Wingnut Weekly – 10 May 2020

Cartoonist Rob Rogers, who was fired for drawing cartoons that were critical of Trump, drew the above this past week to make this point …”This cartoon illustrates the health risk of workers in meat processing plants, but it could just as easily be a chart for all the businesses and/or states that are relaxing social distancing too soon

Our new weekly theme continues. The battle against COVID-19 is also a battle against wingnut disinformation. 

What has become increasingly clear with each passing day since 2016 is that there is one observation made by Trump that is actually true. On 23 January 2016, the then candidate Donald Trump caused controversy when he stated the following during a campaign rally in Iowa:

I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.

Indeed yes. His evangelical supporters have confirmed over and over that he could wipe his ass with a Bible in church on live TV while dressed as Satan and singing “Highway to Hell”, and they would still happily bend over backwards to support him.

I’m not exaggerating. The Washington Post maintains a counter that shows how many have been killed by Trump’s inaction and incompetence over COVID-19. He has not simply shot one person on 5th Avenue, he has slaughtered tens of thousands, and yet vast numbers of people still support him and seriously believe he is doing a fine job.

Let’s take a look at what has been happening this past week.

Wingnut proclamations from the last 7 days

It is all very much everything you might expect and a lot more. Here are some of the highlights …

Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – What could possibly go wrong?

  • DeAnna Lorraine says that wearing a mask to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus is a sign of submission.
    • Saying stuff like this is a sign that you are an idiot.

Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – The Gods are angry

  • Alveda King Implies COVID-19 Hit New York So Hard Because It Is ‘The Home of Abortion’
  • David Lane declares that “what’s happening in America is spiritual. Something much bigger than a viral plague is at play. In hindsight, we may find that a historical turning point took place with the war, as described in Ephesians 6:12, ‘against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against a spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.‘”
    • What is happening is actually down to putting a Reality TV star in charge and then discovering that he is utterly clueless.

Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – Conspiracy Claims

Way beyond just Bizarre

Always wrong

The Cult of Trump

  • For $245, right-wing pastor Curt Landry and MyPillow’s Mike Lindell will plant an olive tree in Israel in honor of President Donald Trump and write your name on a giant lambskin to be framed and presented to Trump.
    • It will be just one tree and just one lambskin in total, and not one per donation.
  • Brenden Dilley praises Trump for baselessly suggesting that Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of an intern: “It doesn’t matter if it’s true. This is how you fight back against people who are trying to destroy you.”
    • That is indeed the Trump gold standard – truth simply does not matter
  • Mark Taylor warns the enemies of President Donald Trump that “the day that President Trump is reelected is the day the apocalypse starts.
    • It has already started.
  • David Barton praises Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic because he didn’t let the “medical professionals run everything.”
    • God forbid that somebody knowledgeable, compassionate, and competent should be listened to
  • Paula White hopes that all Americans will demonstrate patience, empathy, and grace for Trump as he deals with the coronavirus because “you can see how much he cares about human life.
    • We can indeed all clearly see that he cares about just one specific human life, his, and no other.
  • Lindsey Graham Says Trump’s ‘Pro-Life’ Stance Led His Coronavirus Response
  • Finally, Ralph Reed insists that evangelicals supported Trump in 2016 not because they are hypocrites who care only about political power but because they were demonstrating Christian grace, acceptance, and love toward him.

What else came out of the Wingnut fantasy land?

Lots of other stuff. 

As always, it is an endless stream. Some of it is good, some sad, some is rather grim, and some is quite frankly hilarious. Here are a few more samples …

