Christians Are Evangelicals’ New Enemy In Marriage Equality War 

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religious-war

It is a sad fact of life that there are some human beings who cannot exist without expressing animosity, or worse, deep and extremely emotional dislike directed against individuals, groups or ideas. Indeed, hatred is nearly always associated with feelings of intense anger, unwarranted disgust and an unhealthy pre-disposition towards hostility and violence. It is no mystery why many Americans are flummoxed over the behavior and violent expressions of hatred originating in the evangelical Christian movement, particularly when their religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ, preached and commanded his followers to be compassionate, forgiving, charitable, and tolerant to the point of having overwhelming love for their fellow man.

According to biblical mythos, Jesus Christ foretold a time when his followers would claim they performed great works in his name and he “will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who practice evil!‘” For a couple of generations, at least, American conservative Christians have practiced evil at some “special enemy” or another that became their cause célèbre to rally evangelical electoral support for Republicans pledging to use government as a weapon against the dreaded enemy. Now that the nation’s High Court “officially” eliminated one of the religious right’s enemy, marriage equality, conservative Christians set their sights on a new enemy; other Christians. If Americans have learned anything over the past generation, it is that the religious right cannot exist without deep and emotional hatred directed against some group. It was just a matter of time before they directed their hatred toward the “wrong” kind of Christians.

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Before Ronald Reagan gave conservative Christians an opening to impose their beliefs on the population by government fiat, the moral majority’s rallying cry to elect Republicans was perpetuating school segregation in the former Confederacy. When their precious tax exemption was put in jeopardy, the religious right embraced the counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and shifted their “Christian” hatred and righteous indignation toward women exercising their Constitutional right to control their own reproductive health; that hatred exists stronger today than ever before.

The religious right still considers the secular government their enemy, but the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality has driven them to shift their hatred toward, and blame, what they call dirty “Progressive Christians” because they support marriage equality as part of their adherence to Jesus Christ’s admonition to embrace all human beings. Just prior to the High Court same-sex marriage ruling, Christian fundamentalists opened up a new battle front against “liberal Christians” and launched a publicity campaign targeting a new enemy in Arizona; the progressive Methodist community.

A coalition of hate consisting of eight conservative Christian congregations in Fountain Hills, Arizona, launched a very public campaign against other “followers of Christ” replete with a highly “coordinated teaching and preaching” series with religious op-eds, half-page hate-ads in local newspapers, and “a massive banner” with the dirty word “progressive” in “jagged red letters” asking if “Progressive Christianity is Fact or Fiction.” One of the leaders of the hate group, a preacher at the Fountain Hills First Baptist Church, Tony Pierce, wrote in a published letter to the editor that “The progressives are at it again, and for a small fee you can join the primary proponent of this apostate religious movement to get answers. The good thing about the progressive movement is it gives people a clear choice. The ironic thing about progressive Christianity is that it is neither!

The hate-driven Southern Baptists were outraged that a Methodist minister, the Reverend David Felten, was “persecuting real Christians” and abridging their religious freedom by preaching to his congregants about theological support for interfaith dialogue, scientific discovery, and worse of all the right of the LGBT community to Constitutional equality and Christ-like compassion. Felten said the intensity and coordinated attack from other “Christians” caught him off guard and led him to comment that, “When you have an effort collaborated by multiple ‘Christian’ churches in one community to try to discredit one other way of thinking, that’s when it becomes alarming.”

To show how deep evangelical hatred goes, and how their new target is now as despised as the Constitution and secular government, Christian conservatives have begun casting ‘progressive Christians’ as religious bullies persecuting “real Christians.” The evangelicals labeled Methodists “heretic hunters” for following Christ’s command to love their neighbors; particularly their LGBT neighbors. The “bully and persecutor” labels are astounding when the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) continues its bullying tactics of evicting entire “LGBT-affirming” congregations from the SBC, Catholics continue firing employees for being gay, and evangelical churches regularly issue bomb threats and shoot at so-called liberal churches for apostasy. Apostasy is evangelical parlance for Christians who follow Christ’s command to embrace all human beings.

One “Reformed” theologian, Peter Leithart, called on all conservative Christians to harshly criticize the “progressive faith” because they abandoned the practice of castigating the LGBT community and those who support equality. In mid-July, Leithart, as head of the right-leaning Theopolis Institute, penned a piece in First Things that not only bemoaned the Court’s decision, he explicitly called on conservative Christians to do the Lord’s work and join the evangelical crusade to condemn LGBT-affirming Christians.

