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This Week In Crazy: Lies, Damn Lies, And Dogma

The War on Christians is heating up, Bernie Sanders is the new Hitler, and Michele Bachmann is still talking. 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. Paul Meyer

The Christian persecution narrative plays itself out in arenas of great consequence (such as the ongoing assault to which Christian groups subject Obamacare’s contraception mandate, which was again argued before the Supreme Court this week) and not (remember when Megyn Kelly got all huffy arguing that Santa was white?)

This belongs to the latter category.

Paul Meyer, who sits on the Millard Public School Board in Omaha, had a little hissy fit recently, in which he told atheists to “crawl back into their hellhole.” The dispute had something to do with the phrase “winter break.” Those damned atheists and their seasons.

As reported by, Meyer whined that he’s “a little bit tired of a minute minority in this country that keeps pushing Christmas out, keep pushing God out, keep pushing Christ out, when the majority is still a Judeo-Christian country.”

“I would like to make a motion that we rename this period Christmas break, and those atheists who don’t like it can crawl back into their hellhole, because I, for one, will not put my Lord, my God, aside for a few atheists,” Meyer said. “And if they don’t like it, the ACLU doesn’t like it, the heck with them.”

Raw Story helpfully notes that:

Last year Meyer made news when he defended embattled Nebraska State Board of Education member Pat McPherson for posting racist comments about President Barack Obama on his Objective Conservative blog.

When fellow state board members voted to ask McPherson to resign after public outcry, Meyer called upon those board members to step down for attempting to violate his right to free speech.

“The responsibility of this board is to set a good example for the kids of this state,” Meyer said. “But what you show these kids is that the First Amendment is null and void, and does not apply to anyone if the speech Nazis disagree.”

“Good example.” Right.

Hat tip Raw Story

Next: Joy Overbeck

4. Joy Overbeck

Self proclaimed “Radical conservative,” “Godfan,” and #tcot troll Joy Overbeck tweeted out her latest TownHall column with so much smarmy, shameless self-promotion I almost hesitate to include it here. But if her click-baity tease of a “religious test” was fulsome, her actual column does have value — insofar as it provides a glimpse into the mind of a rank-and-file American theocrat.

Overbeck rehearses and, with her unctuous social-media ploys, amplifies Franklin Graham’s recent exhortation that voters should only vote Christians into office. She writes:

[Graham] advised the crowd, “Vote for candidates who stand for Biblical truths and Biblical principles and who live them.” Horrors: a religious test! Of course people have all kinds of tests when choosing who to vote for but Heaven forbid there should be a test of Christian moral character. Instead, there’s the his-lips-are-two-thin test. And the eyes-too-close-together test. A longstanding favorite is the likeability test, also known as the who-would-be-fun-to-have-a-beer-with test. And if all else fails, the all-purpose there’s-just-something-I-don’t like-about-him test. Such silliness.

Actually, this is all sounding kind of sensible: People decide who they’re going to vote for based on any number of personal preferences, belief systems, or oddball quirks. I take Overbeck’s point: Voting for someone simply because they’re Christian does make about as much sense as voting for someone whose eyes are spread just so wide apart.

I guess my beef with Overbeck comes in when she makes the leap away from averring an individual’s right to vote for whomever they damn well please according to whatever cock-eyed metrics they’ve devised, and corrodes into something a little more insidious.

See, Overbeck gets to where I knew she would arrive, eventually: a full-throated endorsement of the Christian moral system (as she interprets it) in all its absolute, monolithic, unquestionable authority. It’s a system that individuals should abide by, yes, but moreover and more importantly, it’s one that Christians desperately need to impose on the entire society. (Of course, after shredding the “No Religious Test Clause from Article VI of the Constitution, she still has the audacity to draft the Founders into agreeing with her.)

“What would happen if Christians would stand up for our beliefs and insist on the free exercise of religion, our First Amendment right?” she writes. But her agenda is clear: “free exercise,” in this context, means getting conservative Christians elected into office with the express purpose of “exercising” their dogma in the form of policy. She blasts secularism as the great evil cancer at the heart of all society’s ills, and posits her brand of theology, firmly positioned in the seat of government, as the sole panacea:

The left has spent decades convincing our kids there is no such thing as right and wrong, that truth is relative and also irrelevant. God, if not dead, is seriously wounded or AWOL.  As God’s moral authority has been trampled under the advancing banner of “anything goes” we have descended into moral rot and cultural hopelessness.  “Without God, all things are permitted” as Russian novelist Dostoyevsky put it. And that way nihilism lies.

