Evangelicals stunned that they’ve finally alienated everyone, including those in their own ‘party’
By Kerry Eleveld
After years of lecturing everyone about right and wrong and “family values” and attempting to statutorily impose their own beliefs on America, Christian fundamentalists are now shocked to find out that they’ve been abandoned by pretty much everyone, including the Republican party. Katie Zezima reports on fundie dysphoria in the wake of Donald Trump’s ascension to titular head of the Republican party.
“In a sense, we feel abandoned by our party,” [Pastor Gary] Fuller said. “There’s nobody left.”
Fuller and other conservatives whose voting decisions are guided by their Christian faith find themselves dismayed and adrift now that Trump has wrested control of the Republican Party. It is a sentiment that reaches from the small, aluminum-sided church with a large white cross on its front that Fuller and his wife built on the Nebraska plains to the highest levels of American religious life. Even progressive Christians — evangelicals and Catholics, among others — who don’t necessarily vote Republican are alarmed that Trump is attracting many voters who call themselves religious. […]
“This year the Republican Party has not just surrendered on the culture wars, they’ve joined the other side. And that’s a unique situation,” said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“This year” may turn out to be a gross underestimation of the cultural change that’s taking place within the GOP and America, frankly. Trump and his followers have mostly rejected the notion that they need to embrace the fundamentalist agenda in order to win and—perhaps more to the point—that winning on fundie terms is even worth it.
Ted Cruz’s failure to convert his demonization of transgender individuals into votes in Indiana wasn’t simply a local miscalculation, it was fundamental misunderstanding of where the nationwide electorate stands on LGBTQ issues. While the public is still learning about gay and transgender people, voters seem less vulnerable to “the sky is falling” messages that social conservatives employed with same-sex marriage, for instance. As a poll found this week, 57 percent of Americans oppose mandating which bathrooms transgender individuals should use and 75 percent support equal protection laws for transgender Americans in jobs, housing, and public accommodations.
Rafeal Cruz: ‘Atheism Leads To Molestation’ And 4 Other Crazy Things He Said
Now that Teapublican Texas Senator Ted Cruz has officially tossed his clown hat in the 2016 presidential ring, examining this man’s extraordinarily insane background and comments is going to be easier than spearfishing out of a barrel.
Enter Ted Cruz’s Christian Taliban dad, Rafael Cruz.
Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father, is slowly proving my theory that bat shit can be entered into one’s DNA. The rabidly right-wing preacher often makes extremist comments in support of his moronic right-wing fundamentalism. Relying on wacky Dominionist teachings, the batshit whisperer and father of our newly anointed 2016 republican presidential candidate, previously described his son as being the “self-anointed king of society.” It’s quite interesting how these fundamentalists are so vigorously pro-life when you consider everything they say makes pro-choice the greatest argument.
Here are 5 of the Craziest Things Said by Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s Preacher Daddy:
Giving a talk at OK2A, an Oklahoma Second Amendment advocacy group (Jesus loves AR-15s), Rafael Cruz said that atheism leads to sexual abuse of children:
1. There is no moral absolute, which means we operate by situational ethics, which unfortunately is something being taught in every high school in America. This means that right and wrong is dependent upon the circumstances. Of course, without God there is no value to life. That leads to immorality, that leads to sexual abuse, and there is no hope. They live without hope, because there is nothing more.”(Raw Story)
2. We have our work cut out for us,” Cruz said “We need to send Barack Obama back to Chicago. I’d like to send him back to Kenya, back to Indonesia.” He went on to say, “We have to unmask this man. This is a man that seeks to destroy all concept of God. And I will tell you what, this is classical Marxist philosophy. Karl Marx very clearly said Marxism requires that we destroy God because government must become God.”(MySanAntonio.com)
3. Cruz lying bout Obama on abortion: “Do you realize,” he asked a room of conservatives, “the first bill President Obama signed into law was to legalize third trimester abortions?” (The first law Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, according to The New York Times.)(MySanAntonio.com)
4. “Socialism requires that government becomes your god. That’s why they have to destroy the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. That’s what’s behind homosexual marriage. It’s really more about the destruction of the traditional family than about exalting homosexuality, because you need to destroy, also, loyalty to the family.” (MySanAntonio.com)
5. On anti-gay discrimination: “The left is trying to redefine the issue as a civil right, not as a personal choice. They have gone to the extent to even try to make it illegal for counselors to administer to these people that have certain sexual tendencies to try to work with them from the Christian, biblical standpoint,” Cruz said. (MySanAntonio.com)
Arguing “there’s no reason we shouldn’t get immigration reform done right now,” President Obama demanded on Monday for the umpteenth time that Congress pass his top legislative priority already.