Leithart wrote that, “Most important is what happens in the churches. Even before Obergefell, some churches were making peace with same-sex marriage. Now that same-sex marriage is law, the tribe of ‘Good Churches’ will increase, and the division in the churches over sexual morality will sharpen. Many leaders, churches, and denominations have condemned the Court’s decision, and more will; but others support it, and we have no trans-denominational mechanism to adjudicate them. Saying what’s right is necessary, but it’s not enough. Pastors need to be willing to say that other churches that support marriage equality are wrong, and dangerously so.”

One preacher, and a former televangelist, Joshua Feuerstein is so furious about the marriage equality ruling that he made a video of himself waving around a semiautomatic assault rifle and called his 1.5 million followers “to finally take a stand and say no more. We’re not backing up any further.” According to Feurerstein, as an avowed evangelical fanatic his “First Amendment right is guaranteed by his Second Amendment right.” It is no stretch of the imagination to believe that Feuerstein’s  weaponized hatred reserved for the LGBT community will shift to include “progressive Christians.” As the Reformed theologian Liethart said, “without a mechanism to adjudicate them, pastors need to be willing to say that other churches that support marriage equality are wrong, and dangerously so.” Apparently assault rifles are, or soon will be, that “mechanism to adjudicate” other Christians ‘reformed theologian’ Leithart said is not yet available for the war against other Christians.

The religious right is prone to condemn Islamic extremists attacking other factions within the Muslim faith as hate-filled barbarians for combatting other Muslims. Now they have adopted that tactic and are attacking other Christians because they are following the teachings of their namesake and embrace all human beings. Regardless of the cause, whether equal rights for the LGBT community or women exercising their constitutional right to decide when they give birth, it was just a matter of time before Christian extremists began attacking other Christians. One might think it is astounding that a religion allegedly founded on expressing love and tolerance for all human beings expresses hatred as a matter of course, but history has shown that Christians have always thrived on having a mortal enemy to hate, even if it is other Christians.

40 Replies to “Christians Are Evangelicals’ New Enemy In Marriage Equality War ”

  1. The irony of those who claim they’re being persecuted the most in the United States- are often the very ones who are doing the persecution the most: Their Fellow Christians.

    Catholic/Protestant. Albigensians, Cathars, Arianism, etc.

    http://www.heretication.info/_heretics.html

    http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/gba_christians.htm

    It’s like watching Netanyahu now, or the Muslims whining about being persecuted- the biggest persecutions of their own- are themselves.

  2. Years and years ago, I recall having a discussion with a member of the clergy (a family friend) about whether humans are essentially good and are frequently tempted to do bad stuff, OR essentially evil and struggling each day to be good. As might be expected, I came down on the side of the latter.

    The way these evangelicals and, in fact, any member of any extreme religion, behave towards their fellow man, tends to prove I was right……

  3. Without a devil to fight, how can they justify themselves? Christians eat themselves in the drive for “purity” and will continue to do so until there is the “last man standing”.

    But it is obvious. These people are NOT christians any more than ISIS is muslim.

    Evil in all its various forms is still evil and the evangelical “christians” is just one of many.

  4. As a member of the “progressive Christian” community I actually am pleased to see this. A lot of Christians support marriage equality and LGBT rights but, as far as the public has been informed “Christians” are against those things.

    This kind of attacks on “progressive” or as I prefer “real” Christians actually makes it abundantly clear that being antigay is not a universal Christian value.

    What this will do, ultimately, is even more isolate those on the extreme right of the religious-political spectrum.

    What is really interesting, as shown in the article linked to about Catholic organizations firing people for their gay lifestyle is that the anti-gay attitude in the Catholic Church is most prominent at the top of the hierarchy but not shared by the actual members of the church.
    Leithart is quoted as saying “Many leaders, churches, and denominations have condemned the Court’s decision, and more will”… I think the opposite will happen.

  5. Hate groups masquerading as ‘religions’ need to be reclassified and have their tax status and other presumed protections nullified.
    Hate speech is hate speech, and should be prosecuted as such without bogus 1st amendment excuses. Perhaps these bigot and racist front groups could be prosecuted under the RICO statutes for being ongoing criminal enterprises.

  6. Yes, just as the great majority of Catholics in first-world countries use contraceptive devices, in spite of the church hierarchy telling them not to. And if Catholic women in third world countries were educated and had access to birth control and could afford it, they would be using it too. The Pope, his Cardinals and Bishops — all men — are losing control over their flock, which is why the Pope is veering into environmental, economic and other social issues. JMO.

  7. Christian coalition eating its own. Hate is hate, and as long as it pays, the “true believers” don’t care who their victims are as long as it keeps their flock worked up.

