From the Mean-Spirited to the Asinine: 7 Prime Examples of Right-Wing Lunacy This Week
Photo Credit: Justin Hoch/Hudson Union Society/Wikipedia
1. Ken Blackwell: Cutting Food Stamps, Oh So Christian
Obviously, the adjective “Christian” has gone through a lot of permutations since Jesus died. Now, apparently Christian means purposely not helping people who are down-and-out. That’s the interpretation that Family Research Council fellow Ken Blackwell was going with when he said this week that “nothing is more Christian” than the massive ($40 billion) cuts to food stamps passed last week by House Republicans.
Apparently though, the Pope has not heard about this newfangled kind of Christianity. Pope Francis broke with Vatican tradition recently to remind his flock that money—and the preoccupation with gay marriage—has led them astray, and helping the less fortunate is very much a Christian value.
But no, Blackwell believes that feeding the poor can lead to dependency, and that particular display of mercy is unchristian. We’re just wondering if he read a different Sermon on the Mount than we did.
Blackwell is not just some out-there Christian activist crackpot, he has held positions of power, including a stint as Ohio secretary of state and failed 2006 gubernatorial candidate. This week he said he favored empowering the poor and working poor to become self-sufficient, although he did not venture any specific plans for doing that.
“Making sure they are participants in their own upliftment (excuse us, is that a word?) and empowerment so that they, in fact, through the dignity of work … can break from the plantation of big government,” Blackwell said, adding insult to insult by employing a loaded slavery metaphor.
2. Bill O’Reilly: Jesus Died For Our Taxes
Speaking of Jesus, religious history scholar and messianic Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly has penned, or had his ghost pen, a new rant called Killing Jesus: A History. And it turns out, and this is really going to surprise you, that Jesus was a Tea Partier.
Reviewing the book for The Daily Beast, Candida Moss, an actual religious history scholar summed up O’Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard’s thesis. Taxes killed Jesus.
“The basic argument of the book is that Jesus died because he interfered with the taxation-heavy Roman revenue stream,” Moss wrote. And escaping taxes was why the Jews eagerly anticipated a messiah. So, to recap, scrap that whole “Jesus died for our sins” claptrap you learned if you went to Sunday school.
Ironically, Moss points out, the Roman system of taxation was not so very different from the current day, and featured a popular current proposal among conservatives. Wealthy citizens were exempt, and non-citizens paid a flat-rate poll tax. But they did not commit the obscenity of helping the poor with those taxes.
O’Reilly feigns humility in his intro. “In the writing of this fact-based book, Martin Dugard and I do not aim to suggest that we know everything about Jesus. But we know much and will tell you things that you might not have heard."
And naturally he leaves out what many, including the new Pope, seem to think was Jesus’ central message, that Christians must help the poor, widows and orphans.
Just not through taxes. God forbid.
3. AIG CEO: My Plight Is Similar to Lynch Mob Victims
Robert Benmosche, CEO of the insurance giant AIG made a headscratchingly, off-base comparison in recent comments that were reported, and yet completely glossed over, in last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal. He compared the anger over the fact that he and other executives received huge bonuses even as the government was bailing them out, and despite the fact that AIG was one of the prime causes of the economic collapse — to the racist anger of lynch mobs in the south.
Yeah, that’s right.
How deluded, narcissistic, or, to use Paul Krugman’s term, sociopathic, is that?
Just to review, the government bailed out AIG, and while they were on the government dole (that’s welfare, by the way, taxpayer funded), the very executives who ruined the company and dragged the rest of the economy down with it got huge bonuses. Uproar ensued, and this uproar, Benmosche argues “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that-sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.”
So, on a par with the murder of thousands of innocent black people.
Hard to get inside a head this deluded. Guess it’ll have to suffice to give him enough rope to hang himself.
4. Gohmert’s Pile (of Crap) – Obamacare and Immigration Are Plots to Deprive Real Americans of Full-time Jobs
Shockingly, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert spewed some more ridiculousness this week. His is an active brain and he always has a theory cooking. Here’s the new brew: Democrats are using the health care reform law and an immigration bill to deprive red-blooded Americans of their full-time jobs and replace them with (presumably non-red-blooded) immigrants.
He offered up this gem as well as some other disinformation to conservative radio host Lars Larson in advance of Ted Cruz’s 21-hour futile, non-sensical talkathon against Obamacare.
