The World’s Worst Books and the world’s worst public policies

The Left Behind novels are Very Bad. But they are also very influential.

From classrooms, to courtrooms, to the U.S. Senate and all ships at sea, these horrible, heretical books are shaping American public policy.

Tim LaHaye is changing your world.

Item No. 1: Louisiana parents fear “mark of the beast” in school cafeteria.

“A Louisiana school district is trying out a new biometrics device in the hopes of speeding up the lunch line,” vorjack reports. Uh-oh, here it comes:

“I was very, very mad,” said parent Mamie Sonnier. “Disappointed.”

Many parents felt that way. … Sonnier says she’s against the palm vein scanner because of her beliefs.

“As a Christian, I’ve read the Bible, you know go to church and stuff,” said Sonnier. “I know where it’s going to end up coming to, the mark of the beast. I’m not going to let my kids have that.”

Same thing happened when supermarket scanners first were introduced. And credit cards. And ATMs.

These were all denounced and opposed by self-proclaimed Christians who had “read the Bible,” and, “you know go to church and stuff.” What they really meant was that they had read books by Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye. Or maybe just seen part of The Omen on cable. You know, Christians.

Item No. 2: Soon-to-be U.S. Senator Ted Cruz fears a one-world-government U.N. conspiracy

Cruz fears, resents and resists Agenda 21 — a 20-year-old nonbinding resolution recommending best practices for sustainable communities.

Agenda 21 has become a right-wing bogeyman based on the false claim that it constitutes some kind of threat to local or national sovereignty. That claim is due to it being an international effort through the United Nations, which is suspect because all good Christians who read the Bible and, you know, go to church and stuff, know that the U.N. is just biding its time until the Antichrist uses it to establish a tyrannical one-world government.

So since Agenda 21 recommends things like septic-tank inspections, bike lanes, walkable communities, mass transit and traffic-reduction, these folks therefore are now angrily, excitedly opposed to septic-tank inspections, bike lanes, walkable communities, mass transit and traffic-reduction.

Because of Nicolae Carpathia.

And because of the John Birch Society — the far-right group whose paleoconservative conspiracy theories are embodied in long-time JBS-member Tim LaHaye’s End Times novels. According to the JBS, Agenda 21 seeks “a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced.”

Thus efforts to reduce traffic jams are twisted into “the Antichrist is coming to take away America’s cars!!1!” It is no coincidence that anti-Agenda 21 hysteria predominates in the same Bible-belt regions where LaHaye’s “Bible prophecy” heresy is widespread.

You might laugh when you hear red-faced Left Behind fans and Birchers shouting such things at a town council meeting. But it’s not as funny when you’re stuck in traffic due to common-sense regional planning being opposed as the New World Order.

And it’s not as funny when Texas sends Ted Cruz to promote this nonsense in the U.S. Senate. The Senate doesn’t need any more of this, because …

Item No. 3: The U.S. Senate spiked the Law of the Sea Treaty in order to foil the Antichrist

As Steve Benen noted last month, the treaty was:

… negotiated 18 years ago, and ratified by 161 countries around the globe. Here in the U.S., it’s been endorsed by the Clinton administration, the Bush administration, the Obama administration, business leaders, the State Department, the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs, and specifically U.S. Navy leaders who, as Josh Rogin explained, see the measure as necessary “to allow the United States to fully participate in the growing multinational system that governs the open seas.”

Yet U.S. participation in the treaty was nixed due to:

… far-right activists, who had irrational fears, based on little more than paranoia, that the measure would give the United Nations power over American laws. Fox News and other conservative media outlets soon began trumpeting the talking points, which were aggressively pushed by John Bolton and other extremists, that our “sovereignty” was being put at risk by treaty backers, including the U.S. military.

Item No. 4: A sitting judge in Lubbock County, Texas, believes he is a member of the Tribulation Force

Tom Head — a judge, an actual judge who presides over actual cases in a court of law — is campaigning for a local property tax hike to hire more county police. Head, a Republican, says the additional police will be necessary to overthrow the one-world government he expects will quickly arise should President Obama be re-elected:

“[President Obama] is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N. Okay, what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst case scenario here. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. We’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington-Concord take up arms and get rid of the guy.

“Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops — with the little blue beanies. I don’t want ’em in Lubbock County. Okay. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say, ‘You’re not coming in here.'”

Wolveriiiiiines!

(Update: An explanatory note from Texan Charles Kuffner — “A ‘County Judge’ is not a person who wears a robe and conducts trials, though they do have the authority to do so in courts that don’t hear the major felony or civil cases. A ‘County Judge’ presides over the ‘Commissioners Court’,’ which is the governing body for counties in Texas. It’s a little like being the Mayor of a county.”)

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  • JustoneK

    Wait, it’s using something already within a child’s hand as an identifying mark…not adding anything _to_ a human body.

    So God’s already marked us for the Beast?  Efficient!

  • Vermic

    So God’s already marked us for the Beast?  Efficient!

    Today’s youth: pre-damned for your convenience!

    It’s very Calvinist in a way.  Maybe we should install these scanners everywhere, so we can sort out who God has marked and keep them someplace safe.

    While this unscientific nonsense is far from new, does it seem to anyone else like it’s getting worse or more prevalent?

    It’s hard to say.  This sort of nonsense spread like fungus during the Reagan years as well.  Having scary Democrats in power seems to feed the fire of irrationality among these people, but so too does having a Republican administration that aids and abets such wacky thinking.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    I suppose folks who are bound and determined to get irrational will always find a way to do so.  On balance, if I had my druthers, I’d rather have them irrationally fearful of the ruling government than irrationally fearful andthe ruling government.

