If two men/women can marry, Christians will be forced underground.

Pastor Jim Garlow, one of the primary figures behind prop 8.  He’s this guy:

Anyway, he just went on Janet Mefferd’s show to talk about gay marriage.  Did you know that if we let two consenting adults get married, even if they are of the same gender, that Christians will have their property seized and have to go underground?  It’s true, Garlow said!

Garlow: I think it’s important for people to realize what’s really at stake here. And I know this sounds sound strange, most of us assume naively that what homosexuals are actually for is marriage. And that is not true, at least not universally true. What they want is to destroy marriage.

I think Masha Gessen out of Australia was the most open one I’ve seen on it. She’s a homosexual activist and she just said bluntly, ‘Let’s face it, we don’t want marriage, we want the end of marriage.’ And that’s exactly what happened, of course, in European countries, where they changed the laws regarding what the definition of marriage is and people just stopped getting marriage. And you’d think marriage rates would go up. Instead, they dropped because nobody respects the institution anymore.

And that’s what the heart of this is, not only to end marriage, they’re not demanding marriage for themselves, they want us, to force us to affirm an immoral behavior.

Mefferd: That’s it. And the religious liberty issue, and I know you’ve been really big on this as well, I think more Christians need to understand the connection between advancing LGBT rights and retreating Christian rights.

Garlow: If same-sex so-called marriage is established as the law of the land, many of the people who are listening to my voice right now, not maybe immediately but at some point in the future, if they are followers of Christ, will be forced underground. Their buildings will be taken away from them, many of their rights will be taken away from them.

Strange how in all the other places gay marriage has been recognized this has not happened.  Garlow’s dystopia, where the majority which has all the power in congress are somehow the ones oppressed, is much like the second coming of Christ: it’s coming, you watch out!  Aaaaaaaaany day now…

This is what happens when you have no good arguments, but still refuse to change your mind: you have to try to win arguments in ways other than making good arguments.  In this case, Evangelicals are going with “Holy shit is there anything I can say that will scare you all into compliance???”  Nope.  The people who can still be controlled by fear of whatever falsity you dream up are already in your pews running from Lucifer.  The rest of us will be making our ethical calls based on the soundness of arguments and not our fear of phantoms.

They say religion can take away your fear.  Nonsense, it creates the fear so it can promise you the cure.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • iknklast

    Frankly, I’m not sure the end of marriage would be such a bad goal. Marriage is sort of a fusty old institution that usually serves to demarcate property. I don’t see why the partnership arrangements in many modern marriages require legal approval or sanction, let alone church approval or sanction. The end of marriage? I say, bring it on! (Not meant as a critique of my husband; I am happily married, but we could be just as happy as long as we were together).

  • BabyRaptor

    I call this particular phenomenon “martyrbating.” It’s a not too polite term, a combination of “martyr” and “masturbate.” Generally used when showing disgust at blatant fearmongering and/or fake persecution complexes.

    • baal

      I approve of this usage. That particular white male in the clip is odious and creates harm by inducing fear and by the secondary effects of those scared (scarred?) people.

      • Azkyroth

        *slow clap*

    • Loqi

      Martyrbating is my new word of the day.

    • TicklishMeerkat


      That’s a brilliant and concise takedown of the entire evangelical mentality. Get ‘em scared, get ‘em running, get their butts out of their chairs and into voting booths and in front of City Hall with signs. Scared evangelicals who think they’re being persecuted? Oh, that’s icing on the cake. That’s money right there, to borrow the phrase.

      And JT, brilliant post as well. It’s cute how this fundie is shifting the argument. As you said, he’s not really making an argument but rather stirring up fear and that particular imaginary persecution that modern Christians love to feel. I mean, even a quick and cursory look at Christianity in the countries that have legalized gay marriage shows us that they are hardly becoming some persecuted minority. Nobody’s closing churches in those countries or taking away anybody’s right to worship however they wish. It’s hard to escape the idea that he is making these predictions based on how he himself would treat gay people if given half the chance. We already know how Christianity has treated gay people; he is assuming that that is how they would treat him if they could.

