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Tag: american family association

Religious Right Radio Network Broadcasts Lethal Lies About Coronavirus

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

As the U.S. coronavirus death toll passes 1000 and the World Health Organization warns that the country could become the next epicenter of the global pandemic, hosts of the extreme anti-LGBTQ group American Family Association’s (AFA) radio network have been promoting dangerous misinformation about the virus, including by telling audiences to stay away from doctors’ offices and to instead buy vitamin packs. 

Articles on AFA’s website and figures on its radio network American Family Radio (AFR) have disregarded CDC guidelines and endangered their audience’s health by falsely claiming that people infected with coronavirus who are asymptomatic “are not contagious” and that there is an existing cure and vaccine to the virus.

AFR is a right-wing evangelical radio network that regularly spreads anti-LGBTQ misinformation and bigotry. It broadcasts more than 50 shows to nearly 200 stations and affiliates across 35 states and airs 24/7 as a part of AFA’s larger media apparatus, which also includes news website OneNewsNow

AFA’s Bryan Fischer lied that people infected with coronavirus who are asymptomatic are not contagious 

Bryan Fischer — a prominent AFR host who has spewed virulently anti-LGBTQ rhetoric as an AFA employee since 2009 — falsely claimed that people who are infected with the coronavirus and do not exhibit any symptoms “are not contagious.”

In reality, CDC guidance on the transmission of COVID-19 states that “some spread might be possible before people show symptoms,” and several studies “have shown that people without symptoms are causing substantial amounts of infection.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, has also said, “I don’t think there’s any question that someone who is without symptoms and carrying the virus can transmit the virus to somebody else.”

During the March 23 episode of Fischer’s show Focal Point, he falsely claimed that “if people are asymptomatic, they don’t have the cough, they don’t have the respiratory issues, they don’t have a fever, they are not contagious.” Fischer also repeated this claim in an article posted to AFA’s website.

From the March 23, 2020, edition of American Family Radio’s Focal Point:

BRYAN FISCHER (HOST): Now people that are asymptomatic — you might have heard this, asymptomatic transmission, people that don’t have the symptoms — they aren’t contagious. If people are asymptomatic, they don’t have the cough, they don’t have the respiratory issues, they don’t have a fever, they’re not contagious. And so they don’t need to be tested.

Fischer also promoted a claim about an unproven coronavirus cure originally spread on Fox News and later endorsed by Trump

Fischer also made reckless and unproven claims that the antimalarial drug chloroquine is a “vaccine” and a “cheap cure for coronavirus.” There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, and it is projected that one won’t be widely available until at least the middle of next year. Though chloroquine could eventually be effective in treating COVID-19, it requires more testing, and there are some indications that using it can be harmful, including by limiting access to it for those who need it to treat other medical conditions. Fischer’s promotion of chloroquine treatment follows the drug being touted on Fox News and by President Donald Trump.

After a lawyer named Gregory Rigano went on Fox News multiple times to tout the unproven benefits of chloroquine, Fox hosts embraced the treatment and promoted its use to an audience whose health has already been put at risk by the network’s propagandist coronavirus coverage. Fox News falsely identified Rigano as an adviser to Stanford University School of Medicine, which he is not, and Rigano based his claims on a study with serious limitations. According to HuffPost, Rigano’s “claims about chloroquine are unproven, often overstated and potentially harmful.” 

Following Fox’s unfounded promotion of the drug, Trump embraced the treatment and falsely claimed that the Food and Drug Administration had approved it to treat COVID-19. Fauci, who has been attacked by pro-Trump media for allegedly harming the economy, stated that while it could be effective, chloroquine requires further clinical study to “show it is truly safe and effective under the conditions of Covid-19.”

In addition to concerns from medical professionals about its effectiveness, a man in Arizona died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate because he thought it would prevent him from contracting coronavirus. There has also been a shortage of the drug for people who use it to treat lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

During the March 19 episode of Focal Point, Fischer claimed that the drug “keeps you from getting coronavirus, and if you’ve got it, it cures it.” He then repeated this claim during the March 23 edition of AFR’s Life & Liberty Minute and in an AFA article titled “A Cheap Cure for Coronavirus Is Here”; in both, he falsely claimed that researchers discovered chloroquine “cures folks of the virus and acts as a vaccine for those who haven’t yet been infected.”

From the March 19, 2020, edition of American Family Radio’s Focal Point

BRYAN FISCHER (HOST): The good news is that we may have found the silver bullet to stop the coronavirus. It’s a cheap generic antimalarial medication. This thing has been around since 1944. It’s chloroquine phosphate. That’s what it’s called. 

If we can get this into the hands of assisted living facilities, they can inoculate their entire roster of patients with chloroquine. And it’s preventive. It’s prophylactic. It keeps you from getting coronavirus, and if you’ve got it, it cures it.

Fischer has come under fire for praising the global coronavirus pandemic, saying it “might create a fantastic, once-in-a-generation opportunity to reverse some anti-family trends” by protecting children “from being brainwashed into normalizing sexual deviancy, gender confusion, and Drag Queen story hours.” This attack continues right-wing media’s crusade against Drag Queen Story Hour, a national program in which drag queens read children’s books to kids at libraries and schools.

Fischer is a homophobic and anti-Muslim bigot. He regularly uses his AFR platform to disparage the LGBTQ community, including lying that Nazis had “no chance of advancing through the ranks unless you were a hardcore homosexual” and that only “effeminate homosexuals” were sent to concentration camps.

AFR host Bishop E.W. Jackson hosted quack doctor and anti-LGBTQ extremist Steven Hotze, who used the platform to advise listeners to “stay the heck away from doctor’s offices” and to instead buy immune packs from his “vitamin business.” Hotze also said that he is “right” about coronavirus treatment and prevention and “Harvard and all these CDC guys” are “wrong.”

Hotze is an anti-LGBTQ bigot, a disreputable doctor, and the founder and CEO of several bogus Texas-based wellness companies. He is also also a QAnon supporter who has theorized that the “deep state could have been the ones that orchestrated” the pandemic as part of its supposed war against “the patriots.” A damning 2005 Houston Press profile reported that he has inflated his credentials; that “leading experts in women’s health issues say Hotze’s methods are not supported by science and are potentially harmful”; and that “Hotze runs an expensive one-stop shop for thyroid disorder, hormone replacement, yeast infections and allergies, when no medical records show Hotze has training in any of them.”

On March 15, Fox News chose to give Hotze a platform twice in the same day, over any number of credible doctors, and Hotze used it to peddle his vitamins as a preventive coronavirus measure and to spread dangerous misinformation about the virus, including dismissing concerns about the pandemic as people going “totally crazy” and advising viewers to “conduct your life normally.”

During the March 19 edition of The Awakening with Bishop E.W. Jackson, Hotze also claimed that “Harvard and all these CDC guys” are wrong about the coronavirus and that “they don’t talk about how you can keep yourself from getting sick.” This claim, of course, goes against robust, evidence-based guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Harvard Medical School on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

From the March 19, 2020, edition of American Family Radio’s The Awakening with Bishop E.W. Jackson  

BISHOP E.W. JACKSON (HOST): We don’t hear much about prevention since this is a disease that is opportunistic and attacks those who have a weakened immune system. Obviously, anything you can do to strengthen your immune system has got to be helpful. It can’t possibly hurt, and it certainly might also be able to help.

STEVEN HOTZE (CEO OF HOTZE VITAMINS AND HOTZE PHARMACY): Most importantly, if you want to get your vitamins, I am a vitamin business here, believe it or not. And I came in, I started vitamins back in ‘89 when my dad asked me about a health problem he’d read about a cure for. 

