MN Republican Has Inane Theory on AIDS

Minnesota is generally a pretty liberal state. It’s the state that produced Walter Mondale and Paul Wellstone, among others. But the Republicans there seem to have an affinity for some of the most twisted, ignorant dumbasses imaginable. First it was Michele Bachmann, now get a load of Bob Frey and his bizarre ideas about AIDS.

But when questioned about his position on social issues, Frey added that it “does certainly need to be addressed for what it is. It’s not about the gay agenda but about the science and the financial impact of that agenda. It’s more about sodomy than about pigeonholing a lifestyle.”

Frey then explained his view: “When you have egg and sperm that meet in conception, there’s an enzyme in the front that burns through the egg. The enzyme burns through so the DNA can enter the egg. If the sperm is deposited anally, it’s the enzyme that causes the immune system to fail. That’s why the term is AIDS – acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.”

(This explanation of AIDS has no scientific validity, but it may strike a familiar chord: It is essentially the same one given by Bob’s son, Mike Frey, in testimony given before the House Civil Law Committee last year during the debate over gay marriage.)

Well at least he didn’t say that it’s God’s punishment on gay people.

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  • He did, however, refute representative democracy.

  • Trebuchet

    Nitpick: Describing this as a “theory” reinforces the typical creationist “logic” that evolution is “just a theory”. This isn’t a theory, it’s not even a hypothesis. It’s just ignorant speculation, compounded by bigotry.

    And as usual, it’s all about the butt-seks. Completely ignoring the massive heterosexual AIDS epidemic in Africa.

  • raven

    The large majority of HIV/AIDS patients worldwide are women and children. The vast majority are heterosexuals.

    So much for Frey’s “theory”.

    You have to work hard to stay that ignorant. It would take a minute to look that up on Google or Wikipedia.

  • howardhershey

    Well, it should be noted that Mike Frey (the son) was not speaking to the national House Committee, but just the Minnesota one during their debate on the MN same-sex marriage bill (it passed). And his stated qualification for presenting this ‘scientific theory’ of AIDS was that he was “a concerned father and husband”. Couldn’t the Republicans find some quack doctor to present this theory of AIDS?

  • D. C. Sessions

    The PoG went all-in on climate denialism and creationism, I really am not all that surprised that crank magnetism is taking them into HIV denialism as well.

    They may not be (quite) electorally suicidal enough to go for Holocaust denialism, but I’m watching for some of the other classic crankeries to show up.

  • colnago80

    Re D. C. Sessions @ #5

    Well, their favorite “think tank”, the Dishonesty Institute, is deep into HIV/AIDS denial.

  • D. C. Sessions

    May I make a suggestion (Ed?)

    Can we PLEASE start calling these brain farts something else?

    I nominate “notion.” More than they deserve but at least in the right direction.

  • It’s a good thing women never have anal. They don’t even have an anus. That’s what the wife tells, me, when she “somehow” makes a fart sound. It’s the couch springs, probably.

  • Phillip IV

    But when questioned about his position on social issues, Frey…

    What would interest me are his views on national defense – I’d expect something along the lines of raising a battalion of golems equipped with phlogiston rifles.

  • regexp

    I wouldn’t count Minnesota as a “pretty liberal state”. Minnesota was always been a live and let live state. And yes we produced Mondale and Wellstone (who I’ve never been impressed with and was disappointed he reneged on his promise to only serve two terms) but moderation works best within the state itself. Outside the extreme red areas of the state moderate Republicans do quite well.

  • The very idea that AIDS is the late-stage condition of a communicable viral infection destroys their belief that it is a penalty for a “sinful and depraved lifestyle.” It does not matter if that belief is wrapped up in religion (i.e. the actions of a vengeful God) or pseudoscience (like what this yahoo spouted): the belief is so important to them that decades of actual science MUST be wrong.

    (Insert sigh of despair here.)

  • bahrfeldt

    So, sperm cells entering the body emit burning enzymes which cause AIDS? But only through anal sex, not vaginal or oral? IIRC nearly all sperm in heterosexual vaginal sex never make it to the eggs. Why then are most of the participating women not thus AIDS infected through vaginal intercourse? And wasn’t Burning Enzymes the punk band that featured Ted Cruz and lead singer?

  • Pierce R. Butler

    This explanation of AIDS has no scientific validity, but it may strike a familiar chord: It is essentially the same one given by Bob’s son…

    And the same I saw attributed to Chinese party-line propagandists when attempting to “explain” AIDS as a creature of Western decadence three decades ago (no, please don’t ask me for a link!).

    Sfaik, neither then nor now have any of these “explanations” attempted to account for AIDS having emerged only in recent times, while we have literary and visual evidence of anal sex going back across millennia.

