Why is it that Christians get a pass for saying horrific crazy crap that no one else would dare say or get away with? People like the late Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Terry Jones, Steven Anderson, Josh Feuerstein, and pretty much every Republican candidate for President are all known for saying these horrific things and getting away with them. If an atheist or a Muslim said anything even half as horrific, the mainstream press would be talking about it nonstop and the controversy would force all other atheists and Muslims to issue apologies.
The sad part is that most people don’t even know what those fundamentalist Christians I listed even said. People forget that Falwell and Robertson blamed the worst attack on America soil on pretty much anyone and everyone they don’t like including the ACLU. Robertson alone is known for saying horrific and crazy things on a weekly basis… on his own television show. That guy has a television show where he spouts out horrific advice peppered with hate to millions of people. Pastor Terry Jones made a name for himself calling for violence against Muslims in Florida. Steven Anderson is in a competition with himself to come up with the most violent, hate-filled, rhetoric he can think of to get attention – including threatening rhetoric against President Obama. Social media pastor Josh Feuerstein released a video not all that long ago calling for his two million followers to murder abortion doctors. I should also add that this isn’t even an exhaustive list of crazy Christian leaders in America. These are just the first people to come to mind. Thinking about it, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump have all said some pretty horrific things too and they are running for President!
Where is the media outrage? I’m all for free speech and I am not necessarily calling for the police to arrest these Christian leaders, but quite a few of them have crossed the line by advocating violence. Still, there should be a price that they should have to pay for their horrific, over-the-top remarks. The mainstream media should at least call them out on this stuff. Good, well-meaning Christians should have to at least distance themselves from these hateful people and yet few ever do.
It seems that when a crazy Christian leader says something horrific and/or advocates violence, no one outside their large flock takes them seriously. They are just doing what wacky, fundamentalist Christian leaders do. But when a wacky fundamentalist Muslim leader says something horrific, it dominates the news for weeks and if an atheist leader says something even remotely controversial, it media eats it up.
I’ve talked about this before with reference to billboards. Christians can put up billboards claiming that atheists will shot people because we lack belief in God and it doesn’t warrant 10 seconds on the news. They can claim that anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe should be tortured for all eternity and the news is silent, but when atheists put up a billboard saying that if you don’t believe in God, you are not alone, the news local news will go around and ask religious believers what they think about this horrific atheist billboard. Sometimes the religious believers even respond on camera with threats of violence. But that’s okay because they’re Christians.
The reason why this is all on my mind today is because an old Josh Feuerstein video from six months ago resurfaced in which he called for his followers to hunt down abortion doctors and make them afraid for their lives. In fairness, he said later in the video that it was wrong, but I doubt many of his followers got that aspect of the message.
While his video was made sometime before the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado, it is this type of rhetoric that contributed to what happened this past weekend and I am tired of allowing these crazy pastors to get a pass on their violence rhetoric. We need to call them out and make sure the media calls them out for it also. The media shouldn’t be inviting them on television for a chat either. That isn’t calling them out. They should not receive a larger platform for saying violent, dangerous things. You can’t yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater and you can’t tell your two million mindless followers to hunt down and kill abortion doctors.