  • Kiba

    I’m thinking Mr. Head (who obviously doesn’t use his enough) is going to have to do more than just hire more county cops. ‘Cause I really don’t see how the local cops are going to do much against armored personnel carriers and the like. 

    Some days (OK most days) I just want to weep for humanity. 

  • schismtracer

     Some days (OK most days) I just want to weep for humanity.

    Heh, I’ve been saying for years that the only people more delusional than the “barcodes are possessed by demons” crowd are the ones that have any faith in human nature.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Reminds me of the Buffy where Willow accidentally summons a demon into the internet by scanning an ancient tome.

  • Matri

    Heh, I’ve been saying for years that the only people more delusional
    than the “barcodes are possessed by demons” crowd are the ones that have
    any faith in human nature.

    *sighs* And sadly, you’re being proven right every time I look at the news.

  • BC

    Well, duh, he is going to use that 1.7% tax increase to train and equip his own army, of course.   Read what he said – he wants a trained and “veteran” army to go against the UN.  

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     This is something I’ve never quite grasped.

    How the hell does Joe SurvivalNut think he’s going to ‘resist the New World Order’ with just his AK-47, some canned meat and bottled water?

    No seriously, the fuck is an AK-47 going to do when your supposed potential enemies are:

    A) Wearing body armor.

    B) Coming at you in APCs or helicopters

    C) Backed by tanks, attack helicopters and planes, artillery and cruise-missile launching ships and subs offshore.

    D)  Outnumbers you 1000:1 in all probability.*

    E)  Has access to NUCLEAR WEAPONS.  No seriously, this here should be “The End” as far as that debate goes – if you somehow manage to hold out against all of the above, do you really think a tyrannical one-world megalith is going to hesitate to just nuke you?  Because they wouldn’t.

    You know assuming any of that were remotely plausible in the first place.

    *Seriously, if you listen to these folks, just about the entire planet, including much of the US is ‘in on it’.  Which means 1000:1 is probably being overly charitable to the conspiracists.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I used to point blank ask that of the right-wing types I knew in the 1990s and they never really had a good answer except “uuuuh we don’t think the US would bomb its own people.”

    What the fuck? They’ve already assumed the USA will attack its own people by the assumptions of their extreme gun-rights stance. What makes them suddenly want to assume an outbreak of compassion from the US military and police forces?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Why, it’s almost as if they don’t actually believe that stuff about protecting the citizenry from tyrrany, and they just like guns because of a power fantasy. penis-enhancer, and the desire to be able to use a hollow *threat* of violence to bully anyone who they see as a threat to their privilege.

    (And maybe to stop the schools from integrating)

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     Exactly!  I mean this is basic combined arms doctrine here, going back to WWII – nobody with air superiority is going to advance on a defended position without first seeing if there’s a way to weaken that target from the air or at least hit it with artillery fire.

    Now they might be hesitant to do that if said yahoos holed up in the middle of a town (this depends on if the yahoos are just deluded or if this really is a ‘tyrannical one world government’ scenario);  but that depends on a lot of things, most importantly those yahoos being dispersed rather than trying to hole up in some kind of strong point.  If they hole up, they’re going to get bombed – if they disperse it’s that much easier for the infantry and armor to roll them up.

    Oddly enough the best resistance strategy is to go the non-violent route  because it forces collaborators to view you in a different light.  If you’re shooting at them, then you’re The Enemy.  If they’re carting you off for protesting – then that can (won’t always, but can) breed reflection; especially if the person isn’t precisely crazy about the new leadership.

    Of course none of that matters because an actual one-world government is a long, long, long way off* and won’t happen in any of our lifetimes barring some kind of immortality serum (which is also highly unlikely).

    *I do think it will happen – centuries, even millenia from now, assuming we haven’t managed to make our planet totally inhospitable by then; but it won’t happen soon, there are too many old hatchets unburied and too many other more immediate problems.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    The United States, and by extension the entire planet, is so completely fucked.  Thank you Ronald Reagan and all of your ilk.

  • LL

    OK, sure, we can blame LaJenkins for writing terrible books. 

    But it’s not really their fault that the media wastes time and effort publicizing the crank complaints and paranoid fantasies of every ignorant asshole in America. Newspapers and TV news don’t HAVE to make a story out of it every time one parent or small group of parents has a problem with something for a reason that makes no sense. It isn’t really news that no matter what happens, somebody somewhere will bitch about it. Somebody on earth would bitch about free ice cream or baskets of fuzzy kittens. That’s not a newsflash the rest of us need to know about. And yet the “news” organizations disseminate it as if it is. Supposedly, the media are “gatekeepers.” When are they gonna start doing actual gatekeeping?

    And yeah, Texas is full of idiots in high places. From the top down. Although Cruz isn’t a senator yet. He probably will be, but we still gotta have an election. Maybe in the next few months, he’ll start yapping about rape or birth control or one world government and even the extremely stupid voters in Texas will come to their senses and vote for the Democrat.

  • Matri

    Maybe in the next few months, he’ll start yapping about rape or birth
    control or one world government and even the extremely stupid voters in
    Texas will come to their senses
    and vote for the Democrat.

    You’re living in a fantasy world. :P

  • Tricksterson

    Most other states probably but Texas, like New Hamster and South Carolina seems to be home to a particularly concentrated form of crazy/stupid.

  • patter

    Tom Head

    His brother, Richard, heads the local chapter of JBS.  (not really, but it would make for good copy)

  • Vermic

    Never has the phrase “This is why we can’t have nice things” been more appropriate.

  • George Launchbaugh

    That’s all well and good but what about the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all our precious bodily fluids?  :)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s amazing how the “Mark of the Beast” hysteria even throws sand in the wheels of basic improvements to protect things like driver licences from fraud. I don’t recall the reasoning used there but I suspect it had something to do with alarmist crap about microchipping drivers or some rot like that.

