A friend informed me that a cable station near our alma mater was going to run a program called Speechless: Silencing the Christians, an anti-homosexuality, fundamentalist propaganda piece sponsored by the American Family Association (which might as well be called the Apple Pie and Cuddles Association to emphasize the warm fuzzies they use to hide the noose hanging from the nearest tree). Whoops, did I say that?

The network in question pulled the program after an avalanche of protests by LGBT supporters. At first, my reaction was elation. I clicked my heels,  seeing one more poisonous influence kept from the eyes and ears of thousands. Such vile propaganda shouldn’t be allowed on television!… right? Upon further introspection, I reassessed my glee. I was a hypocrite. Censorship only proves the point of the AFA–we did silence the Christians.

I believe in free speech for all, no matter how bigoted one’s beliefs. I may hate that you think what you do, but I want you to have the right to shout it from the rooftops–or preach it from the television–if it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others or break any laws. The freedom to speak your mind is the same freedom that lets me speak mine. Let the ideas stand freely on their own. The weak ones will fall where they may. To borrow a phrase: let the best idea win.

On the website for Speechless, you can watch the piece and then answer a survey they plan to send to top media, political, and social leaders in the United States. Inspired by Calladus, I’ve decided to answer this survey after the cut.

Survey on Homosexuality

  1. Do you believe the Bible condemns homosexuality as sin?
    • Yes, I think it’s very clear on the subject (or as clear as an Iron Age writer can be on the complexity of sexuality)
  2. Can homosexuals change their sexual orientation?
    • I do not think so.
  3. Should homosexuals be allowed to adopt children?
    • Absolutely. “American Family Associaton” indeed.
  4. Should homosexuals be given the same special rights extended to African-Americans and other minorities?
    • The rights are not “special”. They are basic, fundamental, just, and should be given to all people, no matter their population numbers in this country.
  5. Should hate crimes legislation be passed that would call for more severe penalties for crimes against homosexuals?
    • All hate crimes should be judged the same way. No one group should be singled out; ideally, all hate crimes against any individuals should be judged by the law.
  6. Do you believe that churches and religious organizations should be forced to hire homosexuals?
    • Equal opportunity employment for all. I think it’s wrong if someone is fired because they are of a different race, sexual orientation, or gender. I’m not as familiar with employment law as many are, but I certainly hope the legality of descrimination doesn’t change because it’s a religious organization.
  7. Would you support a boycott of a major U.S. corporation that contributes money to support homosexual activist organizations?
    • Where’s their donation box?
  8. Should judges be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court who support extending special rights to homosexuals?
    • No. Judges should be appointed to uphold equal rights for all people and enforce and interpret the constitution.
  9. Should employers be forced to extend special consideration in the hiring of homosexuals?
    • Must I reiterate this again? No. Equality. At all times. Why all these questions about “force” and “special” privileges? This survey is so incredibly biased.
  10. Is the secular media demonstrating a bias in favor of the homosexual agenda?
    • If by “agenda” they mean seeing homosexuality as a normal trait of humans who can benefit society and deserve dignity and equality, then yes, perhaps it is.
  11. Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to limit marriage to a union between one man and one woman?
    • No. In fact, if marriage is a religious/spiritual union it shouldn’t go anywhere near the constitution at all.
  12. Should children in public schools be taught homosexuality is normal, acceptable, and equal to the traditional marriage of a man and a woman?
    • Apples and oranges. Homosexuality is normal, acceptable, and equal to heterosexuality. Marriage is not the same thing. I think teaching kids about sexuality is mainly the job of the parents. I don’t think we need to have a lesson plan in classes about heterosexuality vs. homosexuality. We might as well have classes on why it’s okay to be brown-eyed instead of blue. If it is a normal thing, why not treat it as normal and not harp on it?
  13. Do you agree that Christians should be arrested for speaking against homosexuality in public places?
    • No. See my realization about free speech above. Christians sometimes get a bit of a persecution complex here in the United  States, but often don’t defend the rights of people who don’t agree with them. Take, for instance, the atheist billboards seen country-wide this winter. Christians fight and claw to get them taken down because they’re offensive. But as soon as someone complains about their point of view or wants them to shut up, they cry persecution and censorship. Pot, meet kettle.
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6 thoughts on “Don’t Silence the Christians”

Your-Atheist-In-Arms · February 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Hey GG,

I like what you said on number 11. Think there’s an interesting flip side to the coin?

What do you think it would happen if amending the constitution to not recognize a marriage for spiritual reason, meaning ordained by any religious church?

Take the example. A priest, preacherman is ordained to marry through a church. A couple has a license to marriage which means, the state recognizes a proclaimed spiritual union between a man and a woman unless the churches believe there is two marriages going on.

Then we go out and preach separation of church and state, preach the state should recognize a homosexual couple in marriage.

I am all for gay rights and gay marriage but I wonder to be fair to the idea of separation of church and state, how far would one need to go? I do believe that it is a start to get gay people the freedom to marriage. Step towards more equal rights, and secularizing our nation. I just wonder how far people need to go to be true to the idea of separation of church and state.

Equal rights to all doesn’t mean bringing in church and state right?

Hope I am not off-topic. 🙂

    GG · February 26, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    To clarify my thought (and maybe answer your question), I don’t think the government should be passing legislation that speaks for any religion or its beliefs. The opposition to homosexual marriage is almost completely isolated to religious groups. Further, separation between church and state is essential and I would be supportive of an overhaul to our legal stance on unions between partners of all sexual preferences. Civil unions are often seen as “separate but equal” (which is bullshit. what will we give them next, their own drinking fountains?) but we all know they’re not even close to equal.