Children and teens coldly kill other children on our city streets and in our schools. Elementary school-aged kids are being taught their pre-adolescent affection for friends of the same sex means they’re gay. Never-married, grown-up men brag about the babies they’ve fathered with different women and abandoned. Young people text naked pictures of each other around the Internet and hook up for anonymous sex with someone they’ll never see again. Christians who disapprove of same-sex marriage are driven out of business by intolerant groups who will accept absolutely any behavior but principled dissent to their gay “rights” dogma.

So yes, her column begins with a bait-and-switch: “Gotcha.” Of course, she says, I’m not actually proposing a theocratic “religious test.” But it’s a double-bait-and-switch, as by the end, she enjoins her readers to put into practice Graham’s vision of an America, where the Christian Right has a vice grip on elected offices all over the land — because a Christian government is what America needs.

Next: Jim Bakker 

3. Jim Bakker

According to televangelist Jim Bakker, “political correctness” — that great conservative bugaboo — is going to be the literal death of Christians. Literally. Death.

With apparent earnestness, Bakker suggested this week that anyone caught praying was going to be summarily executed by a tyrannical (and probably secular) “They.” He said that if anyone was caught praying at a public school graduation, “They would threaten to arrest you, they would threaten to mow you down with a machine gun.”

He did clarify that “They” were unlikely to carry out these mass executions just now, “But eventually they will if we don’t stop it.”

If that doesn’t strike you as the calm, collected reasoning of a man at home in reality, maybe his assertion that Bernie Sanders is the second coming of Adolph Hitler will. As reported by Right Wing Watch, Bakker said:

“One of the most popular politicians right now is a socialist. And who is his biggest following? The young people of America, from the colleges. Maybe you understand a little bit what it felt like to live when Hitler was reigning and the church had to sit by and keep watching it and watching until millions, tens of millions — they had to build factories to kill people. All it takes is a couple bombs and all of America will be dead within a year, less than a year, just months.”


Hat tip Right Wing Watch (here and here)

Next: What is wrong with people?

2. People Filing Extremely Weird Fake Lawsuits on Behalf of Mass Murderers

Two weeks ago, we saw an intrepid troll pretend to be David Duke, filing a nonsensical lawsuit that managed to somehow make even David Duke look bad (well, worse) — at least for the 20 or so seconds that people bought it. Turns out he may have started a trend.

Recent days have seen not one but two high profile too-nuts-to-be-true lawsuits filed by high-profile screw jobs, which turned out to be hoaxes filed on their behalf by who we can only assume were screw jobs trying to remedy their slightly lower profiles.

First there was the Kalamazoo, Michigan Uber driver who went on a rampage, allegedly suing the tech giant for “ruining” his life and various other workplace grievances. That turned out to be a hoax. Slate wrote that, “Whoever submitted the fake handwritten complaint, however, did go to the moderate lengths of including Dalton’s inmate number, which was enough to fool federal court workers into accepting and assigning it a case number.” Meanwhile, according to the Detroit Free Press, “The phony lawsuit has baffled officials in the federal courthouse in downtown Detroit, where an internal investigation is under way to determine if any law was broken — and if so, what to do about it.”

Then, this week, there was the man who shot Gabby Giffords in the head improbably suing her for $25 million.

The story was simply too marvelous not to be breathlessly reported by a variety of media outlets. How could Jared Lee Loughner, who murdered six people including a 9-year-old girl in 2011, file a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the former congresswoman he failed to kill was responsible for inflicting emotional and psychological distress? Turns out he didn’t.

But what a gas. Fake Loughner claimed that his incarceration was illegal, and that “the govt. put a chip in my head to control my mind,” and in fact “MY HEAD is full of chips.” The would-be-mass-murderer-turned-plaintiff alleged that Gabby Giffords’s husband, NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, was spying on Americans, that Giffords herself was a member of the Illuminati/New World Order cartel/or something. There was something in the complaint about “chemtrails.” He was mad that he didn’t get to eat steaks and that there’s no NPR or C-SPAN in prison. The Boston Marathon bombers got a shout-out. As did Cliven Bundy and Ronald Reagan. And also —

Oh, you know what? You can just read it here.

Loughner files lawsuit against Giffords by Tucson News Now

Man, I’m glad the courts are at anyone’s disposal.

Next: Michele Bachmann 

1. Michele Bachmann

Four years later, and even by the standards of our current unhinged election cycle, Michele Bachmann remains one of the most bizarrely unhinged and acutely unqualified people to ever run for president.

The former congresswoman and hobbyist herald of the apocalypse blows our minds again and again with some of the most tin-eared and hypocritical proclamations — notable even among her clan of Bible-thumping Religious Right thugs for her slack-jawed illiteracy.

Bachmann published a column on WND Wednesday blasting President Obama for not altering the schedule of his state visit to Cuba (and later Argentina) in light of the the terrorist attack in Brussels. (By the way, don’t let the phony outrage fool you — when the president went to that baseball game, they were all jumping for joy, rabidly salivating over the several weeks worth of Obama-bashing they knew they could wring out of that ceremonial blunder.) Obama was guilty of engaging in some dubious optics, but it’s Bachmann who digs in her heels with the false equivalencies, unreflective worldview, and sanctimonious hell-raising.

