American-style (Republican) Christianity
A very compelling argument they have goin’ on there.
A very compelling argument they have goin’ on there.
It is positively mind-blowing that Michele Bachmann’s favorite “hard rock” preacher Bradlee Dean (whose ministry is reportedly under investigation by the IRS) is let anywhere near impressionable children with his bizarre version of (ahem) “Christianity.” And yet he’s not merely allowed to be with children, he’s actually invited to preach to them in Minnesota public school classrooms with his shitty heavy metal band, Junkyard Prophet! Now he’s also got a radio show, apparently…
From Right Wing Watch:
Bryan Fischer’s appearance on Sons of Liberty, a Genesis Communication Network radio show, was filled with his characteristic rants about the purported ties between gays and Nazism, gays and the Obama Administration, and gays and “brainwashing” students in public schools. While such claims are nothing new coming from Fischer, the American Family Association’s Director of Issue Analysis, he was spewing out his anti-gay conspiracy theories on a radio program hosted by Bradlee Dean of the influential Minnesota ministry, “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide.”
Dean’s You Can Run has found supporters in Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and the unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor Tom Emmer. Emmer’s campaign donated to the Ministry, and Bachmann even prayed to thank God about You Can Run “for how You are going to expand this radio program, how You are going to expand their video program, their publications, how You are going to advance them from 260 schools a year, Lord, to 2,600 schools a year.”
Fischer and Dean’s show was quite a meeting of the conspiratorial minds. Dean has claimed that Congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim, is using gay rights to topple the Constitution and introduce Sharia law, and that executing gays is “moral.”
Imagine how you’d feel finding out that Bradlee Dean had “performed” his act at your kid’s school and you had no warning beforehand? I’d be fucking furious.
If you are brave enough to listen to this, have a barf bag handy. A pig-ignorant hillbilly homophobe like Bradlee Dean should be denounced, exposed and shamed as the bigoted jackass he is by the people of Minnesota. THESE TWO GUYS talking about Nazis?!?!?! (Note to Bradlee Dean if he’s reading this: Have someone smarter than you are explain the concept of “preposterous irony” to you, buddy!).
Yuck. What does it say about the state when low IQ asshats like this are not merely tolerated, but condoned—and even financially supported—by Minnesota’s establishment Republican politicians? Why aren’t Minnesota’s progressives making hay of this matter? An association with the likes of Bradlee Dean, let alone a monstrous dickhead like Bryan Fischer (I’m looking right at you Tim Pawlenty) should be, in a just and reasonable country, a reason to be ostracized and shunned, not embraced.
Previously on Dangerous Minds
America is a bottomless pit of idiots: Meet Bradlee Dean (and hear Michele Bachmann pray for him!)
In case you were wondering what an idiot thinks about the situation in Egypt, Cindy Jacobs has helpfully made another video!
Hilarious. The bigoted homophobic cretins at NOM (National Organization for Marriage) got punk’d bigtime yesterday when they hotlinked to a cartoon from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. There was only one problem, SMBC’s main man, Zach Weiner, changed the image… to the Freedom Flag!
Brilliant! Fuck these assholes, they deserve far worse. Name ‘em and shame ‘em, that’s what I say. Name ‘em and shame ‘em.
Via The Daily What
Ear-bleeding Christian music video about the Rapture. What would even be the point of trying to come up with something snarky to say about this idiocy (and off-key singing?)
Crazy Christian teenagers pray for Obama (a secret Muslim, or so they heard via an ALL CAPS EMAIL, no doubt) to convert to Christianity by a laying of hands on a life-size Obama cardboard stand-up! Extraordinary! The most stunning display of superstition and ignorance I’ve seen in quite some time (not that this is any sort of accomplishment).
This is a guest editorial from Dangerous Minds reader Em, expanding on some pointed commentary he’s made elsewhere on this blog. Em—who’ll keep his last name to himself, thank you very much—works in the financial industry:
Although I’ve never been a big believer in conspiracy theories, a well-constructed one creates a narrative that pulls in a lot of facts previously viewed as having no connection. The best conspiracy theories don’t even need to be true in order for them to shine a light on what’s actually going on or, better yet, aren’t technically even conspiracies because the activity is going on in the open, even if unrecognized by many.
Consider how perfect the Tea party is on one level: They have the perfect combination of pro-big-business ideologies combined with a cynical distrust of scientific expertise to the point of even regarding mere “facts” as mind-controlling tools of the ‘liberal elite’ (whatever that is). Add to that, convictions that are built upon what are often regarded as fundamental religious principles, and you have the perfect soldier who cannot be dissuaded, cannot be convinced that they may be seriously misguided about some very significant issues because they fully believe their ideas originated within themselves.
