Yep. Someone actually said this. Of course, the “someone” in this case is Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, so I wouldn’t be too surprised. You may remember his name from such frantic, incoherent tirades like the one suggesting the adopted children of same sex couples be kidnapped “underground railroad” style to save them from depravity. Or his blaming the “bullies and bigots at Big Gay” for convincing Tim Tebow to back out of speaking at First Baptist Church Dallas, run by the far-right Pastor Robert Jeffress. Or maybe you recall the time he almost herniated a disk trying to defend Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, suggesting that he was the true victim in that situation.
Well. He’s at it again. This time he’s joining the chorus of conservative Christians who have gone apoplectic over the recent decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court that determined Elaine Photography had violated anti-discrimination laws by refusing service to a same-sex couple.
On his Thursday radio show, Fischer wondered when “Christians are going to start filing suit against the people who are filing suit against them.”
“You are violating this non-discrimination law because you are discriminating against me on the basis of my religion,” he explained.
We’re all well aware of the tired “preventing me from using my religion to discriminate against people is discrimination” trope by now. There’s a modification of this I’ve seen floating around the Internet, “calling me a bigot for hating gays is bigotry!” Same idea, just transposed a half step. Anyway, Fischer decided that his rhetoric needed an extra dimension to it that could more powerfully encapsulate the kind of prejudice and persecution that the modern Christian has had to face in recent times. In response to a recent federal court ruling that determined Mennonite Christian cabinet makers have to provide insurance that covers hormonal contraception, Fischer decided to whip out the race card. Sort of.
“Essentially what this court has done and what the Obama administration has done with this abortifacient mandate is that they have turned Christians into Dred Scott,” the radio host said, referring to a slave who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom in 1867.
Then, tying it back to the New Mexico ruling, he had this to say:
“And what the Supreme Court of New Mexico has done, they have said that Christian have no rights which this court is bound to respect,” he continued. “So to me this looks like Jim Crow is alive and well, we’ve got Jim Crow laws right back in operation. Christians are the new blacks.”
Nothing is more sad than seeing a group representing an overwhelming religious majority in this country complaining about how terribly they are oppressed. There’s a noticeably start contrast between the kind of prejudice, discrimination, and outright hatred toward blacks during the the 19th and 20th centuries and the legal difficulties some Christians are having today because they insist on inflicting their Iron Age morality on other people when acting as business entities. To insist on claiming an equivalence between the two is not only intellectually dishonest, but insults the entire black community and the decades of struggle they endures to get where they are today.
It’s also pretty audacious than claiming to be the new target of institutionalized oppression when it’s their very demographic (the conservative Christian population) primarily responsible for fighting to prevent women the right to bodily autonomy and ceaselessly pushing to ensure that members of the LGBT community are treated as second-class citizens. It takes real chutzpah to start jumping up and down over the fact that the law has to force you to treat everyone equally, and even more to call yourself a victim over it.
It’s sheer idiocy to basically call yourself black. I mean, come on. I’m thankful he did, though … things like that tend to make even the more right-leaning politicians shy away.