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Last summer, a Christian woman named Holly Fisher posted a picture online that quickly went viral. It featured her holding a gun in one hand and a Bible the other, while standing in front of an American flag:


What made the image really take off was that it became juxtaposed with a similar image of terrorist Reem Saleh Al-Riyashi (often including the phrase: “Explain the difference”):

Conservatives were bending over backwards to defend Fisher because she was basically a good patriotic Christian woman who wanted to defend her family.

I bring this up because of a message Fisher posted on her Facebook page Sunday. She has since deleted it, but caches are everywhere and articles have quoted her extensively.

In short, the Christian-values/pro-family activist explained that, in the aftermath of the attention she received, she had an affair. But she has since reconciled with her husband and things are getting better. (She posted the message after told her they had evidence of the liaison.)

I have no desire to kick her while she’s down. This is her family’s business and they seem to have dealt with it in their own way.

But that’s basically the whole reason this is newsworthy to me. A Christian doing something immoral isn’t news. That happens. A Christian doing something immoral while simultaneously telling other people not to act that way is. The Ted Haggard scandal wouldn’t have been as big as it was if Haggard hadn’t made a career out of demonizing homosexuality.

To echo commentary posted by our own Rachel Ford at Daily Kos, it’s fair game to point out the double-standard here:

… the hypocrisy is pretty colossal, coming from a woman who has been so very vocal in trying to push her brand of morality, who has crowed loudly over the loss of women’s rights because she sees those rights as contrary to her beliefs…and yet who acts in a fashion that is completely at odds with that moral code that she wants to foist on the rest of us.

But, really, it seems that in the conservative world, conservatives are the only ones who don’t actually have to live up to conservative values. When they fail to live up to them — that is, when someone catches them failing to live up to them (as happened here — Fisher was at first pretty adamant in her denials) — well, Jesus stepped in and saved them, it’s in the past and they’re forgiven. For everyone else, of course, it’s damnation and hellfire.

I sincerely wish Fisher the best. I hope she and her family can move forward from this.

But more than anything, I hope she’ll finally realize that legislating morality (which is really what the Hobby Lobby case boiled down to) is a bad idea because certain things people do behind closed doors — even if you don’t approve of it — are nobody else’s business.

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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