Monday, June 29, 2015


I don't know why so many people misinterpreted this:
... 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....

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 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.

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.

... we should expect today’s decision to inaugurate the greatest crisis of religious liberty in American history. I am certain that it will.
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.


mlbxxxxxx said...

There's an interesting character to this latter day martyrdom that distinguishes it significantly from that of folk like St. Thomas, et al. Immediately after the Charleston shooting the first inclination was for them to claim that as "Christian martyrdom" while simultaneously decrying the fact that none of the martyrs were armed so as to cut short the martyrdom. I don't remember St. Thomas throwing rocks back at his tormentors. Local Evangelical (maybe others, too, for all I know) churches are ensuring that there is always someone in the sanctuary that is armed during their services just in case something like Charleston happens to them -- highly unlikely in mainly white congregations, but who knows these days, I guess. These folk are not going to take their martyrdom lying down which, I think, kind of negates the whole "martyrdom" thing, but I don't want to get all judgey on 'em.

Victor said...

"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."

A lot of men in The Bible were polygamous, you dip of shite - those who could afford it, that is.

Nefer said...

"I don't want to get all judgey on 'em."
You are a kind and decent person. I'll go ahead and get judgey on them. They are pampered, spoiled watb who have not the slightest idea what persecution really is. They would wet themselves in gibbering terror were they to be threatened with the real thing, and to avoid such actual persecution would immediately beg to gay marry their local abortion provider and march in the next gay pride parade wearing nothing but a leather thong.

Feud Turgidson said...

Not buying his recasting or your analysis either. When folks of his pol stripe say the word burn, they mean it as in Let it burn, IOW do all they can to effectively destroy the federal government in particular and government in general.

Never Ben Better said...

Nefer beat me to it.

Yastreblyansky said...

Or maybe he just means he's going to refuse to get married, as in "it is better to marry than to burn," but now the institution has been polluted with gay germs he won't have anything to do with it any more? No?

Seriously I think Unknown could be onto something.

Roger said...

Shadrach, Meshach and the other one didn't burn because G-d saved them. King Nebby looked into the furnace and saw they weren't burning, but rather chillin' with the Son of G-d.

Scarborough won't burn if G-d is really down with his homophobic shit. Unless the Bible's incorrect.