In that sense, the fundamentalist push to reflect “Biblical literacy” within the public education system begins to look like a sinister plot designed to teach followers to shut out facts that contradict one’s ‘personal conviction.’ even if that conviction is actually inherited wholesale and largely unquestioned from someone else. Consider the notion of “Biblical literacy”: Aside from containing countless phrases that can’t possibly have a literal meaning, the original Hebrew has no vowel marks. Like a Rorschach blot, the letter clusters in the Hebrew Bible only make sense if we assume vowels for each of the words. (Indeed, traditional Kabbalists maintain that there’s an alternative set of vowels that, after insertion, yield esoteric meanings.) It’s as if someone wrote the Bible precisely to prevent a legalistic and ‘strictly literal’ interpretation. In a sense, therefore, those organizations looking to ‘reform’ public education by having curricula around the country reflect a ‘literal’ interpretation of the Bible are in reality attempting to impose the will (and interpretation) of a small group onto the rest of the American public. Their claim, “this isn’t about us, it’s about God’s will and the Bible” is a lie, but none of its adherents are aware that it’s a lie, and any attempt to prove they’re wrong using so-called “science” and “facts” is viewed as an anti-religion attack from the godless left. Thus, the religious right have become self-protecting vectors of a certain set of viral memes injected by a small secret cabal and coated with the appearance of objective truth.
Now that the vectors are ready, what will the payload be, and who controls it? You don’t have to think too long to take a good guess: It’s about money, and about retaining the power of certain aging industries. In The New Yorker’s recent expose of the billionaire Koch Brothers (See “Covert Operations” by Jane Mayer), the money trails are traced to the various Koch-created PACs, think tanks and even specific branches of the Tea party. As the Kochs control oil refineries, paper products (such as Dixie cups) and various chemical product companies, seems pretty clear that any Koch-supported groups will certainly not be for protecting the environment, and any talk of global warming will hit the protective ideological coating and bounce off like the hard casing around the HIV virus. As the Tea party and like-minded viruses propagate, they insert their anti-environment DNA and get the new hosts to replicate themselves, working perfectly to push away new legislation from impeding the money-flows into those industries that most impact the environment. Is this a mere coincidence? Perhaps.
One thing I’ve found particularly baffling is the vehemence with which the Tea party seems to fight universal health care. As a banker, I would have thought that widely available health care would tilt the economy ever so slightly in favor of small-to-medium-sized business. Currently, there are plenty of employees of large companies that would have loved to work in a small company, or try their hand at creating a new business, but the need to provide health care for their families was a limiting factor. In other words, universal health care would help small businesses (as it does in the rest of the developed world), not hinder them. But the agenda of the Tea party becomes much clearer when viewed as a mere vector of special interests, particularly those tied to specific sectors of big business.
At this point it’s almost superfluous to point out that the Tea party isn’t about freedom or the Constitution or individual rights. The tactical suspension of habeas corpus (for instance) or the assassination (without any due process) of alleged terrorists overseas who are US citizens doesn’t seem to get any recognition at all by the vast majority of the Tea party. Indeed, those may end up becoming useful levers should Tea partiers successfully insert their payload into the halls of Power and the Whitehouse.
As for balancing the budget, the recent Tea party outcry over the Banking Sector bailout is somewhat harder to understand. Of course, we don’t hear the Tea party discussing the elephant in the room: The vast amounts of money that go each year to funding our military, despite the non-existence of wars on US soil over the last century or so. Neither this nor the two perpetu-wars (each now twice as long as WWII) are ever mentioned in any meaningful way, yet they are obviously enormous and ongoing expenses. Another little noticed fact is that, in the 2008 election (and in the previous two elections prior to that), ALL of the Red states (with the exception of Texas) were net receivers of Federal tax money, often via military bases or national laboratories (which are very military in their bent). So perhaps that’s the key: Banking bailouts (combined with universal health care) represent a potential movement of tax money away from states and industries that are defense and oil-focused.