You can ask for a copy of one of my books, and just tell them you heard me on Dr. Jackson’s show. I’ll send you Hormones, Health, and Happiness or Do a 180 and Take Charge of Your Life. I’d be glad to help you out. I like, I admire, and have admired Bishop Jackson for years, and you’re part of his listening audience. And I’ll give you free, won’t charge you anything for it. We’ll ship it — just to help you guys get healthy and well naturally and stay the heck away from doctors’ offices. 

JACKSON: All right, well —

HOTZE: Because as my dad told me, don’t poison your patients like all the other doctors do, son.

From the March 19, 2020, edition of American Family Radio’s The Awakening with Bishop E.W. Jackson

STEVEN HOTZE: I ask myself, and I ask my team over here, my leaders, and I go like, “Am I crazy? Or are they crazy?” You know. “Could I be right, and Harvard and all these CDC guys be wrong?” Yeah. Because, guess what, they don’t talk — they’re all conventional. They don’t talk about how you can keep yourself from getting sick. What they are talking about, “Oh we’ve got a new drug. Oh, chloroquine.” Well, it’s not a new drug. “We could use chloroquine.” Which is fine if you’ve had the chorus virus — I’m sorry, the coronavirus, fine, get some chloroquine and take it. That’s all fine. But why don’t you just not get it. Why don’t you just stay healthy.

Hotze has an extreme anti-LGBTQ record. He has claimed that “‘Satanic cults’ were driving the ‘homosexual movement,’” compared LGBTQ people to “Nazis,” and said that Houston residents should “drive” LGBTQ people “out of our city.” He has also claimed that the movement for LGBTQ equality would give people “a free hand to come and have relations with a minor, molest a child.”

Jackson shares Hotze’s anti-LGBTQ views and often uses his AFR show to attack LGBTQ people, including saying that people who go by gender neutral pronouns are under the “possession” of “multiple demons.”

This Week In Crazy: ‘Every Sexual Deviancy You Can Imagine’

The pitfalls of feminist journalism, sage hiring wisdom of Donald Trump, and the deviant sexual practices of Hillary Clinton. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Bill O’Reilly

The Fox pundit and master of ceremonies in the No Spin Zone stepped down from on high to declare what sorts of people should and should not be allowed to report on Donald Trump.

If, for instance, you are a woman (or man, for that matter) who believes in equal rights for women, you should be recused and restricted from publishing any piece of journalism on The Donald.

“She is a feminist,” O’Reilly said, referring to a New York Times reporter who co-wrote the piece examining Trump’s record of uncouth remarks and behavior around women. “Trump is a beauty contestant purveyor. Do you let a feminist report on a beauty contestant person who is now turned politician?”

He continued: “If I’m an editor and I know there is a feminist woman in my newsroom, who is brilliant because I think this woman is an excellent reporter, I don’t let her report on a guy like Trump because Trump is the antithesis of that. And so I don’t want any margin of error here, there are plenty of reporters who can do the story, do you not see that?” he asked Bob Woodward, who did not see that, in fact.

Hat tip and video courtesy Media Matters

Next: Anne Graham Lotz

4. Anne Graham Lotz

The daughter of Billy Graham, that titan of American evangelism and Godfather of the Religious Right (emphasis on the God), is keeping the family name proud.

Anna Graham Lotz spoke to Iowa talk radio host to let him know on-air that perennial conservative Christian line about how 9/11 was a warning that we shouldn’t have taken prayer out of public schools… or something.

Right Wing Watch‘s Miranda Blue writes:

If Americans repent, she said, then “there will be peace on our streets” and God will begin to “reveal the plots of our enemies and terrorists before they are carried out” and “control the weather patterns and protect us from these violent storms that are taking human life.”

She added that “God allows bad things to happen” like the September 11 attacks and the mass shooting in San Bernardino “to show us that we need Him, you know, we’re desperate without him.”

At a later point in the interview, Lotz argued that opposition to anti-LGBT legislation, like the recent law in North Carolina, which the Justice Department is fighting, was an example of “evidence that God has backed away and he’s removed His hand of blessing, favor, protection, and he’s just turning us over to ourselves.”

Next: Pamela Geller

3. Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller, enthusiast of Mohammad cartoons and incendiary anti-Muslim subway ads, recently used her tack of vile Islamophobic trolling as a springboard to bash Hillary Clinton and her “lesbian” stooge Huma Abedin.

Geller was, naturally, an early and vocal supporter of Trump’s proposals to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and his suggestion that he would create a database to track them. Speaking on The Sid and Bernie Show, Geller weighed in on Trump’s likely opponent in the November election, accusing her of having a lesbian affair with her longtime confidant (who happens to be Muslim) Huma Abedin.

“The connection to Huma Abedin cannot be understated,” Geller said. “Her parents are Muslim Brotherhood … come on, we know all about that. For years and years I wrote about that relationship…”

“Are you implying she’s a lesbian?” one of the hosts interjected.

“…a long-rumored affair, for eight or nine years, way even before the Obama presidency!” she concluded.

Geller once likened herself to Rosa Parks because she wasn’t afraid to stick it to “savage” Muslims, so we can describe her affinity to reality as tenuous at best. And she isn’t even the only one this week to follow this line of unreasoning…

Next: Sandy Rios

2. Sandy Rios

American Family Association’s Sandy Rios and Geller must both be getting their talking points from the same listserv.

Right Wing Watch describes Rios’ own descent in to the mire of lesbian-Clinton tin-foil fantasias:

“Hillary Clinton embraces every sexual deviancy you can imagine,” she said, before once again suggesting that the former secretary of state is a lesbian because “there have been more than rumors swirling about her own sexual proclivities since before she became first lady.”

“She’s an advocate of gay marriage, and I mean a strong advocate,” she said. “She’s been endorsed by every radical homosexual activist group in the country, all the major ones, Human Rights Campaign and others, especially in New York. She gets that endorsement for a reason, you know, she gets it for a reason.”

Fittingly for an operative of the American Family Association, one of the most dogmatic and hateful anti-LGBT advocacy groups in the country, Rios has a persistent habit of reducing just about any political situation or national news story into an occasion for some gay-bashing. Hell, she even blamed an AmTrak derailment on the notion that the conductor might have been gay. And last year she told Christians to “prepare for martyrdom” in order to fight gay marriage. Needless to say, she did not take her own advice.

Next: Healy Baumgardner 

1. Healy Baumgardner

Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson is a rare talent: she exhibits adamantine poise even while defending and articulating her boss’ most vile, outlandish, and ignorant claims.

The Trump surrogate who showed up on CNN Wednesday, campaign senior press representative Healy Baumgardner, is no Katrina Pierson.

“Well, I think top line, Mr. Trump’s point is that he wants to keep an open dialogue and repair relationships with world leaders,” she said, by way of not explaining at all why her boss had been singing the praises of North Korea’s dictator.

“Healy, you can’t give us any more guidance on this?” asked a pained Carol Costello. “You are the senior press representative for Mr. Trump.”

“I am. Exactly,” she said, unfazed. “And what I’m telling you is that top line, you know, one of his biggest goals is to repair relationships with leaders throughout the world.”

That’s not a typo. Healy, like a malfunctioning Rubio, sputtered and repeated the same bromidic buzz phrase twice in a row. (“Top line” sells Trump Steaks maybe, but I’m not sure it applies to one of the most universally condemned dictators on the global stage right now.)

Later in the segment Costello pressed Baumgardner on Trump’s decision to meet with Henry Kissinger: “So Healy, I want to ask you about something else. Mr. Trump is expected to meet with Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state. […] Why Henry Kissinger and not another secretary of state?”

Costello waited. And waited. And waited. For one precious, sparkling moment, there was silence on CNN, as the three talking heads all blinked at each other across the void in quiet anticipation of a talking point that never arrived.

“Healy?” Costello asked.

