by Charles S. Garabedian
Some of you may recall the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial in U.S. District Court—way back in 2005. The local public school system in the small town of Dover, Pennsylvania, tried to illegally sneak creation science into high school classrooms under the cover of a new Discovery Institute gimmick called Intelligent Design. You may watch a very good video documentary about this trial by clicking on the following safe link:
Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial
When you get to the video screen, please put your cursor on the red time ball and drag it all the way to the left to start at the very beginning of the video.
A few local Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals were the main drivers behind this initiative. How did that happen? One of them was elected to the local school board. Soon afterwards, the whole town became embroiled in a high-temperature crisis that was ripping the community apart and making national news headlines.
(Lesson Learned: Never elect a fundie fanatic to your local public school board. If you do, you are just begging for trouble and a community thrown into turmoil. Death threats to nonfundie citizens may soon follow it.
The U.S. Supreme Court had previously ruled in several related cases that teaching creationism or creation science in public school classrooms violates the separation between religion and government set forth in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A small group of local citizens, some of them nonfundie Christians, filed a lawsuit against the school system in federal court. The school system lost the court case BIG TIME, and the federal judge further ruled that Intelligent Design was nothing more than creationism in disguise.
Throughout this awful mess. the local fundies were sending hate mail to the people who filed the lawsuit. Moreover, after the trial was over, the federal judge who ruled against Intelligent Design began to receive death threats. These threats were so alarming that the judge and his family had to be put under the protection of federal authorities until emotions eventually cooled down.
Now, in retrospect, I do not know specifically that these death threats were coming from fundies. However, I strongly suspect that they were because a tenet of fundie religion was the whole matter at stake in this trial, and the fundies had lost miserably.
Fast Forward to 2018
Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are now trying desperately and with all of their might to ensure that the Republican U.S. Senate confirms Judge Brett Kavanaugh to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. The fundies want him on the high court so desperately because they are convinced he will rule in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, LGBTQ civil rights, and all sorts of other past rulings that have made the fundies angry. Overturning such high court rulings is part of the overall fundie strategy to return American culture and society back to the “blessed” 1950s. (To the fundies, the 1950s seem to be their idea of a perfect American world.)
Everything was going just dandy for the fundies and Kavanaugh until just a few days ago. Then Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who I think is quite credible, stepped forward to accuse Judge Kavanaugh of sexual assault when she was age 15 and he was 17. The whole nation went into a tizzy about it. The scandal was and still is all over the American news media, and her allegations are now considered by many to be a credible potential threat to Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
What happened next? You guessed it! Dr. Ford started receiving hate mail, threats to her person, and death threats. These threats were apparently so voluminous and alarming that she was forced to put her normal life on hold, abandon her long-time family home, and spirit her family off to some secret hideaway under private bodyguard or police protection.
Once again, just like with the federal judge in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals felt their religious interests were in danger. Then came all the hate mail, threats of personal injury, and death threats. Plain common sense tells me that most of this hate mail and most of these threats to the life and limb of Dr. Ford were sent by Christian fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals, and/or conservative Roman Catholics opposed to abortion, LGBTQ civil rights, women’s rights, etc.
Therefore, I am going to ask you the questions that have been on my mind for the past 24 hours. When did delivering hate mail, threats of physical injury, and threats of death to American citizens become Christian family values for fundies and conservative Roman Catholics? Is this the way so-called “true” Christians should behave? What kind of sick mental machinations are going on in the minds and hearts of all these conservative Christians? Why are their minds and hearts turning to thoughts of such overt hatred and violence? Where is the Jesus of the New Testament in all of this?
Please let us know what you think by commenting below or by sending us an e-mail message (see Contact button above). Inquiring Mainline Christian minds and hearts would really like to know.