Christian Leaders Increase Calls For Gun and Physical Violence Against Transgenders

*The following is an opinion column by R Muse *

These days in America it is getting more difficult by the day to find very many people claiming Christianity as their driving life-force who are what anyone with a brain, or knowledge of the Christian bible, would call a “real Christian.” Of course there are “real followers of Christ” in America, but they are seemingly few and far between, or are drowned out by the evangelical right extremists. As a former Christian minister, one can tell readers that Jesus Christ explained how to identify a ‘real Christian.’ America’s neo-Christianity movement would certainly know in their heart of hearts that they are as far-afield from being a Christian as possible if they had ever picked up the rule book they claim informs their worldview and drives their hatred for most of the country.

The evangelical religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ, preached in “the Gospels” that besides expressing love for all human beings, to

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Christ also preached that, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” That message was repeated later by one of the “apostles” who wroteLive such good lives… they may see your good deeds and glorify God.”

No matter the context, the concept is crystal clear: it is easy to discern who is a real Christian and who is evil, a liar, and a phony Christian. Over the past few weeks it has been abundantly clear that these religious bigots attacking transgender people, and calling for violence and death against them, are no more Christians than blood-thirsty ISIS extremists or violent criminals.

The latest “leading Christian voice” to call for extreme violence against transgender people is James Dobson, founder and president of extremist Christian group Focus on the Family.  Dobson was incensed, and viciously attacked President Obama for defending transgender students’ Constitutional right to use a toilet according to their gender identity. Dobson even violated his “church” tax-exempt, non-profit status by preaching a “sermonclaiming that President Obama “is a tyrant who assaults centuries of modesty and moral beliefs. He is warping our children and wielding dictatorial powers to change Western civilization forever.”

Dobson’s solution to the idea of transgender people using a restroom is for Christian fathers to take matters into their own hands and do what Dobson thinks “real men” would have done 100 years ago: shoot to kill the transgenders. He wrote,

If you are a dad, I pray you will protect your little girls from men who walk in unannounced, unzip their pants and urinate in front of them. If this had happened 100 years ago, someone might have been shot. Where is today’s manhood? God help us!”

One is happy to inform Dobson that according to Jesus Christ, not only is Dobson’s god not going to help him or his malcontent evangelical mob, if Jesus’ words are true, preacher Dobson is going to “be cut down and thrown into the fire.” That would be the Christian bible’s everlasting “lake of fire” and for anyone, Christian or not, who calls for anyone, transgender or not, to be shot based on Dobson’s prayers to his god there is no better destination than eternal fire.

Dobson is not the only “Christian” looking for transgender people to shoot and kill. A “Christian” lawyer who is also president of another far-right evangelical Christian outfit known as the Liberty Counsel, Anita Staver, made an important announcement as a warning to transgender people and hardworking Americans shopping at Target stores.

Staver said she would be packing her handy Glock 45 every time she goes to Target to use the toilet “in case she needs to shoot any transgender people she finds in there.” Since only one-tenth of one percent of the population identifies as transgender, Staver is likely going to have to make hourly trips to the Target toilet to “shoot any transgender people she finds in there.” It is noteworthy that Staver is married to Matt Staver, the rabid anti-gay evangelical that defended the equally anti-gay evangelical Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, the elected official who cannot accept that a couple of verses in the Old Testament of her Christian bible are not the law of the land.

At least one law enforcement official who identifies strongly as a Christian and claims that his faith in Jesus Christ guides him showed his true neo-American Christian bona fides. Tracy Murphree is the only candidate for sheriff in Denton County Texas and to garner evangelical electoral support he called for violence against transgender people and  announced: “If my little girl is in a public restroom and a man, regardless of how he may identify, goes into the bathroom, he will then identify as a John Doe until he wakes up in whatever hospital he may be taken to.” Obviously, Murphree’s version of, and guidance from, Jesus Christ has no connection to the real Jesus Christ of the real Christian bible. Even anti-religion atheists are aware that threatening or carrying out violence is not a “Jesus” kind of thing.

Murphree also defended his threat of violence by vowing that he “will not give in to the political correctness police;” or Jesus Christ’s guidance against violence, or his guide’s admonition to let your good works identify you as a real Christian.

I won’t be threatened by those who may call me a bigot or ignorant. The few transgenders (sic) rights do not trump the rights of the many. I will not stand by in political correctness afraid of being labeled and allow a male to enter a bathroom my daughter occupies. I just won’t do it.”

There is still “no statistical evidence of transgender people committing crimes in bathrooms.” However, according to a 2013 study conducted by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, “fully 70 percent of trans people have reported being denied entry, harassed, or assaulted when trying to use the bathroom.” The only people being assaulted while doing toilet “business” are transgenders; not little girls, not mothers, not sisters or not grandmothers. This faux outrage is focused on transgender people and since assaults and harassment are “all rooted in (the neo-American version of) Christian ideology” these laws defending this kind of blatant discrimination are all Republican “religious laws” and patently unconstitutional.

One doesn’t have to be a Christian to acknowledge that regardless of one’s faith, or lack thereof, all Americans are entitled to constitutionally-protected “equal and civil rights;” they only have to be “real Americans.” However, over the past decade or so the only group actively working to deny other Americans’ equal rights are evangelical fanatics claiming their religious bona fides give them purview over the rest of the population.

Sadly, that purview has now evolved into Christians calling for violence, and death, against 3-tenths of one percent of the population. It doesn’t matter what kind of Christian one is, the faith’s namesake condemned violence against anyone. If any of these esteemed Christian preachers, leaders, lawyers, and law enforcement officials had read even one word of their lord and savior’s teachings, they would be quaking in their religious boots at their eternal resting place. Because according to their fruits they are going to “be cut down and thrown into the fire” – right where they belong today.