“I’m sorry, was that question to me? Oh. Yes. Sorry about that. I had a little feedback,” she replied, having apparently borrowed the old “failed earpiece” gambit that served her boss so well when he initially refused to denounce David Duke. “Mr Trump regularly meets with experts and highly respected individuals. And, you know, he values their input and their feedback.” After somehow managing to work in some accidental wordplay on the word “feedback,” she returned to safety net of silence.

“And what do you suppose they’ll talk about?” Costello asked. “Do you know, Healy?”

Baumgardner sputtered for a moment before saying that she “can’t confirm or deny the meeting,” forgetting perhaps for a moment that the fact of the meeting occurring was never in question. “I do know that Mr. Trump values feedback from highly respected individuals and experts. And he will have those conversations as he deems fit.”

It was as if a hungover algorithm had been tasked with creating the most content-free sentences a human could possibly speak in the English language.

As mortifying as the CNN segment was, the real threshing came later on social media, as most everyone lined up to ridicule Baumgardner. (A video of the segment is viewable here.)

Trump loves to talk about how he will surround himself with the “best people.” What a rotten irony that a CNN segment about Trump’s poor judgment, namely, his avid support of Kim Jong-un, should become such a glaring demonstration of that very shortcoming, in his senior press representative.

Illustration: DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments! Get This Week In Crazy delivered to your inbox every Friday, by signing up for our daily email newsletter.

This Week In Crazy: Come, Armageddon

Despite prior warnings to this effect, which turned out to be premature, conservative right-wingers are quite sure that this time it really is the End Times.

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Kevin Swanson

2015-11-06-kevin-swanson-cow-manure-right-wing-watch-screen-grab-640So much has been made of pastor Kevin Swanson’s “kill-the-gays rally,” as Rachel Maddow aptly characterized it, that I almost hesitate to include him on this week’s list. But if a crazed man announcing that, were he invited to his gay son’s wedding, he’d “sit in cow manure” and “spread it all over my body” doesn’t make the TWIC page, then the TWIC page has no meaning.

Swanson’s epic caterwaul continues: “I’m not laughing! I’m grieving! I’m mourning!” He characterized gay people as being riddled with sores, and wailed that “People are carving happy faces on the sores! That’s not a nice thing to do! Don’t you dare carve happy faces on open, pussy sores!!”

This mewling, hysterical tantrum was part of Swanson’s protracted introduction of, improbably, three GOP presidential candidates — Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal — who attended the Des Moines rally in an apparent demonstration that the Iowan evangelical vote is so valuable a candidate will stoop to even the most shameful low. (While onstage, Cruz insisted that atheists and nonreligious people were unfit to be president — to rapturous applause.)

While he explained that homosexuality was a capital offense, Swanson stopped short of saying civil leaders should actually be the ones sentencing them to death — but only because “we need some time for homosexuals to repent.”

Of course, the candidates’ campaigns are already backpedaling: Huckabee is now saying he didn’t know what he was getting into, a pretty dubious claim — considering the bevy of material on Swanson’s history of hateful anti-gay, anti-women rhetoric that’s readily available online, and the fact that media outlets and watchdog groups were making a lot of noise about this last week.

But Jesus never used Google, so apparently neither does Huck.

Next: Pat Robertson

4. Pat Robertson

PatRobertsonScreenshotPat Robertson, the ill-tempered wax sculpture who hosts The 700 Club, has some hard words for anyone who thinks they can be both gay and Christian at the same time. (Hint: you can’t.)

Taking a question from a viewer on that subject on his show Tuesday, Robertson said that any such person would be “misguided and a hypocrite,” calling the trend of gay-friendly churches “the last stage of Gentile world apostasy.”

The only churches worth a damn, in Robertson’s view, are the ones that look on miscarried babies as God’s deliverance from future Hitlers, treat anorexia like a case of demonic possession, or believe that marriage equality will lead to Christians being forced into sodomy. Such sensible dogma.

Of course, Mad Pat isn’t the only one who believes the End Times are upon us…

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Michele Bachmann

3. Michele Bachmann

Michele BachmannThe former congresswoman who recently blamed floods in South Carolina on the nuclear deal with Iran, is off on another one of End-Is-Nigh kicks, espying portents of Armageddon in every news clipping and slice of fresh toast she comes across. “It’s literally day by day by day,” she said. “We’re seeing the fulfillment of scripture right in front of our eyes, even while we’re on the ground.”

On a recent taping of Family Research Council president Tony Perkins’ Washington Watch radio show, she encouraged Christian Americans to get busy ticking off their pre-apocalypse bucket list, among which items, she said, should be the conversion of as many Jews as possible.

Per Right Wing Watch, Bachmann said that Christians “recognize the shortness of the hour,

and that’s why we as a remnant want to be faithful in these days and do what it is that the Holy Spirit is speaking to each one of us, to be faithful in the Kingdom and to help bring in as many as we can — even among the Jews — share Jesus Christ with everyone that we possibly can because, again, He’s coming soon.

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Judge Scott Johansen

2. Judge Scott Johansen

Update below.

A Utah judge ordered Tuesday that the infant foster child of a married lesbian couple be removed and reassigned to a heterosexual couple. His decision was based entirely on the fact that the child’s foster parents were lesbian.

April Hoagland and Becky Peirce have been raising the child for the last three months, along with Peirce’s 12- and 14-year-old children, and they are joined in support by both the foster child’s state-appointed attorney and her biological mother, who does not wish to see the family broken up.

From KUTV:

The women, who are legally married and were approved as foster parents in Utah earlier this year after passing home inspections, background checks and interviews from DCFS [Utah Division of Child and Family Services], said the judge told them there was a lot of research that indicated children who are raised in same-sex parent homes do not do as well as children who are raised by heterosexual parents.

Judge Scott Johansen apparently did not actually name or cite the vague research on which he based his decision, and because this is a family court ruling, the court records have not been released. The New Civil Rights Movement notes that there is “no valid research that proves children raised by same-sex parents do not perform as well as children raise by different-sex parents,” and that the “most widely publicized study that claimed to show adult children raised by same-sex parents, authored by Mark Regnerus, has been thoroughly discredited by the scientific community.”

Johansen is same juvenile court judge who dispensed some eye-for-an-eye justice in 2012, when said he would reduce a 13-year-old girl’s sentence if her mother agreed to chop off her ponytail in the courtroom, and asked her to keep chopping to the satisfaction of the complainant.

Maybe there’s a reason we don’t rely on Old Testament justice anymore.

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer was quick to voice his support for the judge’s ruling, raving about the “sexual purity” and “sexual integrity of our children” on his show Thursday, and affirming he was “100 percent standing behind” Johansen.

“We should never countenance policies that place children in same-sex households,” Fischer said, repeating the same debunked studies that Judge Johansen presumably invoked.

That would probably be enough to land Fischer on the list this week, however…

Next: Bryan Fischer

Update: Judge Johansen amended his decision Friday, saying that the DCFS did not have to take the infant child away from Hoagland and Peirce next week, as originally ordered. There is still a custody hearing scheduled for Dec. 4.

1. Bryan Fischer

BrianFischerThe folks at the American Family Association uploaded video of Bryan Fischer’s taping of his Wednesday radio show under the header “Wars with other nations not just military conflict but spiritual warfare.”

Talk about burying the lede. Don’t sell yourselves short, AFA. The torrent of verbal ipecac flowing from Fischer’s mouth this week is so much more revolting than that.

Fischer discusses the story of Babylon sacking Jerusalem, as told in the Book of Jeremiah. In Fischer’s gloss, the story of a pagan nation that became an instrument of God’s wrath has special bearing for modern-day America, because like Jerusalem of 587 B.C.E., we too have experienced a smiting in the form of an invasion of godless infidels. Fischer is referring, of course, to the attacks of September 11, 2001, which he characterizes as God’s “wake-up call” to a “Christian nation” to get its act together.

