This is why I read the Daily Dish. Thank you to Andrew Sullivan (and your sources) for bringing this horrific piece of tripe to my attention. Click the link, if you dare, but be forewarned that you will encounter an unsettling preview of the kind of crazy rant you may be subjected to a week from today around the Thanksgiving table when your crazy Uncle Nuts makes inflammatory comments that everyone in the family easily dismisses with an exaggerated (though unnoticed by Uncle Nuts) eye roll. Here, the perpetrator isn’t Uncle Nuts, but Bryan Fischer director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at American Family Association.
He begins by describing the most recent conferring of the Medal of Honor to an Army Staff Sergeant who rescued not one, but two of his fellow soldiers. This is well deserved, says Fischer, but then he somehow concludes, “We have feminized the Medal of Honor.” Apparently in recent years the Medal has been awarded only to people who have saved lives and not to those who “kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night.” Okay, so that’s obviously inflammatory.
But it get’s worse. He mentions that at the award ceremony, Jesus’ words from John 15 are often invoked. You know, “Greater love has no one than this…” This is all well and good, but then Fischer adds, “Jesus’ act of self-sacrifice would ultimately have been meaningless – yes, meaningless – if he had not inflicted a mortal wound on the enemy while giving up his own life.”
Never mind you with your assertion that the enemy on whom he inflicted said mortal wound was a spiritual enemy, or that the head of the serpent Fischer goes on to say that Jesus crushed is metaphorical. That doesn’t matter. “It’s about time we started also honoring those who kill bad guys,” Fischer insists.
Fortunately, there is some sanity on the AFA blogs in the form of the commenters who’s reactions are epitomized here: “This an absolutely ridiculous statement and one that dishonors the brave service men and women.” And here: “You’re also a sexist jerk. ‘Feminized’ – used in a disparaging, derogatory way. Grow up, little boy.”
Fischer’s conclusion is obviously founded on a gross misreading of the Gospels. It is an insult to the soldiers who are awarded the Medal of Honor and a blatant example of his renowned sexism. I wish we could write this off as another doosey from old Uncle Nuts, but I can’t help but see it as one of a growing number of examples of how Christianity, when conflated with misdirected patriotism, morphs into a hideous civil religion that is consistently mistaken for true Christianity. And this is what we’re up against.
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald is editor of Patrol and author of Not Your Mother's Morals: How the New Sincerity is Changing Pop Culture for the Better. Follow Fitz on Twitter.
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