She crudely reduces the attack by ISIS into an “act of conquest by Islam against the continent once enlightened by the beliefs and values of Western Christendom,” heedlessly advancing the narrative that this is a war between religions and suggesting crassly that the answer to fundamentalist dogma is more fundamentalist dogma.

She makes the coarse argument that (her) God caused the attacks in order to shine a light on Obama’s shortcomings, writing that “maybe our president’s humiliation comes in a manner so devastating it makes one wonder whether the Creator of humankind isn’t reminding this world of the inferiority of foolishness in the face of wisdom.” (Just try to diagram that sentence.)

She also blasts the “ideological merchants who traffic in the dangerous fantasy of multicultural diversity, globalization and one-world nonsense” for the role they played in creating the carnage.

All the indignation in the face of this horrific violence is curious given how often and how enthusiastically Bachmann has proclaimed that the End is Near. Certainly that is a welcome possibility, if the alternative means she’s going to keep writing her blog.

Hat tip Mediaite

Image: 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: Farewell to Iowa

Trump’s depressed Iowa fans, Michele Bachmann’s wild-eyed prophecies, and the revenge of Cliven Bundy! 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. Cliven Bundy

The three-week siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge ended with the arrest of Ammon Bundy and some of members of his self-proclaimed “militia,” as well as the death of one of his accomplices. And while federal agents are all but begging Bundy’s remaining co-occupiers to peaceably remove themselves from the premises, Ammon’s daddy Cliven, who knows a little something about facing down federal authorities and getting his way, has decided to inflame the situation with an insane letter.

Bundy has put officials on notice in a certified letter to the Harney County Sheriff (he also copied Oregon governor Kate Brown and President Barack Obama, as well as “Internet to the World”) that his son’s merry band “WILL RETAIN POSSESSION OF THE HARLAN COUNTY RESOURCE CENTER” [emphasis, all of it, in the original]. In the letter he claims to speak on behalf of all people of Harney County (never mind that the elder Bundy is a resident of Bunkerville, Nevada), and demands that all federal and state authorities clear out of that region.

Bundy letter

Click to enlarge

Bundy posted to his Facebook page the letter, which is as sure to actually accomplish his goals as it is to help his son’s case:

Notice to Harney Co. Sheriff.Share share share…..

Posted by Bundy Ranch on Monday, February 1, 2016

Hat tip Daily Kos

Next: Sore Loser Trump Fans

4. Sore Loser Trump Fans

Before he leapt into his fit of hysterics about do-overs and fraud, Donald Trump was uncharacteristically gracious about becoming a total loser in Iowa. But his followers were not.

Trump’s biggest fangirl, Ann Coulter, took to Twitter in the moments following The Donald’s loss in the Iowa caucuses to proclaim that her anointed one was actually the “leading GOP vote-getter tonight, among natural-born-American candidates.”

She also blasted Fox News for providing an explainer on how caucuses work, a gambit she said was an attempt to keep Trump supporters (presumably first-time caucus-goers) from coming out:

That was just part of the many-tentacled conspiracy unfurled by the media-political establishment to keep Trump from winning the Hawkeye State, apparently. His fanatics also began promoting a rumor — started by Breitbart — that the Microsoft app used to tally votes had given a huge boost to Marco Rubio.

Assembling online under the banner of the hashtag #MicrosoftRubioFraud, the Trump Twitterati connected the dots between Microsoft’s financial support of Rubio, their vote tallying site’s partial failure in some districts (due to overuse), and the triumphant showings of Ted Cruz and Rubio (who still came in third after Trump, but never mind).

Also, Reuters gathered up the tears of Trump supporters and put them online for all to see:

Next: Michele Bachmann

3. Michele Bachmann

Improbable onetime Republican candidate for president Michele Bachmann sounded her trumpet for the End Times (again).

In a radio interview last Saturday, Bachmann laid out her case for why turmoil in the Middle East, coupled with our evil president’s satanic ambition, would envelop the Earth in Obama’s dark dominion during its final fiery days.

Per Right Wing Watch:

“I believe that [Russia and Iran] are positioning themselves so that someday they could invade Israel to be able to take over the vast stores of oil and natural gas that Israel is controlling,” she said, adding that “this very unique new partnership between Iran and Russia in Syria” with the support of China “lines up with scripture.” All of these powers, she said, are seeking “a global world order to keep their game going into the future and to support them if they would invade against Israel.”

And who will lead this global world order? Why, none other than Obama.