“People are already being told after the first of the year that you can’t get your pacemaker, you can’t have this, you can’t have that,” Gohmert ranted to Larson. “People are waking up, this is not good.”
No no, put them back to sleep.
Then Larson talked about how health insurance kills jobs and hurts people, and Gohmert made the interesting intellectual leap to immigration.
“The Senate says their solution is the immigration bill they passed,” he said.
Wait, they do? How so?
“Because under their immigration bill, companies would have a hard time not doing what the Senate bill encourages — and that is firing every fulltime American employee and hiring the immigrants who have just been given legal status. Because if you fire the Americans and hire the people that came in illegally, they get legal status under the Senate bill, then you don’t have to provide them Obamacare insurance or pay the fines. So, maybe if the Senate got everything they wanted, both Obamacare and their amnesty bill, you’d have most Americans that work for big companies losing their jobs all over America.”
OK, so just to follow this to its logical conclusion, that would mean no more Obamacare, right. Because that, of course, is what Obama and the Senate Democrats have been fighting for all along.
5. NRA Lobbyist: Opposing Elephant Slaughter Is Hitlerian Animal Racism
Here’s the background: There’s this show on NBC Sports called “Under Wild Skies” featuring an NRA lobbyist and all the animals he likes to hunt and kill. Some people think this is fun to do and watch. But, some people also objected this week when the show featured the gun lobbyist in question, Tony Makris, shooting an elephant in the face, and then drinking champagne. About 50,000 people objected and suggested NBC cancel the show.
This upset Tony Makris, who feels, as many gun nuts do, very oppressed by the fact that people want to deprive him of his liberties to shoot and televise his kills, and celebrate afterwards. These dang animal nuts are exactly like Hitler, he said in an interview with NRA talk show host Cam Edwards.
To be clear, Makris explained, he is a hunter, a non-dsicriminatory hunter. “I hunt all things,” not just elephants. Animal rights people are too soft on elephants. Nobody objected about his shooting ducks, pigeons, rabbits and squirrels, let alone deer. “So I can shoot all of those, but not an elephant?” he asked rhetorically.
This, he said, is animal racism. And to those who would argue that elephants are different, bigger, more special, smarter and more sensitive, he said. “Hitler would have said the same thing.”
6. Bryan Fischer Gets in on the Teenaged Bullying Action
Bullying, as we all know, is plaguing our youth, especially bullying LGBT kids, and tragically driving far too many to suicide. Most of this bullying is conducted by other teenagers, which is sad enough, and a lot of it is conducted on-line, the anonymity of which, some have argued, has ratcheted up the cruelty quotient.
Brave Bryan Fischer, however, does not need to hide behind Internet anonymity to bully a 16-year-old. The American Family Association spokesman felt it necessary to weigh in on the crowning of Cassidy Campbell, a young transgender woman, who won her high school's homecoming queen title. Fischer called her mentally ill, and objected to the fact that the media has both covered her election, and called her a “she” despite the fact that she was born a “male.”
“He has a mental illness,” Fischer said, using the platform of his daily radio show to go after Campbell, who is already dealing with bullying on Twitter. “He thinks he’s a girl and they elected him homecoming queen and the school officials allowed this charade to go on. That violates everything we know about gender, about sex, about genetics, about biology, about human health, about what mental health is, it violates every known standard of decency and normality in America.”
Bryan Fischer: Two things: 1. Educate your ignorant self about the whole trans issue. 2. Please find something better to do with your time than bully teenagers.
7. Kansas Christian Group: Stop Oppressing Our Kids By Teaching Them Science
The term “religious rights” has come to mean something very different these days from what it used to. Now, to conservatives, it apparently means, the right to discriminate against gays, and the right to teach non-science to young people in school. A Kansas group, not to be outdone by Texas’s anti-science educational crusade, is challenging the right of the state’s schools to teach evolution, because it promotes a “nontheistic religious worldview,” (yes, we also think those first two words are contradictory.)
The group, Citizens for Objective (ha!) Public Education (COPE) argues that teaching evolution, a.k.a. science “the state would be ‘indoctrinating’ impressionable students in violation of the First Amendment.”
COPE says teaching evolution “amounts to an excessive government entanglement with religion” and, here it comes, violates the rights of Christian parents (to keep their children and the children of others ignorant and indoctrinated). OK, that last bit was ours.
COPE, along with thinkers like Michelle Bachmann, consider “evolution” and “creationism” equally scientific and equally religious, and describes what they are promoting as “religious neutralism.”