Let's Remember What "Bashing" Is

Monday, October 17, 2005

Let's Remember What "Bashing" Is

The whinier elements of the right like to complain that anyone who criticizes people like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson or organizations like Focus on the Family is "Christian bashing." (As we lawyers would put it, see, e.g., David Limbaugh on townhall.com; Brent Bozell; Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.)

"Christian bashing" is, of course, a rhetorical attempt to undercut sympathy engendered for communities targeted by "gay bashing," the term from which it is derived.

When liberals start doing this to right-wingers, then we can start discussing "bashing." Until then, there's just no comparison between what gays and conservatives have to fear from those who despise them.

Which is not to say that there's no bad behavior towards conservative Christians. I'm a big Free Exercise Clause guy, and I find that authorities too often interfere with individuals' right to practice and profess their faiths. And that doesn't even address acts of intolerance by private individuals and groups.

All I'm asking for is linguistic accuracy, and anything that equates unkind words with violent murder is less than accurate.

(Special bonus posting: with respect to "Christian Bashing on Campus," which is the title of the Catholic League's press release (and a continual theme of the right, as in the urban legend of the boy who was suspended for praying in school), I'd say gay kids have it at least as bad, and maybe just a wee bit tougher).

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