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
So 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.
4. Pat Robertson
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…
3. Michele Bachmann
The 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.
2. Judge Scott Johansen
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.
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…
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
The 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.
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
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