Todd Starnes, Fox News’ designated paranoiac and professional liar, reacted to the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling with his usual hysteria. Now is finally the time, he says, when pastors will be frogmarched out of the churches on hate crime charges for preaching the word of God.
“Gay rights now trump religious liberty,” Starnes stated, utterly ignoring the actual language of the ruling. “If you think the cultural purging of the southern states has been breathtaking, wait until you see what the activists are about to unleash on the American Christians. Churches and faith-based organizations should prepare to be hit with lawsuits and government investigations. Pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges. All dissent will be silenced.”
This displays either his ignorance or his dishonesty on several levels. First, he obviously hasn’t read, or is deliberately ignoring, the explicit text of Justice Kennedy’s ruling that says the First Amendment will continue to protect the right of people to object to The Gay (which should not have needed to be said, obviously, but with all the fear-mongering on the right, it was probably necessary). And the text of the federal hate crimes law, which cannot possibly apply to preaching anything unless the person doing the preaching actually commits a violent crime. So is he ignorant or is he lying? Oh, who cares.
Starnes went on to predict that Christians all over the nation will rise up in defiance of the ruling because if they are “given the choice of obeying God or the government, I believe Christians will obey God even if there is Hell to pay.”
A more accurate prediction: The most extreme bigots will continue to yell and scream for a while, mostly so they can continue to raise funds from it. Everyone else will quickly adjust to the new reality and, when none of the dire predictions of these buffoons come to pass, it will inevitably move to the “why was that such a big deal” phase. And in 10 or 15 years, Starnes and his fellow hysterical bigots will look just like George Wallace and be nothing but an object of derision.