Rick Scarborough declares gay marriage a Satanic plot for "the complete destruction of the church of the Lord Jesus". RedState announces "the roadmap to drive Christianity from the public square". Sandy Rios has called on Christians to "prepare for martyrdom". An Iowa state rep declares that Bible preaching "just became a hate crime" and "can now be prosecuted". CWA says the ruling "opened the door to the criminalization of Christianity" and other Godhatesfagsian religions. Mike Huckabee has used similar language. An abundance of such examples can easily be found.
All this talk of persecution has a certain masturbative quality. There's no self-image the religious fanatic loves to adopt more than that of the persecuted martyr, suffering for his loyalty to God at the hands of a sinful and fallen world, simply oozing righteousness and virtue despite the worst the depraved can throw at him. In any religion, martyrs who suffered and died for the faith are among the most revered figures, and the seemingly inexorable advance of the Rainbow Legions of Hell gives today's Bible-thumping pests a not-to-be-missed opportunity to strut and preen on the national stage in the glorious plumage of that exalted status.
But behind it all, I think, is a certain fear. No, not fear of real persecution -- there are places where that happens, but not here. Churches, for example, will not be forced to perform gay weddings even though they're now legal. A church can still refuse to marry an interfaith couple, a couple where one person is divorced, an interracial couple, or anything else they object to, even though such marriages have been legal for decades. Civil law defines which marriages are recognized by the government -- churches are free to operate by whatever taboos they embrace.
No, what the fundies really fear is something much worse. We're not going to persecute them. We're going to ignore them.
At least where the issue of gay marriage is concerned, the debate is now settled. There's no longer much point in even debunking these nuts any more. Oh, they'll keep trying. They'll still stand there on the sidelines, waving their Bibles and jumping up and down and screeching about sin and Leviticus and abominations and God's plan and God's wrath and what have you, and we'll just go about our business and not bother to pay them any attention. Why should we? This particular battle is over and they lost. At most, we may laugh at them.
That's what they truly dread -- not persecution, but irrelevance.