Once again it is time to ponder over the selection of this week’s collection of news items that consist of the weird thoughts and actions that flow from that blend of utter lunacy, namely right-wing extremism and religious fundamentalism. This week there has been one event that underlines how these truly bad ideas often lead to actions that have dire consequences – The utterly tragic deaths in New Zealand.
The death of innocent people in New Zealand at the hands of a right-wing extremist is not the act of an individual who was mentally unbalanced, but instead was the manifestation of right-wing radicalisation in our midst. When you live with a constant stream of bad ideas that go unchallenged, then inevitably there are consequences. We live in an age where one political party has given a platform to far-right xenophobia and refuses to call it out, but instead nurtures it. The result is a climate of intolerance that demonises people for the “crime” of simply having a specific cultural inheritance.
Not sure about that?
Let me remind you of a few Trump examples that you will be wholly familiar with …
- “He spent years demonising Obama with blatantly false “Birtherism” claims
- He demonised a group of black and Latino teenagers who were accused of raping a white woman in the Central Park jogger case. Although an imprisoned serial rapist had confessed in 2002 to raping the jogger alone, and DNA evidence confirmed his guilt, Trump kept beating this drum accusing them of guilt as late as 2016, even when faced with robust proof that they were innocent.
- He launched his 2016 presidential campaign with a speech where he stated this regarding Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
- He tweeted fake statistics claiming that African Americans are responsible for the majority of murders of whites
- He called the people carrying Nazi banners at the far-right rally in Charlottesville “fine people”
- He had been strongly promoting an immigrantion policy that specifically targets people for simply being Muslim.
- and on and on …
If you voted for Trump, then this and much more is what you voted for. Own it.
What happened during the last 7 days?
In response to the murder of 49 people by a white supremacist, Trump responded by claiming that white supremacy is not a big problem, then proceeds to rant about the “invasion” of the US by foreigners and promptly vetoed Congress so that he can build his folly. With a nod like this, finding others falling into step with a flurry of utter BS should not be a surprise ..
- Jesse Lee Peterson: New Zealand-Style Mosque Attack Could Happen Here Because ‘Muslims Are Treated Better Than the Christians and White People’…”“normal whites” are being called racists and white supremacists simply for being conservatives and Christians” … (Er no, people are being called “racists and white supremacists“, because they have been promoting of racism and white supremacy)
- Matt Barber Denounces Killing of New Zealand ‘Innocents,’ Has Spent Years Equating Faithful Muslims with Violent Extremists…Barber—who runs the right-wing BarbWire outlet—has spent years disseminating virulent anti-Muslim propaganda that equates faithful Muslims with violent extremists …(You don’t get to say “How Terrible” after spending years stoking the flames of hatred)
- ‘Islam Is Something That Does Need to be Stopped’: Bryan Fischer Empathizes with New Zealand’s Mosque Shooter…“the shooter was “correct” …(How morally bankrupt do you need to be to promote empathy for the shooter?)
- Lauren Southern declares herself a victim because people are pointing out the fact that she has made her career promoting a similar ideology to that of the New Zealand mosque attacker. … (Intolerance has consequences)
The Cult of Trump
- Bill Mitchell explains that if it seems like the things that President Trump is doing make no sense, that is because you don’t realize that “he is literally being guided by the hand of God.”…(Since there is no God, that explains why everything Trump does makes absolutely no sense at all)
- Eric Metaxas and Lance Wallnau Talk About Trump’s ‘Circumcision’ and How ‘Globalists’ Control the Media and the Banking System…In a wide-ranging interview, Metaxas and Wallnau wallowed in their admiration for Trump … (Their Trump-fest love-in tells us nothing credible about Trump, but it does tell us a great deal about their inability to come to terms with their unbridled support for an incompetent corrupt idiot)
- Bill Wells, the mayor of El Cajon, California, explains why he and his fellow Christians support President Trump: …“Like your big brother showing up just as you’re being worked over by school yard bullies, Trump showed up and sent the unruly media mob scattering. He took on the very premise of the media and called them out on their bias. Christians felt protected and understood.”… (He is basically listing the words and actions that Trump used to con them with)
The education of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez graduated cum laude from Boston University, but to TV preacher Pat Robertson, she is just some “young woman with no particular education to speak of.”