  • Anonymous

    Well of course this is correct, because obviously there are no heterosexual people who think marriage is for the birds. Nope. Not a one. All straights think marriage in its current form is great, and that everyone should be married. There’s no such thing as a heterosexual who doesn’t want to be married, can’t wait to be married, and isn’t married if they’ve reached the age of consent in whatever locale they happen to reside. And there are no straight people who live together without being married, either! It’s only gay people who believe that marriage is a bad idea, ergo: gays want to destroy marriage.

    Honestly, the logic fails from the anti-equality folks are just breathtaking.

  • Ken

    Well, he does have kind of a point (beyond that on his head). Some Christians will be forced underground, just as happened in the past when African Americans were given some civil rights along with a cultural shift towards equality. The KKK used to be able to proudly march in city and town parades all over the nation. That’s now rare. Most such groups have indeed been forced underground to some extent.

    Equal rights has a tendency, over time, to drive the worst bigots out of the spotlight and force them into a more underground situation. People like Garlow will probably lose their popular public soapbox once public opinion catches up with the reality that LGBT people are more like everyone else than bigots like Garlow are.

    Overt bigotry like his will, after a long difficult fight, be relegated to unpopular obscurity. That’s a net benefit for humanity, and the sooner it happens, the better. The fear isn’t that such bigots will be forced underground, but that they will, on occasion, rear their ugly heads again in the future as well as continue to influence less overt forms of bigoted discrimination.

  • Keith Erick Fix

    The persecution of Christians for sharing the content of their Bible has already begun in Sweden. Left-leaning atheists ought consider the implications for freedom of speech in the USA. Outlawing heterodox speech does not quell dissent, it convinces dissenters they have no recourse at law. Such dissenters eventually resort to armed rebellion. I suspect Sweden may yet tease out its own Breivik, and the USA may do likewise.

    • Loqi


      • phantomreader42

        Keith’s source is the sworn testimony of the voices in his head. :P

    • Loqi

      And who said anything about outlawing any kind of speech?

    • BabyRaptor

      When someone forcibly shuts Fred Phelps and his clan up, the Christians can start worrying about their right to free speech being endangered. But no claim to religious silencing can be taken at all seriously while WBC walks around freely.

      • B-Lar

        Bingo, although in the case of the WBC, free speech kinda works against them while they make use of it.
        Better the devil who gives all the other devils a bad name than the one you dont know. Or something.

      • Silent Service

        Don’t you mean slithers around freely?

    • Generally Speaking

      Christians already support a loss of freedom of speech for non-christians. Consider how quickly the anti-muslim video was removed after the attack on Benghazi and how quickly the filmmaker was scorned for expressing his freedom of speech. You don’t see that happen with christians.

  • Keith Erick Fix

    Search for Ake Green. Note that only European law protected the man, not Swedish law. He wa prosecuted for calling homosexual congress immoral.

    • Steve

      “Congress”. LOL. You are truly a moron

    • Loqi

      I’m still struggling to find the part where allowing gay marriage = outlawing speech…

      • Andrew Kohler

        I too am perplexed by this, and would appreciate if someone would clarify for us how there is any actual causation here. Oh wait: there isn’t and we have something called the First Amendment to protect people’s right to espouse any view they wish.

        I am especially vexed by the gay-rights-undermines-other-people’s-rights canard (it’s hardly an argument) being that I am a very strong proponent of the freedom to marry, freedom of religion (excepting where it causes harm to others), and freedom of speech. No one has the right to have the government protect their feelings from being hurt, even by bigoted and nasty people: therefore, there may be no law prohibiting people from saying bigoted and nasty things against anyone (LGBT people, Christians, racial minorities, Jews, Hindus, people with disabilities–you get the idea). But, people who say nasty and bigoted things are protected only in their right to speech, not in their right to speech without being criticized or denounced. Therefore, Christians who dislike homosexuality [and, by the way, there are plenty of Christians who are gay or support gay rights, but we all know this] can’t cry persecution just because people react to them with hostility. Just because I advocate the free speech rights of homophobes doesn’t mean that I can’t exercise my own free speech right to say what I think about them.

        BTW, Christopher Hitchens used to use the phrase “sexual congress,” so I suppose “homosexual congress” is alright too (both the phrase and what the phrase represents).

  • smrnda

    I searched for Ake Green. The wikipedia article says he was ‘prosecuted and acquitted.’ It’s the same as when someone gets convicted of something by a State that a Federal court overturns.

