... a few of the conservative Christian horn-blowers, like famously anti-gay Texas pastor Rick Scarborough, are backtracking on previous statements made regarding the ... SCOTUS ruling [on same-sex marriage]. Scarborough’s most recent clarification is noteworthy because he’s no longer going to set himself on fire in protest....That's from Andrew Husband at Mediaite -- but he was hardly the only person who interpreted what Scarborough said as a threat to engage in self-immolation.
Earlier in June, a conference call Scarborough participated in leaked to the media. Aside from the usual rigmarole of protesting marriage equality, the pastor made one rather startling statement:
We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary we will burn.... many believed Scarborough was indirectly threatening to set himself on fire if the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.
According to the Advocate, Scarborough claims that’s not at all what he was trying to say:
I made that comment to paraphrase a spiritual song, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,” in which the three were given a choice -- to bow to the image of Nebucahdnezzar or burn in a furnace. “We will burn” means that we will accept any sanction from the government for resisting [last Friday’s] Supreme Court decision. We do not support any violence or physical harm.So he was figuratively going to set himself on fire if the SCOTUS ruled in favor of Obergefell and the other plaintiffs in the case....
That's not what it was. It was Scarborough imagining -- with satisfaction, even though he'd never admit it -- that we evil pro-gay Christ-haters were going to burn him. Metaphorically, of course. I don't really believe he's up for that sort of martyrdom in any literal sense. But it delights him, as it delights most right-wingers, to feel persecuted and besieged. So he was proclaiming that he and his fellow believers are, in fact, under siege. Admire us for being targets of persecution because of our faith!
Conservatives love feeling besieged. Think of the usual rhetoric from the gun crowd. They don't want you to believe that they amass large numbers of guns simply because they like guns. So they imagine imminent fascist threats to our way of life from a tyrannical government, and unrelenting rampages by urban criminals, and waves of violent undocumented immigrants streaming over the border (accompanied by Middle Eastern terrorists! as well as the now-traitorous U.S. Army conducting Jade Helm 15 exercises in order to repress the people!). See, they don't want to feel obligated to own all those guns. But they're the good people, and because they're so good, evildoers want to threaten them. They have no choice.
Conservatives, similarly, don't want to rail endlessly against evil sodomites -- but evil sodomites and their heterosexual enablers just won't stop threatening them. See, for instance, Notre Dame professor Gerard Bradley's contribution by to a National Review symposium on the Court ruling, as quoted at Power Line:
This transformation is itself the “beginning” of something much larger and more dangerous than same-sex, monogamish “marriages.” Yes, polygamy is just around the corner. And Obergefell’s evident determination to, somehow, use the law to equalize the self-esteem (“dignity”) of adults and children in all sorts of irregular groupings is at least Orwellian.He sure hopes it will, because if he's besieged by a world-historic level of persecution, then he's a righteous hero in his own mind. Just like the gunners, and just like Rick Scarborough smelling nonexistent smoke.
... we should expect today’s decision to inaugurate the greatest crisis of religious liberty in American history. I am certain that it will.