  8. The interesting thing about every religion- it involves YOU- doing something to insure a pleasant post life existence.
    And it involves YOU doing something to change yourself…ostensibly.

    Yet invariably- every religion seems to morph into an obsession with what everyone else is doing, and what you can do to stop them being and doing what they choose to be and do.

  9. …I’m a Non-Conformist Protestant…{not affiliated with any church; just read the Gospels and try my best…} have a ton of relatives who are Reich-Wing Teahadists…when they still spoke with me, they never used verses from the New Testament to justify thier positions; when I called them on it, using the teachings of Jesus Christ to point out the inconsistencies of thier “faith”…
    …been at least 6 years since I even swapped emails with these relatives…no loss…

  10. The religious right (which is neither religious nor right) wishes to persecute and discriminate against certain groups and they assume and proclaim that these groups are persecuting and discriminating against them.

    What would the religious extremists such as the evangelicals, the dominionists, and the SBC do if they were to learn that Jesus has already returned to earth in many incarnations. Imagine if he was here as the bartender at the Stonewall Imagine if he was here at another time as an abortion doctor wanting to take the souls of the unborn babies to heaven right then? What would they do if they learned that our Savior is very good friends with Allah and is offended by the abuse heaped on the followers of Mohammed.

    I am not saying any of thee are true I am just wondering if the religious right would then make Christ their enemy.

  11. The Evangelicals are bitter…because more and more young people are not that into their brand of cultism….Church membership is down and nobody cares about their feelings or emotions…they’re Having a sad

  12. The authoritarian religionists put Christ up on a cross the first time.

    They’d do it again, as they haven’t changed in 2,000 years.

  13. I am very sorry, but I want to make an unrelated comment, number one I understand that Ed Show is out at MSNBC.
    Number two – Bush was at a Koch event last night, he told them he will phase out Medicare.
    We are up against bad people – bad people with money to spare.

  14. Sorry but a “Evangelical” Christian is exactly the same as a “Christian” They are like Zebra’s with the black&white inverted as in a negative. BOTH are based on a fantasy and one is just the dark side of the original fantasy. And NEITHER deal with reality 100% so both are wrong because BOTH are based on a false assumptions or beliefs.

  15. Religion was created by men who felt superior and needed a way to control the feable minded, keep them stupid and scared shitless.
    “If I sin I’ll be turned away at the pearly gates”
    “If I sin I’ll repent and this negates all my sins”
    “gawd’s gonna get you”
    “gawd hates you”
    “I’ll pray for you”

    Like I ‘effin care.

    Why live your life reading and believing in fairy tails and being frightened of everything.
    As a young child believing in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the easter bunny was fun, but then I grew up and became an adult.

    Conservatives Big on Fear, Brain Study Finds
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201104/conservatives-big-fear-brain-study-finds

  16. If they were truly Christians, the Fundamentalists would obey the law. If not, they are going against the Bible and God Himself:

    Romans 13:1-7 states, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. T…

  17. continued —

    This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

    Do they, in their hubris, claim to speak for God while denying God’s words?

    19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
    20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
    21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
    22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
    Deut. …

    These…

  18. These “born-again” Christians who claim to speak for God while convincing themselves that they are guaranteed Heaven and can freely condemn others without falling from grace — have already fallen from grace.

    It’s not their right to choose. It’s not their right to command God.

    15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
    Romans 9:15King James Version (KJV)

  19. Midge, nice sentiments and I know there are decent lessons to be learned from the stories..However it STILL IS a book of fantasy! There is no God, Mankind invented God purely out of need, well we have grown beyond that need…well the more intellectually evolved of us that is.

  20. …and once again, I say, it’s not about the belief, it’s about the behavior.

    I say we line them all up, put dunce caps on each, give them a piece of chalk and make them write 100X’s:

    “It’s not about my belief, it’s about my behavior”, then, say it out loud 100X’s.

  21. Clifton, I agree with your comment 100%, just want to point out that the Muslim Allah is exactly the same God of Abraham that both Jews & Christians worship. You’d never know it from the hatred their fanatics shower on each other though.

    I’ve pointed this out to various anti-Muslim commenters over the years only to be either ignored, or called a liar & other “lovely” hate filled words. Jesus is also one of their holy Prophets & figures largely in their end times story too.

    You’re so right when you say that if Jesus came back today, our Christo-Fascists would vilify him, smear him, label him the anti-Christ & try to kill him again.

