‘If we don’t insist on’ assimilation we then go the way of Europe’ – Bobby Jindal
Rut roh. Megyn Kelly put the screws to Bobby Jindal, and Bryan Fischer, self-appointed demon-slayer of the GOP, is not impressed. Now the Fox News host of the Kelly File has learned what happens when you question a Republican man. No Rand Paulian sushing of CNBC’s Kelly Evans here. No, we skip right to “Satan made her do it.”
This is how it began:
On Wednesday, Megyn Kelly questioned Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal about a statement he made Monday:
MEGYN KELLY, ANCHOR: Also developing tonight, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is taking fire from some major Muslim groups after he suggested a ban on those who might promote radical Islam.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R – LA: We do insist that folks should not come into our country and use the freedoms we give them to undermine the freedoms we grant to everybody. So in other words we shouldn’t tolerate those who want to come and try to impose some variant or some version of Sharia law.
JINDAL: Well, Megyn, thank you for having me. Look, America’s built on religious liberty. We don’t discriminate against anybody of any religion and certainly there are many Muslims who are proud patriotic Americans. That’s great. But, Megyn, it’s also true there are radical Muslims, there are Muslims that want to treat women as second class citizens. There are those who want to use our freedoms to undermine the freedoms of others. It makes no sense to let those types of folks come into our country. It is just common sense. The question I was specifically asked, for example, was would I be for allowing members of ISIS to come to America? Why would I want to allow people who want to kill Americans to come to America.
KELLY: Members of ISIS may be a different story. Those are identified terrorists, you know who are killing us and our allies. But just to say that if you are a radical Islamist or more specifically if you are — if you believe in Sharia law, then you won’t be allowed into the United States is controversial. Who decides how far into Sharia law you have to be? Who decides who’s a radical Islamist and who’s just an Islamist?
Did she just say that? Yes, she did. What was she thinking, saying something like that on Fox News? But she wasn’t finished:
JINDAL: Well, Megyn, here’s the line. In America, we say you have the right to believe what you want as long as you’re not harming others. So as long as you’re not trying to limit the freedoms of other people, we believe in the right of freedom of self-expression, religious liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of association. You don’t have the right to come here and say for example that you think women should be treated as second class citizens. You don’t have the right to say others don’t have the same freedoms we give to you.
KELLY: Why don’t you have that right? Why not? This is a country with lots of crazy beliefs. And actually some religions continue to treat women as second class citizens. And it’s not just some forms of Islam. Are we going to start banning everybody who doesn’t treat women, or children, or criminals for that matter the way we like?
Jindal responded with a talking point, by talking about American exceptionalism and the need to learn English, which prompted Kelly to ask, reasonably enough,
“How are we going to enforce that? This is a country where we believe in free speech, freedom of ideas. And people are allowed to believe anything they want even if it’s nuts.”
I know, right?
To which Jindal had no answers, other than to bring up the example of Europe, which as you might remember, he insists has no-go zones.
“I think that’s a dangerous thing. Again, we believe in religious liberty, but that doesn’t mean you can use your freedoms to undermine the freedoms of other people.”
Which, of course, is exactly what he wants to do, exactly what Republicans all over the country ARE already doing.
And which brings us to Bryan Fischer and Satan.
Fischer suggested Friday on his own program that Megyn could only have said something so foolish because Satan had deceived her. After all, only Satan could come between a woman and good old fashioned Old Testament intolerance, an old Testament in which, inexplicably, Satan is just a devoted lieutenant of God, doing his bidding.
It’s all very confusing, but this is a warped Evangelical pseudo-Christianity. Don’t expect anything to make sense, least of all coming from Bryan Fischer.
This round started when a caller expressed frustration that people “don’t seem to be able to align on things that ought to be understood as self-evident.” This is all the prompting Fischer needed:
Fischer: Well, you know it’s pretty alarming when you think about it, Jim, where you’ve got somebody as bright and capable and influential as Megyn Kelly. You know, she’s the second most watched cable news host, only behind Bill O’Reilly, and she’s actually given him a run for his money, so she has great influence in the conservative world. And she simply does not get it with regard to the danger of Islamic immigration, and she doesn’t seem to get the fact that Congress can set the rules for immigration and if they want to prohibit people who are fans of Sharia law from coming to America, they have every right to do it.
Caller Jim immediately pointed to the Old Testament and a curse on the land being responsible for our inability to connect on areas important to our mutual interests, actually daring to use the term “commonsensical” in relation to ideas of curses and Bronze Age magic.
Fischer said, “I agree with you,” and launched into Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 4) where Paul talks about how “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.” In other words, everyone who disagreed with Paul’s gospel. And now, everyone who believes in the Republican gospel.
Fischer: “Now, by ‘the god of this world’ he is referring to obviously to the supernatural being that’s referred to in the Bible as Satan, the adversary, a powerful evil supernatural being that opposes the work and the power of God. And what Paul says is that that being has the capacity supernaturally to fool people, supernaturally to deceive people. He can blind the eyes of people to the plain and honest truth.”
“People that are blinded to truth that ought to be evident to them – and we look at them and say, ‘why don’t they see it, how can they not see it’ – well, part of the issue is they are being subject to a blindness and they are not even aware that their eyes have been blinded.”
This is a Christian problem dating back to its origins. Countless people have been tortured and killed because they did not see eye to eye with the powers that be – the Church and its representatives. If you don’t see it, you must be blinded by Satan. This is certainly a useful method of keeping dogma unquestioned. And it worked for many centuries.
That the Republican Party has adopted this strategy in the 21st century is abhorrent. That is has been applied to Megyn Kelly is not surprising. She questioned dogma. She has questioned dogma before. In our liberal and progressive eyes, this makes her more dangerous if only because if she occasionally makes sense, it will make the rest of what she says more believable.
But we “leftists” don’t accuse Megyn of being deceived by Satan. We have moved willingly into the 21st century and cling to the rationalist understanding of our universe that gave us this country and our Constitution. The Founding Fathers sought to leave Fischer’s nonsense behind, in the past where it belongs, but in that, they have failed.
All of this might make the 2016 Republican primaries more interesting than ever. If we thought they were extreme the last couple of rounds, we might find we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
The question is, who will be accuser, and who will be accused? We have seen a broad and general consensus among Republican presidential hopefuls, but some, like Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, want to be perceived as moderates. We even saw Rand Paul agree with Obama about Cuba and praise Eric Holder about drug policy.
Will they also be accused of being blinded by Satan if they don’t toe the hard line drawn by people like Fischer? Or will they get a free pass? Now that is not only leftists being accused, will we be treated to the spectacle of members of congress accusing each other of being deceived by Satan?
Or did Kelly, because she’s a woman, and particularly a woman talking to a man, like Kelly Evans, get singled out for special attention?
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.