This is a recurring theme with Bachmann, who espies portents of the Armageddon in every news clipping. Last November, in another radio interview, Bachmann enjoined Christians to make their merry way down their end-of-the-world bucket list and begin converting as many Jews as possible. “We’re seeing the fulfillment of scripture right in front of our eyes,” she said.

Hat tip and audio courtesy Right Wing Watch

Next: Linda Harvey

2. Linda Harvey

Meet Linda Harvey, president of the Ohio-based Mission: America, an anti-gay, anti-trans advocacy group, whose tenets hold that “homosexuality is not normal and natural” and that America is a “gravely ill” nation that can only be saved by “the blood of Jesus Christ.” It may surprise nobody that the Southern Poverty Law Center considers them a hate group.

In a column titled “Is Your Pastor Apologizing to LGBT Anarchists?” published on WND Wednesday, the homophobic activist attacked not gay rights activists — that would be too easy — but Christian pastors who don’t share her particularly virulent strain of intolerance. In some respects, this is even more vile.

Harvey has previously blasted LGBT activists as the “Gaystapo,” and decried their “fascist” bid for equality. Now she has set her ire on pastors who, she says, are too accommodating in their views — namely, any religious leaders who are the slightest bit tolerant and still have the temerity to call themselves Christian. It isn’t enough for the former ad exec to tear down gay men and women. She needs to redefine Christianity as a whole.

If you happen to know a man or woman of the cloth guilty of any of the following, send them Harvey’s way. She knows how to sniff out a bad Christian.

Do they, for instance, ever — gasp— apologize to gay people for the centuries of intolerance and violence they have suffered at the hands of Christian institutions? They shouldn’t, Harvey says — such “apologies are unnecessary because broad claims of victimhood are exaggerated to put Christians on defense.”

Or do they ever try to wheel out the fallacious “‘Christ includes everyone’ heresy.” Malarkey! In the Gospel of Linda, Christ does not welcome gay people with open arms because “We cannot treat these depravities like neutral traits or disabilities requiring sympathy.”

Perhaps you know a pastor who has been hoodwinked by “the civil rights ploy.” Marriage equality is not something we need to strive for anymore, because, she writes, it “was achieved at creation, because males marry females and vice versa. Have you ever heard your pastor teach the congregation this one simple talking point, grounded in Scripture? Stating this doctrinally essential fact overcomes the main ‘gay’ claim.” What a wonderful privilege to be Linda Harvey, for whom all the admissible facts and data in the world were revealed millennia ago.

It is one thing to stake your personal bigotry on a narrow interpretation of your faith; it is another thing to say yours is the only true version of that faith.

Next: The Cruz Crew

1. The Ted Cruz Christian Right Coalition

The Religious Right helped secure Ted Cruz’s victory in Iowa, so perhaps it’s worth taking another look at who these people are and what they stand for.

Luckily, both Media Matters and Right Wing Watch have been keeping their fastidious eyes on the long list of far-right conservative activists and lobbyists, as well as the extremists media personalities, who have been lining up behind Cruz.

Media Matters’ Daniel Angster described the lineup at Cruz’s last rally in Iowa:

Cruz’s rally featured seven speakers including anti-gay activists like CEO of The Family Leader Bob Vander Plaats and Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson as well as Iowa’s Rep. Steve King (R). However, it was the presence of radio hosts Glenn Beck, Michael Berry, and Steve Deace which best illustrated the divisive nature of Cruz’s platform.

Robertson, stumping for Cruz Monday, railed against the “depravity” and “perversion” of gay marriage. (The prurient 69-year-old has a nagging preoccupation with sexual practices, warning CPAC-goers last year that STDs are the “revenge of the hippies.”)

And it’s not as if the Texas senator just shrugs these people off. Each endorsement is broadcast with an enthusiastic release, touting the endorser’s true “spiritual commitment.” At times, Cruz even borrows some of their most extreme rhetoric — such as his appropriation of the idea of a “rainbow jihad,” an image coined by radio talker Deace to describe the LGBT rights lobby.

It makes sense that Cruz would attract luminaries of the extreme religious right since, as Right Wing Watch’s Bryan Tashman writes, “he has vowed to implement their agenda with promises to defy the Supreme Court on gay marriage, consider engaging in anti-gay civil disobedience, sign sweeping anti-abortion legislation, go after Planned Parenthoodappoint ultraconservative justices to the bench and block threats to religious liberty of Christians, which he says are rampant in America.”

An incomplete list of radical pastors and far-right extremists who have thrown in with Cruz includes doomsday cultist Mike Bickle, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, American Family Association mouthpiece Bryan Fischer, and Family Leader founder Vander Plaats (among many others).

If anyone is heartened by the results in Iowa, and wishes to see in Cruz a quieter, more palatable alternative to the bombastic Trump… don’t deceive yourself.

Image: 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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