Religious right leader warns of the ‘darkness’ of Obama

Every day, Right Wing Watch chronicles the apocalyptic predictions of religious right spokespeople warning America of the calamity that would accompany the re-election of President Barack Obama.

On Monday, religious-right journeyman Robert Knight (formerly of the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America) said America is “right on the edge of losing our constitutional republic” and that a second Obama term “might just push us over that edge.”

Also Monday, Matt Barber of the anti-gay Liberty Counsel said this election was about “light vs. darkness; good vs. evil.” (The “evil” candidate, just to be clear, is the one who is, you know, “dark.”) This election, Barber said, “may determine whether we as a nation sink or swim, live or die.”

On Tuesday, televangelist and mega-church pastor John Hagee said:

Four more years of Obama will bring absolute socialism to America. Our children and grandchildren will never know the greatness of America that we have experienced.

These folks are on record: If X, then Y. When X happens and Y does not, these predictions need to follow them for the rest of their public lives.

Oh, and what is John Hagee doing worrying about “our children and grandchildren”?

John Hagee has, for decades, been telling us that the Rapture is going to occur any minute now. If you listened to Hagee in 1992, you would not have expected the world to see 2002. If you listened to him in 2002, you would not have expected the world to see 2012.

Now, suddenly, he’s taking a long-term, generational view?

Hagee seems like one of those “Bible prophecy” preachers who makes fistfuls of money warning that the world is about to end, then invests that money in 30-year securities.

* * * * * * * * *

A campaign mailer from Ralph Reed’s latest racket asks: “How much danger do you think liberty is in right now as a result of President Obama’s policies, actions and agenda for America’s future?”

Possible answers on Reed’s questionnaire include: A) More serious than the threat of Nazi Germany; B) More serious than the threat of the Soviet Union; C) More serious than the threat of the Civil War; D) “All of the above.”

* * * * * * * * *

Bill Graves is a judge in Oklahoma County District Court. Presumably, then, he’s been to law school. And, I’m guessing, he’s lived here in the U.S. for more than a few months.

So what in the name of James Madison is Graves doing citing the book of Genesis as precedent in his courtroom?

Bill Graves is a big jerk. He’s also a terrible judge — a lawless judge.

Yes, Graves also reveals himself to be an idiot when he pretends to understand the Bible and DNA, but we can let that slide because he’s not a theologian or a scientist. You don’t have to be an expert in either of those things to be a decent judge.

But you do have to know at least something about the Constitution and American law. And Bill Graves doesn’t.

* * * * * * * * *

Raymond Raines is pushing 30 and he was never given detention for praying in grade school. (I think it’s important to repeat this every time I hear some religious right huckster repeating this bogus legend.)

• The just-world fallacy of the right wing requires simple explanations for Bad Things, even if those simple explanations are utter lies and nonsense.

• Sandy Rios of the American Family Association and Fox News says President George W. Bush left a legacy of peace that President Obama has squandered. “He left them peace, he left them peace for 10 years. And now that’s going ragged because we have been operating under Obama’s policies for the last four years.”

I have no idea, either.

This discussion at Atheist Revolution is oddly similar to this discussion at Christianity Today. The big difference is that vjack is carefully weighing potential conflicts between political ideology and religious affinity, while CT’s Tobin Grant is defiantly reassuring anyone who doubts it that evangelicals will vote Republican no matter what.

• Note to pseudo-historian David Barton: Playbooks are a football thing, not so much a baseball thing.

• What is the opposite of “delightsome”? This is that.

• “Muslim Rage.”

  • D9000

    I often wonder what ‘the end of America’ actually means to these people. They never elaborate as to exactly what horrors are about to be (always, just about to be) unleashed.

  • The Guest That Posts

    “Oh, and what is John Hagee doing worrying about ‘our children and grandchildren’?”

    Perfect.

  • Münchner Kindl

    So what in the name of James Madison is Graves doing citing the book of Genesis as precedent in his courtroom?
    Bill Graves is a big jerk. He’s also a terrible judge — a lawless judge.

    The linked website gives a petition to remove Graves or make him resign.

    Is there no judicial overview board, who would take action and once a judge shows a basic lack of understanding on what laws (the constitituion vs. the Bible) is based on, remove him from office?

