Carson: The Real Problem is the Rights of Christians

In the fantasy world inhabited by the right wing, Christians, who comprise the overwhelming majority of the American population, are the real victims of oppression and discrimination, not traditional marginalized groups like gay people. Ben Carson, you’re up.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s interviews with neurosurgeon headline generator Ben Carson have caused some trouble for the latter, to the point that he’s said he won’t discuss LGBT issues anymore. Nonetheless Cuomo pinned him down on the subject Thursday morning, appearing bewildered when Carson intimated that the LGBT community was a more protected class than Christians under the Constitution.

“I would like to see as much emphasis on the rights of Christians…as there is to some of the other groups,” Carson said. “I would like to see a much greater conservation about Christians and their rights. Why are we not talking about that?”

“We are right now,” Cuomo said. “The LGBT community gets far less legal protection, as you know—”

“No, not as I know,” Carson objected.

“How do you not know that?” Cuomo asked.

Because he lives on Planet Wingnuttia, not in the real world. And as usual, when he’s not blatantly wrong about an issue, all he has to offer are vague platitudes:

“The important thing is for us as a nation to recognize that all citizens of the United States are protected by our Constitution,” Carson said. “We need to stop deciding that one group versus another is the flavor of the day.”

Meaningless tripe. Every clash over rights is a clash between groups. Group A would not have to fight for equal rights if group B wasn’t so zealous to deny them. Every such decision is choosing one group over another.

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  • StevoR

    Ben Carson sure loves his neighbour yeah .. nah.

    Rabbi Jesus weren’t a flaming homophobe.

    But this p.o.s. hypocrite is. Tell me again someone what did Jesus recommend his followers do to his “enemies”?

  • StevoR

    Oh yeah :

    What would Jesus do?

    The idea for this was posted in response to my “Object Lessons” essay, in comments on The Democratic Underground. I thought it the single most Christ-like response to the bigotry epitomized by Indiana’s new law I’ve yet seen.

    Given Matthew 5-41: If someone forces you to walk a mile, walk two with them (alternately: if a soldier commands you to carry his gear for a mile, carry it for two miles).

    Therefore: If somebody asks you to bake a gay wedding cake for them, bake for them two…

    That Jesus, he sure had some funny ideas. Didn’t he?

    Yup. Thankyou JIm Wright, the Stonekettle Station blogger via his personal eponymous facebook page. That. Seconded by me.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    Rabbi Jesus weren’t a flaming homophobe.

    And we know this…how?

    Remember, early Christianity was an apocalyptic offshoot oh Judaism obsessed with repentance and pleasing a wrathful God who was expected to arrive any day and clear away the decadent sinners leaving a new perfect world for them and them alone. Forgiveness was for those who gave up their fleshy desires and followed the Law, which as we know, has some rather unpleasant things to say about homosexuality.

    In my estimation, the proto-liberal Jesus is modern contrivance, born out progressive Christians desire to evoke divine authority for their opinions, just like their right-wing fellows.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    Addendum: The sad thing is, that given the barbarism of the ancient era, the fundies may actually been closer to original Christianity than the liberals are.

  • John Pieret

    “The LGBT community gets far less legal protection, as you know—”

    “No, not as I know,” Carson objected.

    Then you aren’t listening to your fellow Right Wing Christians … heck, you’re not even listening to yourself.

  • Chiroptera

    Carson: The Real Problem is the Rights of Christians

    lol

    If he had stopped there, I would have agreed.

  • StevoR

    @3. Akira MacKenzie : “And we know this…how?”

    Primary sources. Okay maybe secondary ones anyhow.

    From what is the New Testament. Red letters. Find a truly homophobic quote in there can ya? (I hope you cannot and think that’s right now, hope I ain’t mistaken but could be.)

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Every such decision is choosing one group over another.

    Yes. So we should stop that, and stick with the status quo. Sure, that plans looks a lot like choosing his side, but that’s just a coincidence.

  • Hoosier X

    @ Akira MacKenzie

    Many christians claim that their “sincere religious beliefs” are based on their belief in scripture as the literal words and actions of their lord, Jesus christ.

    And yet, it has often been pointed out that their actions differ significantly from the behavior of their alleged lord and savior Jesus Christ.

    I don’t think it unreasonable to ask any christian to cite the teachings of Jesus christ when they claim the most important part of his message is that homosexuals must be shunned, and that it is a sin to bake a cake or arrange flowers for them.

  • raven

    Actually jesus said a lot of things, some of them mutually contradictory. There are several different Jesuses running around in the NT.

    But he got a few things right, once in a while.

    In John it says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Or as in Matthew and Luke, “Judge not less you be judged”. Or somewhere else, “Vengeance is mine, says the lord.”

  • Al Dente

    Carson is absolutely correct. The rights of Christians to discriminate against and bully LGBTs are being eroded.

  • lofgren

    There is this weird fantasy that the whole country will sit down like grown ups and decide with maturity, grace, wisdom, and disinterested reason which groups should be oppressed and how.

  • tbp1

    For someone who didn’t grow up in a bubble, Carson sure lives in one.

  • peterh

    “In John it says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    That oft-cited episode does not appear in the earliest known manuscripts.

  • Hoosier X

    It was the will of Jesus that it be added later and eventually translated into 17th-century English to be ignored by the loudest christians until the End Times.

  • D. C. Sessions

    That oft-cited episode does not appear in the earliest known manuscripts.

    And therefore … ?

  • raven

    “In John it says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    That oft-cited episode does not appear in the earliest known manuscripts.