  22. You’re right Joan. John Kasich, Governor of Ohio is planning on getting rid of Medicare also. He did expand Obamacare in Ohio, saying he did it because he “cares” about people. What he is trying to do however is combine it with Medicare so eventually it will all be under state’s control. Right now we have a choice, but if we choose not to combine we lose certain “perks”, like transportation. The only way I can get a ride now is IF my Dr is 30 miles away, one way. Should I agree to combine my coverage, I can get a ride even if my Dr is right next door. They send you a letter asking if you want to combine and if you don’t answer the letter it becomes automatic. The Government won’t be funding the expansions forever, and Governors can take away state funds. Sneaky down the road planning.

  23. I strongly recommend the book “American Fascists” by Chris Hedges. In it he explains how the so-called Christian Right are moving toward taking over the whole world as a dominion of Christ. They see LGBT, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, and all who disagree with them as enemies to be eliminated once they control the government of a major world power. The world power they see as most vulnerable is the United States. Believe it! Dominnionist Christians plan to make the Nazis’ Final Solution look small by comparison.

  24. I posit that one of the main reasons no one cares about “them” or their youth fleeing, is, they have nothing to offer!

    If you go through the list of high profile, successful Evans, you will see very few scientist, academics, innovators, etc.; they don’t contribute to society*. You will discover a few has-been entertainers while the rest are preachers with $$$. Their schools are not competitive (they make up sh*t saying they are) and the only outlet where their off-spring can get work is through Evan relatives/church related jobs.

    Evans only “work” behind the Evangelical Curtain, which is not far off the old Iron Curtain mentality. Who wants to live under constant fear of not being a “good comrade” never questioning Fearless Leaders’ orders, their wealth and hypocrisy? And, don’t even get me started on their claim that their oppressive caste system is a “biblical model” therefore, ultimate the “truth”…

    *Pres Carter does and he’s doing ALL the good acts/heavy lifting!

  25. Lardy, Lardy, child! Where did you get the word “consciousness”?!!

    Just ask one of them, “Do you live in Christ Consciousness? And if so, define it and, if not, why?”

    And their answer will be, “It ain’t in the bible”!

  26. I mostly agree with you.
    However, In Islam there is but one god: Allah.

    Yet the Muslims decry Christianity- for believing (essentially) for having 3 gods in the Trinity.

    So technically- no. Allah =/= Jehovah.

  27. The religious right is no different from radical Islam. Their message is more like Islamic fundamentalism than anything resembling the saying of Jesus and writings of Paul.

    Notice how the Religious Right flees to the Old Testament’s law of Moses to justify their hatred. This despite the fact that the New Testament clearly says:
    “Christ gave his own body to destroy the Law of Moses with all its rules and commands. He even brought Jews and Gentiles together as though we were only one person, when he united us in peace.” (Ephesians 2.14-15 CEV)

    If we are all united in one body as though we were only one person, this would also include LGBTQAI persons. So why would we want to injury our own body?

    The one command of Christianity is: “For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5.14 NRSV)

    And, the Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6.31, NRSV)

  28. religion is just another application of politics, i.e.,
    getting other people to believe what you say.
    their only purpose is too create a revenue stream and use that to create a power base.

  29. In many ways, the religious wrong HAS made Christ their enemy, by pretty much ignoring his teachings over the teachings of Paul, and certain portions of the Old Testament.

    It seems that the teachings of Jesus are just a little bit too progressive for them to be comfortable with. I really find that hilarious when you consider that those highly progressive teachings took place about two thousand years ago.

    They don’t like that we’re supposed to love everyone, because that forbids hatred and prejudice, which are two of their favorite tools…

  30. I agree that the right wing Christians are wrong in their reactions to so many things, but I think that most people who go to these churches are just ordinary people who do not go around thinking about, say, gay rights much one way or another. Unless it is a really extreme sort of militarized type of church most people may think being gay is wrong etc. but they don’t want to go out and insult anybody, for instance.

    A lot of middle ground.

    My gay friend is evangelical and progressive and found a gay Christian church. I don’t think she necessarily believes in Hell etc. and she experimented with goddess religion for awhile. Another friend who was known to go out and leave leaflets about Christianity on cars once in awhile became friends with a couple of gay people, and then quietly asked if being gay was wrong? Probably decided it wasn’t, for she remainded friends with them.

    I predict that this is just a temporary backlash, and eventually all this will die down.

  31. Well, you have to consider that Paul had been one of the Pharisees, and therefore, was a lawyer, who was going to promote the law. When you consider that he was in Roman custody when he wrote this, he was going to support the law.

    Jesus however often defied authority, sometimes he was downright “in your face” about it too. Such as the time he publicly chastised the priests of the temple in Jerusalem for teachings the laws of man, as the laws of God.

    Most of these evangelical and other fundamentalist pastors, are far more men of gold, than men of god…

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