Incredibly, the Republican Party is only growing more extreme. We are seeing more incidences of violence, racism, anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-atheist intolerance, more threats of coups and race wars and civil wars.
And while they engage in these activities, they pretend they are not the racists, and that it is liberals who are to blame when they kill people with their guns. And when they act on the hate Fox News instills in them, covering their victims with Gladsen flags, Fox News just declines to talk about it.
In the 36 hours after the shooting, Fox News tread lightly around the Las Vegas story, producing regular news updates about the crime spree. But Fox provided almost no commentary, no context, and certainly no collective blame for the executions.
You know how different this would be if the killers had shouted “Allahu Akbar”:
But when Fox covers breaking U.S. news events involving terror acts by Arabs or Muslims? Recall that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing last year it was a Fox talker who suggested American mosques be bugged and other Constitutional rights for Muslims be eliminated. And it was on Fox that viewers were told, “not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” It’s where there was a concerted effort to blame the larger Muslim community for the isolated event.
The racist, white supremacist, theocratic Tea Party faithful are only acting as their leaders seem to wish. Cuban anarchist Ted Cruz warns that Democrats will abolish the First Amendment (largely irrelevant given the regularity with which Republicans ignore it) and Tony Perkins says President Obama ill cancel the 2016 elections (unnecessary since Democrats have Hilary and Republicans have…what?). And George F. Will actually says women are privileged to be raped and the Washington Post Opinion Editor defends him. Can they get any crazier? Of course they can.
The Tea Party faithful are clearly taking their cue from their leaders:
We have seen Eric Cantor kicked to the curb by a virtually unknown – and from the evidence so far – a Tea Party idiot, David Brat (I know, those terms seem largely redundant at this point). Tom DeLay says Cantor’s defeat was a victory for God and Brat seems to agree, claiming his victory came “straight out of heaven.” There is Scott Esk, running in Oklahoma’s 91st District, who thinks homosexuals should be stoned to death (perhaps he isn’t aware of the New Testament and Jesus and the “he who is without sin cast the first stone…”?):
Is it any wonder the rank and file are killing people with their leaders stirring them to such frenzies of fear and hate?
And Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) Tuesday took time off from invented scandals to turn into South Park’s Cartman:
He took instead to the House Floor to say it’s “good news” that non-Christians are going to hell (it could be argued we’re there already) “consistent with Christian beliefs” and chided Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Barry Lynn for not agreeing with him.
Watch the video courtesy of The Raw Story:
Gohmert, pretending Christianity is the only religion on the face of the earth, and that his beliefs are therefore applicable to all, demanded of Lynn, “So, you do not believe somebody would go to Hell if they do not believe Jesus is the way, the truth, the life?”
Lynn replied that people should not go to Hell for believing a “set of ideas.”
No, not a set of ideas. Either you believe as a Christian that Jesus is the way, the truth, or life or you don’t. And there’s nothing wrong in our country with that — there’s no crime, there’s no shame.
Lynn said, “Congressman, what I believe is not necessarily what I think ought to justify the creation of public policy for everybody.”
Lynn, you see, unlike Gohmert, is aware of the First Amendment (keep in mind Gohmert is a Texas Republican so cut him some slack), and the good pastor tried to explain religious plurality to Gohmert without success:
For the 2,000 different religions that exist in this country, the 25 million non-believers. I’ve never been offended, I’ve never been ashamed to share my belief. When I spoke recently at an American Atheists conference, it was clear from the very beginning, the first sentence that I was a Christian minister.
Gohmert didn’t like this! How dare Lynn not be offended? Why, why…this smacks of religious freedom!!!
So, the Christian belief as you see it is whatever you choose to think about Christ, whether or not you believe those words he said that nobody basically ‘goes to heaven except through me.’
Since Gohmert obviously picks and chooses which things to believe about Jesus himself, he has very little right to criticize Lynn, especially since if he were really following Jesus during that hearing, he would have turned the other cheek rather than argued and I would be writing about something else this morning.
Because it really matters what people believe about the afterlife in the halls of Congress. It’s only the United States Constitution, after all, that says there shall be no religious tests for office, and it’s only the Constitution’s First Amendment that guarantees ALL Americans freedom of religion, not just dimwit demagogues like Louie Gohmert.
Before you laugh at him though, remember that you can be sure there are more than a few right wing terrorists more than happy to hurry our way along to hell, now that he has pronounced sentence, and they have Gladsen flags to lay on our graves.
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.