This is where I'm supposed to tell you all the things I'm grateful for, but it just doesn't feel like that kind of year. For instance, here's the guy who's supposedly the sane, rational, moderate alternative to the crazies dominating the Republican presidential race:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says religious believers are called to “ignore” laws that violate their faith.
“In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin -- violate God’s law and sin -- if we’re ordered to stop preaching the Gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that,” Rubio said in an interview with CBN on Tuesday.
“So when those two come into conflict, God’s rules always win,” he added.
Do you see what Rubio did there? He's asked about tolerating legal same-sex marriage and he responds by imagining an America in which Christians are "ordered to stop preaching the Gospel" and "ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it." Who's ordering Christians to stop preaching Christianity? Who is even trying to force religious denominations to perform same-sex marriages, any more than we force Catholics to offer church weddings to divorced people?
But if conservatives like Rubio tell themselves these are the real threats, they feel justified in lashing out. They're the victims, based on what they say is being done to them.
There's a huge difference between this and the way blacks in America are treated by police departments and their law-and-order enablers -- black people are actually killed and brutalized by cops on a shockingly routine basis -- but the principle is similar: Again, the response is justified by the false claim that the attackers are the victims. We see this in the case of the police shooting of Laquan McDonald in Chicago:
It was just about a year ago that a city whistleblower came to journalist Jamie Kalven and attorney Craig Futterman out of concern that Laquan McDonald’s shooting a few weeks earlier “wasn’t being vigorously investigated,” as Kalven recalls. The source told them “that there was a video and that it was horrific,” he said....
In February, Kalven obtained a copy of McDonald’s autopsy, which contradicted the official story that McDonald had died of a single gunshot to the chest. In fact, he’d been shot 16 times -- as Van Dyke unloaded his service weapon, execution style -- while McDonald lay on the ground.
The next month, the City Council approved a $5 million settlement with McDonald’s family, whose attorneys had obtained the video. They said it showed McDonald walking away from police at the time of the shooting, contradicting the police story that he was threatening or had “lunged at” cops.
The story that McDonald "lunged at" cops was not just ass-covering -- it reinforces a narrative that enables the police to act with impunity when dealing with young black males. They're feral! They're psychotic! They want to kill cops! We have to do these things!
One policy after another is justified by conservatives with a Big Lie. Syrian refugees are unvettable terrorists. Undocumented Mexican immigrants routinely murder and rape. Black Lives Matter protesters are thugs who want all cops to die and seek a violent race war. And on and on.
Conservatives are always the victims. The peril is always a threat to life and limb, or at least to their mortal souls. So we have to let them do whatever they want in response, right?
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog