Monday, February 28, 2011

Freedom is Wonderful, but Only for Me

Fred Clark of Slacktivist responds to the Southern Baptist hierarch spokesman Richard Land's complaints that certain judges or administration officials may make rulings that are "against the will of the people."  Clark writes:
Implicit in this is a notion of democracy that we've encountered again and again among American evangelical Christians attempting to engage in politics. It is the idea that democracy means everything is subject to the will of the majority -- including the rights of minorities, which therefore aren't rights at all, merely privileges permitted or withheld by the sentiment of the majority. It is, bluntly, the idea that democracy is just a fancy word for mob rule.

We see this in things like the absurd annual ritual of the so-called "war on Christmas" and in a thousand similar obsessive resentments of imagined offenses. We see it in the ugliness of the anti-mosque movement. We see this in the fear that equality under the law for GLBT people will somehow constitute an infringement of the religious liberty of those who regard homosexuality as a sin (this despite the hard-to-miss fact that Fred Phelps remains free to say whatever vile things he wishes, whenever and wherever he wishes). We see it in the aggressive sectarian impulse to piss on trees and mark territory by erecting officially sanctioned sectarian holiday displays or Ten Commandments plaques or official prayers and other ostentations of sectarian allegiance.

Would that every Christian believer understand the difference between the rule of law, and the rule of the mob.

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