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