So you can understand if he was a bit annoyed when, towards the end of his speech in San Francisco’s Chinatown, pro-immigration activists started heckling.
“Mr. President, please use your executive order to halt deportations for all 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in this country right now!” one protester yelled. As Obama tried to respond, the shouting continued: “You have a power to stop deportation for all undocumented immigrants in this country!”
“Actually I don’t,” Obama replied. “And that’s why we’re here.”
These protesters are confronting a fundamental contradiction in Obama’s record: he’s made immigration reform his top second-term priority even as his administration has presided over record deportations.
After Senate Republicans filibustered the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to young undocumented immigrants, activists slowly convinced Obama to halt deportations for undocumented youth until Congress came around. Now they’re demanding he do the same for the broader unauthorized immigrant community, or at the very least, for their parents and siblings who still face the threat of removal every day. After all, if you’re fighting to get them on a path to citizenship, why would you want to kick them out? These arguments are likely to get louder if immigration reform dies in the House.
“What you need to know, when I’m speaking as President of the United States and I come to this community, is that if, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so,” he said Monday. “But we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition. And so the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws.”
Politically, Republicans don’t have an obvious way to exploit these tensions, but they are trying.
“Democrats are facing credibility problems, whether it is from Obamacare failures or massive deportations, that’s why you see the president’s approval ratings suffer,” Izzy Santa, who handles Hispanic outreach for the Republican National Committee, told MSNBC. “The fact is that Republicans continue to work on immigration reform, which is more than Democrats ever did when they controlled the White House and Congress.”
The RNC, which has backed efforts to pass immigration reform, may be able to tweak Obama a little over deportations. But the vast majority of Republicans in Congress are on record demanding even more aggressive deportations. The only House vote Republican leaders have allowed on the topic this year was an amendment by anti-immigration firebrand Steve King calling on the White House to deport DREAMers. It passed with almost unanimous Republican support.
It’s true Democrats didn’t pass immigration reform in Obama’s first two years, when Democrats briefly had 60 votes in the Senate. But for most of that session they were stuck at 59 votes and the only Republican willing to negotiate with them, Senator Lindsey Graham, backed out in a procedural dispute. Mitt Romney tried the exact same “Where was Obama?” argument with Latino voters in 2012, even as he advocated “self-deportation” in debates. It didn’t work.
Obama is doing his best to convince protesters which party to blame if reform collapses once again.
“Right now it’s up to Republicans in the House to decide if we can move forward as a country on this bill,” Obama said. “If they don’t want to see it happen, they’ve got to explain why.”
House Republican leaders have offered a variety of excuses lately as to why they haven’t come up with an immigration plan of their own. The schedule’s too tight, or they’re mad at the White House over health care, or Obama is secretly trying to kill immigration reform with unrealistic demands so Democrats win Latino voters.
The president’s goal this month has been to box them in by saying “yes” to their demands whenever possible. Speaker John Boehner doesn’t like the Senate’s bill? Fine, you can pass a bunch of smaller bills instead. They say I’m demonizing Republicans to scare them away from a bill? Well, I think the Speaker is just swell!
“The good news is, just this past week Speaker Boehner said that he is ‘hopeful we can make progress’ on immigration reform,” Obama said. “And that is good news. I believe the Speaker is sincere. I think he genuinely wants to get it done. And that’s something we should be thankful for this week.”
While Obama faces his own pressures, his refusal to back away from talks puts the onus on Boehner to prove his party can deal with the deportation issue at all. And right now there’s no consensus within the party as to whether the country should let any undocumented immigrants remain, let alone get on a path to citizenship. Until they can start naming some demands, they’re for self-deportation by default.
5 Christian Right Delusions and Lies About History
They’re not just delusional about science!
The Christian right is most known for their denial of inconvenient science, but in many respects, they’re just as bad when it comes to the facts of history. After all, no matter what the topic, they know they can just make stuff up and their people will believe it. So why not do the same when it comes to political history? Here are five examples.
1. Joe McCarthy was a good guy. A new and extremely toxic myth is beginning to percolate in on the Christian right: Insisting that Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a paranoid alcoholic who saw communist subversives in every corner, was actually an upstanding guy fighting for God and country. In 2003, Ann Coulter published a book she claims vindicates McCarthy, but its impact wasn’t felt until 2010 when the Christian right members who stack the Texas State School Board tried to get the pro-McCarthy theories into Texas school books.
