This Week In Bad Christianity: Mike Huckabee (Again), Alabama, And Rick Santorum

What is bad Christianity? It’s using a religion that’s supposed to be about peace and love to justify hate. It’s calling yourself a Christian, and then pushing for oppression of one group or another.

This week, we’re still seeing tantrums from the Christian right over the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling. They’re so completely certain that this will destroy them that they’re not just pushing every fearful talking point imaginable, but they’re also starting to discuss strategies for opposing the ruling, because, you know, oppression. Here are this week’s five worst examples of “Christians” preaching stuff that’s anything but Christian.

1. Mike Huckabee releases an image that says, “An attack on Christians and their religious liberty is a hate crime that must be prosecuted.”

This, of course, refers to the marriage equality ruling. Huckabee has been very vocal that such a ruling would be the end of Christians in America, because it would be the first step towards criminalizing Christianity. He believes that anybody who opposes anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is infringing on the religious freedom of the person spewing it.

Furthermore, and here’s the bad Christian part, he fails to understand what a hate crime is, or that religion (specifically in the U.S., Christianity) is often responsible for hate crimes against individuals. Burning down a black church because you’re a white supremacist is a hate crime. Beating up a gay man because you think he’s an abomination is a hate crime. Speaking out against anti-LGBTQ nonsense is not a hate crime.

Hate crimes are horrible things, and a truly compassionate Christian knows that. Huckabee is anything but compassionate, though, despite Christ embodying compassion. All this hate, and all this bigotry, is anything but Christian. Sadly, it’s not going to stop.

2. Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, says, “What [the homosexual community has] done is they’ve thrust their home — their bedroom, if you will — into the public square.”

Tony Perkins is an endless fount of wisdom, is he not? To put it mildly, he likes to play the role of pseudo-intellectual on issues of morality, and the SCOTUS marriage ruling is no different. He believes homosexuality is a choice, and he thinks the LGBTQ community is forcing that choice on everyone.

How, though? Are they going to force the rest of us to get gay married now? Are we who are in straight marriages going to have to get divorced, because suddenly our marriages aren’t equal? Does it mean that the LGBTQ community is going to be having anal sex in public parks, in supermarkets, in restaurants, in full view of everyone now, and we’ll be forced to participate, or at least watch?

No, that’s not going to happen. Worse, though, is when Perkins says that the LGBTQ community has always been allowed to do what they want in the privacy of their own homes. Many states have had anti-sodomy laws on the books for a long time. He also forgot, according to The Raw Story, Lawrence v. Texas, which was a 2003 case ruling Texas’ anti-sodomy law unconstitutional.

While those laws hadn’t been expressly enforced for a really long time (if they ever were), they did outlaw “gay behavior,” and other “acts of perversion.” Perkins either outright lied about that (which is a sin), or he needs a history lesson, because his lack of understanding of history means he’s spreading misinformation.

3. Alabama lawyer says, “Public officials are ministers of God assigned the duty of punishing the wicked and protecting the righteous.”

One of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s lawyers actually believes that civil servants are Christian ministers first, and civil servants second. That shows a grave misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution. While that’s a problem, that’s not really what makes him a bad Christian.

What makes him a bad Christian is this “punishing the wicked” idea. That’s supposed to be their god’s job, not the job of people. Humans are all sinners, according to Christianity, and therefore, not in a place to judge other humans. So where does this guy get off saying that the job of a public servant is to punish the wicked, and protect the righteous?

While one could apply that logic to the idea that public servants, employed in the courts, are tasked with protecting innocents and punishing criminals, then yes, that’s true. However, that’s not what this guy is saying. He’s specifically talking about punishing the evil gays, and protecting the Christians. The LGBTQ community is not committing any crimes here. He’s condemning them for something that offends his tender sensibilities, which is not what Christians are supposed to do.

4. Conservative Catholic group, Catholic Vote, puts out a video that treats anti-equality attitudes as “coming out of the closet” moments similar to what members of the LGBT community experienced when they came out.

This isn’t a quote, obviously, but there are too many in there to name just one. Catholic Vote decided they were going to demonstrate just how persecuted the poor people on the religious right are by putting out a video explaining just how hard it is for bigots to let the world know they’re bigots.

Catholic Vote’s director, Brian Burch, stood behind the video, and said that people don’t realize how much bigotry there is out there against people of faith. So, once again, it’s all about them, and not about anybody else. (When are they going to put forth real information about how this directly and negatively affects them, anyway?)

Like Mike Huckabee, this is about compassion, or rather, a lack of compassion. Catholic Vote is insulting LGBTQ people who have come out amidst hate from even their closest friends and family. When you’re marginalized, that takes guts. Catholics are not a marginalized group here; they, along with Christianity in general, have a certain dominance over our society. So “coming out” as anti-LBGTQ is degrading to a community that has suffered at the hands of this very religion.

Perhaps there wouldn’t be so much anger if these people would stop trying to force their religion on everyone, and mind their own business. To Catholic Vote and the rest of the poor, persecuted Christian right, our hearts bleed pink carbonated peanut butter for you.

5. Rick Santorum says, “The most important power the president has is the power of the bully pulpit.”

That may well be true, because the president is the top person in this country. However, Santorum, despite his claim that he would use the bully pulpit for good, would actually use it to continue to persecute the LGBTQ community. Of course, it wouldn’t be direct. That would be criminal. No, he’d use the bully pulpit not just to preach about “poor, persecuted Christians,” but also to ensure that even for-profit business can continue to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals.

An oppressor who wants to continue to oppress is not being oppressed when people begin to resist their rule. Christians have never been persecuted in this country. They’re just upset that society is changing around them, and they might be losing some of their control here.

Ensuring that one group remains dominant over all others is not Christian. Pushing for legal discrimination is not Christian. Why do we keep calling them hateful and bigoted? Because what they want is to be allowed to continue marginalizing groups they don’t like.

Sorry, religious right, but we are all out of f**ks to give to you. Stay tuned for next week’s shining examples of Christianity!

Image of Mike Huckabee by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr. Image of anti-LBTQ sign by Benj. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Image of Rick Santorum by Michael Righi. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr. Images merged by Rika Christensen