Credulity 101

Are the members of the churches in his network as ignorant and credulous as Eric Miller clearly thinks they are?

If so, it’s the most convincing evidence to date of the need to improve civics education.

As the Indianapolis Star has reported, Miller and his fellow culture-warrior Curt Smith are trying to rally their troops by claiming that, if HJR6 doesn’t pass, pastors who preach against homosexuality might be thrown in jail.

This, of course, is utter bullshit.

Although his willingness to tell humongous fibs does raise the possibility that Miller didn’t really graduate from an accredited law school (or listen to church lessons about bearing false witness), I’ve always presumed that he did, and that somewhere along the way he had to encounter the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment–and specifically, the Free Exercise Clause–clearly allows pastors to preach whatever they believe without fear of punishment by big, bad government. (If bigotry from the pulpit were a criminal offense, a lot of racist pastors would be ministering from behind bars.)

The worst thing government can do to churches is revoke their tax-exempt status when they become too involved in partisan political campaigns–and the IRS has historically been loathe to impose even that penalty.

Miller’s other assertions are equally bogus. HJR6 would place a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions in the Indiana Constitution.  The presence or absence of that ban would have absolutely no effect on merchants’ decisions about what customers to serve. A prohibition on discriminating against gay customers would only take effect if Indiana ever amended its state civil rights laws to include GLBT folks. Unless and until that happens, homophobic business owners remain free to refuse service to gay people, to fire people for being gay, and to refuse to hire people they suspect may be gay.

I’m not going to dignify the restroom accusation, except to point out that most public restrooms are used by one person at a time, and–don’t tell Miller–a lot of establishments today only have one facility for both men and women. I’ve never understood the Right’s hysteria over toilets.

Speaking of hysteria, these latest, patently ridiculous accusations are the latest sign that Miller and his merry band of culture warriors are getting pretty hysterical. They are not going softly or gracefully into the dustbin of history.

But hysterical or not, that’s where they’re going.


  1. We certainly cannot leave Dick Cheney out of this issue; he is either pushing for or finding excuses for unnecessary wars (failing the Litmus test) or his family pro/anti-gay war is making headlines. I lost track of which side he is now supporting. None of which deters me from his past involvement with Haliburton who constructed the faulty off shore oil rigs in the Gulf which exploded killing 11 and the continuing destruction of the Gulf Coast environment. I believe he was CEO of Haliburton when these oil rigs were constructed. His place in history is assured.

    Miller, on the other hand, will have his 15 minutes in the national spotlight for trying to jail pastors whose religious beliefs are not his own. The Constitution has gotten lost by the GOP in recent years and the Amendments have taken on new meaning. It is Miller and other members of the GOP who are placing this country on a par with Russia regarding LGBT citizens and their rights – or the lack thereof. This government has wasted valuable time, money and resources trying to remove human and civil rights from tax paying citizens, some of whom elected them to office. They are ones exhibiting shameful behaviour and embarrassing this country in the eyes of most of the world.

  2. WHY on earth do the local newsies never throw a “Bullshit” flag on the play?
    They seem intent on the false equivilence nonsence.
    When someone is full of shit, it is OK to let them know that YOU know that.
    Even if you hold a microphone.
    Attn: Jim Shella

  3. Ladies …
    great comments.

    As somebody recently stated:

    “The religious aspect is the problem. If one is irrational enough to believe in an imaginary friend in the sky, then their opinion on gay marriage must be invalid”

  4. These are interesting people. They are usually into black and white, either/or and authoritarian thinking which makes them vulnerable to catastrophic emotions: If this does not happen, terrible things will occur. I suspect that makes them vulnerable to disaster scenarios that fit in with what they expect. You can bet that they are exposed to people and materials that present lots of opportunities for that sort of match, so they are all in that pot together, cooking and stewing, expecting the sky to fall, engaging in negative behavior, believing that they are doing some sort of good by warning the world of oncoming doom. Of course, focusing on the behavior of others keeps them from focusing on their own and their responsibilities to others to appear sane, in control of situations and being caring Christian folks, like they are supposed to be. They will say that Satan is at work in the world, but they don’t quite understand that they are in the mix, rather than standing outside of it. It’s sad for everyone.

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