    Is there nothing in the code that governs judges that says that once they disregard the law, they are under automatic review which can lead to firing?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gus-Hinrich/100000151807749 Gus Hinrich

    Yah, “preachers who makes fistfuls of money warning that the world is about to end, then invests that money in 30-year securities.” is just perfect.
    P.T. Barnum was right.

  • Abra

    Thank you for the link… in MO, a Prayer Amendment did pass in August (we amend the MO constitution almost every election cycle). Mainly pretty innocuous, updated the language about freedom of speech and religion from “he” to “he/she” but did clarify that students have the right to pray privately on school grounds and, less innocuously, gave them the right to opt out of assignments they felt violated their religious beliefs. 

    Short story long, I heard a state rep. who sponsored it explain why he thought it was necessary  and he listed several examples of when people were not allowed to pray (as he told them, they would have all been protected under the US and MO constitutions without the Prayer Amendment) and I had a strong feeling like we weren’t getting the whole story. He said:

    - Child was told he could not pray over his lunch. This makes sense for it to be the link you provided as the 20-year old case is in St. Louis. 

    - Child told he/she could not take a Bible to study hall. My thought was it very well may be true… that the child would have been prohibited from bring anything not related to school work to study hall and, short of a comparative religion or Bible as literature class, that would include the Bible.

    - Social work student required to have a “homosexual experience” as a class assignment. First, there is the word choice, which implies a sexual encounter with a person of the same sex as opposed to going to a gay community social event. Second, the actual case was an SMSU (now MSU) student who walked in on 2 men having a sexual encounter at an event she went to under protest. She sued SMSU instead going through internal university process before or after the event and as soon as the SMSU became aware of it, her claim was investigated, grade amended, and the prof. was disciplined (I can’t remember how) for violating university policy (and I think maybe social work code of ethics).

  • Nirrti

    ” He left them peace, he left them peace for 10 years. And now that’s going ragged because we have been operating under Obama’s policies for the last four years.”

    War is peace, freedom is slav..oh they are just making this way too eff’ing easy.  Today’s dystopian fiction authors can’t even come up with original material anymore. How can you when the dystopia is already taking place? I’d imagine every time today’s writers come up with compelling scenarios, these doomsday jokers have already scooped them on it.  

    Come on Hagee, Ellenjay, and all you other doomsday peddlers. Give the poor writers a break. It’s hard enough coming up with an original plot without being accused of plagiarizing Jack Van Impe.

  • Tricksterson

    That camel picture gave me an idea:  Camel safety seat! [Dr. Evil imitaion] We’ll make…hundreds[/Dr. Evil imitation

    I really would like a detailed explaation of how leaving  office with two wars still ongoing consists of a “legacy of peace”

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     I really would like a detailed explaation of how leaving  office with two wars still ongoing consists of a “legacy of peace”

    Especially since it was 10 years of peace that Obama has ruined in his four years of prezintin’.  I’d say it’s Creationist math, but that would mean that Gee Dubs actually gave us about seventeen minutes of peace.

    Come to think of it, that number is probably fairly accurate.

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

    Social work student required to have a “homosexual experience” as a class assignment.

    Doesn’t anyone ever stop and just realize that shit like this is very likely exaggerated or made up for dramatic effect?

    People really need to know when some asshole is just pushing their buttons to get a reaction.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    I signed the online petition against Judge Graves.  Good grief, can you imagine the Class 5 shitstorm that would erupt if an American judge cited the Qur’an in a legal decision?  You could probably hear the screams of “Shariah law! Shariah law!” on the surface of the moon!

    As for John Hagee’s remarks, I wonder if he or any of his listeners even know what “socialism” even means.  I actually like socialism as an economic system, and feel it even has strong support in the Scriptures (read the first four chapters of the Book of Acts).  Of course, to these folks “socialism” is simply a dog whistle that really means, “The government taking money from honest, hardworking white people and giving it to lazy, ignorant black and brown people.”

  • Lori

    These folks are on record: If X, then Y. When X happens and Y does not,
    these predictions need to follow them for the rest of their public
    lives.  

    In a world with an effective press this would be true. In the world we actually live in this will fall down the memory hole. We now have several groups of people who are totally exempt from any negative consequences for being wrong, preachers and pundits being high on the list.

  • Attu

    Be very afraid! These apocolyptic types are sick and tired of waiting for Jesus. They are going to make something happen.

