This morning’s featured video for the NALT Christians Project comes from the great progressive blogger known as Slacktivist. His actual given name is not Slacktivist, but rather Fred Clark, and he was one of our first videos, but somehow I hadn’t featured him in this space yet. The other day in his news round-up, Fred pointed out this piece from William Lindsey, who is appalled by an article from Sarah Pulliam Bailey of Religion News Service, entitled “Gay Rights vs. Religious Rights: 7 Issues to Watch.” Reacting, Lindsey explains that this, precisely this, is why NALT is so absolutely necessary, and why all fair-minded Christians must speak up by making videos, unless they’re really comfortable living in a world where hate and discrimination are considered religious values and Pat Robertson is their de facto spokesperson:
A headline that quite directly keeps alive the us-vs.-them meme: us Christians vs. them gays and their rights. . . Not a headline that reads, “Some Christians Continue to Oppose Human Rights” . . .
But a headline that squarely confronts gay rights with religious rights, as if never the twain shall meet–since it’s self-evident that gay rights can’t be religious rights . . . The article then goes on to frame the refusal of some bakeries to sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples or some florists to sell flowers to same-sex couples as they marry as a religious right.
Not a matter of discrimination, not a matter of violating the fundamental human rights of a targeted group of human beings: a religious right . . . Having lived through the Civil Rights struggle in the American South and having seen many fine, upstanding white Christians refuse to sell houses to people solely because of the color of their skin, refuse service to people in restaurants solely because of the pigmentation of the people in question–all the while quoting the bible and standing on their “religious” rights–I couldn’t have less patience with these spurious arguments that cake-selling and flower-vending are a matter of religious faith.
Shame on RNS for publishing an article like this, with a headline like this, within days of the launching of the NALT project. If nothing else, Bailey’s article richly demonstrates the need for the NALT project.
Keep up the ridiculous meme that cake-baking and flower-arranging are expressions of religious freedom and religious faith, RNS and other centrist enablers of the religious right. Maybe you’ll succeed in driving away the small remnant of young folks who continue to have anything to do with the churches.
The RNS headline for Bailey’s piece is double-wrong, “Gay Rights vs. Christian Rights.” That headline could only be true in a world in which: A) No LGBT people are Christians and no Christians are LGBT; and B) all Christians are unanimously and universally opposed to gay rights. False and false.
It’s not easy to get two lies into a single headline while simultaneously slandering LGBT Christians and misrepresenting the church, but RNS pulled it off.
NALT Christians, this kind of reporting is only possible if you stay silent. Now, watch Fred’s video if you haven’t yet, and if you’re a NALT Christian, click here to learn how to make your video. It’s easy.