The Christian right wing has exploded in fury over the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize gay marriage, eliciting some amusingly over-dramatic and apocalyptic statements from Republicans and evangelicals across the country. Ted Cruz called it the “darkest day in our nation’s history.” Pastor Bryan Fisher had the poor taste to compare it to “9/11, Pearl Harbor, and slavery.” But one outspoken cleric is being forced to eat his words, in a hilarious fashion.
Pastor Rick Scarborough of Pearland Texas said in a conference call with other anti-gay zealots that “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary we will burn” when it comes to opposing the right of Americans to marry and love who they see fit, free from the judgement of others. After the ruling on Friday, social media and the Internet began calling for him to make good on his threat to burn himself:
Rick Scarborough has since declared that he his convictions about gay marriage are not in fact strong enough to warrant self-immolation, and that he was speaking metaphorically: “I made that comment to paraphrase a spiritual song, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in which the three were given a choice—to bow to the image of Nebucahdnezzar or burn in a furnace…‘We will burn’ means that we will accept any sanction from the government for resisting [Friday’s] Supreme Court decision. We do not support any violence or physical harm.”
It’s one of the more amusing stories to come from the extremist Christian right, which is absolutely beside itself with yet another brutal loss in the bigoted cultural war they’ve been waging against progress, modernity, and tolerance for the past thirty years. It really is incomprehensible how men of faith and the compassion of God can justify preaching so much hate and working so hard to shame others, to force them to follow their archaic vision of social control and patriarchal dominance.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.