  • Lori

     

    I often wonder what ‘the end of America’ actually means to these people.
    They never elaborate as to exactly what horrors are about to be
    (always, just about to be) unleashed.   

    Generally the “end of America” means a US no longer clearly dominated by whites, white men specifically, and/or the US no longer being at the top of the global power heap. 

    They dress it up in a lot of talk about freedom and socialism and blah, blah, blah, but what they mean is that they want white USian men to continue to rule the world and they’re terrified of the day when they no longer do.

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

    How much danger do you think liberty is in right now [..] C) More serious than the threat of the Civil War

    Well… um… C? I mean, the Civil War threatened to end chattel slavery as a legal practice in the U.S. and thereby increase liberty. So, y’know, it put liberty in negative danger. Which sounds about right.

    (Yes, yes, I know, the intended context is that Northern aggression was a threat to the liberty of Southern states to secede from the Union and continue owning slaves. Which is the kind of liberty Reed’s people care about. “Freedom is slavery.”)

  • D9000

    Socialism in the abstract is all right, but like everything else it’s a bit of a let-down in reality. English socialism (which is what I know) always had two rather nasty strains in it, one of paternalism (this is what is good for you, workers!) exemplified by the Webbs, or even worse H G Wells and his eugenicism, and the other strain of trade-union obstructionism and narrow-mindedness. Both are now gone, but then so is socialism in England.

  • Vermic

    Basically the “end of America”, to these people, means the U.S. becoming like a European country.  Socialism, colorful currency, lots of weird cheese, bicycles, and billions of Muslim immigrants.  You know, the reversal of everything we fought for in 1776.

  • D9000

    Has nobody sent them the memo yet? Or can they not read Mandarin?

  • Will McMain

    The thing that really gets my goat when republicans talk about Obama and “liberty” is that Obama *has* actually done as much as GWB to erode civil liberties in this country, but that’s not what they’re talking about–they’re just spouting off the usual nonsense about “socialism” and thinly-veiled racist remarks. I would really like it if we could actually have a conversation about the still-effective PATRIOT act, the continued expansion of warrantless surveillance of Americans, etc. 

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Here’s an interesting term I learned yesterday: the Friedman Unit, a period of upcoming time that is going to be the most critical period in an event, no matter how long said event has been ongoing or how many times the pundit has made such a claim in the past. 

    Wikipedia uses “the next six months” since Friedman “had been making such six-month predictions for a period of two and a half years, on at least fourteen different occasions”, but I think it should be extended to any prediction of gloom that gets repeated without ever actually happening or any acknowledgment that such a prediction is a repeat. “The upcoming presidential term” more than qualifies.

  • MaryKaye

    A Guantanamo prisoner, never charged with any crimes, who local groups had been trying to get out of Guantanamo has just died in prison.  Obama does have much to answer for on the civil rights front.  But it’s difficult to exert much force on this issue when the opposition party seems to have abandoned civil rights completely.

    I am praying for a sufficient swing to the left that we can actually start distinguishing between people who would previously have been moderate Republicans (which is where I place Obama) and actual liberals.  Where we can start having real conversations about the Patriot Act and about Afghanistan.  But we don’t seem to be there now.

  • Lori

    China is really, really tricky for them, assholes that they are. They’re simple-minded enough not to be able to grasp that the situation with China is not as clear cut as many people (of various ideologies) try to make it seem and they hate the idea of China being the big global power (partially racism, partially just plain old fuck yeah! ‘merica). On the other hand, white dudes are making money hand over fist by outsourcing to China and white dudes making buckets of money is good and fuck yeah! capitalism. So it’s all terribly confusing for them.

  • Cathy W

    Also: Dubya managed to pull off 10 years of peace in 8 years of being President. So either the very idea that he might possibly be President in 2 years started to generate pre-emptive peace, or it took Obama 2 years to really make a dent in it…

  • VMink

    Tell me about it.  Trying to write an unpleasant future (from which Our Protagonists can help civilization pull itself out of, natch) is becoming harder and harder because as bad as I can write it, the jackwagons of the current events are trumping me left, right, and center.  At this rate, my villain is going to have to plan to blow up the Sun for the evilz while lounging in his underwater volcano base on Europa (attempt no landings here.)  Seriously, any competent villain I write comes off as more sympathetic than John Hagee and Tim LeHaye.

  • Lori

    But you don’t hear anything about it outside of the far-left radical press like Alternet.   