  • bahrfeldt

    Ted Cruz as the lead singer?

  • ianeymeaney

    I have had the buttsecks (with women because I am straight). Obviously, I have the ghey AIDS!

    I think my brain just melted.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Well, that would explain all the boys and men being admitted to burn units with massive inflammation of the hands, abdominal region, etc.

  • =8)-DX

    So sodomy with condoms is ok by that logic? Right? (we can probably put an American flag on those condoms for you if you really need it).

  • caseloweraz

    Not to get too clinical, but I wonder if anyone asked the son, during his testimony, why he thinks an enzyme that must be specific to the protein coat of the egg would “burn” anything in the intestinal tract where no eggs are found.

  • D. C. Sessions

    caseloweraz, your question presumes a whole bunch of thins that are part of the overall collective subject of “reproductive biology.” Which, like the subset “embryology,” is a collection of lies from the pit of Hell.

    Nice try asking such a loaded and patently Satanic question, but you’ve been caught.

  • lofgren

    Theories do not have to be scientifically accurate in order to be theories. They just have to have explanatory power. This technically qualifies as a theory. It’s just a really stupid theory that is contradicted by evidence. Lamarck’s theory of evolution did not stop being a theory when it was disproven. Lysenkoism is still a theory even though there is nothing scientific about it. Hell even Godiddit is a theory.

    This isn’t even the most insane theory of AIDS that I have heard this week.

  • Now if only this guy was a presuppositional apologist it would all make sense. Absolute garbage followed by absolute BS.

    Yep another rubber boot and shovel situation.

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Lofgren: No. That is not even close to the usual scientific definition of what a theory is.


    A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.

    National Academies of Science

    It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.


    A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon.

    A scientific theory is a hypothesis that has been repeatedly and successfully tested, and informally accepted by consensus as the most probably correct explanation for the data. None of the examples you provide rise anywhere near that.

  • stever

    I think he didn’t roll out the Gawd’s Punishment line because he knew of the observation that God must like lesbians, because exclusively homosexual women contract STDs less frequently than heterosexual women, and much less frequently than men.

    Maybe we should launch a counter-lie: “HIV was created in a secret Vatican lab for the purpose of making recreational sex dangerous and raising the general level of misery in the world.” It might even fly, because the Cult of the Cross thrives on misery and declines in periods of prosperity.

  • cry4turtles

    This man fills me with visions of a dunce cap.

  • gmacs

    Minnesota is generally a pretty liberal state.

    Well, the Twin Cities. Get North of there, well, even in the Cities, and it’s billboards everywhere: “Baaaaaaaaaybeeeeees!” “OBAMA IS SOSHALIST!”

  • lofgren

    Lofgren: No. That is not even close to the usual scientific definition of what a theory is.

    And yet still a theory! It’s almost as if language evolves by consensus and can’t be decreed by self-declared authorities! God life is so confusing!

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    “When I use a word,” Lofgren said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

  • gmacs

    Oh fuckssake! He’s from Norwood Young America. My future father-in-law is from there.

    My fiancee must be right about everyone there being fucking nuts.

  • Chris


    No, it’s more like ignoramuses don’t comprehend what a word means, yet constantly use that word in their woeful misunderstanding, wallowing in the Dunning-Kruger effect with a false sense of knowledge while being the antithesis of it.

    Idiots using the word “theory” incorrectly just means they don’t comprehend the word. It doesn’t change the word. Yes, as time goes on, the the ignorant such as you will continue to use the word, yet that doesn’t change how it’s used in academia, it just shows how disconnected you are from understanding actual academics.

    Also, “Logic” still has a set definition, even though almost every imbecilic layman uses it to mean “reason” or “reasonable”, logic somehow doesn’t suddenly unravel (and with it, the universe) because idiots don’t understand what logic is.

    “Begging the question” is still a logical fallacy where you assume the answer you’re arguing for, regardless of how many idiots don’t understand it and use it to mean “Leads us to ask the question…” For some reason, the name of the fallacy hasn’t changed despite the vast bastardization of the phrase. Weird, that.

    So, no, Lysenkoism is not a scientific theory. It may be called a theory by idiots who don’t know what theories are and use the word to mean effectively anything, but once again, for some reason that doesn’t change what a theory is in academia.

    It’s almost like idiots not comprehending what words mean and using them somehow means their ignorance retroactively destroys and replaces what the word originally meant, somehow replacing the definition and meaning of the original word, while it’s still being used, as though it never existed.

    I don’t know if you’re a troll or not, but if not you should be damned embarrassed at how gleefully you wallow in your idiocy, and coat it with a nice coat of woefully unjustified ignorance. Poster boy for the Dunning-Kruger effect, yeesh.

