Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Republic of Gilead's 2014 Retrospective

As 2014 draws to a close, let's look back on Religious Right happenings this year.

  • Intense events in Ferguson, Missouri were met with a spectrum of responses from the Religious Right, some compassionate, others contemptuous.

  • Earlier this month, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program, detailing the CIA's use of torture against detainees. Sadly, many right-wing observers sneered at the report.

  • Two prominent leaders in the Christian Patriarchy and homeschooling movements -- Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips -- came under fire after women accused them of sexually abusive behavior.

  • World Vision, one of the largest Christian charities in the U.S. announced that it would employ Christians in same-sex marriages in March. Following outrage from the Religious Right, it reversed its decision shortly thereafter.

  • GOD TV, a Christian network specializing in New Apostolic Reformation preachers and events, experienced a major upheaval when CEO and co-founder Rory Alec stepped down. His wife and co-founder Wendy Alec later shared details of his resignation and the disintegration of their marriage.

  • In Missouri, Jackson County prosecutors dropped murder charges against Micah Moore, who had confessed to killing his friend Bethany Deaton. Moore, Deaton, and her husband had close ties to the International House of Prayer (IHOP), which performed damage control after the murder. Moore's attorneys submitted a motion claiming that Moore's statements about Bethany Deaton's murder were not corroborated by evidence, and that his "confession" came after a chaotic IHOP prayer session and exorcism.

  • The Values Voters Summit, an annual gathering of conservative politicians and Religious Right figures, convened in Washington D.C. this fall. The usual narrow-minded wingnuttery was on display.

  • The World Congress of Families received more international criticism for its retrograde stance on reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality. The WCF coped with logistical headaches and protesters at its conference in Melbourne, Australia this summer. The organization also received scathing criticism for its ties with Russia, where WCF staff attended the "Large Families: The Future of Humanity" conference alongside international Religious Right figures.

  • The Southern Baptist Convention has kept itself busy, hosting conferences on sexuality in April and October. The content of those conferences, sadly, failed to truly expand the faith conversation surrounding sexuality.

  • The Vatican came under fire in 2014 for its response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. In January, Vatican representatives appeared before the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, where a U.N. panel grilled them on the Vatican's failings. The committee later released a report criticizing the Vatican for failing to adequately respond to the abuse crisis. Of course, none of this has stopped the Vatican from seeing itself as a moral authority on matters of sexuality, as the Humanum conference demonstrated.

  • 2014 was a taxing time for the African LGBTQ community. Several African leaders passed draconian anti-gay legislation, echoing the sentiments of their American counterparts. In January, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act into law. After waffling for a time on Uganda's anti-gay bill, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law in February. (Uganda's Constitutional Court struck down the law in August.) Homophobia continues to fester in Kenya. The role of the American Religious Right in encouraging homophobia in Africa continues to enrage LGBTQ rights activists.

I wish everyone a safe and happy New Year. Here's to blogging on even more Religious Right stories in 2015.


  1. Happy New Year to you and yours!!

    1. Knatolee -- Happy New Year! I hope 2015 is a great year.

  2. May 2015 bring the Religious Right even more braincells than they already have. I really mean that and in the kindest way possible.

    1. Agi Tater -- I'm not optimistic, but we can hope so. Happy New Year!

  3. Thanks for all your work in documenting these events. Here's to a year in the not too distant future when blogging on the Religious Right is no longer possible -- because fundamentalist intolerance itself no longer exists.

    1. Infidel -- Here's to a future without fundamentalism, without ignorance, without bigotry. Happy New Year!


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