    The fact that Alternet is considered “the far-left radical press” is a big part of the problem.

    Or, what MaryKaye said.

  • Nequam

    I would really like it if we could actually have a conversation about the still-effective PATRIOT act, the continued expansion of warrantless surveillance of Americans, etc. and Obama’s role in that.

    But you see, they LIKE that stuff– as long as the “right” (ie, white Republican) people are in charge of it.

  • Fusina

     If you think about it, they apparently have read some history then, like the bits about how when the oppressed finally get their freedom, the first people against the wall are the oppressors…

  • Lori

    Oh, they’re aware. In fact, they exaggerate the threat and always have. It’s part of the reason that they cling to power so tightly. They don’t simply feat loss of relative privilege, they’re terrified of getting their comeuppance.

    That’s why the slave-holding South was basically an armed camp long before the Civil War started. Whites lived in fear of slave uprisings to the point that even men who didn’t own slaves were forced to be part of slave patrols. That’s how you know that folks are willfully lying when they say slavery wasn’t that bad. It was that bad and slave holders themselves knew it full well.

    The same dynamic was obvious during the Civil Rights era. Same thing with the notion that “gay marriage” will mean the end of straight marriage. Same thing with all this “end of men” blather we’re being inundated with these days* and Rush Limbaugh freaking out about how Feminazis have literally made men’s penises shrink**.

    *OMG, people need to STFU with that. It’s so deeply stupid and it’s really getting on my last good nerve.

    **WTH Rush? If you have an itty bitty peen I’m guessing that your drug
    abuse has more to do with it than women’s rights. Also, size really
    isn’t the be all and end all. If you’re a terrible lover (and I’d bet
    serious money that you are) it’s because you’re selfish and basically
    hate women, not because of any lack in your physical endowment.

  • Steve Morrison

    Meanwhile, Colombia just forbade judges to use religious precepts in deciding on sentences. (Unfortunately, I can’t seem to post links with Disqus).

  • EllieMurasaki

    Colombia high court says religion out in rulings

    BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s Constitutional Court has told a lower court judge that religious precepts cannot be used as the basis for a ruling or other decisions, issuing a directive that applies to all judicial officers in the country.

    The high court said quotations from religious texts cannot be used in legal arguments or judgments to directly support the reasoning for a decision. It did say religious quotations can be used to explain a point of view.

    In a directive issued in June but only made public Wednesday, the justices made a point of saying the directive was issued for a labor court judge in the southwestern city of Cali, but legal experts said Wednesday that the Constitutional Court’s findings apply to all judges and prosecutors in similar cases.

    Judicial authorities “are obliged to respect the principle of secularism that characterizes the Colombian state,” said the Constitutional Court, which is the guardian of Colombia’s constitution. Decisions “must be devoid of any expression suggesting a bias based on religious beliefs or personal convictions of the judicial officer,” it added.

    The court’s statement was aimed at a labor court ruling in a pension case. The lower court judge’s decision included a quotation from the Bible: “In the case of justice, it shouldn’t even favor the poor.”

    Associated Press

    That it?

  • LL

    I’m Oklahoma facepalming here. It looks pretty much like regular facepalming, only maybe with some shame thrown in. I haven’t lived there for over a decade, but every time somebody from Oklahoma embarrasses the state (which is with unfortunate frequency), I feel I have to say everybody in Oklahoma isn’t that dumb. Just most of them. 

  • Steve Morrison

     Yes, thanks!

  • P J Evans

    But you don’t hear anything about it outside of the far-left radical press like Alternet.

    Emptywheel.

  • P J Evans

     You have my sympathy (relatives in and from OK, and also KS).

    It’s not too different from the crap California gets from conservatives, who will blame liberals for everything that wrong, including policies and laws that the conservatives put forward and backed in the first place. We’re a good example of thirty-plus years of cutting taxes for the rich and corporations, and not doing anything to replace them (except raising or adding ‘fees’ for things like state parks and colleges).

  • AnonymousSam

    Did you catch the link I posted the other night? Romney’s been caught owning stocks in various international companies, including Chinese oil and banking, as well as several foreign machinery corporations.

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    This depends on the state, but removing a judge from office tends to be EXTREMELY difficult in the U.S. It usually requires impeachment by the legislature or an act from the state’s Supreme Court. (At the Federal level, impeachment by Congress is required.)

