A new movie claims that gay rights will criminalize and destroy American Christianity

From Right Wing Watch (courtesy of reader Heather), we learn that the Christian right has produced a new film, Light Wins: How To Overcome The Criminalization of Christianity. Its thesis is that the gay “agenda”, including gay marriage, will result in the destruction—indeed, the criminalization—of Christianity. You can watch the trailer below, and a bigger parade of idiots I’ve never seen.  They are espousing a conspiracy theory that is about as ludicrous as the Arab theory (see previous post) that Israel is behind the Charlie Hebdo murders. Here’s RWW’s summary:

Scheduled to premier at the National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention on Feb. 23-26 in Nashville, TN, the cast for this creepy, melodramatic, and hilariously over-the-top anti-gay video extravaganza reads like a gathering of evangelical and GOP A-listers, including:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Huckabee (pastor and past governor of Arkansas), David Barton (Wallbuilders), James Dobson (Focus on the Family founder), Phyllis Schlafly (founder of the Eagle forum), Scott Lively (scary pastor), and Brian Camenker (president of the anti-gay MassResistance).

And of course, there are plenty of B- and C-listers too. The preview shows these anti-gay luminaries and semi-luminaries attempting to scare the crap out of God-fearing Americans.

How many fallacies can you spot in this short segment?

If Christianity wanes in this country, as it surely will, it won’t be due to gays. It will be due to the spread of Enlightenment values that are opposed to Christian “values.”

Speaking of Republican notables who are anti-gay, remember Ben Carson, the ex-neurosurgeon and creationist who has Presidential ambitions? He’s repeatedly made invidious statements about gays, including the “poisoned cake” remark you can find at the previous link. In response to an interviewer’s question about gay marriage, he added that gays “don’t get to change the definition [of marriage].”  Well, the Supreme Court is going to do that this fall, as is pretty evident from their recent refusal—minus the assent of Scalia and Thomas—to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that Alabama must issue licenses for same-sex marriage. Why would the court have refused to step in unless they felt that their upcoming decision was going to make gay marriage constitutional? If they thought otherwise, they would have put a moratorium on the federal judge’s decision pending their own ruling.

At any rate, The Age of Blasphemy reports that the Southern Poverty Law Center has added Carson to their Extremist Watch List because of his incessant and misguided attacks on gays.  He even compares gays to pedophiles, as you can see in this video. A quote from Carson:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.17.27 AM

He also said this:

“I mean, [our society is] very much like Nazi Germany,” Carson told Breitbart News, after declaring that we were living in a “Gestapo age.” “And I know you’re not supposed to say ‘Nazi Germany,’ but I don’t care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.”

Carson, an African-American, joins the panoply of white supremacists, bigots, neo-Nazis, Holocaust denialists, and gay-haters that populate the SPLC’s  list. He is, as far as I know, the first serious Presidential candidate to be listed as one of those extremists. Republicans!

h/t: Heather Hastie

60 Comments

  1. Mark Perew
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    When I was a fundamentalist, we were often asked, “If being a Christian was against the law, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

    I would be supreme irony to hold a moot court against these people and find them Not Guilty of being Christ-like based on their lies, hypocrisy, duplicity, and just plain on hate mongering.

    • gluonspring
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Bill Price
      Posted February 12, 2015 at 4:38 am | Permalink

      Hey, if you’re the Mark I wor5ked qwoith in the 1990’s at Mission, drop me a line at bill1941price on the google mail system.
      Sorry for the distraction.

      • Bill Price
        Posted February 12, 2015 at 4:38 am | Permalink

        Back then, I could spell better.

  2. Alex Shuffell
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    They just made an entire farging tv-show expressing their intolerance of homosexual people and they claim they themselves are being censored and having their freedom taken away? Intolerance of intolerance is intolerant so it must be stopped. Free speech is only truly free when you don’t criticise it because censoring and censuring are the same thing.

    What is the gay agenda? I think I want to be apart of it.

  3. Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    There is a difference between being afraid to say what you think because you might be arrested, and afraid because people will think you are a loon.

    Or afraid because you don’t want to offend friends or relatives or co-workers. On this last point, atheists have been afraid since forever.

    • Posted February 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately the people in that video are demonstrably not afraid of people thinking they are loons (apologies to the beautiful members of Gavia).

  4. Sastra
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    These Christians have fallen deeply for what philosopher Austin Dacey calls the Liberty Fallacy, which is that ” … because conscience is free from coercion, it must be free from criticism, reason, truth, or independent, objective standards of right and wrong.” They’re saying that open disagreement with religious beliefs is the same thing as suppression. It’s tyranny. “People have the RIGHT to believe whatever our religion tells us to — and no fair judging us when we judge others and bring it into the public square.