  • dingojack

    Chris – such a shame when idiots read ‘scientific theory’ when what’s actually written is: ‘theory’, isn’t it? @@



    PS: Words can have more than one meaning. Deal with it, or learn Newspeak

  • birgerjohansson

    I am reminded of Bucky Katt in “Get Fuzzy” stating that he feels completely Belgium…

  • dingojack

    birgerjohansson – be careful, I hear that in some US states you can serve 10 to15 for feeling Belgium without consent.*

    🙂 Dingo


    * In Germany, not so much – they’ve done far worse.

  • “Theory” has an accepted colloquial meaning(s).

    It also has definitions, here:

    Which indicate that it is NOT merely a way of “looking at something” in the realm of science.

    I think that the MN moron is using the term correctly, in that he obviously isn’t talking about “SCIENCE!!” as he doesn’t understand what it is.

    I think that it’s time for another demoneologizm; “Reptard*”. Ed doesn’t like “retard” to be used when we are talking about people who demonstrate that they’re, well, appallingly stupid and fiercely proud of it. But in some cases, “indignorant” does not adequately describe the mental state of folks who open their pieholes and broadcast the level of bunin’stoopit that Bob Frey display.


    * ©, TM, SM 2014 democommie ministries and media, LLC, LSD & PCP–Not to be confused with democommie media and ministries, MDA, THC & LaLaLa.

  • So, can anyone just wander into the MN capitol buidling and testify before the House? Is there no vetting process to see if they are even qualified to give expert testimony?

  • I really don’t understand why people try to lecture others on the correct meaning of “theory”, as if this were somehow a useful exercise and as if it somehow changed what scientists actually do.

    The descriptivists have this one right. If you’re an actual scientist who does actual research and reads the primary literature on a regular basis, you will find that “theory” is most commonly used in the colloquial sense and is interchangeable with “hypothesis” and frequently even “law”. This isn’t a case of scientists violating their own rule on how to use a word; this is indicative of there being no rule. Further to the point, scientists don’t spend time arguing over whether something is or isn’t a “theory”, which would be pointless. They argue over whether something is right or wrong.

    Frey’s theory is definitely a theory. To insist otherwise is an insult to the English language and contrary to how scientists themselves actually use the term. It’s a very stupid and wrong theory, but that doesn’t make it “not-even-a-theory”.

  • abb3w

    From the modest amounts of history I’ve read, Hubert Humphrey seems the most pivotal and essential 20th century example of a Minnesota liberal/progressive; and his early political career hints points to some of the other factions in their politics.

  • colnago80

    Re Area Man @ #37

    I really must take issue with you here. IMHO, it is quite important to distinguish between a hypothesis and a theory as applied to science. A hypothesis need have no evidence to support it. In order to become a theory or part of a theory, there must be an accumulation of evidence that supports it and a lack of evidence that refutes it. Thus, the hypothesis of inheritance of acquired traits (erroneously attributed to Lamarck) was not a theory when proposed as it had no evidence to support it. Similarly with the phlogiston and ether hypotheses which never rose to the level of theories as, again, there was no evidence to support them.

    I have also complained on several blogs about the use of the word string theory. Strings, as we sit here today, is an interesting branch of mathematics which may or may not have application to physics. There is currently no evidence to support it (or refute it for that matter) so it is really a hypothesis at present which, as I understand it, makes a number of predictions, none of which have been confirmed (e.g. the multiverse).

  • colnago80

    Re #37

    That should be Area Man @ #35

  • “Strings, as we sit here today, is an interesting branch of mathematics which may or may not have application to physics.”

    Did Schroedinger’s Cat play with String Theory.

    democommie ducks and covers.

  • A hypothesis need have no evidence to support it. In order to become a theory or part of a theory, there must be an accumulation of evidence that supports it and a lack of evidence that refutes it.

    You are free to think that “theory” should be used this way, but this is not how scientists typically use the term. It’s not a technical term in the scientific literature, it just means “something we think might be true”. I write, review, and edit scientific papers for a living, so I see the term used all the time, and scientists are not very particular about how they use it. Maybe you think scientists are all wrong and that you know better. I contend that science is what scientists do, and if you say that science requires X but scientists instead do Y, then you’re the one who’s got it wrong.

    I have also complained on several blogs about the use of the word string theory.

    And yet the actual scientists involved with string theory, both pro and con, keep calling it “string theory”. And then there’s the “RNA world hypothesis”. And then there’s “phlogiston theory”. These are what those things are called and will continue to be called.

    In each case, the word “theory” or “hypothesis” means the same thing. And it has nothing to do with how right or wrong the theory/hypothesis in question happens to be, how much evidence it has, or where along some imaginary hierarchy it happens to sit. Your crusade isn’t going to get anywhere because it’s ill-conceived.