  • New Orleans Archdiocese Files for Bankruptcy, Citing Expensive Sex Abuse Cases
    • The financial bankruptcy is new. The moral bankruptcy happened a long time ago.
  • Tony Spell Says He Has Received Stimulus Checks From More Than 200 Suckers
    • The COVID-ignoring pastor is raking in the cash.
  • GOP Lawmaker Rejects Face Masks Since They Hide How God Created Us in His Image
    • Once again, a Republican is citing religion to deny science.
  • Christian Preacher Rejects Face Masks Because He Can’t Imagine Jesus Wearing One
    • I can’t picture Jesus wearing glasses or skinny jeans, either, but pastors never seem to care about that.
  • Russia’s Orthodox Church Dismissed COVID. Now Scores of Clergy Are Infected.
    • Their religious delusions put everyone in danger.
  • Cardinal Slams Pandemic-Safe Communion Baggies: “You Can’t Put [Jesus] in a Bag”
    • A wafer, sure, BUT NOT A BAGGIE!
  • Right-Wing Christians Got Kansas City to Reverse Sensible COVID Precautions
    • More people will be at risk because conservative Christians lie.
  • Lying Christian Pastor: It’s “Scientifically Impossible to Be an Atheist”
    • Apparently I don’t exist
  • Some Pastors Are Now Looking For Jobs in the Real World
    • Turns out religion isn’t essential for many people.
  • Pastors Claim Bill Gates Will Use COVID Vaccines to Impose the Mark of the Beast
    • Bill gates is fast replacing Soros as the favourite public whipping post for nutters
  • Indiana Churchgoers Will Mass-Gather Again; Governor Calls Them “Control Group”
    • They’re religious guinea pigs in a horrible test.
  • Oregon Churches Sue Governor, Claiming Social Distancing “Trampled” Their Rights
    • It’s so much harder to pass around a collection plate in Zoom.
  • Kentucky Christians Win Fight to Spread COVID-19 via In-Person Church Services
    • More people will die because these Christians reject science.

There are also good people out there …

  • Pastor to Pro-Trump Baptist Leader: “You Have… Lost All Moral Credibility”
    • A pastor bravely called out a Southern Baptist leader for supporting Trump.
  • Judge to Pastor: Even the Bible Says You Don’t Need a Crowded Church for Worship
    • This is such a good way to dismiss a pastor’s absurd argument.

Wingnut of the week – Jim Bakker

Yes, Jim is back.

His latest bit of wingnuttery this past week is this golden nugget of pure lunacy – Preventing Jim Bakker From Selling a Bogus COVID-19 Cure Is an Unconstitutional Restriction on His Religious Liberty, Says His Legal Team

Bakker’s legal team issued a press release on 4th May announcing that it had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against Bakker, who they claim “is being unfairly targeted by those who want to crush his ministry and force his Christian television program off the air … This case is about religious freedom.”

The motion to dismiss contains a sworn statement from Maricela Woodall, who is Bakker’s adopted daughter and the Chief Operating Officer of Bakker’s Morningside Church ministry. Woodall asserts that Morningside considers Bakker’s daily television program to be a religious service and everything Bakker says on it to be a sermon directed at his congregation.

Claim is that his Fake Cure came from God

Woodall and Morningside insist that Bakker’s silver solution was “made available to this generation by God” for the benefit of their viewers and therefore any attempt to hold Bakker accountable for falsely promoting it as a coronavirus cure is an unconstitutional attack on Bakker’s religious liberty.

We consider each of the persons who view The Jim Bakker Show, or observe our other forms of mass media, to be members of our congregation…

…Each of the products offered on The Jim Bakker Show, including Silver Solution, are products that Pastor Bakker and Morningside feel divinely inspired to offer to the world. Such offerings are an integral part of Morningside’s mission and a vital part of how we interact with our partners to spread the Word of God….

…An integral part of this expressive ministry and practice, as well as the doctrinal teachings of our religion, includes educating our partners concerning, and offer them, products, including Silver Solution, that we believe have been made available to this generation by God….

In other words, they wish to play the “It is my religious belief” card to enable them to continue to fraudulently offer fake COVID-19 cures so that they can continue to scam gullible viewers.

How will this play out?

What Mr Bakker is doing is common law fraud and unjust enrichment that violates consumer protection laws, hence it will be fascinating to see how this all plays out.

Actually I can tell you exactly how it will play out. Freedom of religion protects the government from interfering in your theological beliefs. It does not allow you to commit consumer fraud.

One other reminder. Mr Bakker has a long established record as a fraudster who hides behind religion. He was previously indicted for wire and mail fraud, accused of diverting millions in church donations to bankroll a luxurious lifestyle that included multiple houses, cars and a private jet. He was convicted and served five years in jail.

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