    True but irrelevant.

    The New Testament is known to be mostly fiction. So one more sentence is no big deal.

    It was not the latest addition to the bible by any means. Xians are constantly rewriting it while hoping no one notices. They do but they don’t care. That is why they keep translating it and why each translation differs, often in key points. The fundie NIV is one of the more readable and one of the more inaccurate.

    In a few centuries, jesus is going to be wandering around the US Southeast with his horse Holy Spirit, his gang of 12, and his six shooter Peacemaker.

  • busterggi

    The good thing about fictional charcters that are in the public domain is that fan fiction can make them d or say anything the author wants them to- hence, what would rabbi Jesus do is whatever particular author wants him to.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    I find it extremely unlikely—not to say, impossible—that a religion born out of a society as religiously strident, xenophobic, patriarchal, and homophobic as ancient Judea would suddenly develop anything approaching sexual tolerance.

  • matty1

    It just struck me that there is a parallel here with some of the stuff Ed has written about constitutional interpretation.

    Fundies are conservative originalists – to them what matters about an ambiguous text is what the original writers expected and if that is unclear they assume those writers thought exactly the same as themselves

    Liberal Christians are liberal originalists – to them what matters is finding broad principles in the text that can then be applied to new situations or back to old ones in a new way, even if that has results the original writers would not have expected.

    I’m not sure there is any way for an outsider to decide one of these approaches is somehow more correct because they disagree about what it means to be correct.

  • Hoosier X

    @ Akira MacKenzie

    I find it extremely unlikely—not to say, impossible—that a religion born out of a society as religiously strident, xenophobic, patriarchal, and homophobic as ancient Judea would suddenly develop anything approaching sexual tolerance.

    We all need to be a lot more clear on what we’re talking about because Akira seems very confused.

  • Michael Heath

    matty1 writes:

    Fundies are conservative originalists – to them what matters about an ambiguous text is what the original writers expected and if that is unclear they assume those writers thought exactly the same as themselves . . .

    I don’t see any fundamentalists who are literate on originalism, zero. Instead all I see are ignorant liars who cherrypick quotes to make a convenient argument. And often, make a subsequent argument on another topic that contradicts prior “originalist” arguments they made.

    Roy Moore, Bob Bork, and Clarence Thomas are more analogous to a Michael Behe than they are to a Randy Barnett opponent who merely comes down on intent vs. Barnett’s liberal original meaning. I.e., Thomas’ premises don’t withstand scrutiny when we consider all the facts around the time a particular clause was crafted and passed. Instead we find a convenient argument, i.e., Bong Hits for Jesus and [textualist] Scalia’s opinion in D.C. v. Heller; neither of which can withstand scrutiny.

  • matty1

    I doubt I count as literate in the subject myself, my comparison was to the broad brush explanations I’ve read on this blog of conservative and liberal approaches not to actual judicial philosophy.

  • Scientismist

    lofgren @ 12:

    There is this weird fantasy that the whole country will sit down like grown ups and decide with maturity, grace, wisdom, and disinterested reason which groups should be oppressed and how.

    I was thinking that earlier, during a discussion of what those who wrote and passed the 14th amendment really meant, and what it means today. If some people really think that equality before the law still doesn’t/shouldn’t apply to some particular group of people, why don’t they just be honest about it and propose another over-riding amendment that spells out just who is and who is not to be considered a citizen? (Or 5/6 of a citizen? Or minus 3/16?) Go ahead, make it clear, so that (with maturity, grace, wisdom, and disinterested reason) we can all choose up sides for another civil war.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    StevoR @ 7

    Ahem…

    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    Matthew 5:17-20

    And what does the Law have to say about homosexuals?

    There, according to his sniveling followers, Jesus endorsed the Law in it’s entirety. The Law was hateful towards homosexuals. Jesus (if the fucker existed at all) was a goddamn homophobe.

    Now, can we atheists stop making excuses for Christianity and get back to to the task of erasing it from existence?

  • Anri

    Akira MacKenzie:

    There, according to his sniveling followers, Jesus endorsed the Law in it’s entirety. The Law was hateful towards homosexuals. Jesus (if the fucker existed at all) was a goddamn homophobe.

    Or simply pandering to them.

    I find it extremely unlikely—not to say, impossible—that a religion born out of a society as religiously strident, xenophobic, patriarchal, and homophobic as ancient Judea would suddenly develop anything approaching sexual tolerance.

    Not suddenly, but again, one of the major factors in the success of Christianity is its complete willingness to shamelessly abase itself – in whole or in part – to the latest flavor of social movement while pretending to have (and apparently convincing its ardent followers of having) a single, steadfast, universal message.

  • U Frood

    And elsewhere Jesus calls his disciples idiots for being surprised when he breaks the laws. I guess he DID come to override the laws of the prophets.

  • peterh

    R.e.: the thread’s opening line: “The Real Problem is the Rights of Christians.”

    The real problem is not stating the problem correctly. Christians do not have rights, citizens, a few of whom just happen to be Christian, have rights.

  • typecaster

    Since all of the Gospels were written after Paul’s death (and after the Revolt had killed most, if not all, of the original Jerusalem community), I imagine that there were conflicts about the role of the Law in the lives of Yeshua’s followers (again, whether he existed or not). Some of his followers, like Matthew, adhered more to the view that their sect was a version of observant Judaism, and put views refuting Paul into Yeshua’s mouth. Others agreed more with Paul that the law was not applicable to the wider Gentile community, and had their version of Yeshua agree with them.