Fischer continued:

I believe — I’m not saying that I know this — God hasn’t told me this one way or another, but I think it’s possible that 9/11 was exactly that. That was God using an utterly pagan, godless, demonic religion and the followers of that utterly pagan, godless, and demonic religion to discipline a Christian nation that has entered into a covenant relationship with God. It’s God’s way of giving us a wake-up call and it’s god’s way of demonstrating that He will not be mocked…

Needless to say, there is no section of any U.S. history textbook (outside of Texas, anyway), which tells the story of how the founders entered into a covenant with the Christian God. But that’s small change — just a few weeks ago, Fischer actually argued that the Constitution gave states free rein to bulldoze mosques.

Number the stars, Bryan. So shall your fallacies be.

Image: US Department of Energy via Wiki

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!

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This Week In Crazy: The Stupidity Of A Free State

A well-regulated militia — which consists predominantly of disturbed white men who retch at the mere mention of “regulation” — being necessary to the stupidity of a free state, we can always look forward to hearing more pro-gun idiocy after a tragedy, such as the one that took place last week in Oregon.

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Michele Bachmann

Michele BachmannOh good, Michele Bachmann is still posting every crass, cold-blooded, idiotic thought that pops into her head on social media.

You may recall that back in April the former congresswoman protested the Iran nuclear deal by likening President Obama’s leadership to the Germanwings pilot who deliberately steered his plane into the Alps, calling the president “a deranged pilot flying his entire nation into the rocks.”

She’s gotten less creative with the metaphors, but no less insipid with her remarks, telling her Twitter followers on Sunday that the catastrophic flooding in South Carolina is God’s punishment for our pursuit of diplomacy in the Middle East. The United States, she tweeted, “turns it back on Israel, disasters following [sic].”

Cause and effect aren’t Bachmann’s strong suits, if she has any. This isn’t the first time Bachmann has coarsely invoked divine wrath as our comeuppance for foreign policy decisions she doesn’t agree with. Right Wing Watch notes that she had suggested back in April that natural and economic disasters would befall the nation if we, as she characterized it then and now, turned our back on Israel.

And this has been a recurring motif for Bachmann, who shortly before she left office told the president (to his face) to bomb Iran, and she did it at a holiday party. Ho ho ho.

Next: Tucker Carlson

4. Tucker Carlson

It can be tempting for gun-control advocates to see those countries that pass strict regulations on assault weaponry as utopian safe havens where the streets are paved with background checks.

It is equally tempting for conservatives to mischaracterize any reasonable attempt at gun control as a full-throated war against liberty — and so any country that has achieved it must be demonized.

So it was on Fox & Friends Sunday morning, when co-host Tucker Carlson declared that because they had the temerity to enact sane gun laws in the wake of their own tragic mass shooting, there is “no freedom” in Australia.

In fact, he continued, if you say anything unpopular Down Under, you can be locked up in jail. Really, any country where gun laws are in effect is under the thumb of tyranny.

Carlson claimed that the problem with passing gun control laws in Australia is: “They also have no freedom. You can go to prison for expressing unpopular views in Australia. And people do. And in Western Europe, by the way. And in Canada. No one ever says that.”

Suffice it to say, this big Aussie bugaboo described by Carlson is about as far from reality as… well, as Fox News.

If I’m being charitable, Carlson is referring to hate-speech laws that exist in both Canada and Australia, but his portrait of these nations as Orwellian hellholes where freedom doesn’t exist is disingenuous in the extreme. (In case you were wondering, democracy is alive and well in these countries.)

You can see the video of the segment below, courtesy of Raw Story:

Once again, Fox News has speciously mischaracterized other nations as dystopian simply to make a point. Earlier this year, the network had to backpedal in a big way after a guest, Steven Emerson, explained to Fox viewers that various enclaves in Western Europe has been converted into “no-go zones” ruled by Sharia law, and his claims went completely unchallenged on the air.

Next: Bryan Fischer

 

3. Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer — the spokesman of the American Family Associate hate group and perennial TWIC piñata — has been on a roll this week.

On his radio show Focal Point Tuesday, Fischer explained to his listeners that gay men are more dangerous than guns.

“Did you know that there is something that is entirely preventable… and it is killing more people than guns? You know what that is? It’s men having sex with men.” Fischer claims that this is “not my opinion” by invoking CDC and FBI statistics, comparing gun homicides to deaths from AIDS.

“The bottom line,” he said, “is that we could save more lives by banning homosexuality than we could by banning guns.” (Insert usual clarification about how nobody who has a pulpit worth a damn is talking about “banning guns” en masse, but that’s the least of Fischer’s transgressions here.)

This is a constant hangup for Fischer, who — like many conservatives of late — has advanced the notion that we need to be more like Russia, particularly by emulating that country’s anti-gay propaganda crusade.

(After Fischer’s rant concludes, he takes a call from a woman lamenting that the military hasn’t overthrown Obama, and that Christians need to stand up to him and his jihadi Muslim brethren waiting in the woodwork to steal the country “that God gave us.” Give a listen and shed a tear for the nation. “I think a lot of people agree with you,” Fischer says, but that as “attractive and appealing” as the idea of a coup is, it’s ultimately inadvisable. Better to go the impeachment route. Whew.)

Fischer had some other highlights this week, including a lengthy rant on his show Thursday about how Americans could stand to learn more from “the anger of Jesus.”

Using his own recent blog poston the subject as a touchstone, Fischer claims that in our culture, “The Gospel has been feminized. The Gospel has been emasculated. Christianity has been wussified.”

“Jesus,” Fischer said, “was the ultimate muscular Christian.”

Enough of this “turn the other cheek” hokum; eschew that namby-pamby “tolerance.” Be a “muscular Christian” and take the fight to the sinners! You can begin by banning homosexuality (see above). Fischer is careful to note that Jesus used a whip.

Next: Ben Carson

2. Ben Carson

Ben Carson has gotten plenty of well-deserved flak for his tone-deaf and tangled responses to the shooting in Oregon last week.

He said on his Facebook page, that despite all the horrible gun violence he had witnessed as a doctor, he “never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away,” implicitly putting the sacred right to fire 10 rounds without reloading on a par with the lives lost in Roseburg, Charleston, Aurora, Newtown, et al.

On Fox & Friends Tuesday, he encouraged would-be victims of a gun shooting to charge at the shooter (great doctor’s advice).  “I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” he said. “I would say: ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.'” 

The Nightly Show‘s Larry Wilmore called attention to another one of Carson’s characteristic chasms of ignorance, pointing out that the presidential candidate was so uninformed he apparently did not know that someone had tried to do just that in Roseburg.

Carson didn’t stop there. Per Mother Jones:

On Wednesday, Carson doubled down on these controversial comments in an interview with CBS This Morning. “I would ask everybody to attack the gunman because he can only shoot one of us at a time,” he said. “That way, we don’t all wind up dead.”

That brings us to Wednesday evening, when Carson appeared on a radio show and described an actual episode in which he was faced with a gunman. In Carson’s telling, he responded quite differently in this real-life scenario than he said he would have reacted if faced with a possible shooter. “I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye’s in Baltimore,” Carson told Sirius XM’s Karen Hunter. “[A] guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, ‘I believe you want the guy behind the counter.'”

You can view Carson’s remarks here.

Honestly, the notion that Carson wouldn’t take his own advice can only be a comfort — considering some of his advice.

Next: Ted Nugent 

1. Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent is the gun nut who gives other gun nuts a bad name. And when a mass shooting happens in America, he is not to be outdone by anyone else in the vulgar, remorseless remarks department — not even Dr. Carson.