    I think the religious folks can keep their “marriage” term and make that mean whatever they, as individual religions, want it to mean. I say, make marriage in a church/mosque/temple optional, and let that be between them and their god. Leave civil unions for the national government. None of this state-by-state-your-marriage-isn’t-valid-in-Oklahoma junk. Legal rights, tax benefits, adoptions, and such should be given to those who have civil unions–same as marriage is today. All benefits, and all privileges should be given equally to heterosexuals or homosexuals. Full separation. Nothing the government says about unions would have to do with religion, and nothing religion says would change the government.

    Think that’d be possible?

Your-Atheist-In-Arms · February 27, 2009 at 4:26 am

I think it would be only possible if it gets out of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Like you said, the whole state-by-state thing is bullshit. I agree. In one way, one could argue it prohibits homosexuals to live freely. They can only live within the confines of the state that recognizes them.

Sure it is progress what we’ve seen and we’ve seen some regress as well with California’s recent move with this issue. So I will not speak down on the progress maybe 2 states have done, but it isn’t good enough ya know? I hate to be gloom-doom, but as a step forward for ALL homosexuals, its not a big step forward.

I wonder, if the constitution is going to need to be amended in a manner to allow all marriages, regardless of religion, sexuality and race to be recognized by all the states. In other words, force the states to recognize the marriage. Some may think it is a slippery slope, it may very well be. In this one instance, we’re taking away the state’s right to make its own laws for the recognition of all. I mean are we going to have to wait for every state to come to this?

When the people elect the officials and when the people are opinionated in the majority against the recognition of a considerable population in our nation, where’s the hope?

I only think it is going to be possible when it gets to Congress and The White House. Until there is a rise in the states allowing the marriage recognition of homosexual couples, at this moment, I do not see any reason to think it is possible. I mean, is the government waiting for 26 states to give full recognition to same-sex marriages? Full-recognition is the only acceptable outcome. Civil unions are different and some states don’t even recognize common-law marriages anymore. I think as well, an overhaul stance on the legal defining of “unions” would have to be done.

Not meaning to change the topic, I hope you respond to the above as well but now to my next response to your article. I believe in freedom of speech. I agree with many atheists who hold the 1st Amendment must always be administered in our society. The idea of controlling the freedom of speech is detestable to me.

Yet I am conflicted though. Take the situation in your article. We know that many of the fundamentalist attitudes are outright hateful. The message of hate rings true and true through their dedication to their god they have in their heads. Thing is, freedom of speech is not an absolute. For example, Canada does not allow the Westboro Baptist Church to bring in hate speeches.
Is that wrong in a moral sense, keeping constitutions of nations out of this for a moment. I remember as a kid, I watched a KKK demonstration. Yea they were free to express their freedom of speech of their hate filled message, but it was controlled. It looked like an action film from a movie. Bomb squad, the SWAT team, police everywhere. They had to restrict downtown because of this. All this for free-speech? I think that shows the mentality of a society maybe even globally.

Point being, where do we draw the line and is allowing hate-speech to fully express their 1st Amendment right congruent for a society to get passed this ancient, religious hatred? I do not believe freedom of speech is an absolute in our nation.

I find this odd. We have the 1st Amendment and we have Free Speech Zones. That does sound a bit Orwellian. Government controlled zones for political organizations and such? Then we have the issues of sedition, obscenity, libel, slander, Son of Sam laws. If the 1st Amendment was absolute for our nation, or even a absolute moral principal globally, would there be any real order? Those things, maybe think would be reasonable, but I would argue, that the same heart of those things that actually we do censor, is the same heart as the hate-filled speech we see from religious groups.

So I am starting to wonder, maybe banning hate-filled religious speak should start to be done. I am not 100 percent on that thinking yet. The 1st Amendment always comes back in my head. While writing this reply back, I learned some new things about freedom of speech and seeing the issue censorship involved here researching this to make sure I do some background before I get into it to deeply about the idea of censorship in our nation with the 1st Amendment. Plus, for a society to be congruent with free-thinking, with establishing equal rights for all, to finally rid ourselves of these terrible mentalities, should we allow the 1st Amendment to protect the enemy? I’m torn about it to be honest.

Your thoughts?

Adam · April 12, 2009 at 5:33 am

As a former member of the AFA I know exactly what they're talking about in the piece you're speaking about. I have to disagree with your opinion though. I think people have a right to protest and have it kept off of television if they don't want it on. I believe their video does in a way infringe on the rights of the LGBT community. The group's stated objective is to keep the right of marriage away from homosexuals and many in the group support discrimination based on sexual orientation as well. The Christians can protest and state their opinions as they want to, but that station has the right to only play things on their station that actually attracts an audience and does reflect their own views. Finally, I just personally don't want to have hate speech broadcast into my home… If they won't spread hate speech through the media, I won't spread reason into their churches. 🙂

Lisa · February 25, 2011 at 12:03 am

I’m interested in learning more about Canada’s Hate Speech law. I think our free speech laws are great, but I’m not a huge fan of hateful speech. Maybe it’s best to let society punish those who spew hatred instead of silencing them?

Also, although it would be ideal that we wouldn’t have to force churches to hire homosexuals or provide equal rights through judges, etc, the sad thing is that churches often aren’t held responsible to follow any of the same laws as other employers.

Take my story, for example. I worked for a few churches over the course of seven years and was paid fifty cents an hour, no benefits, vacation or sick leave, and no overtime pay. Churches do a lot of things that are illegal in the eyes of the Department of Labor and hiring gays would be no different.

Tweets that mention Censorship, Christianity, and the Homosexual Agenda | Godless Girl -- Topsy.com · January 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GodlessGirl, Autoantitheist Anon. Autoantitheist Anon said: RT @godlessgirl2011Don't Silence the Christians http://bit.ly/9pbmQP #atheism http://bit.ly/ejoHZt #Antitheism […]

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