    Honestly, when it comes to GLBT issues, many Christians have this obsession with talking about them. It’s like their goal is to make anti-GLBT remarks in as many situations as possible, and anything negative is perceived of persecution or censorship. It must come with having such a huge super-majority – it’s likely in that situation, people forget manners. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff in the Bible about other things, like giving away 1 cloak if you have 2, and I never see Christians so anxious to talk about those messages as they seem to talk about how horrible homosexuality is.

    Free speech is handled and viewed much differently in the US than in other nations. You can deny the Holocaust in the US, and most free speech advocates (whether this is correct or not I don’t know) maintain that if a law existed banning Holocaust denial, we’d be a totalitarian state overnight. In many EU nations, Holocaust denial is illegal. I really don’t see any series of plausible events happening in the States that is going to take away bigots right to make bigoted remarks around their fellow bigots. It’s likely that it’ll be less tolerated in polite society, but I don’t really see that as huge imposition. Freedom of speech means you can say what you want, not that people have to like you for saying it, and that if what you say makes you a social pariah, that’s part of it too, as in a free society, we aren’t required to validate or like things other people say.

    Left leaning atheists have already thought about the implications of banning speech. About all of them are against it. I, a left leaning atheist, am all for homophobes running their mouths since it’s doing them more damage than anything someone else could do to them. Their ranting about how gay marriage is going to result in some horrific dystopia is just ridiculous, given that gay marriage has already become legal in many places without horrific results.

    And Keith Erick Fix, when you mentioned Brevik, are you suggesting that it’s somehow justified for someone to shoot up a bunch of people because his homophobia has become a social liability? Last I checked, this BIBLE which you’re citing as a source that homosexuality is wrong had this guy Jesus who said “Turn the other cheek.” Or are you just trying to imply that people with persecution complexes are prone to violence?

    • Loqi

      And Keith Erick Fix, when you mentioned Brevik, are you suggesting that it’s somehow justified for someone to shoot up a bunch of people because his homophobia has become a social liability?

      That’s pretty much how I read it. Look at what they made him do!

  • Steve

    If only

  • TheMiller

    My day has been rife with Christians feeling they’re persecuted.
    A friend posted the lovely Mackemore video http://youtu.be/hlVBg7_08n0 and her Christian friend had this response:
    “it is videos like that that are part of the problem. Underneath all of the beautiful music and fancy editing is a message of hate against Christians. We have done so much good in the world for so long and now because of thing like this we no longer feel safe because there is so much hate. It is sad that people fighting against this for themselves are using tactics to push others down.”

    I struggle to understand how anyone can reach a conclusion like this.

    • Silent Service

      I understand how they get that way. They have become so used to speaking their mind openly without any social consequences that having people shout down their bigoted ideology terrifies them. They don’t even realize that this is exactly what they were doing to everybody they feel is a sinner until just recently.

      To be honest, I still am not willing to come out to my parents or siblings or to be completely open about my sexuality because of that bigotry. I don’t fear being “cast out” by the family. I just couldn’t handle all the crap they would dump on me for being an unrepentant sinner. I get enough from them for being a godless heathen. It is just not worth the stress. That exact same stress they feel right now for expressing their increasingly unpopular opinions.

      So I got no sympathy, but I do understand them.

      • TicklishMeerkat

        Well said. Christians have walked in this gossamer, cloudy, hazy, pink-tinged bubble of privilege for the last who-knows-how-long. The bubble is getting popped. Very few people like having their privilege pointed out, much less removed from them. As we slowly strip away the privilege, we’re going to see Christians shriek louder and louder about persecution. They’re like my eight-year-old niece after my sister decided to stop taking her to McDonald’s every day after school. You never heard such a howling or seen such a sulking! Christians remind me of it every time I hear them wail about persecution.

        And hey, I know I’m just an anonymous commenter, but I wanted to say: good luck with the family. I know it’s hard when you don’t feel safe even among those who are supposed to love you unconditionally. You’re not alone there. Whatever you decide to do, whenever you decide to do it, I support you.

  • Matthew mcgrath

    Im from Australia and im pretty sure that that Masha gessen quote came from a debate on abc where she was speaking against gay marriage not for it.
    I feel he is being intentionally misleading there