There’s just no good term for the cultural movement and political force variously referred to as the “Christian Right,” or “fundamentalists.” “Christian conservatives,” the term The Revealer uses most often, has the advantage of inoffensiveness, which means it’s also bland — that is, it doesn’t capture either the vitality/threat (you choose) of the people to whom it refers.
The journalist Doug Ireland calls them “Christers,” a name with a history and, unfortunately, a taint of religious bigotry. Not that Ireland is a bigot. He’s hardcore culture warrior, but we mean that as praise — Ireland gets the goods on his enemies and reports with energy and style.
His latest, in the L.A. Weekly, is sure to upset those on all sides who ask why we all can’t get along. That’s because it’s a report on some people who most decidedly do not want to get along, by a journalist who won’t ignore the antagonism of politicized Christian conservative activists. His story — on their boycott campaign against not just gay-friendly companies, but even corporations that commit the crime of employing gay people — is doubly important, for the facts he presents and for the fact that most of the mainstream press isn’t presenting them. One needn’t hate the “Christers” to see this as an important story. So why, with the exception of a few dribbles here and there about anti-gay campaigns against Microsoft, Kraft, and Proctor & Gamble, isn’t this a bigger story?
Revealer readers shouldn’t guess that we’re taking an activist position on this one by calling attention to Doug’s piece. As we’ve said before, we’re free speech fundamentalists. Boycotts, long a weapon of the left, are a form of speech. For those who fear the increasing power of these anti-gay boycotts, there’s only one solid response — an equally vigorous exercise of free speech, such as Doug’s article.