    Bad move. They want to think of their beliefs as both objectively true and sacred. No can do.

    Does Christianity have anything to fear from secularism, humanism, atheism, and the values of the Enlightenment? Yes. Yes it does. They’re losing the religious privilege typically granted to matters of “faith.” It’s co-opt or die. And the more they co-opt, the smaller they get.

    Good.

    If they don’t want to be called “bigots” then the other option is to consider them deluded victims of a false, bigoted God and a phony, bigoted religion. That doesn’t seem to be making them happier, though.

    They suffer from the flattering view that their Truths can stand up to public debate. If they could, they wouldn’t need that capital letter ‘T’ as emphasis and warning.

    • Kevin
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      The insecurity button is being pushed more frequently on a lot of Christian Americans. What was once a small itch appears to be an annoying rash that is not going away. And they hate it. Much easier would be to walk away from faith and note how the itch…the insecurity…disappears.

  5. Greg Esres
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    “criminalize and destroy American Christianity”

    If only!

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Christians sure have a persecution complex.

    • Jeff Rankin
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      And they love it!

      • microraptor
        Posted February 11, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        It makes them feel special.

        Actually, I think that explains a lot of the smaller sects: once Christianity got too mainstream, they had to keep splintering off to form new groups so that they could continue to feel like they were being persecuted for their beliefs.

  7. Randy Schenck
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Let’s see – you were speaking of conspiracies just before….

    What do you suppose the chances are that these folks ever heard of separation of church and state. To them there is no difference and really no different from Islam Extremist. They may not be cutting heads off right now but who knows.

  8. Greg Esres
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    “Well, the Supreme Court is going to do that this fall”

    Argh, you’re going to jinx it. Wait…is that superstitious?

  9. ploubere
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Oh great, it would take place in Tennessee. But of course they do find a lot of support here. Poor christians, who will speak up for them?

  10. Heather Hastie
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Mike Huckabee is looking like he’s going to run for president, and before he even starts we’ve got a major lie out of his mouth in the film above. Not for the first time, he states people opposed to same-sex marriage are prevented from opening businesses. You’d think a potential president would have a better knowledge of the constitution. It’s literally sickening to see how many lap this crap up. These ‘loving’ Christians should be made to sit through a documentary about LGBT teen suicides, and think about the contribution they make to that.

    • Sastra
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      There’s also the gentleman who insisted that you’re “not allowed to run for office” if you’re against gay marriage. Again, on what planet?

      My guess is that someone wanted to run on the Republican or Democratic ticket and were told they needed to adhere more closely to the platform of that party in that area before they did so. That’s not the same as being legally prevented from running. You can always campaign as Independent or write-in.

      Do atheists and other nonchristians complain that our Constitutional freedom of conscience is being curtailed because churches refuse to hire us as ministers and preachers? No. They need to get a serious grip.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 11, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Yes. That “not allowed to run for office” comment got me too. Almost all of the potential Republican candidates for president are opposed to same-sex marriage – it seems to be a requirement in that party.

        In NZ, and I suspect commenters from other countries could say the same, opposing gay marriage makes getting elected extremely difficult. But then we’ve had gay marriage for two years and gay civil unions for twelve, so everyone here knows it doesn’t cause society to collapse.

        • microraptor
          Posted February 12, 2015 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          What, you mean that New Zealand isn’t a cesspool of corruption and moral depravity?

          There go my vacation plans.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 13, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            No for that you still need to go to Los Eisley.

  11. Posted February 11, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The trailer is so bizarre and surreal – if I posted this and claimed it was from The Onion I think most of my friends would buy it as satire. It’s just that strange.

  12. eric
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    The deep philosophical question of the day is: is it possible for Light Wins to bomb harder than Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas? Or is that like trying to lift an unliftable weight?

  13. Posted February 11, 2015 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The size of the persecution complex is truly breathtaking.

    Their dislike of ridicule is really running away with them.

  14. Myron
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    As for the pathetic argument from definition against gay marriage: Marriage is a conventional social institution that lacks an unalterable objective or natural essence. So we can simply decide to change the law and let gays marry. There’s no natural law preventing us from doing so. Anyway, the anti-gay-marriage guys can have the word “marriage” with its heterosexualist definition, because we can simply introduce a new word, “narriage”, and define it as “the homosexual equivalent of marriage”. Then the homosexuals could fight for their right to narry. This would undermine the argument from definition.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      The definition of marriage has already been changed a few time. In the Old Testament the Jews practiced polygamy. (Exodus 21:10: “If he take another wife for himself; her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish”). Esau, Moses, Jacob and other figures all have multiple wives.

