Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Victim Code: "Will Christian Conservatives Be Prosecuted and Removed From Society?"

Dr. Michael Brown
In a civil society morality is not dependent upon religious dogma. Morality defines how we treat others.
Dr. Michael Brown is in rare form. He is advancing the narrative that Christians are being persecuted here at home. Sure.

Oh, it's not clickbait. Uh Huh:
I want to assure you that the title to this article is not clickbait. Rather, it reflects the open sentiments of the extreme leftist political commentator Keith Olbermann.
Seriously? Keith Olbermann as arbiter of American civilization? I happen to like Mr. Olbermann (although I have not watched him since he departed from MSNBC). Nevertheless, Olbermann speaks solely for Olbermann.
My answer to the question of whether Christian conservatives will soon be prosecuted by the millions and removed from American society is an emphatic, but qualified, no.

It is an emphatic no because there is no way that tens of millions of Christian conservatives would simply stand by and let this happen. Not a chance.

It is a qualified no because, in part, it has happened already. Christian conservatives have been prosecuted for their Christian beliefs. We have been imprisoned for our beliefs, right here in America in the 21st century.
The answer is “no” because prosecution of a religious group is constitutionally prohibited. When conservative Christians commit crimes they will be prosecuted just like anyone else.

Whether or not conservative Christians will be marginalized (“removed from American society”) is up to them. On the whole our secular society resents attempts to impose religious doctrine on public policy. For example, 61% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. By a larger margin Americans approve of marriage equality.

Most Americans support the right of gay people to marry and to be free from discrimination. What has happened in this country is that Republican politicians have pandered to the Christian right. The result is that a small sliver of the population has had outsized influence.

Anything that might reduce that outsized influence is perceived and noisily promoted as persecution. The Biden administration poses that possible threat in the minds of Michael Brown and others.

The notion that Christians have been prosecuted and imprisoned because of their beliefs is preposterous. Brown offers no evidence to support his claim. People who kill abortion providers, for example, are prosecuted for murder in contrast to being prosecuted for their beliefs.

Religious beliefs do not exempt people from obeying the law. The late Justice Scalia said that in his opinion for the majority in Employment Division v. Smith.

Poor us:
More broadly, we have been marginalized and muted by the cancel culture and the spirit of intimidation. And the more we cower and capitulate, the worse it will get. Now is the time to stand up and speak out. And while Olbermann's sentiments may be extreme, they are not isolated.
The so-called cancel culture is opprobrium in the form of online shaming. The intellectually honest question is over what warrants such criticism or ostracism. I have yet to see the object of such criticism “cower and capitulate.” They seem, on the whole, to become indignant in ignominy.
For years, I have documented how Christian conservatives have been likened to Hitler, to the Nazis, to the KKK, to ISIS, and that was long before Donald Trump appeared on the political scene.
Brown became distraught once when I likened him to the folks who flew airplanes into buildings on 911 but I did concede that Brown wasn't engaged in violence. Michael Brown seems too concerned over the opinions of others.
Of course we are responsible for the persecution
… The hatred was in response to our conservative, biblical ideology, most particularly when it came to LGBTQ activism. And no matter how loving or gracious or compassionate we were, we were still branded haters, people who were a danger to society. People who should be removed.
Brown's ilk always claim to be critical of activists who are portrayed as radical zealots which is projection. The reality is that Brown and his friends routinely smear LGBTQ people principally to oppose nondiscrimination laws. They often seem to think that, through their criticism, they can prevent someone from being gay or trans.

It is hypocritical of Brown to complain about cancel culture when he is in the business of shaming people he disapproves of because of their sexuality. Brown has falsely claimed that prepubescent trans children are being sterilized. That is neither gracious not loving. It is the promotion of hate based on ignorance.

Michael Brown routinely promotes conversion therapy. He does so to promote the idea that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices. That too is hate.

Brown goes on to quote Olbermann:
Oct. 9: "The task is twofold. The terrorist Trump must be defeated, must be destroyed, must be devoured at the ballot box. And then he, and his enablers, and his supporters, and his collaborators, and the Mike Lees and the William Barrs and the Sean Hannnitys and the Mike Pences and the Rudy Gulianis and the Kyle Rittenhouses and the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society while we try to rebuild it and rebuild the world that Trump has nearly destroyed by turning it over to a virus. Remember it."
I would agree that those sentiments are hyperbolic in part. Most of those people are not deserving of prosecution. More importantly, perhaps, is the absence of anti-Christian rhetoric. Olbermann is aiming fire at individuals; not their religion.

Yet:
But without question, his words reflect the seething hostility that exists toward Christian conservatives in many quarters in America today. We dare not underestimate it.
Nonsense. His words have nothing to do with Christian conservatives. Personally, I am hostile to the anti-LGBTQ bigotry that emanates from Christian conservatives. No one has a religious duty to be a bigot.

The other day I responded to a tweet from one of those Christian conservatives (Joseph Backholm) with “are you fucking kidding.” He responded that “children are listening.” I wish he would keep that in mind when he routinely smears LGBTQ people. The word “fuck” does less harm than, for example, misgendering a trans kid.

Poor us part [fill in the blank]:
It is an ideological hatred more than a political hatred, a hatred based on deep moral differences, a hatred that can easily turn violent, as it often has through the centuries and in recent months.
How many Christian conservatives have been murdered in 2020? In an undated post, HRC claims that 34 transgender persons have been murdered in 2020. In schools, K-12, who is more vulnerable? Christians or LGBTQ kids?

Furthermore, Brown assumes the moral high ground assuming that LGBTQ people are immoral. In a civil society morality is not dependent upon religious dogma. Morality defines how we treat others. Adherence to religious doctrine is a choice. Sexuality is not.
It is true that Trump has inflamed hostilities with his own irresponsible rhetoric. We must continue to separate ourselves from those words and sentiments.
That I have not witnessed something does not mean that it has not happened. I have not seen criticism from Trump supporters.

Those same conservative Christians have enabled a twice-divorced con artist grifter with six(?) creative bankruptcies to inflict on our country a crudeness that I have never seen before. Brown has tirelessly supported Trump for reelection in spite of Trump's obvious, often and repeated ethical lapses.

If Michael Brown is displeased by some of his critics I suggest that he look at the source of that criticism. It can be found in any mirror he chooses to look upon. In fact his entire polemic is an exercise in “not my fault.”

Michael Brown is blaming his critics for his own shortcomings without a word of retrospection or introspection. Keith Olbermann is a target of convenience particularly given the fact that Olbermann's rant was more than a month ago.

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