Wednesday, January 12, 2005

How things work: part 192
Exploiting the conservative persecution complex explained.

The right is outraged to discover that God had been banned from the inauguration (or something like that).
Crosses will be banned from this month's inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.

The Jan. 20 presidential inauguration is causing controversy—and religion is at the heart of the strife.

Not only is the phrase "under God" in the president's oath under attack from an atheist who has filed suit to stop any prayers from being said during the ceremony, now crosses have been banned from the inaugural parade.

Critics are calling it religious discrimination and censorship.

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney and the Christian Defense Coalition were granted a permit to hold a prayer vigil and demonstration during the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day. In that permit the list of prohibited "structures" includes crosses—along with bicycles, crates, coffins, cages and statues.

Mahoney is outraged.

This is a fairly typical example of the fake outrage tactic. Religious right groups are intentionally misinterpreting a completely harmless bureaucratic decision to portray it as anti-Christian bias and pesecution. The Park Service restictions are on "structures," big things that could be used as weapons or to conceal weapons. They have not banned crosses as jewelry, crosses on t-shirts, crosses on bibles, or even crosses on banners and signs. Truth is not important to their business. The point is to keep up a drumbeat of persecution urban legends so that the faithful will feel besieged and leap to the call of their leaders without any of that pesky thinking first. "Did you know that Christmas was banned in Seattle? Did you know prayer is now a hate speech crime in California? If Kerry had won the Democrats were planning to ban the Bible. Now crosses are illegal in our nation's capitol. Next they'll be coming for the womenfolk. The only way to stop this horrible persecution is to vote the way I tell you and send me lots of money."

I had hoped this nonsense would slow down after Christmas, but it looks as if it's going to be a prermanent part of Bush's second term.

P.S. - Did you know that in Texas they are planning to issue hunting licenses to kill liberals? You better send me some money.

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