O Come all ye faithful…to Iowa. Yes, America’s religious bigots are all gathering in the Midwest to plot, once again, the downfall of American democracy and its replacement with corporate-sponsored theocracy (or is it theocracy-sponsored corporatism? I think the end result would be about the same).
Yes, Iowa is literally infested with God-thugs. You can’t shake a stick (or anything else) without hitting one. Though we’re three-years-plus out from Election Day 2016, the Iowa clown car is fast filling up with those jockeying to be in position to be in position when the time does finally come.
There’s sweater boy (Rick Santorum) and the guy Maureen Dowd calls “cretinous ” (Ted Cruz), who has been working extra hard to become an accepted part of the white-bread Evangelical base (because it’s okay to be from Cuba and not from Kenya), and Donald Trump, who has about as much chance of convincing Iowans that he is one of them as he does of convincing us that his hair is real.
Trump is a joke, but like John Oliver said on the Daily Show the other day, though we don’t want him to be president, we do want him badly to run.
They will all be at The Family Leader-sponsored Family Leadership Summit on August 10 (youth brainwashing will take place on August 9).
You remember The Family Leader, right? If not, Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch refreshes your memory:
Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate who spearheaded the 2010 campaign to boot pro-marriage equality justices off the Iowa Supreme Court, is hosting the event. The Family Leader continues its push to become a conservative power player: Last year, the organization hosted a debate attended by every Republican presidential candidate save Mitt Romney and tried to get candidates to pledge to fight legal pornography and to agree that African-American families were better off under slavery. In 2016, the group might take over the reins of the Iowa Straw Poll.
Yeah. Those guys.
If you’ve got 8 minutes of your life you’re willing to throw away, you can watch Plaats talk about his plans to destroy democracy right here:
But better yet, Tashman also provides a list of thugs…er, I mean speakers, for the Partei Tag, er, Party Rally, um, I mean leadership summit:
Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who recently claimed that most young undocumented immigrants are drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”
Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, the far-right 2010 GOP Senate nominee who has tiestomilitia groups.
Talk show host Steve Deace, who has fantasized about assaulting openly gay NBA player Jason Collins and suggested that the public school system was responsible for the Newtown massacre.
Talk show host Kevin McCullough, who believes that gay people are out to kill him and hate God (but also don’t exist).
Talk show host Jan Mickelson, who has said that AIDS is divine punishment for homosexuality and hailed former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opposition to gay rights.
Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who has likened his campaign against marriage equality to fights against slavery and Jim Crow.
David Bossie of Citizens United, the Clinton-era witch hunter who predicted that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would cripple the military and bring back the draft.
Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, who argued that the Violence Against Women Act represented a “war on women” and accused Planned Parenthood of supporting domestic abuse.
Actor/Reality Show contestant Stephen Baldwin, who called President Obama a “cultural terrorist.”
Dr. Del Tackett of Truth In Action Ministries, who blamed homosexuality on lazy parenting.
Doug Napier of Alliance Defending Freedom, who pledged to represent county officials in Iowa who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Dr. David Noebel of Summit Ministries, who has warned that “Obama and his radical homosexual mafia plan to sodomize the world and make such perversion seem as wholesome as apple pie and vanilla ice cream.”
We all knew the Religious Right was going to double down on hate, and of course, that means also (as you can see from above) doubling down on stupidity.
And they think somehow this is going to win them the presidency.
Not only ignoring the whole of the 20th century and all our advances in science and human rights (which said women and blacks – and now gays and lesbians oh my! – are people too), but much larger chunks of history as well, enabling the masses to live not only in squalor but in superstitious ignorance like our lucky ancestors in the 13th century.
Because, apparently, God likes really stupid people who don’t know how to take care of themselves.
Can I get an Amen?
These religious thugs have convinced themselves of this, and now they want to convince America. So once again Iowa becomes Ground Zero for dismantling the apparatus of government as established by the United States Constitution, which unhappily, established the anti-biblical principle that everyone – and every religion – is equal before the law.
Right. Well, that’s gotta go.
I don’t know how these people are going to deal with the fruits of their delusions, or more accurately, how their children and grandchildren will, when they are forced to confront the conflicting facts that our coastal cities are underwater and God promised never to flood us out again.
I’m sure they’ll figure something out, not that they’ll be able to do anything about it without science and an educated labor pool let alone a functioning federal government.
But that’s just one of the long-term consequences of a religious thuggery victory in 2016. The others are – to name a few – a population without education, without medical care, without a living wage, its women reduced to sexual servitude, no clean air to breathe or clean water to drink, and a bunch of cranky old white men making all your decisions for you just like the Good Lord intended.
Remember, the Republican Party Platform in 2012 was written by religious thugs like David Barton who prefers fantasy to fact. The platform for 2016 is not likely to be any more reasonable and will probably be a lot less so. And that’s what the GOP is trying to sell in Iowa: catastrophic stupidity.
We’ll know soon just how many people think that’s a great idea. I promise you this: any Republican (with the possible exception of Chris Christie) will climb into that clown car for a shot at the presidency, however remote.
Because if you’re not stupid as dirt, you aren’t part of God’s plan for America.
Image from thefamilyleadershipsummit.org
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.