At this point I’d step out of a conspiracy-like narrative and ask just how feasible it is that the Tea party movement is a synthetic movement, created entirely by some hidden cabal of (most likely) rich, white men. Part of the answer, I think, is that there are some truly significant social issues that have given rise to the Tea party: Not only unemployment, but the wholesale sellout and movement overseas of industries that once employed large numbers of Americans with solid, middle-class wages. This movement represents a deeper demographic shift that has called into question the very future of many sectors of the American middle class. It only makes sense, then, that a “back to basics” movement arise that seeks to reset the clock to a time when it was far easier for the now-Tea partiers to live what used to be the middle-class lifestyle. Hence, the phrase: “take back America”.
On the other hand, perhaps this mass of soon-to-be lumpen proletariat looked like the perfect clay from which to sculpt a veritable army of ‘true believers.’ ready to fight for the cause of big corporate profits. Indeed, to quote The New Yorker article:
Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist and a historian, who once worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based think tank that the Kochs fund, said, “The problem with the whole libertarian movement is that it’s been all chiefs and no Indians. There haven’t been any actual people, like voters, who give a crap about it. So the problem for the Kochs has been trying to create a movement.” With the emergence of the Tea Party, he said, “everyone suddenly sees that for the first time there are Indians out there—people who can provide real ideological power.” The Kochs, he said, are “trying to shape and control and channel the populist uprising into their own policies.”
This is for me where the rubber meets the road, where the alleged conspiracy theory becomes real: Take an unorganized and frightened populace, send into their midst well-funded ideological leaders who speak their language, and then load up this golem with instructions to do its’ masters’ bidding. Drag-drop the doublethink of regarding contravening facts as attacks on purity, and there you go: The Tea party is basically just a co-opted gang of stooges, not essentially different from Basij militia in Iran or the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution in communist China. Indeed, even the willingness to use violence in order to terrorize the majority into some kind of perceived purity of thought seems to be gaining ground (which is of course just another way to spread a viral meme).
Whether this is an actual conspiracy or not, it’s pretty clear that something like this is happening with the Tea party. And is that a surprise? Any gang-of-goons pretending to purity is in reality just a way that interests-behind-the-scenes leverage their influence to hold on to their power and privilege, just like the Gang of Four launched and directed the Red Guard movement, and just the way the Iranian hardliners control the Basij.
In that sense, then, the Tea party already is the sleeper cell of corporate interests. They are particularly dangerous because they truly believe that their ideas stem from some type of deep conviction, rather than having been slopped out to them from various right-wing-controlled media outlets. They believe they are acting independently and of their own free will rather than enacting the agenda of hidden privileged forces. They’re dupes. They’re stooges. They’re drones.
The hilarious and sad thing is that, like any gang of goons, they are regarded as disposable by those whom they unwittingly serve. If they get what they want, they’ll rapidly be so marginalized that they (or their offspring) will end up fighting over jobs at Walmart, with no prospects and no health care. This will be the inevitable and logical conclusion to the economies of scale enjoyed by large corporations that, like a lens, focus the benefit back to a small number of upper-level managers in “Headquarters.”
Years from now, those lucky Tea partiers who manage to survive by working two or three jobs will shake their heads as they push a broom or work the register, and wonder what went wrong.
About the author: Em was a founding member (with John Cale and others) of the New York punk band Doppler Effect in the early 1980s. After living in China in the late 80s, Em worked in the physics and electrical engineering space until 2002, at which time he moved into the financial world. In July, Em returned to the US after having lived in London since 2006 and is a member of the UMOUR art/event collective. He blogs at The Magic Lantern, his"litterbox of the soul.”
Take a moment to be utterly flabbergasted at how inappropriate and opportunistic Sarah Palin’s self-serving “blood libel” statement is regarding her supposed influence on the AZ shooter, Jared Loughner…
I know people are dumb, especially the vast majority of folks who call themselves Republicans, but they can’t be that dumb (or can they?) to think she’s doing anything more than “acting” statesmanlike or pretending to give a shit – especially when she’s such a bad fucking actor. The whole thing’s so amateurish. Her speech is just rambling nonsense. And they couldn’t even work out how to stop the teleprompter reflecting in her glasses. Whenever she even attempts empathy, she comes across like a glove puppet. An inarticulate glove puppet, at that.
She can’t even say “God bless America” as if she means it! Those three words are the cornerstone of her schtick!
Thank you Chris Campion of Berlin, Germany!
Christian crazy lady, Cindy Jacobs has a new video. Cindy’s a (self-proclaimed) prophet and shit, right? So her followers have asked been her exalted prophetship: “Hey, Cindy, what’s with all of these bird deaths? Does this mean it’s like the end of days or something?” And this is what she spake unto them: It wuz teh gayz! And Bill Clinton!
