SIGNS OF THE TIMES: MEDIA INSANITY


Rage at Rubio’s Bible Tweets: More Evidence of Troubling Bias Against Christians

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By JOHN ZMIRAK Published on May 17, 2017 • 21 Comments

Imagine if some Muslim member of Congress went on Twitter to share some harmless verses from the Quran — from the “happy parts” composed early on in Muhammad’s life, where he calls for peace and mercy.

Or if a Jewish member of Congress plucked some uplifting phrases out of the Talmud.

Or if a Californian member of Congress had offered something from the Dalai Lama.

Would it cause a controversy? I certainly hope not. I’d be especially troubled if Christian journalists raised a ruckus. If they pretended that a legislator doing this on his own Twitter account was a threat to American Christians, I’d consider those journalists idiots or bigots. They’d recall the classic character Gob Bluth on Arrested Development, who heckled a harmless student from India, with “Go home, you terrorist!”

 

But Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, and a number of other journalists, have apparently taken Gob Bluth as a role model. They’ve responded with shock and outrage to the following: Yesterday morning Catholic U.S. Senator Marco Rubio posted some phrases from the Bible on Twitter. (In fact, they were from the readings at the day’s daily Mass.) Here’s one:

Pretty ominous, huh? As if that weren’t enough, Sen. Rubio next went full-on Old Testament, posting these blood and thunder lines from Proverbs:

Isn’t your skin just crawling? What kind of moral monster would use his prestige as a U.S. legislator to share sentiments like that? Surely, this is the camel’s nose poking under the tent, making way for a full-on Christian theocracy, just like we saw on Netflix in The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Palm Beach Post helpfully compiled reactions which were almost that hysterical. Here’s The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin:

Esquire politics blogger Charles P. Pierce’s response was even more … fragile:

Leah McElrath writes for leftwing website Shareblue — and pledges in her Twitter profile to “#RESIST Trump, GOP, & global rise of white nationalist authoritarianism.” McElrath found Rubio’s Bible Tweets a positively creepy:

Normally I’d just shrug this off as part of the ordinary friction that comes in a free society when people of different views and beliefs rub up against each other. Sen. Rubio himself, apparently bemused, took to retweeting these crackpot reactions himself, without comment. A canny reaction.

Christians Need Not Apply

But put this in context. For centuries, American Christians were a vast and highly tolerant majority. Now the tenor of culture and laws has changed so drastically, that we are becoming an unpopular minority. Perhaps one not to be tolerated.

We got that message from the campaign of destruction launched against President Trump’s appointee for Army Secretary Mark Green. Green was forced to withdraw after Democrats denounced him as a hatemonger. What had Green said that outraged them?

  • He took the 6,000-year-old Jewish and Christian position on marriage: that it’s between a man and a woman.
  • Green stated the simple fact that gender dysphoria (transgenderism) is a mental disorder.
  • He characterized the Muslim horde that invaded, raped, and pillaged Constantinople in 1453 as a “Muslim horde.” (Maybe he should have been more tactful, and called them a “flow of immigrants.”)

Those positions made him unfit for public office in 2017 America. It’s the same America where the Governor of New Jersey just refused to ban child marriages out of respect for Islam, but Christian bakers and florists are force to service same-sex weddings. The same America where worried conservative Christians gave Donald Trump almost 80 percent of their votes … and couldn’t even get him to overturn Obama’s executive orders targeting them. Where Christian schools have to fight all the way to the Supreme Court to get public funds for playground safety. But public universities like U.C. Berkeley spend millions building “genderless” locker rooms to cater to the tragic pathologies of “transgender” students.

That’s how weak and vulnerable we have become. We don’t have the clout of the transgender lobby.

Scapegoating the Once Powerful

There’s no group that’s easier to get away with hating than one that was once quite powerful, which loses its grip. Think of the fate of noblemen in France after 1789, priests in Russia after 1917, or once-elite Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.

In cases like those, people in the newly powerful group can indulge in open hatred for members of the now-dethroned minority. They can hide it behind past “abuses” (real or imagined). They can target innocent people, whip up resentment, encourage discrimination, even get the government to persecute helpless people — whose crime is that they belong to the group that fell from power.

This scapegoating has nothing to do with justice. Instead it’s a naked exercise in bullying.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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