  • Jim Roberts

    More or less it. The logic was:

    They want to put microchips in your driver’s license (detectable at about 20 feet as electronic, scannable from a foot or so away) to reduce fraud and speed up transactions at the DMV that require a scan.

    Your license should always be in your wallet.

    ZOMG, the mark of the Beast will be on the asses of everyone in America!*

    * Yes, this would impact women, metrosexuals and others who might not carry their wallet in their back pocket, but who cards about THEM.

  • LouisDoench

     Wallet goes in the front left pocket. If its in your back pocket it screws up your spine when you sit.

  • Jim Roberts

    Heartily agreed. Right front pocket for me, though. Then again, I’m Canadian and therefore a socialist, so aberration is an expectation.

  • Fusina

     New Yorkers also use the front pocket wallet placement–at least that is where my SO carries his.

  • Tricksterson

    And it’s easier to pick.

  • Tricksterson

    I remember my boss at the time who was a fundie getting all het up about that.  He was actually mostly a nice and in many ways intelligent person, he just had certain…blcoks and triggers.

  • Athenides

    I wonder if we could generate a paradox that would make these people’s heads explode by suggesting palm scanners to counteract all of that so-called “voter fraud” happening in poor and left-leaning districts. 

  • Magic_Cracker

    All this stuff about biometrics and RFIDs and UPCs and doo-hicky hick-doodles smacks of lie-brul pick-and-chooserism. Revelation 13:16 clearly states,”And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.”

    A “mark” is only a mark if it’s visible. Now, it might be a red mark or a black mark or some other color, and it might be a tattoo, detail, or a Sharpie mark, but dag-gummit, it sure as Shadrach ain’t gonna be no fancy, under-the-skin microchip or computer laser beam that scans your eyeballs or none o’that science stuff, and anyone who says otherwise is Satan’s tool playin’ you for a fool.

  • Tricksterson

    Which also goes for anyone who says the Beast is the UN.  Plain as day Revelations says it’s a ten headed sea monster.

  • Tonio

    Somewhat jarring to hear Fred use the word “heretical” in a negative sense. I’ve used it to mean righteous defiance against the straitjacketing of thought.

    While this unscientific nonsense is far from new, does it seem to anyone else like it’s getting worse or more prevalent? Obama’s continued presence in White House is symbpolic of the nation becoming less white and less Christian, whicih may seem to these people like they entered a terrifying alternate universe four years ago and can’t get home. Saddening and infuriating that not only are they heading over the cliff, they’re bent on taking the rest of us with them.

  • Magic_Cracker

    When talking about end-timer nonsense, Fred consistently used the terms “heretical” and “heresy.” It’s equal parts turn-about-being-fair-play and his belief that end-time theology being contrary to the letter and spirit of the Bible.

  • Tonio

    Damn, two spelling errors – I’ll have to look into a Disqus account so I can edit.

  • AnonymousSam

    Tonio: I recommend it, if only because regardless of having an account, Disqus will eventually decide to ruin your best post ever by stripping out all the paragraph breaks and adding random line breaks.

    What I always wonder about the Mark of the Beast scare is this: Suppose we don’t ever create any kind of numerical identification system. Does that mean the Antichrist never comes to power? Seriously? What if his numbering is just a little more subtle than that, like he so happens to be the 666th male child born in a particular hospital in the middle of nowhere? Or the 666th ruler of Egypt? Or the 666th shopper at the local K-Mart?

  • Tonio

     If you’re the 666th shopper at Kmart, you get an Iron Maiden box set. And then if you go to Voldemart instead, with every three Death Eater robes you get a free Horcrux kit, and Dark Mark temporary tattoos for the kids.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Or somebody whose bank account balance contains three consecutive sixes…has anyone considered that it might be the Koch brothers?

  • PJ Evans

    Or the 666th shopper at the local K-Mart?

    Or born at 6am on the 6th of June?

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    Once again, tinfoil fundies give themselves a pass on “the literal truth of the Bible” when it comes to Revelation.  

    Genesis?  The Earth was literally created in six days, and the Noah literally saved two of every species from the Flood. But, the Mark of the Beast?  Could be anything!  A card, a tattoo, a microchip … even the veins in your hand!

    Don’t even get me started on the “literal interpretation” of the beast with seven heads and ten horns.

  • http://caffinatedlemur.wordpress.com/ caffinatedlemur

     I’d never even thought of that. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • The Lodger

    Fred, you’ve been taken in by the title “county judge.” In Lubbock County, probably elsewhere in Texas, and in several other states, “county judge” is the title of the chairperson of the county commissioners. It doesn’t necessarily imply any experience in actual judgin’ or lawyerin’. Lubbock County’s real judges (there are three) preside over something called the county courts at law.

    The smaller counties in Oregon use the county judge title, although the larger counties call commission chairs commission chairs. Three cheers for Northwest clarity, such as it is.

  • PurpleAardvaark

     I think it’s all through Texas.  They even call it the “Commissioners Court” when the county officials have their regularly scheduled meetings. And don’t even think about what the Railroad Commission regulates.

  • PJ Evans

    don’t even think about what the Railroad Commission regulates>/i>

    Oil wells, that I know. Do they have anything to do with actual railroads?

  • PJ Evans

     There are people trying to get Head kicked out of office, too. I don’t think it’s likely to work – the area is conservative – but it’s at least going to get more attention focused on his nutcasery.

  • Michael Cule

    Weren’t the Great American People going to rise up in their righteous wrath if Obama was elected the first time?

    Did anything come of that? Because I don’t know why anyone thinks repeating this stuff is going to make it more credible….

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    Did anything come of that?

    Well, they dressed up in tricorn hats and ate a bunch of chicken sandwiches.  Hell hath no fury, apparently.

