speak their mind.

Oh, the humanity….

The problem with this delusion is that Conservative Christians define “oppression” as “anything that prevents us from speaking out, judging, and/or condemning those who don’t hew to our narrow definition of God’s law.” Convenient, eh? They get to decide what’s “sinful,” and then they get to use that definition to bludgeon those not enlightened enough to share their flavor of “Christianity.” They demand the absolute, unquestioned right to spread their views…but see no contradiction in their desire to deny the same consideration to those who don’t share their “faith.” That’s not faith; that’s tyranny.

The parade of Conservative “Christians” rushing to the defense of Phil Robertson’s homophobic comments in GQ is a perfect example of their hypocrisy and the double standard they employ to support their agenda. No sooner did Robertson’s vile remarks come to light than the haters came out to defend him from the PC Police. Caribou Barbie did a photo op. Charlie Daniels says he wants to go duck hunting with Robertson. Various and assorted Fox News Channel talking heads decried the unfairness of it all- how DARE Godless Liberals deny Robertson the right to speak about his faith?

Except that that’s not at all what’s happening. No one’s proposed denying Robertson the right to speak his mind; far from it. You can’t expect to speak hatefully about those you believe are “less than” without some sort of fallout. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to spread hate and discrimination without garnering an adverse reaction from those who find your views abhorrent. Robertson’s free to speak his mind, just as I’m free to point out that he’s a hateful bigot whose flavor of Christianity has nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Instead of a generalized rant against those self-styled “Christians” who clearly know little of the teachings of the Jesus Christ they purport to revere, I thought I’d take a shot at author Steve Deace’s hypocrisy and double standard when it comes to hate speech…and that’s exactly what we’re dealing with:

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[N]owadays if you believe that same Bible is true you will either silence your beliefs, or you will be silenced. Nothing could be farther from the truth, of course. No one’s talking about silencing Phil Robertson. The 1st Amendment guarantees him the right to freely express himself. It doesn’t mean words don’t have meaning and consequences. It doesn’t provide him with absolute immunity from adverse reactions to his abhorrent and frankly despicable views. If you’re going to insult homosexuals and others you believe to be “less than,” you can’t reasonably expect the result to be silence. You can certainly state your views…just as I’m free to call you out for being a bigot and a homophobe.

Freedom of speech goes both ways, no?

[T]he tolerance mob demanded his head on a platter, and the wannabe King Herods that work at A&E, the network that made untold millions off of Robertson’s enormous popularity, gladly obliged. A&E’s programming makes money by drawing as many viewers as possible in order to charge the highest advertising rates possible. When you insult and/or alienate part of that potential audience, you’re costing your employer money. A&E was absolutely within their rights to discipline Robertson, just as any employer has the right to discipline an employee whose words and/or actions jeopardizes the company’s reputation, public perception, and/or bottom line.

We have reached the point where government believes it gets to play God. Uh, no; we’ve reached a point where government recognizes that no person or group should not have the right to discriminate against a class of people simply because they despise their lifestyle or religious beliefs. If you’re in business, you generally don’t get to determine who you provide your goods and/or services to based on their sexual orientation or religious beliefs. That’s the very discrimination you claim is being committed against you.

Oh, but it’s OK if you’re the one discriminating for “moral” reasons? I think that hypocrisy speaks for itself.

Let the record show which side of this debate is pushing their agenda on everyone else, and using the coercive force of government and bullying tactics in the media and pop culture to do so. It is not the Christians. The sad truth is most American Christians Let the record show which side of this debate is pushing their agenda on everyone else, and using the coercive force of government and bullying tactics in the media and pop culture to do so. It is not the Christians. The sad truth is most American Christians would prefer to leave people in their sin provided Christians are left alone in turn. Actually, Christians are every bit as guilty of pushing their agenda as they accuse Godless Liberals of being. Far too many Christians pass judgment on others based on their sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or other divisive criteria. There’s a very good reason I refer to the Radical Christian Right as the American Taliban. They demand rights they’d then deny to those who don’t support their narrow agenda.

If most Christians would truly “prefer to leave people in their sin,” there’d be far fewer Right-wing zealots spewing their hatred and prejudice to the four winds.

You don’t get to claim someone is forcing their agenda on you when you’re attempting to do the very same thing to them. Freedom is a two-way street, not something only available to Christians…unless you’re Bryan Fischer, of course.

[T]hose preaching the new tolerance of unconditional surrender and nothing less are dragging Christians who don’t have the courage of Phil Robertson kicking and screaming into the debate. They’re also demanding those of a more libertarian or “live and let live” mindset choose a side when they would rather abstain, for neutrality is no longer an option. There was nothing courageous about what Phil Robertson said. Bigotry is not courage. Arrogance and self-righteousness is not courage. Spreading hatred and discrimination is not courage, it’s denigrating those who happen not to share your “enlightened” religious/moral beliefs. That’s not courage, that’s bullying. To claim otherwise is to make your narrow-minded hatefulness crystal clear.

As for “live and let live,” what’s so wrong with expecting that you provide the same courtesy and consideration to others that you demand for yourself? If you believe homosexuality is sinful, good on you. Don’t have sex with someone of the same gender. That’s where it ends, though; you don’t get to pass judgment on and discriminate against those who happen to think, believe, live, and/or love differently.

I’ll freely admit to finding Phil Robertson’s views abhorrent, but I recognize and acknowledge his right to them. I don’t think it’s too much to expect the same in return. Being a Christian doesn’t provide some sort of special dispensation to judge others and find them wanting.

Deace is free to his point of view (as is Robertson), and I’m free to speak my piece about that point of view. That’s not “oppression” or “discrimination,” that’s free speech in a free society. Would that Deace could see his way to recognizing that this freedom is a two-way street and doesn’t accrue more to Christians because of their obvious moral superiority. Or is he really OK with the idea of “Christians” defending Phil Robertson by demanding that gays be put to death?

If Steve Deace and Phil Robertson are Christians, I’m Lady Gaga.

And people wonder why I don’t believe in God….

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on December 21, 2013 7:09 AM.

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