On August 15th a man with a gun walked into the building where the conservative hate group Family Research Council (FRC) is headquartered and shot a security guard before being subdued. It was a tragic event that was allegedly politically motivated because allegedly the shooter, who supports LGBT rights, told the victim that he didn’t like his politics and the FRC has been working hard to limit LGBT rights. The shooting was condemned by various LGBT groups as well as supporters for religious freedom. But FRC decided to use the shooting to fundraise for the group claiming it was proof of a “war on religion”. The truth is the Family Research Council earns its hate group status.
As Lauren Youngblood of the Secular Coalition for America notes, the FRC released a slanted report, this week, on religious hostility in the country and claimed there have been more than 600 cases of religious hostility toward Christians:
And those “600 cases of religious hostility”? In reality the FRC’s 140 page document largely details attempts by the religious right to impose their religion on others in the public square or obtain privileging or exemptions from the government.
For example page 84 of the report details, “For thirty-five years, Jackson County, Alabama, invited ‘Bible Man’ to visit its schools and share Bible stories with elementary school students.” In 2012, a law suit was filed and now “Bible Man” can no longer come to public elementary schools to indoctrinate young children on the taxpayers’ dime.
In most of these examples individuals and organizations fought to protect their First Amendment rights to religious freedom-and won. If we are to believe the FRC, anyone who does not want religion imposed on them in the public square is “attacking religion” or exhibiting “religious hostility.”
Demanding government neutrality in religious matters isn’t an attack on religion or being hostile to religion. The person’s religious beliefs don’t disappear nor do churches collapse into nothingness if the government doesn’t cheerlead for their particular belief system.
As Youngblood points out a real war on religion includes the white supremacist who attacked the Sikh temple in Wisconsin and the murder of Dr. George Richard Tiller in Kansas in 2009.
Those were the real attacks on religion. They happened because some people have decided to politicize religion and it includes the folks at the Family Research Council.