Monday, April 11, 2016

Week of 04/11/2016

The Despicable Theo-Conservative Script
My best friend and adopted-brother-by-another-mother-and-father RJ Evans is fond of saying that “the hypocrisy always reveals the lie”.  No truer words could be said when it involves America’s self-righteous and self-appointed “defenders of Christianity”.
The bible-thumpers have been on a tear this year, imposing New Jim Crow laws across the American Southeast.  But, unlike the original Jim Crow laws which were being challenged and overturned a half-century ago, today’s New Jim Crow laws seek to legalize discrimination based not on race, but on sexual preference and identity.  And they’re using religion as their justification for their discrimination.
Of course, the thumpers will never characterize their New Jim Crow laws as a right to discriminate.  Rather, they pull out their trusty C-Street scripts and recite some hypothetical situation of a priest being “forced” to marry some same-sex couple, the infamous bakery refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.  Like any other slick manipulative bully, they’re quick to pull out the “poor persecuted victim” card to justify their actions.
But some of these measures do more than just “protect priests” or bakers.  If you’re transgendered in North Carolina, then you’re now forced to use the public restroom of the gender you were born with.  Even if you had the “plumbing” changed, even if you look and sound of one gender, the state of North Carolina now forces you to use a public bathroom of the gender you were born with.
Sorry Chaz Bono, but you’re going to bear the shrieks and screams of terror from the women who will see you go into a ladies’ room in order to comply with the law in that state.  Same with Kaitlyn Jenner, although I imagine the reaction will be a little different.
The thumpers have been able to prevail in some states, but not in all of them.  In the State of Georgia, Governor Nathan “Raw” Deal wisely heeded to calls to veto that state’s so-called “religious liberty” bill, in defiance of the freedom-hating thumpers.
But one would suspect it wasn’t simply the outcries of the voters that swayed Deal to veto the bill.  Rather, it was the overwhelming number of businesses that threatened to end all business in Georgia if he did sign that into law.  Some even went so far as to already end expansion plans or to pack up shop for fear of the bill being signed into law.  And these weren’t so-called “mom and pop” businesses either, but major corporations that bring billions into the state, including the big media companies.  When you have Marvel Films, who have filmed several of their blockbuster movies in Atlanta, and Time Warner, owners of Atlanta mainstay CNN and the Turner cable channels, and AMC, whose setting of “The Walking Dead” is all around Georgia, all threatening to pull up stakes and walk, you’re going to pay attention to that and ask yourself if a gang of bible-thumping Dominionists are worth driving the state headfirst into economic ruin.
This is something that the thumpers did not take into account.  When Dominionists threaten to boycott something, they’re usually all talk and no action.  Remember when they tried to “boycott” all things connected to Disney?
But now the tables were turned, and big corporations were threatening to boycott the State of Georgia, and, unlike the whiny Dominionists, they actually could hurt the state with little consequence on their part.
So what did the thumping Dominionists do?  They whined and stomped their feet and wailed like spoiled children that “it’s open season on Christians!  Wah!  Wah!  We’re being persecuted because we can’t get our way!  Wah!  Wah!  We’re going to stomp our feet and hold our breaths until we turn blue and then you will all be sorry!”
Actually them stomping their feet and holding their breaths until they turn blue would actually be a good thing.  It could even increase our collective IQ by a few points.  And if you think I was exaggerating about their tantrums, then you weren’t listening to the local talk radio stations in the days after the veto.  You would think Christians were being fed to lions given the phony tantrums they threw here in Georgia.
No, what the Dominionists did was to attack the corporations with their carefully-scripted C-Street talking points.  First they called them part of the “Liberal-Hollywood cabal”, which got them nowhere.
Then they used the false-equivalence argument.  “These companies do business with China and Saudi Arabia.  China and Saudi Arabia have an even worse record with the LGBT community!  Why aren’t these businesses pulling out of China and Saudi Arabia if they’re so concerned about the LGBT group!”
Three points...
First, there’s a distinct difference between going into a country with such discrimination already going on versus being in a country where it is just being imposed by legislature.  It’s the difference between going to the scene of a drunk driving crash versus being there before the drunk driver gets into the car.
Second, we’re talking about the United States of America!  The country that is supposed to be better than any other, and now all of a sudden the Dominionists are using those countries to justify their actions?  That goes against everything that the so-called “family values” crowd have been whining about since pretty much the days of Ronald Reagan!  Not to mention this is the same faction of society that manufactured the whole self-righteous circular logic known as “American Exceptionalism”, and now you’re suggesting we follow the path set by other countries, after you spent the past two decades condemning it?
Not to mention that if those businesses did what you whine about, if they did cut all ties to those countries over their treatment of the LGBT community, what do you suppose would be the first thing the leaders of those countries would say?  Oh, come on, you know what they’d say!  “Why don’t you fix the problems in your own country first?”
Which takes me to the third point, because there’s a nice biblical passage that addresses that very argument.  Actually there are two.  Both the Book of Matthew and the Book of Luke tell the so-called “Christians” that they should not worry about the sawdust in the eye of their neighbor while they have a plank in their own eyes.  And in this case, we’re talking about a whole political plank that is not only in their own eyes, but one that they want to shove in the eyes of everyone else!
In fact, the man who supposedly is at the center of those two New Testament books had a specific word to describe our so-called “Christians” and their current political crusade.  “Hypocrites!”
Let’s get brutally honest here... the actions and rhetoric of the so-called “Christians” in their efforts to impose the New Jim Crow laws into state legislatures exposes just how morally bankrupt they really are.  They know that they’ve lost any pretense of “moral authority” in this matter.  They’ve lost the overwhelming majority support of the public that they used to hold as recently as even a decade ago.  And now all they have left to cling to is their distorted belief that they have a “right” to discriminate with impunity.
“The hypocrisy always reveals the lie.”  And here we see the lie imposed by the self-righteous.  The lie that says they are better than the people they condemn.  The lie that says they have a right to impose their bigotry on others.  And the lie that says that their own beliefs should be used to trump the rights of others.  And in the end, that’s all they have left.  Lies.

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