Monday, I talked about writing articles with real-time connections and how it was a boom and bust proposition. I also told you I was in a boom period right now, saying it felt like I have been deluged with topics lately. I’m digging my way out of that and, in the process, I give you the latest entry in the “How To Suck At Being A Christian” sweepstakes: the Benham Brothers.
You may have heard of these fellows; they were all set to star in HGTV’s latest house-flipping epic, Flip It Forward. Unfortunately, we’ll never see that small-screen masterpiece because it was cancelled before it aired. And, why was that? Because the Benham’s have some less-than-complimentary views of the LGBTQ community and HGTV isn’t stupid. They know that community makes up a significant part of their audience and giving these yahoos a platform wouldn’t be good for their business. Of course, the Benham’s don’t see it that way: they believe they’re being persecuted by the LGBTQ community because, as Franklin Graham said, “they stood up for biblical truth“.
How did they stand up for “biblical truth”? By saying homosexuality is”demonic” and “attacking the nation” By working to pass Amendment One, a law that codified discrimination in the N. C. state constitution . By calling an Islamic center “a den of iniquity” and referring to Muslims as “the enemy attacking” America and saying they are “slaves” to their religion. By comparing the fight against marriage equality to the fight against Nazi Germany and saying marriage equality “erodes the moral fabric of our society” and “threaten[s] future generations”. That’s biblical truth? I’m not sure what Bible Franklin has been reading, but it’s certainly not the same one I have.
The brothers are on record proclaiming their love for all people (even gays!), saying “my brother and I would never discriminate. Never have we — never would we,” They also issued a statement, saying “The first and last thought on our minds as we begin and end each day is; have we shined Christ’s light today?” Much like Graham’s idea of “biblical truth”, the words in the previous paragraph have me wondering about their idea of love and the light of Christ. But, I digress.
Once again, we are subjected to conservatives confusing persecution with consequences. Look, it’s not persecution if you lose a job for saying assy stuff, it’s just the way the world works. If, however, you are prevented from saying assy stuff, are put in jail, physically attacked or even killed for saying assy stuff, then you might have a case. But, none of that’s happening, is it?
Don’t ge me wrong, I love evangelicals and I’m trying to feel their pain. It’s got to be hard watching everything you’ve worked for all these years go the way of the dodo. Of course, feeling that pain would be easier if what they’ve worked for all these years wasn’t so douchey. This temper tantrum about persecution isn’t helping their case, either. I hate to say it, but claims of Christian persecution in America hold about as much water as Ku Klux Klan assertions about the persecution of white folks. In other words, not a whole lot. The bottom line is this: not being allowed to dump on groups that are different from you does not constitute persecution. And, considering that the Gospel is a call to stand with those groups, claiming that is goes against the grain of pretty much everything Jesus ever taught.