Reality Check for Religious Nuts: Laughing at You is Not Persecution


Remember when Pat Robertson said his god would punish us for mocking him? Right Wing Watch tells us that “End times pastor” Carl Gallups says “lampooning and lambasting and making fun of” people like him is a form of persecution. It is apparently okay to actually persecute people – other people – like gays and women and atheists and others.

Its funny when people say such catastrophically stupid things and then expect not to get laughed at. So let’s get started.

Gallups was a guest on TheDove TV Monday to chat up his new book, “Be Thou Prepared: Equipping the Church for Persecution and Times of Trouble.” His book warns Christians to be prepared for coming persecution, including being mocked and laughed at, apparently, when they say crackpot stuff.

I don’t know. When you act like an idiot you have to be prepared to be laughed at. Here you are waving a book around you’ve clearly never read, lying through your teeth while claiming to represent some monolithic truth, chasing money while they guy you claim to follow, Jesus, said to give up everything you own to follow him.

It’s funny. It’s funny that you expect us to take you seriously. I mean, how do we not laugh?

It’s even funnier that you think us pointing these facts about you to others is a form of persecution. We call it the First Amendment. You have a right to lie. We have a right to call you on it. That’s not persecution. That’s freedom of speech.

Of course it isn’t just making fun of him that bothers Gallups. Oh no, he sees persecution everywhere:

We can see the beginning signs. Where we are now is where persecution always begins. It begins in the small stages, it begins with lampooning and lambasting and making fun of, and it begins with historical revisionism, and it begins with political correctness, and it begins with gun control. All of these things, Nazi Germany did it, North Korea did it, China did it, the Middle East has done it, and now we’re seeing the beginning stages of this in America.

Historical revisionism. You mean, David Barton? The guy who makes a living revising American history to make it more amenable to the Religious Right’s anti-American agenda? Like Rick Santorum saying, “Don’t hate on the crusades”? Or Bill Donohue saying the Inquisition wasn’t really so bad after all?

That sort of historical revisionism?

And who knew gun control was persecution? Where in the world does the Bible defend unrestricted gun ownership without oversight or regulation? What passage is that?

Even coming from our Supreme Court decisions, and legalizing gay marriage. And the Christian bakers and the Christian florists being sued and run out of business and the mayor in Houston demanding sermons from pastors and threatening lawsuits. We’re watching it happen. We’re watching the beginning stages.

Oh no! You’re being forced to treat everybody equally! Where will it end?

What we are actually seeing is the final stages of the Christian persecution of the Other begun in the later Roman empire. That is when Christianity began the process of persecuting out of existence every alternative to itself.

It had the power to do this for about 1500 years and history shows the Church went after everyone, Pagans in the Mediterranean, Pagans in Northern and Eastern Europe, Muslims in the Middle East, ethnic religions in the Americas and Africa and Asia, and so-called heretics everywhere.

If you were different, you were a target. And you were punished, tortured, even killed, if you did not come over to what they called “orthodoxy.”

The European Enlightenment was a secular response to this Dark Age attitude and the United States Constitution was the ultimate development of this thinking: a government where power derives not from God but from the people themselves, where God doesn’t even get a mention, let alone the Church, or the Bible or Ten Commandments.

It has taken a long time to break this chain of persecution, and some, like women and gays, still face persecution from religious authorities. Think about it: it takes a special encyclical from the Pope to get forgiveness for women who have had abortions. After the jubilee year, you’re out of luck.

There are still religious authorities who want to punish people for not thinking like them. Look at the so-called Christian groups wanting to stone people, or impose the death penalty on gays and others. Look at Ted Cruz and Rick Perry, both White House hopefuls, saying God will strike down America over Marriage Equality.

And they would if they could. If you decline to be persecuted by them, you’re seen as persecuting them, even though the form your persecution takes is simply wanting to be left alone.

Gallups, like Robertson, Huckabee and Cruz, is part of the last stages of fanatical resistance to tolerance, and he’s not happy about it. He’ll be damned if he will give up his right to persecute you in the name of his god. I’m a Heathen so I’m not going to turn the other cheek, but I will ask him if he wants some cheese with his whine.

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