  • AnonymousSam
  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    What’s interesting is that the number declined through the Clinton years, even, which suggests that better economic times tends to weaken the militia movement because they can get good jobs and not feel ‘under siege’.

    Conclusion: If Obama could bring about a real change in the economic fortunes of the average American, militia members would start dribbling away from the movement even if they were originally beholden by racism.

  • AnonymousSam

    I wish I had better data on when he and his wife were proposing changing the health care system. I know the “socialized medicine!! Commie!! COMMIE IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!” thing was big for a few years during his presidency. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear that the numbers had a spike then.

  • Madhabmatics

     cool quote from historian Robin Kelley about the Alabama communist party:

    “They are not. And part of it has to do with a long history and the
    Cold War, and the fact that we think of communist as these terrible
    horrendous people. But more importantly, if you think of them as somehow
    outside of American culture and history, when what I and others who
    have written on similar areas have argued, is that is very much native
    and home grown. I mean, the Communist Party in Alabama, they began their
    meetings with a prayer.

    These were
    Christians. These people believed in Jesus, in redemption. And they
    believed in armed self defense, and they believed that Russia would come
    and save them if anything got to be really bad. It just made perfect
    sense to those who lived in that period.”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123771194

  • Nirrti

    Don’t they already use those palm scanning devices at amusement parks to keep folks from borrowing each others’ season passes? Disney parks have done it for at least a decade, I know. So this isn’t like the technology’s anything new.

    I’ll bet these superstitious people are the same ones who wined about credit cards and bar codes on food packaging when they first came out. I don’t think this kind of nonsense stems from Left Behind books so much as old fashioned technophobia and fear of change.

     

  • Kiba

    Disney parks have done it for at least a decade, I know. So this isn’t like the technology’s anything new.

    Yeah, but Disney is already Satan’s hand puppet. I mean they employ gay people and have Gay Days. 

    ——-
    Regarding wallets: Front left here! I’ve never carried a wallet in my hip pocket.

    Regarding the Empire: I always liked the Empire more than the Rebels. The Dark Side got all the cool stuff.    

  • http://mikailborg.livejournal.com MikhailBorg

    The Rebellion gets cooler hardware, but the Empire has all the cool cosplay opportunities.

  • VMink

    Indeed.  The Empire gets better wardrobes, better theme music, and better, well, most everything.  Unless you’re a redshirt stormtrooper.  Them you’re kind of out of luck.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

     Yes, they did.  I remember it distinctly as a boy.  Oh, and Henry Kissinger was the Anti-Christ, because of NUMEROLOGY.   My head hurts.  I have to lie down.

  • Magic_Cracker

    I believe Mark of Beast paranoia in modern politics first got started (but didn’t gain much traction) when Social Security was implemented. Anyone got a cite?

  • http://mikailborg.livejournal.com MikhailBorg

    I never stop being amazed at Tea Partiers who think they can hold off the U.S. military with their basement arsenals.

    Nicolae Carpathia controls the media, you yahoos. He doesn’t care about looking good on the 6:00 news; he will just bomb your cute little compound flat and get on with his full day of Antichristing.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    These are people who believe the big “G” Government is something akin to the Empire from Star Wars: a nameless, faceless, wholly evil central power staffed by nameless, faceless toadies and goons (rather than, say, actual human beings).  

    I’m sure they envision themselves as the plucky Rebel forces, ready to take down Obama’s mighty AT-ATs and Death Stars, cutting down his legions of barely-competent stormtroopers like so many B-movie underlings.

  • Tonio

     For at least some of the people we’re talking about, the anti-UN and anti-government sentiments may have elements of white exceptionalism. The US civil service has long offered more opportunities for women and non-whites than has the private sector.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I’m sure they envision themselves as the plucky Rebel forces, ready to take down Obama’s mighty AT-ATs and Death Stars, cutting down his legions of barely-competent stormtroopers like so many B-movie underlings.

    And yet try as I might, wearing a black cape does not allow me to choke them at range with thought and a gesture.  

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    These are people who believe the big “G” Government is something akin to the Empire from Star Wars: a nameless, faceless, wholly evil central power staffed by nameless, faceless toadies and goons (rather than, say, actual human beings).

    Speaking of, see this recent opening from The Colbert Report.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    I never stop being amazed at Tea Partiers who think they can hold off the U.S. military with their basement arsenals.

    There were also those who, prior to the last election, predicted that the U.S. military itself would rise up against the scourge of an Obama presidency.

    Funny story about that: It didn’t.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     There are billboards in virginia literally calling for armed insurrection if Obama wins.

    Part of me, the dark, mean-spirited part, wishes they’d try, so we can finally put to rest the idea that personal unrestricted ownership of firearms is a necessary check against the federal government. When someone suggests gun control might be a good idea, and the NRA’s pet congrescritters talk about the intent of the second ammendment, we could just point at the massive graveyard of the criminals slain in the 45-minute virginian treason, and say “How’s that working for you?”

    (Fun fact: I recently read that in decades past, the NRA was actually *supportive* of sensible gun control laws, as they considered unrestricted gun control to be bad for their image. WHat changed? Well, I’m not going to draw conclusions myself, but the turnaround coincided rather neatly with the civil rights act.)

  • Launcifer

    See, I have the creeping suspicion that, rather than dissuading the survivalists, something like that would them want to set up their own R&D facility somewhere, since the military was obviously hogging all the good stuff. That and call for more terrifying weapons and ordnance to be made available for sale in shops, obviously.

  • PJ Evans

    something like that would them want to set up their own R&D facility somewhere

    Which would lead me to think that probably very few of them have any idea why the government does that kind of stuff in the middle of the desert, or at least several miles from any place of any size. Or how much money gets spent on R&D, what with the real estate, the facilities on the real estate, and all the people doing the R&D and their support staff.

