As the LGBT community continues to challenge discrimination and win their cases — be it discrimination by florists, bed & breakfasts, or T-shirt printers — conservatives have portrayed themselves as victims, claiming that recognizing LGBT people equally violates their religious beliefs. Their rhetoric has increasingly suggested the need for a backlash, which is exemplified in a new op-ed from Fox News contributor Pat Buchanan. Writing for the extremist site WorldNetDaily, Buchanan argues that the advent of LGBT equality could mean the so-called “culture wars” might have to become literal with conservatives brazenly violating the law. Buchanan juxtaposes LGBT rights with the racial civil rights movement, openly admitting that religious leaders will have to preach “principled rejection” and encourage their congregations to disobey laws. He believes “treating black folks decently” is the Christian thing to do, but the same can not be said for the LGBT community: When Martin Luther King Jr. called on the nation to “live up to the meaning of its creed,” he heard an echo from a thousand pulpits. Treating black folks decently was consistent with what Christians had been taught. Dr. King was pushing against an open door. Priests and pastors marched for civil rights. Others preached for civil rights. But if the gay rights agenda is imposed, we could have priests and pastors preaching not acceptance but principled rejection. Prelates could be declaring from pulpits everywhere that the triumph of gay rights is a defeat for God’s Country, and the new laws are immoral and need neither be respected nor obeyed. Comparing inclusive laws like marriage equality to Prohibition, Buchanan predicts that conservatives will have to break the law, unleashing a true “culture war”: Something akin to this could be in the cards if the homosexual rights movement is victorious – a public rejection of the new laws by millions and a refusal by many to respect or obey them. The culture war in America today may be seen as squabbles in a day-care center compared to what is coming. A new era of civil disobedience may be at hand. Such civil disobedience would be a sight to behold: individuals marching demanding their right to discriminate. It would not likely live up to the nation’s creed as King intended. Fifty years ago today he wrote, “The goal of America is freedom,” and Buchanan and his fellow conservative Christians cannot change the fact that the inclusion of LGBT people is required to achieve that goal.
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