Posts Tagged “church sign”

Christian Right Propaganda Posters / Gay Agenda vs. Civil Liberty: Radical Homosexual Lobby is a Threat to Religious, Civil Liberty in America. Image © Austin Cline, Licensed to About; Original Poster: National ArchivesChristians in the US continue to believe themselves a persecuted minority, in spite of the fact that they’re anything but. The relentless expansion of gay marriage has done more than almost anything else to unsettle them and exacerbate the paranoia which is inherent in the psychopathology of their religion. They seem not to comprehend, though, that gays being allowed to marry doesn’t actually harm them in any way. After all, no one is forcing them to marry same-sex partners against their will.

Enter a church in Knoxville, TN, which — according to WBIR-TV in that city — found a bizarre way to express its displeasure at the notion of “equal rights” (WebCite cached article):

A marquee message posted outside an East Knoxville church has sparked controversy. The church’s pastor says people have misunderstood the communication.

The Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle sign read, “Remember Satan was the first to demand equal rights.”

Here’s what the sign looked like:

A Knoxville church's message has drawn criticism from some in the community. Submitted to WBIR-TV.

A Knoxville church’s message has drawn criticism from some in the community. Submitted to WBIR-TV.

I have no idea what’s the basis of the claim made here. There’s no mention of Satan demanding “equal rights” in the Bible. In spite of there being no scriptural grounds for this statement, and its dismissal of the notion of “equal rights,” the church’s pastor said no offense was intended:

Pastor Tony Greene says he meant no offense. He said the church was not targeting a certain group.

He thinks people misunderstood his message.

“Be careful when you demand your equal rights that you don’t hurt others around you. You’ve got to consider everyone around you,” he said.

Greene said it was also a test to see if people were reading the sign. He said he’s received a lot of feedback.

The church changed the sign Monday to read, “Didn’t mean to offend. We all need Christ.”

Greene errs when he suggests that granting “equal rights” to some, can harm others. It doesn’t work that way. “Equal rights” always enrich everyone, because — by definition — they’re given to everyone. Period.

Oh, and the idea that Greene had merely been “testing” people to see if they’d read his sign? That really doesn’t excuse the idiocy of what he put on it. He could have opted for a much less incendiary, not to mention contra-factual, message to use as a “test,” if that’s really what he’d intended to do.

The cold fact is that all Americans have “equal rights” under the Constitution and its amendments (particularly the 14th). Satan had nothing to do with that, and objecting to “equal rights” on religious grounds won’t change it. It’s long past time for Christianists like Greene and his childish flock to stop throwing infantile shit-fits over things they personally dislike but which do not, in fact, harm them in the slightest. They ought to act like grown-ups, fercryingoutloud.

Hat tip: Raw Story.

Photo credit: Top, About.Com; middle, WBIR-TV.

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If there’s anything more unnecessary than religious rivalries and strife, I have no idea what they are. But religious conflict persists even though, in the United States in the 21st century, we know all too well how maladaptive, counterproductive, and even outright dangerous it can be. There are always religiously-inspired demagogues, it seems, willing to go after “enemies of the faith,” for no other reason than to go after them.

Example: A church in Gainesville, Florida which put a sign up on its lawn that says, “Islam is of the Devil.” The Gainesville Sun reports on the controversy:

The dozens of protesters who came and went from the sidewalk in front of the Dove World Outreach Center on Thursday had one thing in common. They each expressed — in varying degrees — their disapproval of a sign outside the church on Northwest 37th Street that proclaims “Islam is of the devil.”

The church’s reason for putting up the sign? Incredibly, it’s “love.” Yes, “love.”

The pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, Terry Jones, and his followers have said the sign is their way of expressing love for followers of Islam by letting them know that Christianity is the way to heaven.

Put simply, there is no “love” to be found in telling someone that they’re “of the Devil.” None. Not a speck. Fortunately these protesters know better, and they aren’t relenting:

None of the protesters who spoke to The Sun thought their efforts alone would convince the church to remove the sign. However, several expressed an opinion similar to John Fullerton’s.

“The idea of having this sign here without anyone saying anything makes us all complicit,” said Fullerton, a member of Veterans for Peace.

CNN did a report on this, as well, which you can see here:

The idea of “complicity by silence” is an interesting one, and something I rarely see acknowledged. All too many Americans — even some who do not agree with them — have, by their silence, allowed the Religious Right to drive the country closer to the theocracy they demand it to be. Their refusal to speak out against it, represents tacit permission to proceed.

In Gainesville, it seems, some have figured out that they cannot remain silent.

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