Apparently Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, GOP voice Newt Gingrich, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, decidedly rightwing Gov. Jan Brewer, and the many other conservatives who came out against Arizona's gloriously failed license-to-discriminate bill are "shrill and irrational voices," as are the countless people of faith who oppose the concept of heightened religious protections for anti-gay Christians. At least that is the claim from one of America's most hostile-to-LGBT-rights organizations, the Family Research Council.
With Arizona now behind them, FRC is hoping they can find more success in red state Mississippi. To make the case for discrimination, here's what FRC is saying about our cause and theirs:
Should a Christian wedding vendor be forced to celebrate a 'Gay Wedding?'
March 26, 2014 - Wednesday
If you believe the answer is "No," join us in signing a Letter to Mississippi State Legislators who are contemplating legislation that would protect wedding vendors and indeed all believers.
Just weeks ago, Arizona became the latest state to knuckle under to anti-faith forces allied with the homosexual agenda when the governor vetoed a perfectly good bill that a diverse group of law professors agree would have strengthened religious freedom for the citizens of that state. Mississippi is their next target. Will you stand with our Mississippi brothers and sisters in the faith?
Whether you live in state or not, you can stand in solidarity with the effort by signing the Letter to State Legislators. Mississippi legislators are already hearing from the same sort of shrill and irrational crowd that shouted down good faith efforts in Arizona. For evidence, I offer a Letter sent by 350 or so liberal pastors and leaders from all over the country, who apparently agree with elements of the homosexual agenda, some of whom are aligned with liberal financier George Soros. In it, they liken RFRA legislation to Jim Crow laws, which is absolutely ridiculous. Worse than that, it is downright deceptive.
Should we allow voices such as these to sway these legislators without a rational response from those who stand to lose the most when religious liberty is threatened? I hope not. So I encourage you to stand in unity with people of faith in Mississippi, who deserve to be protected from being bullied and harassed because of their deeply held beliefs. Please join the leaders listed in signing onto this Letter to State Legislators.
Of course FRC denies that they are targeting LGBT people, but just look at the letter that the pro-discrimination organization is asking supporters to sign. It features quite the hostile list of signatories. In addition to Tony Perkins, one of America's most anti-LGBT voices, there's also Kenyn Cureton, the FRC staffer who claims that "their malevolent master the Devil" is what propels gay people. There's Bishop Harry Jackson, who has referred to marriage equality as "a satanic plot to destroy our seed." There's David Barton, who says government should regulate homosexuality the way it does trans fats or cigarettes. And we have Richard Land, who equates tolerance with child abuse and claims same-sex marriage is "of the Devil." Plus there's Bob Emrich, who heaped praised on the Ugandan MP who initiated the now-passed law criminalizing homosexuality with jail time (at the time Emrich praised it, it contained a death penalty). There's also FRC's own Jerry Boykin, whos admits he doesn't think homosexuality is normal and who refers to marriage equality and its support base as "evil." Or what about James Robison, a preacher who claims that homosexuality is "part of the enemy's plan" and who calls on Christians to pray that gays will "overcome the damaging effects of twisted thinking and unnatural practices"?
You can find all of those names and more on FRC's letter to Mississippi lawmakers. Probably not the crew I would assemble if I were trying to prove that the bill I'm backing is something other than anti-LGBT. It would kind of seem to moot the "this is just about religious freedom" routine if you stack your cast with so many hostile actors.
But hey, what do I know? I'm just one of the "shrill and irrational voices" who thinks that nondiscrimination is an American good, that business should be separate from personally-held condemnation, and that coexistence is an obtainable goal worth seeking.
*For a more refreshing palate cleanser, check out the pro-equality letter that the pro-peace pastors have sent to lawmakers: