Todd Starnes Thinks LGBTQ Activists Will Deport Christians… Seriously

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There are days I would love nothing more than to deport Christian Religious Right leaders to their own island. They can set up their own theocracy and exchange blows about which Old Testament laws and modern legalisms they will accept or reject. They can label each other a heretic til the pigs come home. We can call it Piggy Island in honor of everybody’s favorite Lord of the Flies character. And we can ship them throwingstones and non-fermentable grape juice to their frozen hearts’ content. I kid, of course; I believe getting rid of the players without changing the game does no good. Every once in a while, the irony gods strike: Todd Starnes tweeted LGBTQ activists will deport Christians. Where does he come up with this stuff? I’m not sure. But then LGBTQ people would also be deporting many of their own members as well.

Starnes is in a tizzy this time because he found out some homophobic preacher kids won’t get their own show on HGTV. Because that is the birthright of every preacher’s kid: to host a home repair show and spout dangerous anti-LGBT declarations without repercussions. But people found out about the Benham brothers’ anti-homosexual activism.

According to Entertainment Weekly:

The twins are the sons of controversial evangelical minister Flip Benham and have a history of preaching against homosexuality, abortion, and divorce. While speaking at a North Carolina rally for a constitutional amendment that would define marriage only between a man and a woman, David Benham said in 2012:

“We have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation…”

HGTV, understandably, didn’t want to deal with the controversy and the negative press. They probably could have done some research and discovered that their father, Flip (whom lent his name to the show, Flip It Forward) is the head of Operation Rescue, an extreme right-wing anti-abortion group. And that’s, you know… not good for broad TV business, either.

Now, generally speaking, I’m against firing people for their speech. I believe in workers’ rights and particularly the right to voice unpopular opinions as well as the right to organize other workers. And, as we know, people get fired for the most minor infractions all the time. So Todd Starnes’ first tweet on this subject doesn’t seem too unfair on first blush.

LGBT activists: If you don’t think, act or believe the way we do – you don’t have a right to have a job.

Of course, he’s wrong in that it has nothing to do with thinking, acting, or believing like LGBT people. It’s a common Religious Right myth that homophobes are *persecuted* for believing in different things. Rather, and what conservatives need to know is, it is dangerous to pretend that LGBTQ people are gunning for straight marriages rather than merely asserting their rights to live life without endangerment. It furthers an animosity and oppression of already marginalized and oppressed groups of people.

But Starnes being Starnes, he couldn’t just stop there. His animosity towards non-white, non-straight, non-male, non-Christians knows no bounds, so he had to have another go at it to galvanize his rabid followers:

Won’t be long before the LGBT activists demand Christians be deported…

Whoa! Where did that come from? I knew he’s obsessed with immigration and deportations, but does he have to transfer that desire to others? Recall, the only ones here actually making the deportation or detainment argument are the Religious Right.

It would probably blow his mind to find out that one can be Christian and gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or queer, right? I’m assuming that he would accept that fact – but he won’t.


When he’s not riding both his city’s public transit system and evil mayor, Jasdye teaches at a community college and writes about the intersection of equality and faith - with an occasional focus on Chicago - at the Left Cheek blog and on the Left Cheek: the Blog Facebook page. Check out more from Jasdye in his archives as well!


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