America's Five Most Intolerant Christians

James Hartline is the publisher of The James Hartline Report, a website so extreme that visitors unaligned with far right social causes will immediately feel the need for a bath. Whether he's railing about an imaginary lesbian menace or working "in Jesus' name" to quash women's reproductive rights, Hartline panders to the fears of the converted. Here's just one example of his bile: "The same treacherous and demonic immorality that was pervasive in ancient Sodom has arisen again in the newly resurrected Sodomic gay communities around the United States. I have lived through six years inside of the gay community of Hillcrest as a committed Christian and I am a sure witness that Sodom has, in fact, resurrected itself." Hartline regularly describes gays as a "bunch of rebellious child molesters," a stance which incites hate crimes against members of the LGBT community.

Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson lathers his hate like ultrasound gel on an expectant mother’s stomach. “Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage! It will destroy the Earth!” (Please, Dr. Dobson, take 100 aspirin and call us in the morning.) PFAW writes: "While Dobson made a name for himself as an avuncular purveyor of parenting advice, he now uses that power to promote a range of troubling views and candidates who share those views. He says the gay rights movement is seeking the 'utter destruction of the family' and likens proponents of marriage equality to the Nazis. He has backed candidates who call for the execution of abortion providers." (More crazies after the jump...)

The Reverend John Hagee, who Senator John McCain once hailed as his spiritual advisor, referred to the Catholic Church as The Great Whore and said that Adolf Hitler was fulfilling God's will by prodding the Jews - those few that were left after the Holocaust - toward Israel. When these statements came to light some conservative Christian bloggers rallied to Hagee's defense, claiming that his words had been twisted or misunderstood. But these two statements, unhinged as they are, comprise but a small portion of the minister's creepy End Times, Hellfire and Damnation worldview. His flock of Sheeple continue to follow him blindly toward the Rapture.

Sally Kern is a Republican State Legislator in Oklahoma. She's also the wife of an ordained Baptist minister. Ms. Kern gained notoriety in March of 2008 when she announced that gays were worse than terrorists. That's right. She said that Americans who are gay are worse than the terrorists who killed over twenty-seven hundred U.S. citizens. This is the vilest sort of hate speech imaginable - and it leads to violent crimes against gays and lesbians. It might surprise you to learn that Miss Sally has recently started packing heat. To protect herself, she says. She's walking around with a fully loaded semi-automatic weapon in her purse. One can't help but think of Dan White, the homophobic San Francisco city supervisor who shot and killed out politician Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. Might shrill Sally suddenly snap one day and start gunning down LGBT folk? She certainly talks the talk.

Tony Perkins of the so-called Family Research Council rallied the Religious Right in their multi-pronged attacks on Terri Shiavo's husband Michael before and after her death. Americans United executive director, the Rev. Barry Lynn, said of Perkins: "I've worked in Washington a long time, but I've never seen anything as manipulative as what Perkins and the FRC did over Terri Schiavo. They took a terminally ill woman and turned her into a political tool to gain leverage in Congress." Perkins, who obsesses about gay sex to a degree that would embarrass most normal, secure heterosexual males, was involved in securing the mailing list of Ku Klux Klansman David Duke for a Louisiana Senate campaign he managed in 1996. Then he applauded African American bishops who rejected funds to help AIDS victims from churches that allow gay clergy, saying: "No amount of silver is worth sacrificing your duty to your congregation and to God." Which I'm sure was a comfort to the children who were dying of that disease.

(Note: We didn't include Shirley Phelps-Roper, Matt Barber or "Porno" Peter LaBarbera on this list because we believe them to be certifiably insane.)
It's sad that so many of the preachers and right-wing politicians who demonize gays are oblivious to the fact that they're responsible for creating an environment in which hate crimes flourish. The tragic death of 15-year-old Lawrence King is but one case in point. Curiously, when Lawrence was shot to death inside his junior high school it came as a surprise only to those Christians who preached the intolerance that encouraged his killer. And while that young boy bled out on his classroom floor, those good Godly people still clung to their "love the sinner hate the sin" mantra. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Love the sinner, hate the sin. I will tell you this. If this child's "sins" had been a little less "hated" he might still be alive today.

Despite everything, we believe there is hope on the horizon. Mainstream Christians are beginning to denounce the mean-spiritedness and intolerance espoused by right-wing fanatics. Churchgoers are turning away from the prophecies of doom. They're rejecting the hurtful words, the fear, the unreasoned prejudice. And they're starting to view those who are different with kindness and respect, and without resorting to hate. Which is exactly what Jesus would do.

Source: The Progressive Puppy

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