More Brown Stuff from CP
CP columnist Michael Brown tries to rally his evangelical troops: “California pastors must stand up to government tyranny.” He says, “In the latest and most egregious example of attempted government overreach, California legislators have proposed a bill that would dictate what pastors preach from the pulpit.” What is that “egregious government tyranny”?
The California legislature has proposed Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 (ACR99). As is often the case, Mr. Brown misrepresents it. Here is the official description:
This measure would call upon all Californians to embrace the individual and social benefits of family and community acceptance, upon religious leaders with conviction to counsel on LGBTQ matters from a place of love, compassion, and knowledge of the psychological and other harms of conversion therapy, and on upon the people of California and the institutions of California with great moral influence to model equitable treatment of all people of the state.
This "egregious, tyrannical" proposal actually preaches love of your fellow man and woman, including LGBTQs. Mr. Brown is dead set against it. After all, if he obeyed it, he would not only have to find a new set of gigs, he’d have to find a new identity.
Brown ignores the main section of the bill, which calls on the people of California to treat all people equitably, gay or otherwise. While the authors of the bill wish to spread love, Mr. Brown spreads hate.
Mr. Brown only addresses the section directed towards religious leaders, which I’ve highlighted in bold. This passage, which he denounces as “government tyranny,” asks religious leaders to counsel with love. Furthermore, the bill asks religious leaders to accept the findings of the American Psychological Association and research psychiatrists on the harmful effects of “conversion therapy.” Right-wing Christians – including many Catholics – often try to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals, generally using techniques of aversive conditioning, or punishment. These methods are not only ineffective, they are generally inhumane; defenders of animal rights often condemn them. But evangelicals love the concept of being scared straight, and have about as much use for mental health experts as they do for evolutionary biologists.
Mr. Brown and the Bible
Like many bigots, Mr. Brown hides behind the Bible:
These legislators are telling pastors and spiritual leaders to throw out the Bible, disregard the Lord’s will, ignore the testimony of thousands of ex-gays, and conform to extreme political correctness – or else.
This is one of the most frontal attacks on our religious freedoms in memory (or, perhaps, in our nation’s history). And it confirms what I have said for the last 15 years: Those who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet. This is nothing less than that ancient spirit of Jezebel trying to silence God’s messengers through fear and intimidation.
California is persecuting us! Perhaps the worst attack on religious freedom in American history!
This was the same cry raised when LBJ proposed the Civil Rights acts. How dare they force us to share bathrooms with N_______! How dare they force us to eat with N_____! To send our children to school with N_______! The Bible preaches segregation! In fact, a number of passages support this claim, especially with the help of some deceit.
But for these bigots, segregation is small potatoes. Bible thumpers literally split the country over slavery. And there is no question that the Bible supports slavery. Even the Apostle Paul had no problem with it. Nowhere does the Christian Bible denounce slavery; it always accepts it as a godly fact of life. The Southern Baptist denomination was created to defend slavery. They had no problem drumming up biblical support, just as they later “proved” that God loved Jim Crow. The great Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s was founded by a circuit-riding preacher, and his successor was also a fundamentalist preacher.
The Catholic Church invented the ghetto to segregate and persecute Jews, and had no problem finding Biblical support. They even used the Hebrew Bible, claiming that Christians were the new children of Israel while Jews were Christ-killers and God’s enemies. Bigots with Bibles can justify nearly any form of hatred. The Apostle Paul’s claim that rulers were God’s earthly representatives was used to support the worst tyrants of the Christian era, including Hitler.
CP disowns any responsibility for Mr. Brown. Legally, that is correct. But they knowingly take a bigot on a soap box and project him to thousands of people. Their “conservative” Protestants love this red meat and disdain the preaching of Christian brotherly love – such as California’s ACR 99. Brown may be shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater, but CP gives him the stage, provides the audience, and amplifies his message. CP knows their flock is like a resurrected Ku Klux Klan, and knows what kind of slop to place in their trough.