Writing in his WorldNetDaily column, Nugent describes a “fundamentally transformed America, a heartbreaking embarrassment where rugged individualism, self-sufficiency and self-defense is scorned and condemned and, horror of horrors, outright forbidden” in any state that maintains reasonable gun laws or in any library, school, airport, or church where — y’know — you can’t bring your gun.

“I smell dirty, rotten, anti-American, criminal loving, constitutional oath violating infringement running amok where the Second Amendment no longer exists,” Nugent raves.

Echoing conservatives’ debunked line about the dangers of gun-free zones, Nugent continues: “Gun-free zones are a self-inflicted suicidal curse and send a big, crazy message to evil people to come and get us. We are unarmed. We are helpless. Do with us as you may.” (For what it’s worth — and being a pesky fact, it’s probably worth very little to Nugent and his ilk — one is allowed to carry a gun on the Umpqua Community College campus.)

Any reasonable measures taken by lawmakers and activists to restrict the senseless proliferation of assault rifles in our country is, in Nugent’s schema, a “big lie of political correctness.”

Charging at the shooter, as Carson suggests, is insufficient. The only answer: “Get a damn handgun. Practice with it. Train with it. Learn to carry it hidden and discreetly.” He continues:

If someone is approaching you with the intent to do grave bodily harm, and you will know it when it happens, try to escape to the best of your ability, but if there is no escape, pull out your weapon and aim for center mass and start shooting. Keep on shooting until you believe the threat to be over.

With zero irony or perhaps without a functioning mirror, Nugent decries his countrymen for being “so callous, so dishonest” and so beset with “denial as to ignore this self-imposed death wish upon their fellow Americans.”

And I think Nugent is absolutely correct when he writes: “Insanity is pandemic when a society continues to repeat the same thing over and over again and again and have the life-destroying audacity not only to expect different results, but to actually push for more of the same and increase the conditions resulting in yet more massive loss of life.”

“What sort of blind, uncaring idiot fails to admit to the pattern here?” he asks. He doesn’t need to look very far.

Via Mediaite

Photo: “2015 ‘Southern’ But Really Confederate Heritage DC Rally.” Taken September 5, 2015. (Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr)

This post has been updated.

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This Week In Crazy: Cranks ‘R’ Us

The pope is a symbol of moral virtue, intelligence, and sound judgment. What the hell is he doing in America? 

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Pat Buchanan

Kim Davis, the obstinate, law-breaking, homophobic Kentucky county clerk, continues to be the martyr du jour in the hearts of conservative luminaries. As you probably remember, Davis is the woman who cited “God’s authority” and went to jail rather than violate her conscience by issuing licenses to same-sex couples. In doing so, she racked up a considerable lineup of supporters, including GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, as well as those of cycles past… such as, Pat Buchanan, who we can only assume is floating her name on the air in a bid for media attention. (I guess it worked. Because here we are.)

It’s a moldy and meritless conservative talking point that Davis and her intolerant ilk waving the “religious liberty” and “Christian persecution” flags are participating in civil disobedience in the proud tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. But Buchanan went on Newsmax TV on Tuesday to turn even that noxious notion on its head, by saying that Davis’ actions should be considered civil disobedience because they reminded him of his own fight against desegregation.

According to Right Wing Watch, Buchanan “himself had advocated civil disobedience when he urged President Nixon to defy a 1971 Supreme Court decision that [in Buchanan’s words] ‘called for district-wide desegregation and allowed for the use of busing to achieve integration.’”

Davis’ imprisonment, he said, was “the price of civil disobedience of an unjust law.”

Via Raw Story and Right Wing Watch

Next: Steve King 

4. Steve King

Iowa Rep. Steve King has some ideas about how Pope Francis could be a more effective pontiff, and why Democrats who agree with the pope are just “political opportunists.”

This week King joined the cavalcade of Republicans — who are usually only too happy to inject religion into their politics — expressing their befuddlement at the pope for his various positions on the evils of capitalism, the necessity of action on climate change, and the fact that he generally treats the president with some modicum of respect.

Speaking to Politico, King said:

I’m hopeful that Pope Francis will speak to these two issues: One is the Church’s unfailing and steadfast opposition to abortion, the position that life begins at the moment of conception and it ends at natural death, and the dignity of every human person. That’s a position of the Roman Catholic Church that’s really unassailable and I’m hopeful that that position will be reiterated from the floor of Congress next week. I’m looking forward to that. Second component that is so strong among the Catholic Church is the position of marriage, and it being between a man and a woman.

(For what it’s worth, the pope did discuss the importance of the family in his remarks before Congress, but stopped short of mentioning either same-sex marriages or explicitly defining marriage as between a man and a woman.)

King further criticized the pope for not being “fully supportive of free enterprise capitalism,” and expressed exasperation that Francis has spoken out on climate change since there is no “definitive science that has concluded that mankind has turned the Earth’s thermostat up.”

On the subject of climate change, King noted that if humans really were responsible for rising global temperature, “we would be using the terminology ‘global warming,’ rather than climate change.” A charming little feint on King’s part, as Wonkette helpfully notes, “since [conservative political consultant] Frank Luntz recommended in 2003 that the George W. Bush administration use ‘climate change’ because people felt less compelled to do anything about that.”

Besides, King says, “every civilization since Adam and Eve has always tried to change the weather.”

Via Politico and Wonkette

Next: Ben Carson and Bobby Jindal 

3. Ben Carson and Bobby Jindal

Isn’t it charming when the men who are running to uphold the Constitution so blithely shred its most essential tenets?

Dr. Ben Carson took no small amount of heat for his remarks on Meet the Press last weekend that a Muslim shouldn’t be president, that, in fact, Islam was somehow incompatible with the Constitution.

He blamed “political correctness” and “secular progressives” for twisting his words when he later clarified that a Muslim can be president as long as his religious views don’t have too much sway over his lifestyle and loyalties, which should be all-American. “We have an American culture and we have an American Constitution and anybody who’s going to occupy our White House should be living in a pattern that is consistent with our Constitution and our culture,” Carson said.

And then Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal got in the act by issuing a list of criteria which would have to be satisfied in order for him to support a Muslim president: “If you can find me a Muslim candidate who is a Republican, who will fight hard to protect religious liberty, who will respect the Judeo-Christian heritage of America, who will be committed to destroying ISIS and radical Islam, who will condemn cultures that treat women as second-class citizens and who will place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution, then yes, I will be happy to consider voting for him or her.”

This begs a few questions, governor: Whose religious liberty would this hypothetical candidate have to protect — Kim Davis’ or other Muslims’? Both? All? Satanists’ maybe? You see how this can get out of hand rather quickly, don’t you?

Also, please explain how one “respects the Judeo-Christian heritage of America” in concrete terms of policy. Is it disrespectful, for instance, to note that the country’s founders deliberately rejected aligning the country with any religion?

As to that condition about not treating women as second-class citizens, I assume that means not defunding Planned Parenthood — an accomplishment of yours you so odiously touted in the minor-league GOP debate last week.

In other words, Jindal would support a Muslim candidate who behaved in word and deed like a conservative Christian trying to foist their religion on the American public. This is part of an unsettling pattern of what The Atlantic‘s Peter Beinart calls “the sophisticated bigotry of Bobby Jindal.”

According to Beinart, Jindal has developed a deliberately myopic and insidious ethos of religious freedom, one that valorizes Christians who oppose any perceived attack on their beliefs by refusing to adapt or assimilate, while demonizing Muslims for doing exactly the same thing: “The only principle he’s really defending is anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Writing back in January, Beinart speculated that Jindal could be the leading Islamophobe of the 2016 race. Turns out he can’t even crack the Top 10.

Next: Mike Huckabee

2. Mike Huckabee

Of course Jindal doesn’t have a monopoly on “sophisticated bigotry,” although I hesitate to use the s-word anywhere near the former Arkansas governor, Southern Baptist minister, and “This Week In Crazy” resident twit Mike Huckabee.