      Askenazi Jews prohibited polygamy in 1000 CE/AD. America did not criminalize it on a federal level until after the rise or Mormonism.

      Wikipedia also notes that “In his 1871 book The Descent of Man, Darwin stated that “Judging from the social habits of man as he now exists, and from most savages being polygamists, the most probable view is that primeval man aboriginally lived in small communities, each with as many wives as he could support and obtain”

    • eric
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      The last was tried with “civil union.” Many SSM proponents didn’t find it acceptable, for good reason: the government is still endorsing and handing out a product (marriage licences) which they are not making available to a part of the adult population. Whether its ‘narriage’ or civil unions, they are separate-but-equal solutions, and we can say with fair credibility that those have not worked when tried in the past.

      Now the country could’ve gone whole hog for civil unions and excised the word ‘marriage’ from all its legal documents and laws. But (a) that wasn’t going to happen, and (b) it seems very spiteful; a huge economic and labor waste just to prevent 1-5% of the population from being able to get marriage certificates.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 11, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        To me, “separate but equal” sounds a lot like apartheid. “Equal” is never equal.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget, though, that for many Christians, especially Catholics, marriage is a sacrament. Telling them that marriage can be between two men or two women is like saying that communion can be done with wine and fruit. They feel that the religious institution predates civil society, and comes from a superior authority. There is a real disconnect based on their world view that seems to make them (as I’ve observed when talking with friends) literally unable to get their head around it. It’s like they think it’s a category error.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 11, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        I understand your point for congregations, but the problem with the Church making that argument is that it’s only 700 years since they made marriage a sacrament, and it was about money and control.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted February 12, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink

          First time I’ve seen “only” used in conjunction with “700 years”. 😉

          But I do agree that marriage conventions are culture-dependent.

      • Posted February 11, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Communion with wine and fruit? Welcome to the Church of Santa Sangria!

        /@

        PS. At least fruit has flesh, unlike crackers!

  15. James Walker
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    They’ve got it the wrong way around – it’s undoubtedly the waning grip of (institutionalized) Christianity which has allowed for the advancement of gay rights.

    (And “gay agenda” is so … 1990s.)

  16. MAUCH
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Chistopher Hitchens says that freedom of speech gives us the right to be offended. No one is saying that we are restricting the rights of bigots to offend us. We are just saying that they can not damand that our government take way the basic basic rights of a citizen.

  17. Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    If that was all it took to criminalize and destroy Xtianity, I’d gay-marry right now! I’m sure my (opposite-sex) spouse would understand (and might feel a little relieved of her burden).

  18. Eli
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Joseph Ellis, a Mt. Holyoke prof. One of his books won a National Book award, another the Pulitzer. Yet he had to puff himself up before his class saying he was a platoon leader in Vietnam when he was never there.
    The Williams matter is similar.

  19. jerbearinsantafe
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Fairy JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    Will this be the “Reefer Madness” of anti-gay films? Seems like a good contender…

  20. bric
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I’ve been an out gay for 50 years, but I’m not American so sadly I can’t claim any credit for the destruction of that particularly sanctimonious strain of the superstition. There has been some bleating in the UK about non-discrimination laws interfering with the rights of the more narcissistic religious to do their hate thing publicly, but mostly it has settled down and Armageddon has failed to materialise. We are all just people, folks.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Yeah – the only difference between me and a lesbian is the gender of anyone I fall in love with.

  21. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I tend to think acceptance of gays & gay marriage (in addition to secularism) will make a substantial contribution to the decline of fundamentalist Christianity.

    It strikes at the socially constructed Christian notions of patriarchy and appropriate sexuality at a very root level, as well as striking at the same arrogance that underlay rationalizations of slavery and racial supremacy.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      I should add that there are a LOT of gay Christians in San Francisco. But their understanding of the Christian story is diametrically different from the folks in this video, so I would stand by what I said above.

    • eric
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I think you may be overly optimistic.
      In 2030, fundamentalist Christianity will be going strong, they will be big supporters of gay rights…and they will have always been big supporters of gay rights.

      Consider the Southern Baptist Convention. It was founded in 1845 because regular baptist churches just weren’t pro-slavery enough. The southern baptists needed an organization that strongly supported slave-owners. Today, it’s one of the largest sects in the US, with 16 million members. Do they support slavery? If you ask them, the answer will be “of course not! Don’t be absurd…”

      • microraptor
        Posted February 11, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        These aren’t the fundamentalists you’re looking for, go about your business.