According to biblical principles, marriage is between a man and a woman , so we have to say “what happens when a nation makes a decision that’s against God’s principles?” Well, often what happens is that nature itself will begin to talk to us – for instance, violent storms, flooding. And you know there are actually some patterns that you can see where a nation will make a decision that is contrary to the principles of God and after that there is some kind of answer that God gives, being the God of creation, the God who created nature, but we don’t always understand what He’s saying.
Well, there’s something interesting we have been watching – let’s talk about this Arkansas pattern and say, could it be a pattern? We’re going to watch and see. But the blackbirds fell to the ground in Beebe, Arkansas, well the Governor of Arkansas’ name is Beebe. And also, there was something put out of Arkansas called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by a former Governor, this was proposed, Bill Clinton. As so, could there be a connection between this passage [Hosea 4] and now that we’ve had the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell where people now legally in the United States have broken restraints with the Scripture because the Scripture says in Romans 1 that homosexuality is not allowed.
It could be because we have said it’s okay for people who commit these kinds of acts to be recognized in our military for the first time in our history, there is a potential that there is something that actually happened in the land where a hundred thousand drum fish died and also where these birds just fell out of the air.
The way I see it, the only thing that could explain the unlikely situation that there are people out there who give a shit what Cindy Jacobs thinks is that must be plenty of people out there even dumber than Cindy herself. That’s pathetic, almost impossible. She’s a flaming idiot.
Hey Cindy, do some more of your “blaggah, blaggerbah hoolio como sunumfry” talk. I love it when you do your “speaking in tongues” routine. Shit cracks me up!
Via Right Wing Watch
A new meme is born! A video letter from a concerned Christian man with “insider information” from God to those of us who’ll be “left behind” when Jesus takes up all the Christians and Republicans to live in the clouds with him. After that begins the seven-year Tribulation period and this is when we’re all supposed to dial up YouTube and with this clown’s help, get right with the Lord… and eat dirt and paper. Or something.
Whether to point and laugh or to weep at how dumb and delusional this poor fucker is? This guy’s entire, pitifully small worldview is based on the Left Behind novels and Jack Chick tracts! He appears to be well-meaning, but there’s also an air of smug superiority to his advice which I find bust-a-gut funny coming from someone so obviously… not very bright.
“You must not accept the ‘Mark of the Beast.’ That is the main thing you must not do. So basically if anybody… if the government, basically, enforces some sort of a tattoo, or stamping of some sort, on your right hand or your forehead, do not take it at all costs. I don’t care if you can’t buy or sell anything, I don’t care if you don’t have any food, you are better off to eat dirt. Eat dirt. Paper. Basically anything you can find to basically to numb the feeling of your hunger. And it will be worth every bit of it if you refuse the ‘Mark of the Beast.’ Because if you receive the ‘Mark of the Beast,’ that basically guarantees that you are gonna be spending eternity in the lake of fire.”
So far only a couple of hundred people have watched this clip, but as it picks up speed, the commenters on YouTube are going to be merciless to this doofus. I predict remixes and 4chan infamy for this fellow, not to mention drinking games based on how many times he utters the word “basically.”
Here are some from the past 24-hours:
“this is sort of like the videos that suicide bombers make. have fun on your ufo!”
“You should speed up the process.”
“wow you got msg from god..you must be very smart an powerful person,,,im goin go eat some dirt an paper now,, caio”
“Maybe it’s already happened, and you’re one of those left behind?”
And in related news, The Washington Post profiled another Christian who believes that the date of the Rapture is nigh upon us. For Christ’s sake—and for the rest of us—I sure hope she’s right:
From her Subaru, a car painted as white as the fourth horse of Revelation, Allison Warden proclaims that Jesus shall return May 21.
By her reckoning, His return will fall on a springtime Saturday. And if the world weren’t ending, you might find people celebrating other notable highlights of the day: Mr. T’s birthday, Montenegro’s independence or the Red Sox-White Sox game.
But to Warden and hundreds of like-minded Christians, Judgment Day can be calculated precisely by tracing biblical genealogy or by following history forward 7,000 years from the day Noah shut the door to his ark.
So if May 22 rolls around and you’re still here, wailing and gnashing your teeth, don’t say nobody warned you.
“It’s a very jarring thing to be told you have five months on Earth,” Warden, 29, said. “That may interrupt any earthly plan.”
They say that ignorance is bliss, but I’m not so sure about that… It’s not like these two decided to be stupid.
Enraptured by the Second Coming (The Washington Post)