In a bigoted screed against Christians, Alternet’s Valerie Tarico wrote a piece appearing at Salon.com that accused evangelical Christians of being evildoers who – in their spare time – kill and abuse gay people, subjugate women, destroy the Earth, oppose rights for children, and promote holy war. Yes, this is no exaggeration. It appears that this is a new low, if that was even possible for frequent Hardball guest Joan Walsh’s website.
The condescension directed toward evangelical Christians is palpable throughout the piece, and it borders on abject hatred, concluding with a passive-aggressive line that suggests Tarico has fantasies of the slaughter of conservative Christians.
Tarico led off the piece by laughing off the idea that Christians have ever been persecuted, or are currently being persecuted. She then jumped into her list, kicking off by explaining that the Bible “instructs parents to hit their children” and blaming evangelicals for elevating their religion above secular laws, “cost[ing] children their lives.”
Another claim on Ms. Tarico’s list is that evangelicals demean and subjugate women. She cites conservative churches not allowing female clergy – a centuries long, widely-accepted tradition – as a symbol of the oppressive patriarchal structure that supposedly is Christianity.
Next up according to Tarico, Christianity has been critical in “obstructing humanity’s transition to more thoughtful, intentional childbearing.” Of course, no relevant Salon piece can be published without a mention of Hobby Lobby, which in Tarico's mind determined that corporations are more important than “the right of working women to care for their health and their families.” It should go without saying that the Hobby Lobby ruling said absolutely nothing to that effect.
Tarico moved on to Christianity’s desire to “undermine science,” claiming that the Bible represents possibly the greatest opposition to solutions for “resource depletion, food and water shortages, climate change, and rapidly evolving superbugs.” She added that the Bible is damaging to future generations because it states that “God gave man dominion over everything that grows or walks the earth.” She laments that humans don’t care more for the lives of other species, betraying an ignorance of Scripture passages which call for the humane treatment of animals.
Using purely anecdotal evidence, Tarico claims that the widespread conservative justification for the Iraq war was a desire to engage in holy war in the Middle East. And with a pinch of anti-Semitism, she laments that “Evangelical Christians have spent tens of millions of dollars funding the ‘return’ of Jews to Israeland settlements in the West Bank.”
Lastly, she blamed the Christian right for “abusing and killing queers” in the name of God.“Thanks to Christian missionaries, African and Latin American queers also have now lived for centuries now under the threat of violent death,” she insisted. She also claimed that American Christians living in Africa are “inciting oppression in Uganda and Nigeria where their hatred still finds fertile ground.”
Finally, in closing, Tarico cheekily inches towards the line of wishing a violent end to evangelicals with this statement (emphasis mine):
The Iron Age was a time of incredible brutality—tribalism, warfare, destitution, disease, murder, misogyny, sexual slavery and superstition of biblical proportions. Most of us would rather not go back, thank you very much. Christians who want a better future are welcome to join in the inquiry and teamwork it will take to get there, and many do. For the rest of you: please forgive the fact that your Iron Age fantasies trigger some of us to experience wry Iron Age fantasies of our own.
In sharing this article with its readers, Salon does little more than endorse misinformation about Christianity, spreading hate in the process.