s skippy the bush kangaroo: good friday blogging: god told me to hate you

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, April 14, 2006

good friday blogging: god told me to hate you

one of the more virulent and despicable manifestations of hardly-ever-right wing bigotry comes out in the fundamentalist insistence that it's not only all right to despise homosexuals, but it's downright holy to do so.

the latest case in point: a young woman is suing for her right to be intolerant. the latimes:

ruth malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

malhotra says her christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. but the georgia institute of technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. so she's demanding that georgia tech revoke its tolerance policy.

with her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment. the religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs: diversity training that promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes that ban harsh words against homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies that require college clubs to open their membership to all.
this latest trend, while alarming, is certainly not a new approach; at least, the premise on which is it based is nothing new.

we won't bother getting into the crusades, and we assume you don't expect us to mention the spanish inquisition (nobody expects us to mention the spanish inquisition!), but the modus operandi of fundamentalist interpretations of the bible twisted to fit a particular brand of hate is not new on the american scene.

father charles coughlin, the pre-cursor to today's hate radio, was one of the first evangelists to broadcast his sermons in the 1930's. he has also gone down in history as a man who used his national pulpit to spread anti-semitism, regularly calling jews "christ-killers" and reprinting the hoax "elders of zion" in his weekly paper "social justice."

more recently, the christian identity movement somehow manages to justify aryan supremacy of the white race with belief in jesus. religious tolerance.org describes this twisted journey of biblical interpretation, which holds:

that adam and eve were white. many other "pre-adamic" and non-white people were already in existence when adam was created. this leads to the belief that anglo-saxon protestants are the "true identity" of god's chosen people of the hebrew scriptures. non-whites are considered sub-human. these biblical beliefs confirm their concept of white racial superiority. as a minimum, they call for racial separation; some call for extermination of what the call the "mud races" (non-white races).

that the commandment which forbids adultery does not refer to extra-marital sexual relationships. rather, it forbids "racial adultery"; i.e. inter-racial marriages. their reasoning is that the 10th commandment which forbids coveting one's neighbor's possessions already bans adultery; one of those "possessions" is the neighbor's wife. and, god would not have repeated himself.
so the re-interpretation of biblical text to further one's own agenda is not a new device in debate. nonetheless, it's still quite effective. if god is on your side, how can you be wrong?
here's how: ruth malhotra and her lawyers' premise in her attempt to sue for the right to be intolerant has structural problems, and those problems are threefold: the theoretical, the contextual, and the legal.

we continue our discussion in the posts below.
posted by skippy at 12:23 AM |


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