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08/05/2014

AFA Sr. Staffer: First Amendment only applies to Christians

by Jeremy Hooper

We know that many in the ever-entitled anti-LGBT movement think this way; we're just not used to them coming out and saying it:

"I have contended for years that the First Amendment, as given by the Founders, provides religious liberty protections for Christianity only. Most attorney types, befuddled by years of untethered Supreme Court activism, think it covers any and all religions you can name. The results of this expansive but badly misguided understanding of the First Amendment have not been too costly to this point. But with Islam growing in America like a noxious weed, some of the more troublesome aspects of this distorted view of religious liberty are becoming evident, when it comes to things like school curricula, halal food, and Christian evangelism at Muslim street fairs. These problems have been brought into stark relief now by Satanists, who are pressing for exactly the same kind of religious liberty protections the Supreme Court just recognized for Hobby Lobby."

American Family Association Sr. Issues Analyst Bryan Fischer

While this Christian-only view is coming from Fischer, a man whose penchant for jaw-dropping comments puts him in a class unto himself, do not for a second see this as an isolated view.  Just a few months back, Family Research Council and well-connected conservative thinker Tony Perkins argued that "It'd be a lot simpler if we operated on the Ten Commandments" rather than on our body of civil law, echoing a common sense within his movement that Christian code should trump civil law.  All of the so-called "religious freedom" measures that are popping up around the country are always geared, in full, toward conservative Christianity without any consideration given for the rich patchwork of faith that makes up America.  And what happens whenever we speak out against those who use their conservative version of Christianity to condemn LGBT people?  As soon as we have a reaction and stand up for ourselves against the hurtful comments or deeds, those on Bryan Fischer's side of the issue immediately fire off claims that we are denying them their freedom of speech.

There is an undeniable sense of entitlement that pervades the anti-LGBT movement and the larger religious right.  For some it's more subconscious; for others, like Bryan, it's an overt self-placement atop a lofty moral pedestal.  But in most cases, the general idea is that choosing to believe the way they do grants these particular faith adherents a special class of treatment.  I wouldn't say most who speak out against us want a literal theocracy (though Bryan probably does).  I would, however, argue that the majority of adent LGBT rights opponents do think that their chosen faith puts them in some sort of HOV lane that allows them to pass us by at every turn.  Which is wrong.

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