The Republican presidential candidate has been doing just about everything he can to drum up attention. It must be difficult to be heard apart from the GOP field when the tonic note of the party is already so demented. But heck if Huck hasn’t been trying his hardest, kicking up dirt and trying to get people outraged over the president’s treatment of the pope this week.

On Newsmax, he accused President Obama of being “disrespectful” and “not being a very gracious host, inviting the pope to his home and then trying to make sure that you bring people […] who are known because of their very visceral and sometimes very vocal disagreements with the pope,” by which Huckabee means gay people and pro-choice activists, who were among the 15,000 people the White House invited to its reception for Pope Francis on Wednesday.

He further took issue with Obama’s remark that in America “we cherish religious liberty,” creating a Vine that slammed the soundbite against an image of Kim Davis’ mugshot under the portentous caption “…UNLESS YOU’RE A CHRISTIAN.”

In another interview Huck picked up his diatribe of inchoate objections to President Obama. If I understood him correctly, he simultaneously affirmed that we have no religious test for government office (and that’s a good thing), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be suspicious of the president and subject him to all manner of scrutiny and hostility because of what we imagine his religious views might be, facts be damned.

“I’m less concerned about what faith a person has. I’m more concerned about the authenticity of their faith and how that plays out in their policies,” he said. “I’m also concerned about a guy who believes he’s a Christian and pretends to be and says he is, but then does things that makes it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith.”

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Bryan Fisher

1. Bryan Fischer

The onetime mouthpiece of the American Family Association hate group, Bryan Fischer, has some words of wisdom for young men. In a blog post that is apparently the 16th chapter of some sort of “Boy to Man Book” Fischer is authoring, he lays bare his risible, rather pitiful philosophy on dating.

Oh, there’s some nuggets of good sense in here somewhere. For instance, Fischer begins, it’s reasonable to assume that since young men won’t necessarily marry the young women they date (courtship in the LGBTQ community is entirely absent in Fischer’s schema), “this means you are dating a girl who one day is going to be another man’s wife. Treat her accordingly.”

But it quickly devolves into a primer on conservative Christianity’s tangled, troubled, and anxious relationship with sex — a prurience that masquerades as prudishness — placing sex on an icky, shameful pedestal. And it is hilarious the way Fischer twists himself into knots trying to describe the mechanism of tumescence without crossing the line into PG-rated vocabulary, particularly by likening sexual arousal to “God’s radar system.” He writes:

Back in the day, the United States had what we called the Distance Early Warning system. It was a radar system designed to alert us to a Russian military launch over the North Pole. It was for our protection so we could stop bad things from happening before it was too late.

As a mentor of mine pointed out to me when I was single, God has given to young men an absolutely infallible warning system that lets a guy know without fail when it’s time to stop. That infallible biological signal is sexual arousal.

As soon as you find yourself becoming sexually aroused, you need to stop whatever it is you’re doing, even if it’s just holding hands, to keep things from escalating. And make up your mind that you won’t do whatever that thing is again until you get married.

The reason you must never do “whatever that thing is” out of wedlock is that sex has a way of mummifying relationships in their tracks, according to Fischer. Once you do the dreaded deed, there’s nowhere to go; you have effectively pulled the parking brake on ever cultivating a meaningful connection with your partner.

In Fischer’s own words: “When a dating couple gets sexually involved, their relationship instantly stops developing and growing. Sexual involvement will freeze that relationship right where it is at and it will never grow beyond that point.”

It should go without saying that people are free to make their own decisions in life and love. And Fischer’s callowness would be easy to ignore, were it not for his long, hateful history of lobbying to apply his narrow Biblical ethic on American public policy, were it not that this is the same puritanical creed espoused by so many prominent conservative politicians, were it not that this ethos, which compels some to describe rape pregnancies as “gifts from God,” has far-reaching implications for women and young people in states that lack comprehensive sex education, where access to contraception is curtailed and eradicated, where the last Planned Parenthood clinic has to shutter its doors.

Yes it would be so easy to ignore this man and his asinine, Dark Ages doctrine. Recall that Fischer is the same man who likened abortion to Aztec human sacrifice, argued for Americans’ God-given right to capital punishment, and said making marriage equality legal was worse than 9/11 because it “blasted the twin pillars of truth and righteousness into rubble.” In other words, Fischer is the last man on Earth from whom to get dating advice.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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This Week In Crazy: Hail To The Antichrist!

There’s nothing wrong with Planned Parenthood that a Christian conquistador couldn’t fix. Did you know Obama’s the son of Satan? We’re just getting started here. It’s “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Rachel Campos-Duffy

2015-07-13-rachel-campos-duffy-cpac-2013-gage-skidmore-640Unless you’re strapped to a chair, lids splayed open, Clockwork Orange-style, and forced to watch Fox News day in and day out, you can be forgiven for missing Outnumbered, the network’s daily exercise is well-dressed, roundtable trolling.

The noontime conservative chatroom is a reliable fount of tone-deaf, ignorant remarks. For instance, you might remember Outnumbered host Rachel Campos-Duffy as the one-woman straw-man factory who blamed ISIS’ successful recruiting tactics on American schools’ emphasis on multiculturalism.

This Tuesday, she had some words of wisdom for the feminists out there: “Make the sandwich, darn it.” Otherwise, she cautions, your marriage will end in tears.

In a discussion spurred by a recent study suggesting that Republicans have happier marriages than Democrats, Campos-Duffy posited that GOP couples’ marital bliss was owed less to politics than to religion:

I know for myself — and I know in the Greek Orthodox Church it’s the same idea of sanctification, that marriage is a sacrament, it’s a holy thing. And my job being married is to get my husband and my kids to heaven with me. And I think that changes the whole perspective.

(Conservative Christian moralist Josh Duggar has certainly proved himself to be a deserving poster boy for the Republican version of sacred, happy, “one man/one woman” marriage.)

So when feminists and liberals get divorced, Duffy exclaims, it’s “because they won’t make that sandwich.”

Check out the video below, courtesy of Raw StoryThen get back in the kitchen.

Via Raw Story

Next: Keith Sullivan

4. Keith Sullivan

Discussing an alleged rape case at a New Hampshire prep school, criminal defense attorney Keith Sullivan said on Fox News this week that text messages between the accused 15-year-old rapist and his alleged victim would prove that “there was no forced rape.”

For someone who passed the bar in 1998, one would think Sullivan would know better than to wade into this Todd Akin-esque morass of redefining rape, which never ends well for conservatives.

In another strange description that appeared to blur the clear line between consensual sex and rape, Sullivan said, “Many women have what’s known as ‘regret sex.’ They feel dirty afterward; they feel guilty.”

In the New Hampshire case, Sullivan said it was “a possibility” that the alleged 15-year-old victim just regretted having sex, and that perhaps being young made her feel guilty.

The boy (now 19) accused of the rape is innocent until proven guilty, of course. That said, Fox News, why should you give legal authorities a platform to accuse women and question their credibility — in this case, that of a 15-year-old girl —by suggesting that, rather than being sexually assaulted, they merely regretted having sex?

Oh right. You’re Fox News, and this is what you do.

Via Media Matters

Continue reading: Bryan Fischer

3. Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is a… how can we put this politely? A human toxic waste dump; Deepwater Horizon in corporeal form; a bigoted thug with a Bible and a blog, whose rhetoric is so hateful his own hate group had to temporarily disown him.

In the last few months alone, he argued for Americans’ God-given right to capital punishment, blamed a conservative white gunman’s rampage on Obama (of course), and declared the SCOTUS marriage equality ruling to be worse than 9/11 because it “blasted the twin pillars of truth and righteousness into rubble.”