  • Albanaeon

     Quite frankly, I am not all that worried about what survivalists could cook up on their own.  Oh, I’m not saying they couldn’t bring out a bunch of clever stuff, but compared to what a chemist, or a physicist, or a biologist with access to a Community College science lab, phbbbtt… 

    There are disadvantages to neglecting education.

  • vsm

    Wasn’t Waco more or less that? It doesn’t seem to have bothered the survivalists too much.

  • AnonymousSam

    I went hunting for a picture of those billboards. Didn’t find them, but I found news about the Greene County GOP’s March newspaper advocating armed rebellion against Obama.

    We have before us a challenge to remove an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.
        
    An individual who has come to power within a Nation which yields it’s strength over the entire world.
        
    An elected leader who shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might.
        
    In the coming days and weeks  ~ we the people must come to grasp as a common force, our very soul’s, that our future as a sovereign nation is indeed at risk.
        
    If every single individual that you know, would contact 25 other individuals  ~ we can make a difference that will be heard across the Commonwealth and in Washington.
        
    The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware  ~ that the government, their government is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November ~ This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.

  • Daughter

     It’s almost hilarious. “We have before us … an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.” Really? Obama? It makes no sense, no matter what how much they dislike him, that they think this way. What the hell has Obama done that’s so scary to them?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Was it here I was reading someone saying that a “high ranking insider” had repoted that Obama planned to hold on to power “by any means necessary” and would not peacefully give up the office if he were voted out?

    In a more reasonable world, the GOP would not be able to get away with trying to simultaneously paint obama as limp-wristed and ineffectual while also trying to paint him as a dangerous extremist and “Scary violent black man”.

  • Tricksterson

    Thing is that’s been said about just about every resident since Nixxon, except Carter and Bush Sr.  It’s standards boiler plate bullshit.

  • http://mikailborg.livejournal.com MikhailBorg

    “What the hell has Obama done that’s so scary to them?”

    Been black and President. If something isn’t done now, this could happen again – or even worse, someone could be female and President.

  • Dan Audy

     It’s almost hilarious. “We have before us … an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.” Really? Obama? It makes no sense, no matter what how much they dislike him, that they think this way. What the hell has Obama done that’s so scary to them?

    Inspired millions of people who never had voted before in their life to take part in the electoral process.  That scares them more than anything else because if the hopeless, poor, and disenfranchised start voting regularly they will never be able to continue pushing their fear based wealth distribution through the unholy pact of dominionists and corporatists.

  • Lori

    So true.

    In a very real way the GOP’s war on voting scares me more than all the rest of their crap. If they get away with their efforts to grab and hold power by preventing people from voting* they will leave citizens with no recourse but armed action. Our entire system was set up with the intent of keeping that from happening and they’re inviting it while wrapping themselves in the flag and prattling on about how patriotic they are. It’s the old “stupid or evil”. Are they so dumb they can’t see that or so dead inside that they don’t care?

    *I can’t for the life of me figure out why more people don’t call the GOP out on the fact that their voter suppression efforts are a tacit admission on their part that the majority of the electorate doesn’t want them in office.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why more people don’t call the GOP
    out on the fact that their voter suppression efforts are a tacit
    admission on their part that the majority of the electorate doesn’t want
    them in office.

    I tried. It’s been long enough since I sent that letter in to the local paper that I don’t think they’re going to publish it.

  • Turcano

    Ironically, this is why the Second Amendment is still necessary in this day and age.  Although the chances of it happening are small, there is always a possibility that the government will delegitimize itself by suspending or fixing elections, and if that happens, it may fall on the common citizenry to fight it.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    It would not be any more successful for us than it would be for the Tea Partiers, militia movement, or survivalists.  There is no way we could fight the entire military.  

    However, if we keep to clandestine operations we could fall on the recourse of anyone in an occupied land by making running the country very difficult for those in power until the things are forced to shift.  

    … holy crap, I think I just realized the reason for Republican obstructionism.  o_O

  • Turcano

    That’s the really scary part: the political left is both the group most likely to need to resort to revolution and woefully unprepared for the task.  Familiarity with weapons is common among the right wing but almost absent among their counterparts due to being largely urban and their association with gun control efforts.  So if the Second Revolution would consist of me and my bolt-action .22, things would look pretty grim to say the least.

  • http://mikailborg.livejournal.com MikhailBorg

    Don’t assume that people who favor gun control have no familiarity with small arms.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why more people don’t call the GOP
    out on the fact that their voter suppression efforts are a tacit
    admission on their part that the majority of the electorate doesn’t want
    them in office.

    Given that the GOP elected officials doing it have *flat out said* “There is no real in-person voting fraud problem. We are doing this to give the election to Romney,” I  can’t figure why this hasn’t ended with more elected officials going to *jail*.

    The thing my wife is up in arms about this week is that it appears that they’re trying to spin the Obama administration’s attempts to do something about the Ohio voter suppression thing as “Obama is trying to keep Our Beloved Troops from voting early!”

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     I have honestly been wondering the same thing.   How can you get away with admitting that kind of thing in public with no repercussion at all?  I mean it is, last I checked, flat out *illegal* to do that.

  • DashRendar1128

    Link?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Given that the GOP elected officials doing it have *flat out said* “There is no real in-person voting fraud problem. We are doing this to give the election to Romney,” I  can’t figure why this hasn’t ended with more elected officials going to *jail*.

    Plausible deniability.  People are going for Richard Nixon electoral tactics, but learned their lesson about leaving paper trails.  Nixon could have plausibly denied a lot of stuff that happened, but there was just too much to connect him to it.  These days, they never even talk to the candidate they are supporting, they just funnel money through SuperPACs which talk to each other but not their supported candidate.  It allows them to use lots of underhanded tactics to pave that candidate’s way without actually involving the candidate in the dirty business.  