They hate Muslims …
- John Guandolo: It Does Not Violate the First Amendment to Fire All Muslims Working for the Government…(Actually, yes it does)
They hate Jews …
- Rick Wiles Says ‘The Synagogue of Satan’ Is ‘Crapping on the Country’…“The power of the Israeli lobby in America is the most detrimental force in America,… A day is coming [when] Christians are going to lose their lives as they confront the synagogue of Satan. You cannot stand for Jesus Christ and righteousness in this world without confronting the synagogue of Satan.” … (Says a guy who is promoting hatred and intolerance)
They hate Democrats …
- Josh Bernstein: It Should Be Illegal For Liberal ‘Scum’ to Move to Red States…“They’re bringing their disgusting, demonic filth with them,”… (Translation from GOP-speak: The term “demonic filth” means compassion, tolerance, and inclusiveness … shudders, oh the horror)
Basically they hate anybody who is not them.
Sodom got a mention
Mike Heath: There Is a ‘Direct Correlation’ Between Sodom and Gomorrah and America Today…”we’re beginning to see a direct correlation between what actually happened [in Sodom]“…
(The scholarly consensus today is that Sodom and Gomorrah never actually existed and that the story is simply a myth)
Hating Hilary is still a thing …
Chris McDonald asserts that Hillary Clinton “literally” sold her soul to the devil….
(It is of course inevitable that folks with an imaginary friend think that people they don’t like are in cahoots with their imaginary enemy)
And other Old Tropes still pop up …
Laura Loomer proclaims that “Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim.”…
(What she is actually doing is proclaiming that she is an idiot)
Dave Daubenmire says that “most of those who are in Washington, D.C., are possessed” by evil spirits …
(Being a Trump supporter who tends to have a meltdown if anybody dares criticise his beloved idiot-in-chief, I suspect he does not mean Trump)
Golden Moment of the week: Mike Pence
Mike Pence is well-known as “the face of anti-LGBTQ hate in America”. This past week proved to be rather interesting. The Irish Taoiseach, (that’s the title of the guy elected to run Republic of Ireland), came for a visit to the US. During his visit, Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach, attended an early St Patrick’s Day breakfast at the vice-presidential residence at the Naval Observatory, and of course he brought his partner with him. Leo Varadkar is gay and so Mike Pence was basically obliged to suck it up, welcome him and his partner ,and host them for a formal Breakfast …
During his speech Leo Varadkar took time to direct some very pointed remarks to Pence. He was truly diplomatic (diplomacy is the fine art of telling people to F**k Off in a manner that enables the listener to look forward to the journey) …
“I lived in a country where if I’d tried to be myself at the time, it would have ended up breaking laws,” he said. “But today, that is all changed. I stand here, leader of my country, flawed and human, but judged by my political actions, and not by my sexual orientation, my skin tone, gender or religious beliefs.”
There is no way Pence could snub the Irish Taoiseach without also offending vast numbers of voters who have an Irish ancestry, so poor old Pence had to stiffel his bigotry for the day, smile, and pretend he was good buddies with Leo.
Is Pence really that much of a bigot?
Pence’s history of anti-LGBT stances during his time in office as a congressman and governor of Indiana and throughout much of his life has been well documented, so much so that Trump once joked about the hatred as if it was no big secret. During a conversation on gay rights with legal scholars, Trump once interrupted and gestured to Pence, saying, “Don’t ask that guy – he wants to hang them all!” according to the New Yorker.
Pence’s anti-LGBT bona fides include supporting so-called conversion therapy, to signing a religious freedom bill that would have worked as a license to discriminate against gay people. More recently his wife Karen Pence came under fire for teaching at a Christian school with policies of banning LGBT teachers and students.
My heart truly bleeds for the suffering that Mr Pence has had to endure. Meanwhile Leo gets my vote every time.