And now he has compared Planned Parenthood to human sacrifice as practiced by the Aztecs.

In a post published on the American Family Association’s blog Thursday, Fischer argues that the “hideous barbarism of Planned Parenthood” is a sign that “the pagan rituals of the Aztecs have returned from the bowels of Hades with a vengeance.” (Culture conflation is the least of this witless cesspit’s sins.)

Cutting brains and hearts out of living babies is as ghoulish, demonic, and horrific as anything done by the benighted pagan tribes of the 16th century. If there ever was a contemporary organization birthed in the nether regions of hell itself, Planned Parenthood is it.

For human cruelty, barbarity, savagery and utter inhumanity, the Aztecs had nothing on the modern priests of paganism who engage in human sacrifice 327,000 times a year in Planned Parenthood clinics, each one a virtual pagan temple.

It is long past time to immediately and completely defund Planned Parenthood, and then investigate it, prosecute it, and put it out of our nation’s misery.

The dishonest, manipulative videos that Fischer cites are part of a long, immoral, and hypocritical campaign to discredit and demolish Planned Parenthood, the national organization that provides basic health services to low-income women (of which abortion accounts for 3 percent).

The careless use of Grand Guignol imagery that Fischer splatters on the page doesn’t make his attacks on women’s health any more compelling; it does somehow make him even more repulsive. We didn’t think that was possible.

Next: Tristan Emmanuel

2. Tristan Emmanuel

Have you checked out BarbWire.com lately? It’s the faux-news arm of an anti-LGBT hate group, whose stated purpose is to dish out politics, culture, and commentary that’s “fueled by the Word of Life” and cut free “of the totalitarian left’s barbwire.”

Well, they’ve gotten right to the bottom of this whole Barack Hussein Obama travesty playing out in the Oval Office. Conservatives who believe the president is a secret Muslim, gun-snatching, race-baiting, Kenyan-Sharia-fascist-hippie-peacenik-Nazi, are really missing the point.

The fact is the Commander-in-Chief is really just the Antichrist in disguise.

This truth bomb comes from BarbWire’s director of development, Tristan Emmanuel, who exposes Obama’s secret eschatological agenda in a column subtly titled “The Anti-Christ? Obama’s Disregard About Pastor Saeed Says It All.”

Emmanuel writes:

Obama’s deplorable responses to the atrocities against Christians isn’t just pathetic – it is evidence of a much more insidious evil. Obama, in my estimation is, if nothing else, an anti-Christian bigot who is motivated above anything else with the irradiation of the American Christian zeitgeist.

[…]  What disappoints me is the pathetic criticism and mealy-mouthed manner of conservative critics. I can’t count how many conservative pundits trip over themselves to moderate their words against Obama, calling him “naive”, “wrong-headed,” “misinformed,” and (this one is the best) “out of touch.”

Really!?!?!

No… he’s totally in touch. He’s not naive. He is thoughtfully evil. He is the modern day Nero (minus the perversion). And like Nero he blames Christians for the uprisings. He obfuscates the obvious evil of his parental religion – Islam. He knows exactly what he’s doing. And what he is doing is systematically destroying the Christian heritage and zeitgeist of America. And if he has his druthers – across the globe.

“You think me extreme?” Emmanuel says, before going on to claim that “Obama embodies all the characteristics of the legendary nemesis.” (Yes, we do think he’s extreme. Most of these fruitcakes are not polite enough to ask us what we think, so kudos to Emmanuel.)

“And frankly,” he concludes, “I wouldn’t surprise me [sic] if he goes down as history’s Anti-Christ of Revelation.”

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: George Zimmerman and Andy Hallinan

1. George Zimmerman and Andy Hallinan

George Zimmerman“This Week In Crazy” received a lovely package this week: a mixed-nut basket of Islamophobia and gun-lovin’ Confederate pride.

Remember George Zimmerman, the night watchman and celebrity boxer who gained notoriety for killing Trayvon Martin? Well, Zimmerman, the Floridian who “stood his ground” by chasing down and killing an unarmed teen, has teamed up with the owner of a “Muslim-free” gun store to sell prints of Zimmerman’s Confederate flag painting in order to pay the store’s way through a civil liberties lawsuit. Whew.

This must be the densest concentration of right-wing crazy ever packed into a single story. (This week, anyway.)

So Zimmerman and the gun store owner, Andy Hallinan, created a mini-documentary (embedded below) and submitted to an interview on Florida radio (samples of which are available below for your listening displeasure, courtesy of Right Wing Watch). It’s best to hear this stuff from the horse’s mouth, however noxious that equine breath may be.

It’s as if every addled, extreme far-right position mated and birthed a conservative Chimera — a fire-breathing freak of nature that lives perennially 50 years in the past, with 10 arms carrying 20 guns, and five pairs of paranoid eyes, each looking over a separate shoulder for someone new to shoot.


Photo above: Simon Hunt

This Week In Crazy: Special Marriage Equality Insanity Edition

When five Justices legalized same-sex marriage nationwide last Friday, they released a torrent of unhinged rage from the conservative right wing. For those who appreciate such demented howling from the fire-and-brimstone crowd, this week has just been a buffet of ire, bigotry, unreason, and insanity.

Where to even begin? There’s the Indiana woman who had an apoplectic meltdown, shrieking and yowling, blaming “Islaaaaaaaamic extremlists [sic]” like Obama. There’s the Texas pastor who threatened to set himself on fire if same-sex marriage became legal (and when asked to put up or shut up, he clarified that he was speaking metaphorically). American Family Association’s’ own Bryan Fischer took to Twitter to say “6/26 is now our 9/11” because June 26 was “the day the twin towers of truth and righteousness were blown up by moral jihadists.”  There’s this Breitbart hack who thinks the “Gaystapo” is going to destroy churches now. Then there’s the constellation of GOP presidential candidates — who are either pandering to the worst elements of their base since none of them can support the ruling and make it through the primary alive, or they’re actually intending to wage a holy war over this.

It’s been an embarrassment of riches (and embarrassment), but we’ve narrowed it down to the five most disturbed, outlandish reactions to the SCOTUS ruling. Love may have won, but some minds certainly got lost. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing — It’s a special same-sex marriage edition. Starting with number five:

5.Tim Brooks

thumbArkansas pastor Tim Brooks has distinguished himself from the rest of this cavalcade of kook by insisting that the SCOTUS ruling has empowered gays to force straight people to “come out and have sex with us.”

Speaking on the Wallbuilders radio program Monday, Brooks asserted that the only logical endgame for the “homosexual agenda” is forced participation. Nothing else will sate the mad, frenzied lust of the dreaded gays — not equal rights, not equal treatment in the eyes of the law, not non-discriminatory legislation — only the mass indoctrination of the straight community to compulsory carnal knowledge of the same sex.

“Here is the only thing that will satisfy this agenda, and it’s very clear,” Brooks wailed. “Participation. ‘We want you to come out of your house and participate with us.'”

Right Wing Watch has the audio here.

Via Daily Kos and Right Wing Watch

Next: Tom DeLay 

4. Tom DeLay

400px-TomDeLayFormer House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) got his crazy on in a big way, when he popped into Newsmax TV Tuesday to let Americans in on a little secret: DeLay has knowledge of a “secret memo” making the rounds at the Justice Department, which proves that Big Gubmint intends to legalize 12 — count ’em, 12 — new perversions, while at the same time passing new legislation against God-fearing Christians.

Because now that same-sex marriage is legal, it makes sense that we would also want to legalize “bestiality” and “having sex with little boys.”

He goes on to say this memo includes a “whole list of strategies to go after the churches, the pastors, and any businesses that tries to assert their religious liberty.”

“There coming down with 12 new perversions,” DeLay said, laughing. “LGBT just isn’t — is only the beginning. They’re gonna start expanding it to the other perversions.”

