Southern Baptist Compares Marriage Equality to Nazi Persecution

06/17/2015 12:36 pm ET | Updated Jun 17, 2016

The head of the Southern Baptists, Ronnie (really!) Floyd says, "The Supreme Court of the United States is not the final authority on same-sex marriage nor is the culture itself. "

This would be the same denomination that demanded John Kennedy come and swear he would run the U.S. without consideration for Catholic theology. Kennedy flew to Houston to reassure them:

"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish--where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source--where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials--and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all."

That was 1960. By 1980 fundamentalists were preaching a different sermon, not about separation of church and state, but the enforcement of fundamentalist Christian values by government. They were lobbying for a large, intrusive government with the power to spy on every bedroom, and nationalize every uterus.

As fundamentalist Gary North suggested, the Religious Right "must use the doctrine of religious liberty" until they have convinced enough people "that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."

When riled Rev. Ronnie got rather hyperbolical. He depicted himself and his fellow Baptists as contemporary examples of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. "This is a Bonhoeffer moment for every pastor in the United States, " he said. Cue a tear and a handkerchief.

However, Dietrich Bonhoeffer opposed government that denied rights to people; the Southern Baptists are demanding government deny rights. Big difference!

The Nazis arrested Bonhoeffer, incarcerated him in a concentration camp and executed him. Nobody has done anything to the Southern Baptists, with the exception of pointing a finger and laughing hysterically. To compare their anti-rights campaign to Bonhoeffer's pro-rights campaign is laughable. It merely indicates they are as prone to twisting history, as they do the Bible, to justify their own deep-rooted prejudices.

Frank Schaeffer, son of evangelical icon Francis Schaeffer, wrote "evangelicals are experts at adopting heroes, since their community produces so few with both moral standing and intellectual firepower." He warns them of one reason Southern Baptists might not want to compare them selves to Bonhoeffer. He says "Dietrich Bonhoeffer was gay," something the biography by Charles Marsh "unequivocally confirms."

Schaeffer finds it ironic that modern evangelicals see Bonhoeffer as a hero, yet it "was white Southern Christians who were persecuting blacks and that today it is these people's grandchildren who are holding out against civil rights for gay men and women." He points out, "if one of their great heroes lived now and had 'come out,' he'd be persona non grata on every evangelical platform in America, branded as the 'other.'"

Whatever flights of fancy are invoked by Southern Baptist provocateurs Southern Baptists are not being sent to concentration camps and marriage rights for gay couples are not the gas chambers. Such comparison are not only absurd, but trivialize the millions victimized by Nazi-inspired attempts to wipe enforce inequality of rights.