Contrast this with the reaction to actor Mark Ruffalo’s 2010 comments regarding conservative Christians and others who were opposed to redefining marriage. He said, “It’s the last dying, kicking, screaming, caged animal response to a world that is changing, a world that’s leaving a lot of those old, bigoted, un-accepting views behind. It’s over. Those against it are very tricky and they’re using really dark ways to promote their ideas.”
Was he sent off to sensitivity training? Would you like to venture a guess?
How about Roseanne Barr? Did she go to sensitivity training after expressing her ire towards Chick-Fil-A customers (especially Christian customers) in some notorious messages on Twitter last year? She tweeted, “Anyone who eats S*** Fil-A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4Christ,” adding, “off to grab a s*** fil-A sandwich on my way to worshipping Christ, supporting Aipac and war in Iran.”
Of course, she did receive criticism for being insensitive to cancer victims, tweeting in response, “Rereading my tweet I realize that I used the wrong word-I shouldn’t have used the word deserves. . . . I meant to warm ppl not 2 eat processed food.” But her vile attacks on conservative Christians continued unabated and without apology. Of course!
How about Bill Maher, a veritable treasure trove of anti-Christian comments? He actually made an entire movie called “Religulous” that was devoted to mocking religious faith, but somehow, I missed the news about his subsequent apologies and his time spent in sensitivity training.
And what about the new painting by West Hollywood artist Bronwyn Lundberg? It’s entitled “The Lesbian Last Supper” and features Ellen Degeneres as Jesus. (I kid you not.) Lundberg explained, “Religious art will inevitably strike strong responses in some people but those are issues I can’t worry about because I really can’t identify with them.”
In other words, the less you can relate to the sacred things of the Christian faith, the more you are welcome to mock them.
Can you imagine what the reaction would have been had Lundberg been a Christian artist (or even secular artist) who produced a portrait mocking gays, only to reply to her critics, “I can’t worry about their negative reaction because I really can’t identify with gays”?
Now, the truth be told, I think it’s a great idea for people who do not approve of homosexual practice to sit with LGBT leaders and young people and hear about their lives and their struggles. Absolutely. If we differ, let’s do so without caricature and with grace and sensitivity. And, to be perfectly candid, I hardly expect Christian-bashing to go away any time soon (see John 15:18-20).
But I raise these issues because, once again, the glaring, ridiculous double standard needs to be exposed, and, in light of the extreme reaction to any criticism of homosexuality today, one can only wonder what’s coming tomorrow.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.