      • Les
        Posted February 12, 2015 at 3:05 am | Permalink

        …then through the 1960s they were “segregation forever!”
        Now they have a black guy heading it.
        He is, of course, an anti-gay bigot.

  22. Rupert Pupkin
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Regarding gay marriage, it’s a good thing the courts did step in otherwise gay marriage would still be illegal in Republican bastions such as California, Oregon and Washington, just three of the overwhelmingly Republican states that voted to ban it. As for Ben Carson, at least Democrats can be proud people like him are not viable candidates for election in its primaries. Thankfully Democrats treat wholly unbigoted individuals like Al “Freddie’s Fashion Mart” Sharpton as kingmakers who can prevent such a thing.

  23. rickflick
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me the whole right wing fundamentalist Christian project is aimed at ginning up fear in their followers. Fear of big government, fear of the war on Christmas and the unborn, fear of the war on marriage. The fear of a Stalinist-atheist future. It must work to get them to stuff a 20 into an envelope with trembling hands and support the resistance.

  24. Mike Paps
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Maybe we can convince them that the whole anti gay marriage campaign was inspired by secularist infiltrators wanting to make Christians look like bigoted idiots.

  25. Ionescu
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I simply don’t get American politics. Libertarian is someone who doesn’t want anyone to butt into his business. Anybody should do anything as long as the society-market-whatever accepts. Now the two Paul support this particular idea of Libertarianism. Yet they are against pregnancy termination or gay marriage. How come? Shouldn’t strangers butt out of what people decide for themselves?

    • microraptor
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Libertarians are people who want government out of their boardroom and in their bedroom.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 12, 2015 at 12:32 am | Permalink

        … in *everyone else’s* bedroom.

        There, ftfy.

    • Delphin
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      The Paulines have managed to (IMO) steal and besmirch the Libertarian name. Most Libertarians support abortion rights, gay marriage, rigourous separation of church and state, sensible safety regulations, and so on. I suspect you’d find to like about the so-called “Bleeding Heart” libertarians. Very different from the crypto-confederate bunch associated with Ron Paul and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

    • eric
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      That would be consistent, but many conservatives like to call themselves Libertarians. Makes them sound more avant-garde.

      And even if the Pauls were true libertarians at heart, they made a political deal with the devil by running on the GOP ticket. They couldn’t go pro-abortion even if they wanted to, they’d be booted off the national ticket right quick, losing probably $tens of millions in potential campaign contributions and god knows how much in non-monetary material support.

  26. Delphin
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’s just me but I dislike personifications like “the Christian right has produced a new film”. The Christian right is not a single being, this is not a conspiracy amongst all right-wing Christians acting a single concerted entity. Some right-wing Christians have produced a new film.

  27. Ken Phelps
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    “Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Huckabee (pastor and past governor of Arkansas), David Barton (Wallbuilders), James Dobson (Focus on the Family founder), Phyllis Schlafly (founder of the Eagle forum), Scott Lively (scary pastor), and Brian Camenker (president of the anti-gay MassResistance).”

    So if you took this lot and fired Ray Comfort down a short barrel into the middle of them, would there be a critical mass of ignorant?

  28. Roger
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Ben Carson:

    We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.

    Hilarious. Plenty of people are still “afraid to say” they aren’t racist or aren’t gay-haters (hello welcome to small town midwest USA.) So I guess it’s a battle of the “afraid to say”. Which one will be the “afraid to say” winners! Will it be the bigots or the not-bigots! Stay tuned! Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

  29. Keith Cook or more
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Desperate and garbeled thinking, to equate living in the US is like living under the Gestapo is just mindnumbing. Is he awake or is his head just up his arse.

  30. Roan Ridgeway
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that if bestowing full, constitutionally-protected rights to homosexuals would destroy American Christianity, it would be a good thing.

    Seriously though, I can’t help wonder if such absurd claims are offered insincerely as a misguided strategy or if the folks that make them are really that nutty.

    • microraptor
      Posted February 12, 2015 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      There are quite a few who buy into it, though I don’t think that most of the politicians do. Of course, I also know people who believe Jack Chick’s comics about how playing Dungeons and Dragons gives you actual magic powers, too.

  31. Posted February 12, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Nah, the root of all evil, the coming storm of destruction for our dear society, the anti-Xian heathen revolution, the fingers of the DEVIL isn’t gays.

    It’s rock and roll!!!! Just like they told me back in the 1970s.

    Look at Santana’s name!! Take out two letters and it spells SATAN!

    Look at Hotel California! That’s the California Satanist Church!!!!

    The Grateful Dead?!!!!! Need I say more??!!!!

    These people are dumb as rocks.

  32. rlifshotz
    Posted February 17, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Faith to Action? Sounds like other extremists!


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