Starting last Tuesday, Mike Lindell, (A.K.A Mr Pillow), teamed up with TV Grifter Jim Bakker for a 3-day telethon structured to sell lots of pillows to the gullible.
The televangelist complained that “the enemy” had seized his bank accounts. He said that he needed the public to buy Lindell’s Bible-themed pillows “just to stay alive.”
Translation: Bakker was impacted financially for selling fake COVID cures and now needs to grift extra hard.
That telethon was a cue for lots of conspiracy claims on the Bakker show, all carefully crafted to trigger sales.
Regular Reminder: Jim Bakker is a fraudster who wears a religious mask. That’s not a slur, it’s a legal fact. He spent many years in jail for mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. He is a truly odious individual who has also in the past been accused of drugging and then raping 21 year old church secretary Jessica Hahn, then used $279,000 of church donations to pay her off.
As for why Mike is popping up with Jim Bakker, I can only speculate that it just might be due to him no longer being able to advertise on Fox News …
- Salon (Sep 16): Mike Lindell is begging Fox News to start airing his ads again — but the network refuses
So what else has happened during this past week?
Below you will find a selection of truly bizarre claims and declarations. What follows comes with a hat-tip to my main source, Right-Wing watch. They generally report the absurd silly claims without comment. The snarky commentary below is wholly mine, it is me having a bit of fun mocking these fools.
The Big Lie
COVID-19 conspiracy theorist Mark Sherwood announced that he’s running for governor in Oklahoma by declaring that “those who participated in these treasonous acts” of supposedly stealing the election from former President Donald Trump must be tried for treason.
- As a bit of background, he is a licensed minister, former bodybuilder, former police officer, and currently a naturopathic doctor who is anti-mask and anti-vax. He is a critic of the current Oklahoma Legislature in which Republicans hold all statewide elected positions, all five congressional seats and supermajorities in the Legislature, so basically he is going for the fringe whack-a-doddle MAGA QAnon vote.
- He was previously an independent and only registered as Republican less than three weeks ago on Sep 1st.
- In a Facebook post, Sherwood called COVID-19 vaccines “poison,” despite billions of people worldwide having safely received the shots.
- This last bit will not surprise you. His previous experience in any elected political office – exactly zero.
- His strategy is classic Trump 101. He is pressing every hot button available … abortion, vaccines, masks, quotes the bible, etc… , and hopes to surf the emotional wave that generates into office.
After meeting with former President Donald Trump last week, right-wing radio host Eric Metaxas declares that he is more confident than ever that Trump will be returned to the White House: “We the people chose Trump—twice—and that’s gonna come out.”
- Eric Metaxas is billed as a “Christian Intellectual”. If this is their best and smartest, then what does that say about the rest?
- Then again, should we really be surprised by his election stance? His entire career consists of promoting things that don’t have robust evidence. His various popular books have been roasted by historians … “unhistorical, theologically weak, and philosophically naive” are subject matter expert quotes.
Washington Post (Sep 18) : Justice for J6 rally gets started with a sparse crowd and tight security
- With the thought “Oh heck, here we go again”, security was really beefed up. Net effect: More police than rally attendees.
- He falsely claimed in the letter that voter fraud had been “proven”. He actually has had his day in court x 60 and failed to prove anything.
- He is still banging this drum by vigorously clicking his ruby slippers together and wishing really really hard. This might work in the movies, but that’s not how reality works.
- Moves like this are really political theatre that is designed to keep those that believe inflamed and donating.
The Second Coming of Q
Dave Hayes predicts that Q will return “when Trump comes back into office.”
- So that basically means that Q will not return then.
Climate Change Solution of the week – Jesus
Tony Perkins says that while “man is responsible for the changing climate,” the real cause is sin and therefore the only solution “is to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- So there you have it then, the real cause of Climate Change is “Sin”
- I’m really not convinced that anybody attending COP26 will seriously consider “Jesus” as a viable solution.
- What Tony is actually claiming here is that humans are fundamentally wicked, hence Climate Change, hence Jesus is the answer. If his hypothesis was sound, then those leading the charge for tackling Climate Change would all be Christians. FactCheck: According to a Pew Research Center poll from May 2020, while 62% of religiously unaffiliated U.S. adults agree that the Earth is warming primarily due to human action, only 35% of U.S. Protestants do – including just 24% of white evangelical Protestants. In other words, those that embrace Jesus are the problem, not the solution.
Jackson Lahmeyer is now essentially selling religious exemptions, telling anyone who doesn’t want to take a COVID-19 vaccine that if they donate to his church, they’ll be considered an “online member,” allowing him to sign an exemption form for them as their pastor.
- The key words there are of course “donate to his church“
- With the thought of fighting fire with fire, the parody belief, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, is offering vaccine letters that for anybody who would like to be exempt from working in proximity to the unvaxxed. This is because it is their sincerely held religious belief that the unvaccinated may emit harmful virus particles which are forbidden to devout Pastafarians. It sounds silly, but is it as valid as any religious exemption to avoid the vaccine
- [Takes note of “things I’m supposed to hate”] – cornfield in Ohio.
