Why I Resist Republicans and the Religious Right

Attorney General Jeff Sessions swore on oath to protect and uphold the rights of all U.S. citizens -- but we knew he was lying when he swore to do so. His anti-LGBTQ record, and his subsequent actions, tell us he was lying. He is a liar. He, like most of the Religious Right (Franklin Graham, Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, Pat Robertson, Jay Sekulow, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Gary Bauer, Robert Jeffress), is not merely a passive political candidate regarding LGBTQ equal rights: he opposes LGBTQ equal rights.

Sneaky Sessions presented a speech at an event hosted by the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, promising them that he and the president will coddle their pet dogmas, and protect their rights to discriminate against LGBTQ persons. Joel Kasnetz reminds us that the Alliance Defending Freedom "actively helped draft discriminatory legislation, worked to preserve laws criminalizing same-sex relations, and attacked the separation of church and state." (link) But this is what Republicans and the Religious Right want: some semblance of a theocracy, one that is certainly anti-LGBTQ, and, in my opinion, one that maintains a form of godliness but denies the power thereof (2 Tim. 3:5).



Not only did we know that Sessions was lying when he promised to defend the rights of all U.S. citizens, in particular LGBTQ U.S. citizens, but we also knew that Trump holding the LGBTQ flag during one of his campaign rallies was merely a token, a plot, a disingenuous prop used to serve his narcissistic ego. Notice in the picture below that, not only is Trump holding the flag upside down, but even the message "LGBTs for Trump" is written in the upside form; meaning, this was most likely merely a prop, constructed by someone who is not LGBTQ, who would know better than to write the message in an upside down manner, and given to Trump while on stage so that he could garner as many votes as possible. I think there is further proof of this theory from the Right.


If the Religious Right, the Alt-Right and other anti-LGBTQ voices and organizations had taken Trump seriously here, then they would have withdrawn their support, thinking that he was a "leftist" in disguise, and someone who would advance the perceptually wicked "homosexual lobbyist" or "LGBTQ agenda." But they knew this was just a ploy. We knew this was just a ploy, a ruse, a lie. Because Republicans and the Alt-Right and the Religious Right all have one primary notion in common: the LGBTQ community needs to return to its proverbial closet.

The bigoted Alliance Defending Freedom website was silent about Jeff Sessions' speech; it was not publicly promoted. The public knew of this private, closed-to-the-media-event only because it was "listed on Sessions's public schedule, but the Department of Justice, which he heads, declined further comment." (link) Be careful when Republicans and the Religious Right meet in secret: nefarious goings-on are certain to unfold. Sessions told the ADF that he and the president were passionate about defending the RFRA, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but that, too, is merely a ruse to support discrimination and bigotry.

But understand that the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not the most troubling aspect of this hate group (ADF) and the Religious Right: the fact that the ADF and some members among the Religious Right seek to criminalize homosexuality is why I must, at all cost, always resist Republicans and the Religious Right. This includes resisting all who accommodate such ideology, whether evangelicals, family members or political pundits. You cannot make me an enemy and expect my support.



Alex Amend, writing for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), explains how much of the right wing media, to which the Religious Right appeals, defended Sessions and the Alliance Defending Freedom event:
Fox News, The National Review, The Daily Caller, The Daily Signal (the Heritage Foundation's blog), Newsmax, LifeZette, Townhall, The Blaze, NewsBusters (Newsbusters/Media Research Council is funded by one of Trump's biggest donors in Robert Mercer), Independent Journalism Review, Patriot Post and Christian Post were among the sites that did [defend the event]. The story became the SPLC and the so-called biased mainstream media, not the significance of the AG's attempt to deliver an off-the-record speech to a [bigoted hate] group with a record like ADF, and not the fact that a government agency has refused transparency regarding a speech given by one of its officials. (link) (emphasis added)
Tell me: If you were LGBTQ, and you knew that Republicans, the Alt-Right, the Religious Right and the right wing media sought to discriminate against you, or to treat you unfairly, how would you feel? (Women, minorities, and people of color already understand our plight.) Religious freedom is "a cherished constitutional value," as Alex Amend rightly notes, but "should not be used as an excuse to discriminate." (link) Has the First Amendment ever been used to justify discrimination or bigotry? Yes: religious freedom was used as justification for slavery and Jim Crowe segregation (link); and today the same is being used to justify discrimination and unfair treatment against LGBTQ people.



Let me remind you that former Religious Right advocates Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson have publicly admitted that Republicans and the Religious Right have historically made and continue to make LGBTQ people their socio-political (and, from evangelicals, their theological) enemies: our oppressors "we labeled secular humanists, abortionists, homosexuals . . . and 'liberals.' . . . we worked hard to defeat gay rights issues. . . ." Let me tragically inform you, my friend, that this has not changed from Republicans and the Religious Right. They pretend to be "pro-life" but they care nothing about your LGBTQ life. Are there no exceptions?

There are always exceptions! Well, almost always. Just as there are exceptions among social liberals, and religious liberals, some of whom can manifest misogyny or bigotry; so, too, among social conservatives, and religious conservatives, some of whom can manifest astonishing grace and genuine self-sacrificial love. Generally, however, Republicans and the Religious Right are consistent in their right wing anti-LGBTQ agenda. This I will continue to oppose, resist, and challenge 'til death.

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Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson, Blinded by Might: Can the Religious Right Save America? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999), 22, .

ABOUT WILLIAM BIRCH

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My name is William Birch and I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition but converted, if you will, to Anglicanism in 2012. I am gay, affirming, and take very seriously matters of social justice, religion and politics in the church and the state.