8 Most Un-Christian Things the Christian Right Has Done Recently
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This obsession with declaring loving parents unfit because they disagree about religion and politics has even grown beyond this. Writing for the Christian publication Charisma, Republican strategist Raynard Jackson demanded that MSNBC commentator Krystal Ball lose custody of her daughter. Ball isn’t gay, but she has taught her daughter that being gay is okay, which Jackson felt was enough to break up Ball’s family.
5) Denying people basic bodily functions as punishment for non-conformity. The Delaware legislature is quickly advancing a bill that would protect the rights of transgender people to live as the gender they identify with instead of the one they were assigned at birth. Focus on the Family is going nuts, and one main reason is its hostility to transgender people using public restrooms. It's even gone so far as to suggest that transgender women are sexual predators who just want access to women’s rooms in order to rape cisgender women.
In reality, transgender people want to use public restrooms for the same reason the rest of us do: biological necessity. As Zack Ford of Think Progress notes, this isn’t just a medical, but also a safety issue as well. Making people who present as male use the women’s bathroom, for instance, could be perceived as a threat that could result in fearful or even violent confrontations that are wholly unnecessary. Once again, Focus on the Family’s willingness to let the threat of violence back up its opposition to gender non-conformity runs in strong opposition to the non-violence Christians are supposed to espouse.
6) False testimony. The Christian right loves championing the Ten Commandments and demanding they be hung in every public space imaginable. It’s a weird fetish, since they tend to honor one in particular—“Thou shalt not bear false witness”—more in the breach than in the observance. Christian right activists lie about evolution, women’s bodies, and gay people. One recent and notable example is Mark Regnerus, a right-wing Christian sociologist who has become famous for his tendency to publish intellectually dishonest attacks on gay people.
Regnerus started his spate of false testimony with a fundamentally dishonest study purporting to show that gay parents were worse for children than straight parents. The study was quickly denounced as “bullshit” by a member of the editorial board of the very journal that published it, in no small part because Regnerus only included straight parents from intact marriages while his gay sample drew largely from divorced people and people who had multiple relationships while raising their children. (Some of them didn’t even identify as gay!)
Despite being publicly exposed for giving false testimony, Regnerus is doubling down, making nit-picky and fundamentally dishonest criticisms of studies that show happy gay couples do as well as happy straight couples in the child-rearing game. Apparently, he missed the part of his training as a sociologist where they teach you to compare apples to apples, and resents anyone who suggests that’s an important part of a properly controlled study.
7) Exploiting sick people. The Christian Post reports that Christine Daniel, a former doctor and ordained Pentecostal minister, was sentenced to 14 years in prison and told to pay over $1.2 million in damages to people she conned into believing that her herbal supplements would cure them of cancer. Daniel hawked her fake cancer cure on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s “Praise the Lord” program, and was found to have done things like telling a patient who still had full-blown breast cancer that she was cured. Authorities claim that at least one patient of Daniel’s would have lived if she had gotten proper medical treatment instead of relying on Daniel’s snake oil.