What do you say or do with a group that insists nobody but them have any rights? That for others to have the same rights they do is a violation of their belief system? It’s the height of absurdity and perhaps the most ridiculous argument ever made in the entire history of the world, but there they are, making it, and wanting us to buy into it.
To make matters worse, if we resist their attacks on the rights of others (including our own), that is, if we refuse to be harassed, disenfranchised or bullied, we are accused to waging war on their beliefs, of trying to deprive them of the right to believe. In other words, we have no right to not believe the crap they’re peddling because refusing to believe is a violation of their rights.
It’s a discussion – or rather a series of discussions – we should not even be having. It takes on the sheen of arguing with cartoon characters, which most people would admit is just plain silly. I mean, who argues with Popeye or Mickey Mouse? But these people are actual flesh and blood. It’s just that like cartoon characters they don’t come across as very bright.
Certainly, these conservatives possess a certain low animal cunning, but so do rodents (Mickey Mouse is at least nice). If they were genuinely intelligent (or their minds not clouded by religious zealotry), they would know better than to think their narrative is going to be widely accepted. The average person is just not that gullible. It’s not the Dark Ages anymore and we’re not a bunch of uneducated and unwashed peasants who are going to blindly accept the argument that it’s for our own good and they, the people who say they talk to “God” (and that “God” talks to them), know better. They don’t. Demonstrably, they know less. Far less.
I sat down to write a specific article but I quickly abandoned the idea because there was simply too much to talk about. The annual CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) always brings out the worse in the Christian Right and this year is no exception. You want to take them by the lapels and say, “You do realize we can hear you, right?”
You’d think that would be enough to snap them out of it; be too embarrassed to parade their preschool-level tripe in front the rest of us. Instead, they seem proud.
Without further ado, let’s look at some of the offerings (Leah Burton has addressed Sarah Palin’s bizarro performance yesterday) from this year’s CPAC, care of Right Wing Watch:
Nothing like doubling down on the hate. You’d think this would be something any decent human being would condemn. After all, James Lafferty no doubt does not want to see churches or synagogues attacked. Shouldn’t all places of worship be equally sacrosanct? Unsurprisingly, he was proud that most of the mosques attacked have been in the South. It is difficult to say which is more despicable- Lafferty or Austin Rose, who is upset about efforts to put a stop to violence against the LGBT community.I will make them joint winners of the “Hate Crimes R Us Award”.
This is hands-down the winner of the “Most Asinine Statement of the Year Award”. Republicans love to appeal to a false ideal of Founding Fathers-based patriotism but this is so over the top it’s difficult to even make a response. Where do you begin?
You know the GOP has reached a new low when they are openly embracing White Supremacists. I’ll let Right Wing Watch introduce these two: Peter Brimelow and Bob Vandervoort both appeared at CPAC on February 9. This is what RWW has to say about Brimelow:
VDARE is a White Nationalist website, run by Brimelow, which frequently publishes the works of anti-Semitic and racist writers and is named after Virginia Dare, who is believed to be the first child of English parents born in the Americas. Brimelow, an immigrant from Great Britain, expresses his fear of the loss of America’s white majority, blames non-white immigrants for social and economic problems and urges the Republican Party to give up on minority voters and focus on winning the white vote. He also said that a New York City subway is the same as an Immigration and Naturalization Service waiting room, “an underworld that is not just teeming but also almost entirely colored.”
And this is their take on Vandervoort:
Vandeervoort is currently the head of ProEnglish, which supports making English the official language of the US, but previously he was the leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of theAmerican Renaissance…American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor wrote in the magazine that “the greatest threat to whites today comes from immigration.”
These two clowns are the winners of the “Adolf HitlerChurch of Nazism Award.”
This is the truly brilliant ploy and wins my “Master of Unmitigated Gall Award” hands down. Explaining away President Obama’s failure to do any of the terrible things the NRA has accused him of, the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre explains that it’s all a ploy by Obama to lull conservatives into a false sense of security so that he can win a second term and take away their second amendment rights once and for all in 2012. Of course, this doesn’t explain the failure of every other similar NRA prediction for every time a Democrat is elected to the highest office. All those presidents and all those guns still floating around.
Mitt Romney is SO desperate, it’s truly pathetic. Here is a guy who is damn near a liberal and his record as governor of Massachusetts proves it, who just got trounced by Rick Santorum, a real conservative, and he so badly wants to prove his own bona fides that he is engaging in a childish game of, “Oh yeah, well I…” (finish the sentence). But this is coming from a grown man who wants to be president. This is the winner of my “Most Pathetic Lie of the Year Award.” Even more disturbingly, the media is happily complicit in this deceit.
This wins the “Most Unimaginative Reason to Not Elect Obama Award for 2012”. I mean, WTF? Flavor Flav? Really? That’s the best she’s got? Obviously, Ann Coulter has lost her touch. She lost her grasp on reality years ago, if she ever had it to begin with. You can be pretty sure her hero, Joe McCarthy, would agree with my appraisal. As attacks go, you can’t get any weaker, being about on a par with that old favorite, “Your mother wears army boots.”
This Santorum entry isn’t quite as absurd as Gingrich’s claims regarding unemployment insurance but it’s nevertheless a pretty weak argument as arguments go. We could as easily argue that corporations have no right to tax breaks, no right to billions of dollars of our tax dollars that go to them to subsidize their huge corporate benefits packages and overseas bank accounts, and that churches have no right to exemption from taxes, and for that matter, that America has no right to the Interstate System and public libraries or the vaccinations that keep dangerous diseases which ravage other populations at bay in this country. This is my winner of the “Cherry Picker of the Year Award”.
Last of all, the winner of my “Holy Shit of the Year Award”, otherwise known as the “What Are You Smoking?” Award:
Are you F-ing kidding me? Seriously? You’re being too nice??? Well, I guess we saw truly angry with the Inquisition, Witch Burnings, and Crusades, so maybe Andy Blom, Executive Director of the American Principles Project, the man who said this incredibly stupid thing, is on to something. But I don’t think he’s going to find many supporters if that’s where he’s headed. As RWW puts it, he says “Christians just don’t want to be mean and called on Christians to be aggressive in defending their values and refuse to compromise.”
If this tawdry parade doesn’t leave you shaking your head and feeling a little tainted even by this remote contact, then I don’t know what will.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.