    Still, a Supreme Court crackdown on this kind of bullshit would be nice.  

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     *I can’t for the life of me figure out why more people don’t call the
    GOP out on the fact that their voter suppression efforts are a tacit
    admission on their part that the majority of the electorate doesn’t want
    them in office.

    Because the inevitable Republican response is a lot of ranting about ACORN and Vote Fraud and how it’s better to keep a thousand bl-uh, BLAH people from voting than allow one incidence of fraud and so on and so forth.

  • PJ Evans

    the inevitable Republican response

    And to very carefully ignore that the most prominent cases of voter fraud in the last three or four years were all Republicans.

  • Lori

    The hell?

    It’s painful when dumb people try to sound smart.

  • Tonio

    “Earned military might”? So the US deserves to control the world because we’re the most powerful nation militarily?

  • hidden_urchin

    There are billboards in virginia literally calling for rmed insurrection if Obama wins.

    So why is it those billboards are allowed to stand and someone like Brandon Raub is involuntarily committed to a mental hospital for Facebook posts?  (Good news: A judge overturned the action and ordered his release.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There were also those who, prior to the last election, predicted that
    the U.S. military itself would rise up against the scourge of an Obama
    presidency.

    In point of fact weren’t there rumors that the Bush Jr era Presidency had once been potentially under threat of a military coup due to the civilian administration’s gross fumbling of the invasion of Iraq?

  • Albanaeon

     Yeah.  It was a little humerous (read scary…) the amount of people after the election (even in the military) who were sure that there was going to be some sort of military coup in the wake of Obama’s election.  People that didn’t seem to get that a. lawfully elected, so good to go for most, and b. a lot of military were pretty unhappy with Repubs in general and the Shrub in particular and there was no particular desire among a lot of the lower ranks to bring them back. 

    Not to say Obama’s the most popular president with the military, but from experience we are generally talking about guys that take their oaths seriously and, particularly with enlisted coming from lower class backgrounds, less sympathetic to the Bible According to Ayn Republicans than is generally appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I wonder if part of the dislike among the military for Democrat presidents in generally has to do with a lot of the people in the lower ranks coming out of southern states will poor economic opportunities.  The military represents a reasonable path out of the poverty for a lot of those people, but the culture of those states slants pretty anti-left.  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think seeing how poorly-treated the military has been in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the blatant war profiteering going on in the meantime, has likely soured at least some in the military against the dogma that Republican politicians really mean it when they claim to want to uphold the military.

    The question is, will it have changed the minds of enough armed forces personnel to make a real difference come election time? I don’t know.

  • Nicolae Carpathia

    I never stop being amazed at Tea Partiers who think they can hold off the U.S. military with their basement arsenals.

    Nicolae Carpathia controls the media, you yahoos. He doesn’t care about looking good on the 6:00 news; he will just bomb your cute little compound flat and get on with his full day of Antichristing.

    Thanks for the tip!

    I was going to just call them terrorists as an excuse, but Americans already know that only brown people can be terrorists.

  • http://mikailborg.livejournal.com MikhailBorg

    Most welcome!

    *adds to resume: “Assisted Antichrist with takeover of United States government.”*

  • Jared Bascomb

    Not quite OT, but I bought a great T-shirt at Denver Pride. It has 
    the number 665 inside a silhouette of a bear and says “Bearly Evil”.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    CNN has reported on said judge as well.

    I really do not understand what people like that are playing at. The ebb and flow of US politics is such that right now, at the moment, it feels calm, but I know two-three months ago, I and others here were legitimately worried that some spark might get set off which would drown the USA in some kind of dangerous internecine conflict.

    It seems to me that the imminent-danger feeling is on the rise again. :(

  • PJ Evans

     I figure the FBI is probably looking into it, since he’s doing sedition and working on inciting rebellion.

  • RJ (TO)

    Personally I find it kind of odd that these christian extremists would be fighting all of these things. I mean aren’t all these end time ‘signs’ supposed to signal that jesus’s return is imminent? So why are they trying to stall the process? You’d think they’d want to expedite it. So, so, confounding, these people…

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    It’s almost as though they didn’t really believe the End Times nonsense, isn’t it?  As though, in truth, they were simply afraid of a global, modern, egalitarian society in which they were no longer part of a privileged class by default.

  • RJ (TO)

    OR…they’re nervous that they’ll end up not being among the ‘saved’ (because of, y’ know, all the lying, greed, bigotry, and general ignoring of all Jesus’s teachings).

  • Albanaeon

     I was actually about to point that out.  Sure you get seven years of Buck and Ray-Ray, which is pretty bad to be sure, and the plagues and stuff, but that will be for other people who deserve it, and then its the ultimate Fundy Jesus Theocracy forever and ever, with a short break to really stuff it to the liberals.  Why aren’t they celebrating and getting out of the way if it really means they will be proven right forever.

    Consistency is apparently not a virtue when you’re an end-of-times wingnut.  Given their checklist though, I shouldn’t be surprised.

  • hidden_urchin

    I feel compelled once again to say, “Not all Texans live in some strange parallel reality.”

    (Just most of the politicians.)

    Yeah, I’ve just got to laugh otherwise the stress of seeing these people in power would be too much.  Seriously.  This is not only embarassing but also alarming considering that some of their other positions would result in me being denied certain rights.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Somewhat off-topic: I got to meet “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper yesterday. It was pretty cool, but DiBiase has sadly contracted Fox Geezer Syndrome (Born Again Christian strain). Hearing him spout off ignorant nonsense about “Obamacare” was really rather depressing – especially doing so in Scotland. Kinda hard to convince a country where everyone uses the NHS of the evils of socialised medicine.

