The American Christian Religious Right are different from radical Islamists how, precisely?
In some Islamic societies, specifically those which veer toward and are ruled by conservative Islamic religious law, women and girls can be blamed, prosecuted, or even killed for being victims of rape or other sexual assault. Even in some relatively moderate nations, such as Jordan, “honor killings” occur over sexual impropriety, whether real or perceived. And of course, in some of these societies, gay people fall victim to the same societal traditions and practices. Regardless, the running theme is that women and gays are objects of shame, and that even if attacked, they still deserve to be punished. It’s the classic “shame the slut” routine that’s existed in patriarchal Abrahamic religious tradition, in varying degrees of intensity, for centuries.
So how, pray tell, is this different?
A state lawmaker and hundreds of child advocates are calling for young girls to be treated as victims and not criminalized as prostitutes.
Sen. Renee Unterman is proposing a bill that would set the minimum age at 16 for prosecuting sex-for-hire.
“There are approximately 400 children per month in the streets of Atlanta that are being prostituted,” she says.
But conservative and Christian groups banned together to oppose the bill. They say it would lead to more prostitution.
“All we would do is be inviting into our state pedophiles and panderers looking for children,” says former state Sen. Nancy Schaefer, now president of Eagle Forum of Georgia.
She says correction can also turn a child around and that discipline should not be removed when it comes to children engaging in illegal activity.
As so often happens when I read about what the Christian Right is up to, my head is proverbially slamming into the desk. And of course it’s the Eagle Forum, AKA The House of Phyllis Schlafly, the woman who is perhaps most known (at least on our side) for claiming that marital rape simply doesn’t exist.
So, according to Nancy Schaefer, the Mini-Schlafly of Georgia, child prostitutes, who, by the way, don’t tend to choose that profession, should be “disciplined.” She’s basically saying that even a child who’s kidnapped and forced into sex slavery is at heart an unrepentant whore who needs to be punished. The comment about “inviting pedophiles” into the state is just know-nothing concern trolling, because I highly doubt that child predators care whether the children they violate can be prosecuted or not. It’s a non sequitur, meant to deflect from the misogynistic B.S. coming out of her mouth. Her contention that failing to “discipline” child prositutes would lead to “more prostitution” is specious, as it assumes that there are hordes of little third grade harlots-in-training just waiting for the law to allow them to slut around for money like they’ve always wanted.
Again, how is this different from the slut-shaming mentality that exists within conservative Islam? How deep is the self-hatred that pervades the psyches of women trapped in these chosen extremist religious ideologies?
The answer is that is that it’s different only in degree, but it’s the same in spirit. It’s all part of the same story. Oh, of course, you’re not likely to see a Christian Fundamentalist in the United States blow his daughter’s brains out because she gets raped. Secular modern society has moderated that sort of instinct in even the most extremist faction of American right-wing Christian society. But absent that moderating influence, would they keep their hatred, shame and bigotry so subtle? My belief is that they would not.
Right Wing Watch points out that Eagle Forum is not alone in opposing this bill. They are joined by the Georgia Christian Alliance, the Georgia Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition and the Georgia Baptist Convention.
Nice line-up, y’all. I’m sure that’s how Jesus would’ve played it.