Friday, August 24, 2012

Left, Right... A Bigot is Still a Bigot

The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. has posted a piece over at the Progressive Christian section of Patheos that I think everyone who complains about the "Religious Right" needs to read.

The piece specifically addresses the efforts of American Atheists to have a piece of the ruins of the World Trade Center that coincidentally happens to have two beams welded together orthogonally (gee, how many times would that have happened in the steel infrastructure of a building?) because their inclusion is at the insistence of Christians who think that it's somehow "proof" that their god was there, protecting them, etc.

Pity their god didn't get there a few minutes earlier to actually stop the planes from hitting the buildings and killing three thousand people, but I digress.

Whether or not one agrees with the AA position that the cross is inappropriate in the memorial museum or not is immaterial to my argument. What I'm most incensed by is the position taken by Dr. Schmidt that (quote):
You are not entitled to argue that the expression of a Christian point of view "hurts you" in any fashion that has legal standing.
Really?

It's not "I think your lawsuit will fail the legal test". It's not "I think you're doing your own side harm in the court of public opinion by pursuing such an unpopular lawsuit." It's not "the law doesn't support your argument".

It's "you are not entitled to argue". To hell with the point you want to make; you don't even have the right to make the point in the first place. You should preemptively be prevented from even opening your non-Christian gob and complaining that Christians are expressing their point of view, no matter how you personally feel about it. In fact, you should shut your non-Christian gob even if you think you have a legal point.

"You are not entitled to argue" your point. Period.

It is the ultimate expression of Christian hubris. It's stating, in no uncertain terms, that anyone who thinks that Christianity is anything but beneficial, in the public good, and especially "for your own good" if your one of those benighted non-Christians, you should just shut up. And it's not aimed at Atheists exclusively; anyone who doesn't like Christians pushing their religion in our faces needs to wake up to this fact. Including, especially, Pagans, Heathens, and Witches.

The wonderful folks at the Lady Liberty League, run by Circle Sanctuary, might have something to say about this assertion.

You think you've been hurt by the fact that a public school district hands out Bibles to students, but then turns around and rejects Wiccan and Pagan books that are supplied for the same purpose?

You are not entitled to argue that the expression of a Christian point of view "hurts you" in any fashion that has legal standing.

You think you've been hurt by the fact that your child, in a public school, has been told that "paganism is not a religion", had your 11 year old's faith questioned in front of the class by a teacher, harassed by teachers and fellow students alike because of his faith, and told that school assignments on cultural and historical topics must contain only accounts relating to a particular religion? (And guess what... it just happens to be Christianity...)

You are not entitled to argue that the expression of a Christian point of view "hurts you" in any fashion that has legal standing.

You think you've been hurt by the fact that certain businesses, which are otherwise deemed public accommodations, close their doors specifically to shut out those in attendance at a Pagan festival, and state their bigoted reasons publicly and proudly?

You are not entitled to argue that the expression of a Christian point of view "hurts you" in any fashion that has legal standing.

The list could go on and on, but you get the point.

Bigotry against non-Christians is not the exclusive province of the Right, and anyone who believes so is simply deluded. Christians by definition think that theirs is the only path to salvation (John 14:6) and feel that this gives them the exclusive right to walk over and obliterate any other faith "for your own good".

The next time someone starts whining about "The Religious Right", remind them it's not a right/left issue. It's a Christian/non-Christian issue.

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