Thursday, January 16, 2014

Religious based hatred a growing U.S. export

A fascinating report from the Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project finds that “the share of countries with a high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion reached a six-year peak in 2012.” Released on January 14, "Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High" has determined that religious violence has increased worldwide in terms of both government hostility towards religious minorities and social hostility “by private individuals or groups in society for acts perceived as offensive or threatening to the majority faith.”

The United States scores very well in this regard. As a country with freedom of conscience, religious tolerance and separation of church and state encoded in its very DNA, the U.S. scores low in government hostility towards religion and suffers only a moderate amount of social hostility. This has not always been the case of course, and the trend could reverse if citizens do not vigilantly prioritize values consistent with religious and un-religious toleration and acceptance.

Those who would promote governmental and social hostility based on their theology have trouble gaining ground in the United States, but in their search for fertile soil, some hate group leaders have turned their gaze towards other countries, and may in fact be partially responsible for the growing religious hostility the Pew report documents.

I’ve reported before that Scott Lively, out of Springfield MA is being sued by Sexual Minorities Uganda for “violating international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda.” Lively himself characterized his visit as being “like a nuclear bomb against the ‘gay’ agenda in Uganda.” Just before Christmas last year the Ugandan parliament passed a bill that criminalizes some homosexual activity with life imprisonment, based on a bill from a Ugandan legislator with Evangelical American friends.

Meanwhile, Brian Camenker of the anti-gay hate group MassResistance has turned his attention overseas as well. Last December 10th found Camenker in Kingston, Jamaica, giving a fifteen minute anti-gay rights speech at a “pro-family” rally. The speech was reportedly broadcast on the radio as well. Jamaica is considering repealing its 16th century style “buggery” law that criminalize certain homosexual acts. Camenker was there to help keep the law which makes sexual acts between consenting males punishable with up to ten years imprisonment as it is.

Unable to make the case for the supremacy of their theological preferences here in the United States, religious fundamentalists and conservatives are starting to turn their attention elsewhere in a sickening attempt to vent their prejudices and hatreds upon people who lack the kind of governmental and social safeties due all human beings.

To our shame hatred, bigotry and intolerance are becoming one of the fastest growing U.S. exports.


  1. I wonder what they call it within their congregations, missionary work? Like Joe Manning calls it a sidewalk ministry when he's putting gory posterboards on the sidewalks of Edgewood.

    -Jenn Miller

  2. Joe Manning is the man with the truck, right?