- It takes a very special level of “utterly clueless” to think that 650,000+ dead bodies did not in any way influence a decision to criticise his utterly insane video.
Religious News Service (Sept 14): The gospel of Sherri Tenpenny: COVID-19 misinformation meets Christian nationalism
- Her claims are utterly absurd (The vaccine makes you magnetic), so naturally she is tapping the folks who believe that magic is real. This is a very lucrative source of $$$
- As an aside, Sherri makes the list of the top twelve people spreading COVID-19 misinformation on the planet today. If you like being lied to, then she is the one for you.
- If you are wondering why she thinks this, it is because she has had COVID, and so she thinks she does not need the vaccine because she is naturally immune
- FactCheck: Those who have been infected with Covid are being encouraged to get the vaccine. Official CDC guidance on the issue points to a study that shows unvaccinated people who have had Covid are twice as likely as vaccinated people to get it again.
Sidney Powell says the California recall election is “marred by fraud,” claiming that in one county, 70 percent of those who showed up to vote were told that they had already voted.
- Evidence she presented for her claim – none (Are you really surprised). We are supposed to simply take her word that this is true. Notice that she did not name any county so that nobody can go and fact check to reveal the lie.
- If you search really hard then what you do find is this: “At El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills, some voters say they were told the computers showed them as already having voted, even though they had not” … so they were given a provisional ballot and did actually vote. Nothing happened to manipulate votes, it was just a screwup in one polling location over the “have you previously voted” check.
- Incidentally, her actual legal defence from last March for her “Stolen Election” claims was this – “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” Powell’s attorneys said in a court filing defending her
- Is there anybody who only listens exclusively to OAN and absolutely nothing else, so does not know who won?
- In a separate announcement QAnon have declared that water is dry, the pope is not Catholic, and Bears … well, you can guess the rest.
Elected Rep Lauren Boebert Says Government Should Be Run by ‘Righteous Men and Women of God’ … “calling on God to remove ungodly leaders in Washington, D.C., and replace them with “righteous men and women of God” who realize that the government should be taking orders from the church“
- Which specific Church should the Government be “Taking Orders from”, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, etc… ?
- How does she verify that the one she picks is the correct one and not a false man-made church?
- Almost every variation of belief will assert that only their belief is the correct one and that every other variation of belief is man-made and not the “true” one. In this one respect we can perhaps agree with them all, they are all correct to assert that all the others are wrong.
- So yes, she is clearly opposed to democracy and very much in favour of a Taliban style theocratic dictatorship.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene honored the 20th anniversary of 9/11 by doing a special CrossFit workout.
- You might think, “Nah, this is satire designed to mock her” … but no, this is really what she thought would be the very best way to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11
Andrew Wommack says that former President Donald Trump “is the best thing that ever happened to the body of Christ in this nation.”
- In the sense that it has exposed all the Evangelicals for who they really are, then that’s a “Yes”.
Dave Hayes Says Being a QAnon Conspiracy Theorist Is ‘Like Being in the Special Forces’ … “We have been trained by God, we have been trained by Q to adapt, improvise, and overcome. We’ve been equipped. We’ve been trained. We’re relatively smart people…“
- He has a few typos there. Replace the word “God” with the word “a Delusion” and also replace the word “smart” with the word “gullible” and he has indeed nailed it.
Rachel Hamm asserts that she was told by God to run for secretary of state in California “to expose lies, to speak truth, and to establish my kingdom every single place that you step your foot.” She also claims that her youngest son is a “seer” and a “prophet” who saw God fill her house with angels to protect her as she carries out her right-wing activism.
- God just called me to say, “Nope, not me, those are just the imaginary voices in her head“.
- Her key endorsement (only endorsement) as Secretary of state is … (insert drum roll here) … Mike Lindell. If you think I’m kidding and that’s a joke, nope, it’s not, Mr Pillow is literally her only backer (See bottom of her About page here)
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem declares that the positions taken by political leaders must “line up with the word of God” and brags about pushing for prayer in public schools.
- Who exactly gets to decide what the “word of God” actually says? There is no consensus, no agreement, hence we have vast numbers of denominations, each of which declares that all the others are wrong.
The False Profit$
Greg Locke lashed out at members of his own congregation during his Sunday service last week, calling them hypocrites for complaining that he uses his sermons to rant about politics and spread conspiracy theories: “You can leave any time you want to.”
- I do indeed encourage his congregation to take his advice and walk away. There are plenty of other churches out there.
- Meanwhile, the really big Greg Locke news this past week happened on Tuesday – twitter banned him, and it is a permanent ban. That was his cue to claim “persecution”, and sure enough, here it is.
- The following is perhaps the tweet of the week (Hemant and Greg have a bit of history and have often gone head to head on twitter) …
All these people will have a sincere road to Damascus moment, and so I will have nothing to write about.
We all know that’s not how it will play out.