The Values Voter Summit has once again exposed the sinister lunacy of the Religious Right. Everything whacky and hateful is welcome there and each year conservative religious leaders and politicians parade their bigotry before their peers and their followers, and for the entire world to see.
Frankly, its embarrassing for the rest of us, because these people claim to be movers and shakers in both our society and government (and all too often, are) and here they are two centuries or more behind the rest of the world.
It is difficult to believe much thought goes into any of the speeches given, as though each is vying with the last to attain new levels of stupidity. What we saw at this year’s summit was rampant American exceptionalism fueled by a Church militant targeting everything outside itself as evil. Let me put it this way: FRC Senior Vice President Rob Schwarzwalder sounds pretty stupid now complaining about all the mean things he says liberals say about Republicans.
Look at a few examples, courtesy of Right Wing Watch. We will start with the Church militant and American exceptionalism, since the two seem to be linked in the conservative brain:
The FRCs own retired general, Jerry Boykin, was too extreme even for George W. Bush, but he’s not too extreme for Tony Perkins and the Republican base. Says Right Wing Watch of his appearance:
Boykin was his blunt self, asserting, “we are in a culture war today like America has never been” and complaining that the problem was with the church in general and with “Christians in name only” in particular. “The majority of the Christians in America today are dead, asleep,” he groused. “They are not involved in what’s going on in our culture. They’re not engaged in this culture war. They are not putting their faith into action.” He said it was the church that brought about the Revolutionary War and the abolition of slavery through the Civil War. When he looks at America today, he said, “There is no other solution to our ills than for the church to wake up, get off your dead behinds and get in this culture war that we’re involved in.”
Wow, they haven’t woken up yet? Could’ve fooled me. Hate to think now nasty these people will be when they wake up. I wouldn’t hold out hope of them being any smarter, however.
And then we’ve got E.W. Jackson, the lunatic fringer who wants to be Lt. Governor of Virginia. Jackson had a twofold message: that he’s not crazy, just persecuted as part of “a growing hostility against Christianity, a growing hostility against those of us who believe in the Bible as truth.”
I am certain all the people the United States has crushed underfoot on its way to empire might disagree about just how great we are and I find it very difficult to believe that anyone in the would agree with Jackson’s characterization if he and his lunatic friends ever get in control of the country. The world’s only hope at that point will be to gang up on the U.S.A. and destroy it before the U.S.A. destroys them in some ill-conceived Crusade to spread Jesus’ love to every corner of the world.
Rick Santorum, who perhaps best embodies the low intellectual output of the Values Voter Summit, found a way to blame the French Revolution for contraception, asserting that the ACA’s contraception mandate is “a descendant of the French Revolution.” This led Kyle Mantyla of Right WIng Watch to say, “We’re not even going to bother trying to explain how this works because, frankly, we don’t understand.” And to be fair, I don’t understand either. I’ll just let “Frothy” Santorum speak for himself:
If we are lucky, Michele Bachmann will spend next year’s Values Voter Summit becoming intimately familiar with broom handles but for this year we’re stuck with her mindless attacks on Obamacare, quipping that it is “egregious system” that “will ultimately be known as DeathCare.”
Ooooh. I don’t know if she was going for some Star Wars reference there or not but I’m certain she thought she was clever. After all, she thinks her husband isn’t gay.
She also thinks Obamacare will turn the U.S. into a “police state” (I’ve got news for her: it was a Republican, George W. Bush, who gave us the biggest push in that direction). She said Obamacare is “the battle of our time” but I suspect by this time next year she might be thinking broom handles are the battle of our time.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Values Voter Summit without gay bashing, which brings us to Sandy Rios, who says “Millions of gay men and lesbians are caught in a powerful web of deceit that is breaking hearts.” She also accused our public schools of responsibility for an “ocean of propaganda on the homosexual issue.”
Right. Because my 9-year-old comes home from school every day to say how badly he wants to be gay.
This is a real face-palm moment. If only Rios would look in a mirror when she says stupid things like this.
Look, this is ironic coming from somebody who practices deceit as a profession, and at a place – the Values Voter Summit – which is founded upon the dissemination of deceit.
Finally, I want to give dishonorable mention to a piece of white trash known as Gary Bauer, a guy who says China ought to clean up its human rights record while thinking it’s great if America gets rid of its human rights. Bauer spent his allotted time at the summit dishonoring Sandra Fluke. Bauer said that when “a president praises a promiscuous co-ed,” it is “the definition of civilization decline”:
So there you have it: Another Valueless Voters Summit brought to you by the Big Three: Hatred, Bigotry and Intolerance. These people want to create an America founded not on the spirit of equality and freedom, but on the premise that some people are less equal and less free than others. They want a nation that, far from prohibiting laws establishing religion, mandates one religion – their religion -for all.
And then they want to export this faux freedom to other countries and, with any luck, trigger the End Times.
It doesn’t take a third-grade knowledge of American history to know that this is not what the United States Constitution is all about. These people talk about American exceptionalism but as they are violently opposed to everything that is American – because the Constitution defines what it means to be American – what they are really preaching is theocracy and a warped biblical exceptionalism.
And every year they remind us why we need to keep them out of office. I guess after we’re all done throwing up we should thank them for that. The line forms to the left.
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.