This Week in Religion: Right-Wing Evangelists Eagerly Condone Torture

Broadcast evangelists say God would approve of American torture techniques.

700 Club host Pat Robertson gave the Republican Party an early Christmas present this week: he has found the replacement for Obamacare they have been looking for. Robertson was asked by a viewer if he thought it would be all right if he decided to stop seeking medical attention, instead making a covenant with God to be his physician. 

Robertson told the ailing man, "There’s some people who think that doctors are God and they really aren’t. You’ve asked God to be your physician so stick with it and say ‘Lord, I’m asking you for it.’”

This is strange advice, especially coming from a man who chose heart surgery in 2009 instead of sticking with prayer, as he suggests. Though taking medical advice from a man who believes you can get AIDS from a hotel towel may not be the best advice.

Dr. God may be more than a medical expert; it seems he is a war strategist as well. Brian Fischer of the American Family Association—which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers a hate group—wrote in a recent blog piece that God would condone American torture techniques. Wrote Fischer:

“Students of Scripture are well aware of some of the grisly things done by God’s warriors in the heat of battle. Ehud, for instance, arranged a private meeting with the king of Moab and ran him through the gut with a sword until the king’s fat folded over the hilt of the sword, which Ehud left as a calling card (Judges 3). He was both an assassin and a war hero at the same time.

“The left, if they had enough familiarity with the Bible to even know these stories, likely would be aghast at such behavior and be inclined to throw Ehud and Jael into Gitmo along with throat-cutting Muslims."

Fischer continued to claim that liberals today would try biblical heroes as war criminals. He insists God gives permission for such grisly acts because they are effective, claiming these techniques where not only legal but justified because, “They led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, for instance, and to the apprehension of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attacks.” A bold claim backed by zero evidence.

And if one religious leader advocating for inhumane treatment was not enough, for the third week in a row a Christian pastor has gone on a hate-filled tirade against homosexuality.

Pastor Donnie Romero, the leader of Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, was caught on video telling his congregation: “I’m not gonna let any of these dirty faggots inside my church.” His comment comes a week after he suggested all gays should be “put to death.

Romero went on to conflate homosexuality with pedophilia.

"They are all pedophiles," he said, "They're always trying to rape and hurt other people. They're relentless. They are relentless. They are predators and given an opportunity to snatch one of your children, they would do it in a heartbeat.”

Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, an organization that opposes all marriage equality wrote in his blog that he imagines his daughter could be suspended from school for asking a transgender student to leave the women’s restroom. Brown also wrote that in 10 years, drug use, mass poverty and even the apocalypse could be the ultimate results of marriage equality and the allowance of gender fluidness. Brown continued:

“Kids these days are told that they can choose their own gender. In fact, gender is no longer particularly relevant in the public schools. A few years ago the school district adopted the Ontario, Canada construct of telling students there were six genders, but recently they’ve gone to the Facebook model and teach that there are dozens of genders. What is relevant these days is not gender, but 'gender identity.'"

Brown claims he read a study showing, “that even though marriage has been made available to any number or combination of people regardless of gender, there are fewer marriages taking place. A majority of children are now being born to unwed parents.”

Brown then cited another unnamed study claiming that “teenage drug use, criminality, truancy and suicide were on the rise, while educational attainment is declining. More people are living in poverty than any other time in my life.”

This of course led Brown to the only possible conclusion: “All of this — every bit and more — stems from the failure of our society to preserve marriage in the law and to promote a healthy marriage culture.”

Brown compares gender and marriage equality to the bullying of Christians throughout his piece, worrying that in 10 years Christians will be “shut down” for discrimination if they don’t follow the new rules. He is calling for immediate action from Christians to stop state and federal government laws protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination. This is similar to the Arkansas campaign that was supported by the Duggar family, of the television show, "19 Kids and Counting," to repeal a local ordinance outlawing discrimination against LGBT people.

 

Dan Arel is the author of Parenting Without God and blogs at Danthropology. Follow him on Twitter @danarel.
 
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