Although he insists that the memo includes12 new perversions, he only names three, which either betrays a lack of imagination on DeLay’s part or just shows that the voices in his head thought it would be easier to remember one simple number.

Right Wing Watch has the video:

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Franklin Graham

3. Franklin Graham

2015-06-26-franklin-graham-todd-starnes-god-judgment-gay-marriage-640Reverend Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, has already made a big fuss over marriage equality, as you might expect from an evangelical luminary. He’s said God’s judgment was coming for us all; he pulled his money out of Wells Fargo after they ran an ad featuring a married couple (both women, I guess I should mention), and threw a hissy fit when comic book character came out as gay.

But now, Rev. Graham II has really had it. It’s not bad enough that marriage has been extended to couples of the same sex. But they had to co-opt the rainbow — for heaven’s sake! Yes, the rainbow, long a symbol of the gay pride movement has, since the Obergefell ruling, flown loudly and proudly in rallies, parades, on Facebook, and, in a historic and beautiful moment, on the White House facade.

To paraphrase Graham’s remarks: “They may take our marriage, but they’ll never take our rainbow!”

No, what the Tar Heel twit actually said was:

The President had the White House lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. This is outrageous—a real slap in the face to the millions of Americans who do not support same-sex marriage and whose voice is being ignored. God is the one who gave the rainbow, and it was associated with His judgment

[…] So, when we see the gay pride rainbow splashed on business advertisements and many people’s Facebook pages, may it remind all of us of God’s judgment to come. Are you ready? Are your sins forgiven?

Via The New Civil Rights Movement

Next: John Zmirak

2. John Zmirak

height.200.no_border.width.200Meet John Zmirak — screenwriter, conservative columnist, and guest star on this plane we call reality. He touches down for an appearance or two on talk radio, before blasting back to his sad, skewed little galaxy where the genocide of U.S. Christians is imminent and equal rights for gays will necessarily lead to compulsory mass euthanasia.

On Wednesday, Zmirak went on “The Eric Metaxas Show” to warn us all about the forthcoming “Gay Sharia.”

Zmirak agreed that marriage equality will prove more dangerous to Americans than ISIS. He hypothesized that the SCOTUS ruling would create a two-tiered system of churches — one supportive of the New Gay Order, one that gets persecuted — like you find in Putin’s Russia or Red China, and “also replicates the system of Sharia.” So the left should just “go ahead and admit that, essentially, this is ‘Gay Sharia.'”

There you have it, America. Two men get married and suddenly the federal government unleashes some post-Soviet/communist-Chinese/Islamic-theocratic voodoo that’s going to censure all Christians who stick to their guns (in some cases, literally).

“Sharia” is a common bugaboo for Zmirak and his ilk — and it’s perennially amusing the way they’ve managed to demonize theocracies and religious fundamentalists abroad, while trying — and slowly failing — to establish their own brand at home.

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: Bryan Fischer 

1. Bryan Fischer

BrianFischerAs mentioned earlier, the cretinous Fischer took to Twitter the day of the ruling to draw parallels between 9/11 and marriage equality. Because granting rights equals mass murder.

Recall that this man is so vile that the hate group he was once a director of, the American Family Association (AFA), had to disavow some of his remarks.

Fischer published a post on the AFA’s blog Thursday, furthering the meritless (but rhetorically potent) narrative of Christian persecution. Since the highest court ruled in favor of petitioners in Obergefell, Fischer writes: “The ultimate outcome of this unconscionable act is that one day, before too long, it will be officially illegal for Christians to hold public office in the United States.” (Not an issue at the moment, by the way.)

Fischer posits an apocalyptic dystopia where, in order to get elected, you need to not cling to an ideology that relegates an entire segment of the population to being second-class citizens. He takes aim at anti-discrimination language from a proposed city ordinance, which stated that, basically, the city wouldn’t appoint someone found guilty of discriminating against people for, among other things, their sexual orientation.

Fischer’s dystopian rant suggests that the left will force candidates to sign “an affidavit of affirmation (or its equivalent) for homosexual ‘marriage'” or “argue we cannot let an individual with such antiquated […] views assume public office.”

“Holding to a natural view of marriage,” he concludes, “will become a disqualification for public office.”

In Fischer’s schema, anti-discrimination policies and laws interfere with a person of conscience’s ability to freely practice their discrimination under the aegis of a First Amendment right. The horror, the horror.

Because the only “real Christians” are the ones who think like Bryan Fischer, right? (Actually, no.)

Photo above: Sea Turtle via Flickr

Right-Wing Trolls — From Scalia On Down — Take On The Obamacare Decision

Right wingers are going into apoplexy over the Supreme Court’s decisive 6-3 ruling upholding federal health insurance subsidies under Obamacare — and a lot of it is pretty entertaining.

The decision in the King v. Burwell case is likely to be the last fundamental legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act. (More litigation could certainly be on the way — but it would realistically only affect things at the edges.) And after five years of chasing this law like Captain Ahab chased a very large whale, these people really aren’t happy about it.

Of course, if we’re looking for an unhinged right winger who’s full of soundbites on just about any topic, there’s just no topping a member of the Supreme Court itself — Justice Antonin Scalia — who in his dissenting opinion called the ruling “of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so.”

“Contrivance, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!” Scalia also declared in a parenthetical aside.

In another memorable line, he referred to the Court practicing “interpretive jiggery-pokery.”

Scalia even capped off a section full of legalese, with an insult in the vein of Don Rickles.

The Court claims that the Act must equate federal and state establishment of Exchanges when it defines a qualified individual as someone who (among other things) lives in the “State that established the Exchange […]. Otherwise, the Court says, there would be no qualified individuals on federal Exchanges, contradicting (for example) the provision requiring every Exchange to take the “‘interests of qualified individuals’” into account when selecting health plans. […]. Pure applesauce.

And in an apparent bid to the start a Twitter hashtag, Scalia stated that the Court “rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare” — a line that shall surely live on for years in right-wing talk radio and blogs.

Another government official, Mississippi governor Phil Bryant (R), got in on the act at the state level. And in an interesting choice of words at a time when much of the country is looking back on the struggles for civil rights in the Deep South (not to mention the Civil War), Bryant’s fiery statement invokes a lot of familiar old language of state resistance to the federal government.

Today’s decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is a socialist takeover of health care forced down the throats of the American people without proper review, and it does not slow the massive and unprecedented transfer of wealth that is at the heart of the subsidy system. Make no mistake—Obamacare is not about helping those in need or improving health care delivery. It is about destabilizing our health care system, ceding more control to centralized government and replacing individual liberty with government dependence.

Mississippi was right, as were numerous other states, not to willingly entrench Obamacare by establishing a state-based exchange, and I will continue to resist any efforts that attempt to shove Obamacare deeper into this state.

Bloggers chimed in, too. Michelle Malkin invoked the accusation that the Supreme Court was rewriting the law to mean anything that President Obama would want — citing a gay showtunes composer.

Bryan Fischer is a radio host for a recognized anti-gay hate group, the American Family Association, which is worth noting only because the group recently had to repudiate some of his claims because they were too vile even for them. This moral authority declared the SCOTUS ruling to be all but the death knell for America itself.

Sean Hannity blew his top on his own radio show, reviving one of the classic fearmongering routines against Obamacare, now that it has yet again gotten a clean bill of Constitutional health.

“And I’m telling you, death panels will exist! Because you know what that death panel is gonna be? It’s gonna be called a morphine drip. You get your morphine drip; it depresses your respiration — and guess what, you die! Is that the care you want?”

And Ben Shapiro of Breitbart tweeted out a rather — um, creative reference to the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise.

Photo: Protesters in Minnesota call for smaller government and the repeal of the health care law enacted in March, 2010. (Fibonacci Blue via Flickr)