Saturday, February 24, 2018

As Neo-Nazis Celebrate Murder of Gay Jewish College Student, Where Are the Churches? (When They're Not Firing Queer Employees and Supporting Anti-Queer Discrimination, That Is)

In an article entitled "Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student," A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan report on behalf of ProPublica:

ProPublica obtained the chat logs of Atomwaffen, a notorious white supremacist group. When Samuel Woodward was charged with killing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein last month in California, other Atomwaffen members cheered the death, concerned only that the group's cover might have been blown. . . . 
"We haven’t seen anything like Atomwaffen in quite a while," said Keegan Hankes, a researcher who tracks the group for the Southern Poverty Law Center. "They should be taken seriously because they’re so extreme."

As neo-Nazi groups celebrate the killing of a gay Jewish student (and as white supremacist hate groups make tremendous inroads on college campuses),* where are the churches, the defenders of the least among us, the defenders of human rights and the conscience of societies as they decry prejudice, discrimination, and violence?

1. They continue firing LGBTQ employees, some of them (I'm talking to you, Catholic employers).**

2. They continue denying same-sex married couples adoption/fostering rights.***

3. They are passing policies that target their LGBTQ employees and members, informing them they are second-class human beings (yes, I mean you, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship).****

4. They're weeping at the death of Billy Graham, who in many ways, set all of this into motion, and telling LGBTQ Christians who provide testimony about how his legacy has harmed us to shut up and sit down, that we're being hateful in providing this testimony.

*** See Jessica Ravitz, "Lesbian couple sues feds for thwarting their chance to foster refugee children." Ravitz reports on the denial of the right to foster refugee children to a legally married couple, Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin. Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, Texas, who largely control the fostering system for refugee children in their area and receive taxpayer dollars to do so, inform them, they say, that they are not like the "Holy Family," and are therefore unfit to foster a child or children.

**** See Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, "Call for 100% Inclusion." (I invite you to support this statement by signing it, if you are so inclined.)

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