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April 4, 2012


An Acceptable Bigotry

It is often said that there are two remaining socially acceptable prejudices left. (“Socially acceptable” is defined as, “won’t get you pilloried by the mainstream media, academia, or other bastions of liberal elitism.”) One is anti-fundamentalism, which is usually assumed to include evangelicals. The other is anti-Catholicism, which we’ve seen a lot of from the left in recent weeks. The latest edition of the latter comes from Unitarian minister Debra Haffner, a “sexologist” who runs The Religious Institute, an organization dedicated to getting people of faith behind almost any sexual practice you can imagine. Kristin Rudolph of the Institute for Religion and Democracy has more:

On March 21, 2012, Haffner discussed her dissatisfaction with traditional Christian teachings on sexuality on the radio show, Culture Shocks with Barry Lynn. Lynn is a United Church of Christ minister whose group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, opposes orthodox Christian expression in public life.

Much of the discussion centered around the Health and Human Services (HHS) provision in the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, requiring most employers, including those who object on moral and religious grounds, to provide health insurance coverage for contraception and abortifacients. Haffner asserted, “The argument that this [debate] is about religious freedom is a complete smoke screen. The fact that it’s now about birth control shows that it’s much bigger than a concern about embryos,” and supposedly, “about the Catholic hierarchy.” According to Haffner, opposition to contraception is not about genuine religious convictions, but “really about women and their sexuality. It’s about sexuality for pleasure, not just for procreation.”

Haffner ignored the possibility that Catholic believers still accept long-standing teachings on sexuality and contraception, and said “the science is very clear that modern methods of contraception do not act by causing women to miscarry fertilized embryos.” She questioned, “When is it that the Catholic hierarchy, because it’s not about the Catholic laity, it’s clearly about the Catholic hierarchy, is going to understand that we live in a different world than 100 and 200 AD?”

Let’s review, shall we? Haffner is a Unitarian, which means she stands for tolerance, inclusion, acceptance, diversity, and all other things wise and wonderful. Apparently, all those good things do not prohibit her from 1) questioning the motives of other religious believers; 2) asserting that said believers are primitives; 3) denigrating the intelligence of said believers; 4) imputing bad faith to those who disagree with her; 5) claiming that the religious beliefs of others are just a smokescreen for politics (any possibility of projection there, Rev. Haffner?); 6) contending that said believers are actually misogynists. Did I miss anything?

One of these days, I suppose I’ll stop being annoyed when prominent religious liberals make clear that tolerance, et. al, are only for those who agree with liberal politics and ethics. Ditto regarding their willingness to distort, impugn, denigrate, condescend to, and just generally disrespect anyone who dares disagree with their peculiar form of bigotry orthodoxy. I’ve long since stopped being surprised.


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9 comments

We had a nice conversation after dinner last night and noted how intolerant of other views liberals generally are; how they go to “name calling” and “broad brush groupings” pretty quickly; how emotional their responses are and how they don’t back up their opinions with facts (of course, to be fair, looks like I have a broad brush in my hand right now….lol).

So….why then is anyone surprised at the contents of this article?

[1] Posted by B. Hunter on 4-4-2012 at 01:39 PM · [top]

I think that white Southern males are still fair game, especially if they are Christian (sorry, Greg…)

[2] Posted by KevinBabb on 4-4-2012 at 05:51 PM · [top]

Wait until we see how they ramp up the anti-Mormon sentiment.

[3] Posted by Bill2 on 4-4-2012 at 06:49 PM · [top]

I’ve noticed that “progressives” talk about those to whom they are opposed in very vituperative language - but if one dares to question their positions, ideas, etc, they come down on you like a ton of bricks and accuse you of inflammatory language.

They will never admit the dissonance, however.

There is a new book out on “The Intolerance of Tolerance.” (“Get out! We want to be inclusive.”)

[4] Posted by AnglicanXn on 4-4-2012 at 07:47 PM · [top]

The Religious Institute recently lost $400,000 to another non-profit that was holding their money.  So Haffner won’t have much of a platform to spread her supposedly religious, no-boundaries view of sexuality. http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120401/LOCAL10/304019948/1002/LOCAL

[5] Posted by Ralinda on 4-4-2012 at 08:36 PM · [top]

I call myself an unapologetic Christian fundamentalist, which means I believe in the fundamentals of Christianity as expressed in the Bible. Because of this, I have been treated with bigotry and hatred, including by other Christians.

[6] Posted by KarenR on 4-5-2012 at 11:39 PM · [top]

Who says they’re Christians, KarenR?  Is it them?  If they do, they’re wrong.

[7] Posted by cennydd13 on 4-6-2012 at 10:11 PM · [top]

Cennydd 13, they are not Christians by my definition, so I should have said “those who call themselves Christians.” “Fundamentalist” is a pejorative term to most people in my own church, who define it to mean a narrow-minded, judgmental, and bigoted person. I have reclaimed the term and use it as I use the term “evangelical” for myself. That’s somewhat less negative to my church mates, but still negative to many. I never cease to be saddened by people who consider themselves to be inclusive and tolerant to the utmost and who then show such prejudice against evangelicals and fundamentalists.

[8] Posted by KarenR on 4-6-2012 at 11:46 PM · [top]

Actually David,

you did miss something. The Catholic Hierarchy wasn’t around in 100-200 AD, except perhaps in a most seed-like manner. This would be around the time of St. Clement. Yet the hierarchy she’s describing won’t come around for another 500 years. I suppose it should be of no surprise, that starting with false premises will yield a false conclusion. Still, sorry to hear though.

Yours in Christ,
jacob

[9] Posted by Jacobsladder on 4-12-2012 at 09:55 PM · [top]

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