Refusing and Resisting the Religious Right

"Refusing and Resisting the Religious Right"
Chicago, Monday, August 26, 1996
Jay Sand 

Castigating the Religious Right for practicing "the politics of cruelty,"
the activist organization Refuse and Resist angrily protested the
Christian Coalition's Hallelujah-heavy, politico-religious gathering this
afternoon in Chicago's Field museum.  Nearly a hundred protesters from
"Love and Rage," a national anarchist collective, and anarchist youth from
the Active Resistance anti-convention taking place here from August 21-31,
joined Refuse and Resist in lambasting the Christian Right for its
"racist, sexist, anti-gay" agenda. 

Protesters met members of the Christian Coalition as they gathered for a
prayer/rally before their event.  Coalition members occupied the top steps
of the South entrance to the museum and the demonstrators, separated from
their nemeses by a wall of police, yelled up to them from the sidewalk,
"Shame!  Shame!  Shame!"  Soon a veritable foot race began between those
at the top of the steps, those at the bottom and the police who stood
between them, around the East side of the building to enter through the
North doors.  Protesters and Coalition members met face to face on the
Northern steps as police held them an arms-length apart.  The exchanges
were heated.  "Pro Life remains a lie," the protesters chanted, "you don't
care if women die!"  Christians returned, "You'll lose your soul," "Go
back to Lincoln Park" and "Jesus loves you."  One grayed man in a pale
green shirt pointed his finger damningly at the protesters and yelled,
"Fool!  Fool!  Fool!  Fool!  Queer!  Fool!" 

Approximately twenty-five police stood between the groups as the wholly
white, suit-wearing, self-satisfied Christians, hair cropped close and
fully made-up for an audience with Ralph Reed, met the mainly white,
bedraggled, tattooed, dreadlocked and long-haired protesters.  Chicago
police arrested one bible-waving Coalition member when he refused to
vacate the protesters' side of the steps.  Police cuffed him and placed
him in the paddy wagon as demonstrators yelled, "Racist, sexist, anti-gay,
Born Agains, go away!" 

In a way the protesters formed a coalition of their own outside the museum
as members of a Catholic pro-choice organization, appearing slightly
self-conscious of their mainstream dress in the midst of a group of young,
raging radicals, did interface with them enough to recognize their shared
agenda.  As Refuse and Resist's literature claims of their common struggle
against the Christian Right, "IT'S ALL ONE ATTACK!" 


Unofficial Countermedia Irony of the Day: the traditionally
anti-evolutionist Christian Coalition members held their big DNC event in
a museum that has featured dinosaur and "early man" exhibits.  Hmmm. 

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