This is just strange:
A sign posted by a Knoxville church continues to raise eyebrows and spark both discussion and outrage after it was posted online.
The sign posted by Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle Church read “Remember Satan was the first to demand equal rights.” Many people posted the picture to the WATE 6 On Your Side Facebook and Twitter pages, starting a debate about what the sign really means.
The pastor says the purpose of the sign was to send a message about unity and spark conversation in the community. He says it wasn’t meant to offend anyone.
“Our sign referencing Satan demanding his equal rights to ascend into the heavens and be God was simply ‘I’ and all about that individual,” said Pastor Tony Greene. “It was not a statement against any one group in particular, you know what about the rights of the unborn babies, the rights of children, the rights of everyone?”
There are a few things here, but let us, please, simply start with the obvious: Did he just turn that into a plea for equal rights?
Beyond the pastor’s superficial expression of … er … ah … something―it would perhaps be unfair to call that an expression of faith―we might take a moment to consider two elements of what he actually said:
• The Injustice That Harms You Is Irrelevant: We might wonder just who the pastor is referring to, here, because it really does sound as if he would argue that a person suffering some sort of bigoted injustice, be it for skin color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or whatever, ought to just get over it.
• Equal Rights Means Women Must Have Less Rights: This is admittedly more obscure, but note his appeal to anti-abortion rhetoric, and pay attention to personhood arguments. It’s subtle because he is not aiming specifically for the point, but, rather, the point relies on the presupposition. The way it works is that by establishing “personhood” for a newly-fertilized zygote, it is thus subject to the same Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights as an adult human; the conflict of one “person” asserting rights within and over another person’s body is resolved by simply dismissing the rights of the pregnant woman. This is what the argument would call “equal rights”.
So of course they will drag the Devil into it.
Image note: Top―”Remember, Satan was the first to demand equal rights”. Sign posted at the Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle, Knoxville, TN, in March, 2015. (WATE 6 via Facebook) Right―Pastor Tony Greene, Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle. (WATE 6)
Holloway, Kristen. “Residents upset after Knoxville church posts controversial sign”. WATE 6. 16 March 2015.