Christian right fanatics attempted to claim that McCarthy had been vindicated by something (wrongly) called the “Verona papers” (they’re actually named the “Venona papers”). There is a Venona project that has reputed historians who show that the Soviets did have spies in the country, but saying that means McCarthy was right is like saying I’m right to call your mother a serial killer because there are serial killers in America. Harvey Klehr, one of the experts working on the Venona project, denounced Christian right efforts to exploit his work to vindicate McCarthy, noting that McCarthy mostly just fingered innocent people in his paranoid haze.
The new information from Russian and American archives does not vindicate McCarthy. He remains a demagogue, whose wild charges actually made the fight against communism more difficult. Like Gresham’s Law, McCarthy’s allegations marginalized the accurate claims. Because his facts were so often wrong, real spies were able to hide behind the cover of being one of his victims and even persuade well-meaning but naïve people that the whole anti-communist cause was based on inaccuracies and hysteria.
That the Soviets spied on the U.S. is neither surprising—not even to liberals—nor indicative that the communist witch hunts were an appropriate response. The Christian right’s interest in rehabilitating McCarthy probably has less to do with readjudicating the anti-communist cause and more to do with their modern-day obsession with promoting paranoid liars in the McCarthy mold to leadership positions. If they can instill the idea that McCarthy was vindicated by history, it will be easier to argue that the current crop of politically powerful right-wing nuts such as Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz will actually “be proven right by history.” But McCarthy wasn’t and neither will they be.
2. What the Founding Fathers believed. For people who downright deify our Founding Fathers, the religious right is really hostile to accepting them as they actually were, which is not particularly religious, especially by the standards of their time. But David Barton, a revisionist “historian” whose name comes up again and again in these kinds of discussions, has spread the belief far and wide in the Christian right that the Founders were, in fact, fundamentalist Christians who are quite like the ones we have today. Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas confirms this, saying that Barton “provides the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today.”
Barton has convinced the right to believe in their fervent wish that the Founders were religious and even theocratic with quote-mining and outright lying. He likes to whip out this John Adams quote: “There is no authority, civil or religious — there can be no legitimate government — but what is administered by this Holy Ghost.” Problem? Adams was summarizing the opinion of his opponents; that wasn’t Adams’ view at all.
Barton’s reputation took a hit recently. His most recent book, which tried to portray Thomas Jefferson as a “conventional Christian” who wanted a religious government, was so bad that even his Christian publisher decided to reject it. But according to Politico, that’s just a small setback and Barton is quickly being restored to his position as an authority on history for gullible right-wingers. So that means his lies continue to grow and spread in right-wing circles—such as the completely made-up claim that the Constitution (which only mentions religion to insist the government stay out of it) is based on the Bible.
3. God’s protection. If you believe the lie that the Founders intended this to be a religious nation and that secularism is only a recent development, it’s not much of a leap to decide next that God, in his anger, has turned his back on the United States. And therefore that bad things are happening to us because he doesn’t protect us anymore.
You see this belief throughout the Christian right all the time. Every bad thing that happens is blamed on God removing his “hedge of protection” from the U.S. to punish us for turning our back on God in recent decades.School shootings. Global warming. Hurricanes. 9/11.
The problem with this theory should be obvious: If God is turning away from America because we’re supposedly becoming more secular, then things were better back in the day. But when was this supposed Eden of American life supposed to have happened? During the Civil War? The Gilded Age of abusive labor practices? The Great Depression? WWI? WWII? Bad things are always happening, so the notion that they can only be blamed on God’s irritation with us sinners now makes no sense at all.
4. Roman civilization. The Christian right doesn’t just like to lie about our own history; they lie about other nations, too. A popular theory on the right is that the Roman Empire “collapsed” because growing decadence and liberalism caused people to, I don’t know, be too busy screwing to govern. It’s always a little hazy, but the formula is standard: Romans started having a bunch of sex, stuff fell apart, warning for America. Nota daygoes bythat youdon’t hearthis theoryfloated.
5. French revolution. One problem with characterizing the American revolution as Christian instead of secular is that there was another one shortly thereafter, built on the same basic ideals, that was undeniably secular due to the aggressive attacks on Catholic power. If the French were so secular, how could the Americans not be? The answer to the conundrum is to lie and claim there was some kind of gulf between the ideals of the French Revolution and the American Revolution.
