Recognizing the Face of Religious Bigotry

Not long ago a curious reader asked us if we’d read Tony Ortega’s first article on Scientology to see if, even years ago, his hatred and bigotry were as virulent then as they are now. 

Well, today we reached far back in our archives to see what we might discover… And what we found may help answer a few questions. 

It seems even more than two decades ago, Tony Ortega was already furiously attempting to ridicule and diminish those who refuse to share his bleak atheistic outlook.

In an article entitled, “Picket Fences” published in the Phoenix New Times way back on January 22 of 1999, Ortega tells a tale about a fellow religious bigot who found himself under protest by his own neighborhood for publicly spreading his hate-mongering. 

We don’t need to tell you that Tony Ortega instantly and without hesitation took the side of the bigot, as he tried to spin a straight forward story about a community protesting hate speech into some sort of ‘First Amendment issue’. (Sound familiar?)

With his typical drama-queen hysterics Tony Ortega opens his hit piece by quoting from a flier Ortega claimed was ‘mysteriously’ being distributed around the neighborhood. 

The flier read:

“Your neighbor… is not all that he seems. When he’s not stirring up hatred on the streets, [he] is poisoning the Internet by filling it full of religious bigotry and intolerance! [His] hatred puts families at risk. Next time you see this man, recognize the face of religious bigotry.” 

In Ortega’s world concerned residents taking a stand against a hate speech enthusiast living among them must have appeared to him nothing short mysterious. A dyed-in-the-wool bigot himself, Ortega could only see one side of the story. 

Naturally, Tony Ortega’s initial response is to mock a local Scientology spokesperson who confirmed the dark background of the resident in question explaining that this individual was:

“… in league with the worst kind of bigots–kidnapers, forcible deprogrammers, Internet terrorists who promote killing Scientologists and blowing up our churches.”

Tony Ortega, no stranger to taking a gleeful stance on the subject of harassment and violence towards Scientologists, responded to these credible accusations with his own hot take, insisting:

“The mild-mannered, single man of 43 seems hardly satanic in appearance. Tall and reserved, [he] seems about as dangerous as a church mouse; it’s hard to believe he’s the archnemesis (sic) Scientologists make him out to be.”

What a dilemma his readers must have faced. Who to believe, the victims of systemic hate and intolerance targeted by a known murder-promoting loner with a grudge or Tony Ortega, anti-religious advocate for online bigotry and purveyor of fabricated stories published to advance his own personal anti-Scientology crusade?

Ortega’s demonstrated absolute lack of credibility as usual makes this question a no-brainer. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.