    Still, at least Piper was cool – and rather shocked to find out that “They Live” is 18-rated here. Just a shame I didn’t get a chance to see his reaction to the guy who brought a copy of “Hell Comes To Frogtown” to sign.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’m a front pocket wallet person myself. I always feel safer that way.

  • GDwarf

    Recently re-reading Revelation, I noted that before the mark of the beast is given out God sends angels to give 144 000 people (The book says Jews-only, but that’s never stopped “literalists” from including themselves) a mark of God on their forehead.

    So surely the first such mark system is the good one, and opposing it sends people to hell, right? Or have I missed something?

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    I recently purchased one of these slimline wallets to narrow the profile of my back pocket.  Now, I forget it’s there.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I kept my wallet in my back pocket and my billfold in my  side pocket until I was in my mid 20s. Then I started having issues with my back and decided it was more comfortable to carry my wallet in my other side pocket. It’s hard to switch back, so I never did ( which is inconvenient, since it’s not a sure thing when buying pants that they won’t turn outto have pockets which assume you would never try to carry a wallet in them, certainly not while also carrying keys.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Screw the little blue beanies, what we need are a few tall and intimidating men in black suits to show up on LaHaye’s, Ted Cruz,  and Tom Head’s respective doorsteps to have a brief chat… 

    If for no other reason than gaslighting them would be hillarious. A conspiracy ceases to be a conspiracy as soon as it operates openly.

  • Bnerd

    Ah yes, I remember the good ole’ round table discussions about the “mark of the beast”. Anytime our Bible study groups would reach Revelations they would automatically start in on, “What is the mark of the beast?”. No one knew of course (which is ironic coming from literalists), but that didn’t stop them from throwing all sorts of crap at the wall to see what would stick. When I was a kid, the popular theory related to RFID chips. *Every* good Last Christian Action Hero just knew RFID chips were the mark of the beast. When that didn’t seem to materialize, the discussion went back to the usual suspects: UPC codes. For some reason Evangelicals have an irrational fear of barcodes.

    I also remember hearing quite a bit of conspiracy theory BS. It was the mark of a good Evangelical to believe that the Government was somehow plottingto steal everything from you. The big one when I was young was the formation of the European Union. Evangelicals LOVED using that as a sign (probably still do I’m sure).

  • Kiba

    @ FearlessSon
    I was sooooo disappointed when I realized that I couldn’t do that as a kid.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    According to Dilbert, you can do that with enough coffee.  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I actually half facetiously commented that the Yugoslav state could have fit the “ten and seven” part of Revelation; I then discovered at one point some fringe Christian sect did in fact try to fit the Yugoslav political structure into Revelation prophecy seriously.

  • Kiba

    Lies!  I pretty much live on coffee. I’ve been told my blood type is F for Folgers and I still can’t do that.

    Or maybe I need to practice more…. >.>

  • vsm

    As fun as it is to complain about RayRay and company not doing anything, it may have actually been a pretty good decision on Ellenjay’s part. If their followers get up to such shenanigans all by their own, imagine if the books contained a call for direct action. Granted, the ethical choice would have been to not write anything in the first place, but hucksters gonna huck.

  • Ima Pseudonym

    WHAARRGARRBLE!

  • Ima Pseudonym

    Uhhh…tThat was supposed to go with this picture, since I don’t know how to add a caption to this. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

    What amazes me — what leaves me utterly dumbfounded! — is that these creatures are so terrified of Obama being the Antichrist that they are eager to vote for a plutocratic Mormon bishop and a Catholic Ayn Rand cultist! Ellenjay couldn’t have gotten away with making their Antichrist such transparent worshipers of Mammon. It would have been too obvious even for their dull-witted readers to accept.

  • AnonymousSam

    I believe Fred once said that this kind of thinking conditions people to look so hard for wolves in sheeps’ clothing that they ignore real wolves and start suspecting every sheep.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    For context.

    Also, I might note that a certain former country was often trashed by the United States for abuse of psychiatric detention.

    It is odd how the extremes meet in some cases, isn’t it?

  • http://jdm314.livejournal.com/ Mad Latinist

    “Little blue beanies”!? Um…. 

  • Lori

    Not a week goes by that I don’t think back to the days when my parents knew that the Birchers were whackadoos. U know that they did because we used to talk about it. They had some friends who were members and used to say the L & A were nice people with ridiculous politics. Now my folks are Tea Party supporters and seem to have no clue that that means they’re basically Birchers. It’s depressing.  Also, I hate Fox News so much I can’t even tell you.

  • J Neo Marvin

    A sitting judge in Lubbock County, Texas, believes he is a member of the Tribulation Force

    So does that mean he’ll soon be piloting Air Force One and keeping his mouth shut? I look forward to this.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     Not gonna lie, that made me lol >_>

  • LoneWolf343

    That judge can’t be a member of the Tribulation Force, because he’s actually trying to do something!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F64NWR2RGAJJMJ7XWTLX53MY7I Charles Thompson

    Perhaps you should do some research rather than regurgitating lies. This thing is filled with fact errors. Here is the most obvious one:

    “Tom Head — a judge, an actual judge who presides over actual cases in a court of law”

    Tom Head is not “an actual judge,” his job is to serve as the chief executive of the county commission, sort of like a mayor maybe. He is not a “judge” as in a judge in a court who presides over actual cases. Get a grip man. The vast right wing conspiracy is a figment of your imagination. Go to a JBS meeting to see what it is about instead of spreading propaganda and falsehoods. I’m not a member (due to the fee) but I like them a lot.