Rick Santorum floated this theory at the 2013 Values Voters Summit, where he claimed the French revolutionaries were bad because they believed that rights and democracy stem from the social contract, instead of being handed down from God. Fair enough, though really the “reason” is probably closer to how they would have described it at the time, but where he goes off the rails is to insinuate that they were rejecting the values laid out by their fellow revolutionaries in America when they did this. In reality, the arguments of French and American revolutionaries are nearly identical, echoing philosophers like John Locke who were trying to construct an ideal of rights and freedoms that is frankly secularist in nature.
Back in 1950, a crazy and delusional Joseph McCarthy claimed he had a list of 57 Communists who worked in the U.S. State Department. Sixty years later, a fellow practitioner of paranoid politics, Ted Cruz, told a gathering of the Tea Party that he believed that Communists had infiltrated Harvard’s law faculty. Can these two crazy people be related?
I had a little time to kill so I thought I’d put the Ted Cruz/Joseph McCarthy lookalike theory to the Mario Piperni Photoshop Test (known as the MPPT in the business). The mouth and left side (your left) of the composite belong to Cruz. The rest is all McCarthy. Tell me that the result could not easily be mistaken to be a pic of Cruz’s nutty Uncle Jorge – you know, the publicity-seeking huckster who pals around with Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.
I think so.
One would think that being compared to Joe McCarthy is a bad thing, right? Well, not if you’re a winger and World Nut Daily contributor. Then it’s a positive.
Typically, when a politician gets compared to the late Sen. Joe McCarthy it’s not a compliment. But in a new column for right-wing website WND, conservative radio host Barry Farber uses the analogy for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to make a point about how “brilliant” he is.
The column, titled “Why They’re After the Brilliant Ted Cruz,” examines the “other-wordly” reaction the Texas senator provokes. “When’s the last time a political figure drew such volcanic excoriation from left and right?” Farber writes. “Sen. Joe McCarthy drew it from the left. Sen. George McGovern drew it from the right. The hostility pattern that forms around Sen. Ted Cruz is rare, if not unique. It’s almost as if there’s a secret treaty among beltway insiders that deals with crowd-pleasing upstarts like Ted Cruz.”
As close as they are, the right has not yet hit bottom. I don’t think they’re going to fully realize how far they’ve drifted into Wingnuttia and away from mainstream America until they get demolished in 2016 by Hillary. That might be their wake-up call. Or maybe not.
The Ted Cruz source photograph is a Creative Commons licensed image from photographer Gage Skidmore.
Sure, it seems extreme, but extreme times call for extreme cartoons. When you have the Republican Speaker of the House threatening a national default, food stamps being slashed while farm subsidies are increased and an attempt to defund a program that has been in existence for four years, things have gone to crazy-land.
Of course, Senator Ted Cruz has gotten all of the attention because he is the most, well, annoying, and he is disliked by Democrats and Republicans in true bipartisan fashion. Rest assured, though, there are plenty of other loopy annoying guys in Congress. Senator Cruz wasn’t the only one who voted to take $40 billion from food stamps while shoveling money over to farm subsidies.
And don’t worry, I spend plenty of time going after Democrats like that mean ol’ commie pinko Obama, it’s just that when a political party gets taken over by extremists who are ready to hit the doomsday switch, I’ve got to cartoon a little louder. Let me know what you think, and be sure to comment, share and nail the cartoon to your nearest telephone pole.
Tea Party Galaxy: Voyage to the Center of Delusion
With the government shutdown continuing and no real negotiations happening, it seems that Captain Ted Cruz is still at the helm of the Republican Party. It’s helpful to remember that the Tea Party crew’s main demand is an end to Obamacare, a health care reform law that was passed years ago.
Putting it another way, the Republicans, currently led by the Tea Party, are willing to risk a US default in order to keep working class Americans from accessing affordable health care. This is their best chance to finally drown government in the bathtub, so why would they ever negotiate? They’re having the time of their lives.
And even though the latest Tea Party/Republican talking point is that a default won’t really be that bad and we have plenty of money to pay the interest on our debt, I don’t think I want to stake the world’s economy on Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. I think the Republican space ship may be a recurring character, let’s see how it holds up under the gravitational pull of economic calamity and increasing corporate pressure. Be sure to like, comment and tell yer friends! Oh, and you can find more links to the news behind the cartoon on my site.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is continuing to criticize his fellow Republicans for their filibuster of incoming CIA Director John O. Brennan over drone policy. In an interview with the Huffington Post, McCain referred to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) as “wackos.”
“They were elected, nobody believes that there was a corrupt election, anything else,” McCain said. “But I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone.”
Asked to clarify, McCain said he was referencing “Rand Paul, Cruz, Amash, whoever.”