Lies and False Witness

There’s a theme here, in three posts from last week.

Salon: Rise of a right-wing quack: Faux-historian David Barton’s shocking new influence

This is the quality of constitutional scholarship that pervades the conservative movement these days: simple, outright lies that allege that this country was not founded on certain Enlightenment principles and the hard won experience of men and women who were exceedingly familiar with the bloody consequences of church and state being entwined.  It was, in their reckoning, conceived as a straight-up Christian nation, full stop.

David Barton marches on. There are some people you can fool all of the time, apparently.

Patheos: Another Christian Movie All About How Christians Are Persecuted in America

Rarely is an entire movie invalidated by the first few seconds of its trailer.

But that’s the case with One Generation Away, a film produced by Rick Santorum‘s EchoLight Studios that’s all about how Christians are being “persecuted” because they don’t get to push their faith in places like public schools.

(Just one example of many, documented on several websites I follow, about Christianity’s persecution complex.)

Alternet: Why Do Right-Wing Christians Think ‘Religious Freedom’ Means Forcing Their Faith on You?

Christian conservative circles have become awash in legends of being persecuted for their faith, stories that invariably turn out to be nonsense but that “serve to bolster a larger story, that of a majority religious group in American society becoming a persecuted minority, driven underground in its own country.” This sense of persecution, in turn, gives them justification to push their actual agenda of religious repression under the guise that they’re just protecting themselves.

You can see this play out in the legends that PFAW details out. Do Christian conservatives want to force their religious hostility to gays onto the military? Tell a lie about how a sergeant was persecuted for simply holding that religious belief to paint yourself as the “real” victim. Want to justify forcing non-believing kids to pray to your god in school? Tell lies about how kids are being punished for having private prayers all to themselves. Want to force people in the VA hospital to sing your religious songs and worship your god? Spread a false tale claiming that people aren’t allowed private ownership of religious cards. Tell enough of these stories and people on the right can convince themselves the only way they can protect their own right to worship is to force their religious practice on everyone else.

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