  • AnonymousSam

    He’s not a judge, yet his title is “Honorable” and his job position is “county judge”? He’s not a judge, but he conducts hearings and can perform civil ceremonies? He’s not a judge, and yet his mailing address is a court house?

    I can see why people might make that mistake.

    By the way, I think it’s interesting how you seem to assume that means the rest of the issue with The Honorable Judge Tom Head (who is not a judge) falls right apart. ‘Cause, y’know, there’s no alarming weirdness at all involved in calling for a militia to engage in civil war.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    you seem to assume that means the rest of the issue with The Honorable Judge Tom Head (who is not a judge) falls apart like a house of cards

    To be fair, I don’t think Charles assumes the issue falls apart so much as they aren’t engaging the issue at all, merely impugning the credibility of the speaker. Which is in some environments a viable strategy.

  • AnonymousSam

    To be fair, that’s a logical fallacy and does nothing to undermine the seriousness of a government official actively planning rebellion against the government, let alone of having wildly untrue and dangerous beliefs about the government. He should know better. He is COUNTED UPON to know better.

    “LOLOLOL YOU MORON JUST BECAUSE HE’S A JUDGE DOESN’T MEAN HE’S A JUDGE YOUR CLAIM IS INVALID” is the kind of stupid bullshit reasoning I’d expect out of Republican campaign ads.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Yup, all of that is true.
    Or TRUE, if you prefer all-caps and italics.

  • AnonymousSam

    I DO INDEED GOOD SIR.

    Even my monocles are capitalized and italicized — FOR GREAT JUSTICE.

    That and the AM hours are never a good time for me to read this blog.

  • Madhabmatics

     Oh man, he’s like a mayor? That totally makes what he said less completely awful and dumb. Thanks for enlightening us, Charles Thompson. I’ll be sure to keep a watch for the black helicopters in the future!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The thing that just floors me is he’s an emergency marshal type dude, and he’s trying to use the weight of his authority to make false, baseless claims that could be construed as actively hindering the work of other elected officials in his area, at the very least.

    At the very worst, it’s actively seditious and he should lose his job.

  • PJ Evans

     Or, in terms of other states, a county supervisor. I used to live in the next county north, and as a county official, yes, his address is going to be the courthouse, because that’s where the offices are. A county courthouse in Texas is more like a hall of administration: voter registration (and some of the early voting), tax payments, car registration, the county surveyor, and, yes, actual courtrooms with actual juries.

  • Tricksterson

    So what he actually is is a jumped up clerk?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F64NWR2RGAJJMJ7XWTLX53MY7I Charles Thompson

     The point, as I’m sure you’re aware unless you’re brain dead, is that you don’t take articles filled with basic fact errors seriously. This is garbage, that’s all. And they don’t even have the nerve to run a correction – basic journalism 101.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Quoted from the post:

    (Update: An explanatory note from Texan Charles Kuffner
    — “A ‘County Judge’ is not a person who wears a robe and conducts
    trials, though they do have the authority to do so in courts that don’t
    hear the major felony or civil cases. A ‘County Judge’ presides over the
    ‘Commissioners Court’,’ which is the governing body for counties in
    Texas. It’s a little like being the Mayor of a county.”)

    So the one fact error you specifically mentioned has been acknowledged and retracted. You say the article is “filled” with them; what others should we be concerned about? And are we to take your silence on this issue (because it’s been five days since the article went up and I think if there were any other fact errors somebody would have commented on them by now; this is a very high-traffic blog) as indication that our host got everything right?

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/ Ed Darrell

     Tom Head is a county commissioner — got that.  Odd terminology in Texas, where the top commissioner, the one with the executive power in the county, is called a judge.  (Shades of Paul McCartney — “A county judge, who held a grudge, will search forevermore . . . .”).

    That doesn’t mean he’s not a fool, perhaps insane and in need of drugs and counseling (and perhaps hospitalization).  He very much is a fool, perhaps insane, and should be removed from office until certified mentally healthy enough to carry on with his job.

    And what is his job?  He’s asking for a tax increase, according to him, to arm up to oppose the federal government.  His wackaloonery stops barely short of treason and a call to harm the president (if the FBI is worth its salt, it’s already got a dossier going on this guy — we put people in jail for less in Texas).  Tom Head’s job is to make sure the county is ready to deal with emergencies, and otherwise to make sure liaisons with the federal Department of Homeland Security are good.  Think “Fifth Column.”  Think “Quisling.”  If the Soviet Union did to a U.S. county what Tom Head is trying to do, we’d call it an act of war.

    He’s unfit for the job.  He’s crazy.  And he’s just one of tens of thousands of Republicans similarly unfit for their jobs in the nation.  Todd Akin.  Ted Cruz.  James Inhofe.  Tom Coburn.  Scott “Ahab” Walker.  They have a different “world view,” and that causes them to believe foolish things and act in ways detrimental or dangerous to America and freedom and democratic government. 

    It doesn’t matter what his title is.  He is dangerous, wrong, and he’s wasting public resources.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F64NWR2RGAJJMJ7XWTLX53MY7I Charles Thompson

     Yes lets put all Republicans we disagree with in mental institutions or jail so we can have a glorious one party state with welfare and bankruptcy for all… wait, what?? Sounds like somebody needs to take their meds.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Judge Head: “OK. What’s going to happen. Now I’m going to tell you my
    opinion, OK. Obama has put executive orders and whatever other documents
    his minions have filed. And regardless of whether the Republicans take
    over the Senate, which I hope they do, he is going to make the United
    States Congress and he’s going to make the Constitution irrelevant. He’s
    got his czars in place that don’t answer to anybody. He’s got his
    documents in place. They’re going to be irrelevant.

    I just do not believe this shit. Surely this guy has realized that Obama had all the chances in the world in the beginning of 2009 when the Dems still held both Houses of Congress.


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