    In Oklahoma, there’s a “Council on Judicial Complaints” that investigates allegations of misconduct. But all they can do is make recommendations to the state Supreme Court – they have no actual ability to fire a judge.

    http://www.okbar.org/public/judges/council.htm

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Barton; Hagee; et al…

    My gods, you can make a fistful of money spouting straight-up word salad for as long as you say it with an air of righteous “masculine” certainty, bonus points for wearing a suit, having White Skin, or being physically masculine. 

    I remember being very small and falling especially hard into the toddler habit of asking my mother why this or that was the way it was.  Sometimes she would tell me that she didn’t know.  Usually she would give me an answer that I accepted as true based on the authoritative tone of her voice.  As I grew up I came to learn that some of her answers were not quite right and that a few were completely wrong. 

    Which is to say, I suppose, that to view yourself as holding paternal authority over your entire society is necessarily to condemn yourself to being epically full of shit.   Not to hate on my Ma, she’s always been wonderful and I love her.

  • The_L1985

     I guess those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan just didn’t happen, then?

    And after all, 9/11/01 was during the Clinton presidency.  Somehow.  By the magic of bullshit.

  • AnonaMiss

    I should really have stopped being shocked at this a long time ago, but it still hits me like a slap in the face when a religionist rails on… well, anyone, for endangering individual liberties. Maybe this one hit me harder because Barber spent the first 3/4 of his article saying that it is the duty of Christians to crush non-Christians like vipers under their heels, and then tacked the line about individual liberties on at the end to sound constitutional or something.

    I swear, sometimes it almost makes me want to have kids.

  • EllieMurasaki

    removing a judge from office tends to be EXTREMELY difficult in the U.S.

    Which is generally a good thing, because it means judges who make unpopular decisions can’t be booted out easily. Unfortunately, it’s just as hard to boot judges who make bad decisions.

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    Pedant moment: That should be can they not read Chinese? The different Chinese languages (or dialects) do not differ in writing style: Cantonese, Mandarin and all the others are all written the same way. (Actually, China simplified their writing system a while ago, but places outside the Republic of China (Hong Kong and Taiwan) retained the old system. So now there are two writing systems — Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese —, either of which might be used to write any of the spoken Chinese languages.)

    TRiG.

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

    Ooh, and don’t forget how the post-1995 economic expansion (when the US economy finally picked up from sputtering along at about 2% per year to near 4% per year*) was somehow all Reagan’s magic. Even though he left office in 1989 and Bush Sr supposedly killed the Reaganesque golden goose by omgraisingtaxes in 1991.

    * In fact from 1990 – 1994, the US economy grew at only 1.8% per year; during the entire Great Depression, the US economy grew at 1.3% per year. It is not an accident that some politicians in that era called the 1990s recession a much bigger problem than was being officially recognized.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    “I wonder if he or any of his listeners even know what “socialism” even means.”

    They do not. One of my husband’s coworkers (right-wing fundamental Christian republican) was telling him how socialism was evil because “the government forces you to take whatever job they want you to take.” 

    So not only do they confuse socialism with communism, but they don’t know that one is a form of economic system and one is a form of government.

  • ReverendRef

    Every day, Right Wing Watch chronicles the apocalyptic predictions

    I first read that as apoplectic.

    In this case, I think the terms are interchangeable.

  • Madhabmatics

     Won’t someone think of the poor innocent slaveholders :(:(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    “These folks are on record: If X, then Y. When X happens and Y does not, these predictions need to follow them for the rest of their public  lives.”

    In a world with an effective press this would be true. In the world
    we actually live in this will fall down the memory hole. We now have
    several groups of people who are totally exempt from any negative
    consequences for being wrong, preachers and pundits being high on the
    list.

    The main place you I see stuff like this done is The Daily Show.  Which is alarming.   Why doesn’t the actual news do this?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Meanwhile, an archbishop in New Jersey  has declared that Even if you’re a straight person who just believes that folks ought to have the right to marry someone they love you’re probably too sinful to receive communion

  • EllieMurasaki

    Meanwhile, an archbishop in New Jersey has declared that Even if you’re a straight person who just believes that folks ought to have the right to marry someone they love you’re probably too sinful to receive communion
    I could put all that aside on the grounds that people who don’t follow Catholic rules (however stupid and hurtful the rules) don’t get the benefits of being Catholic, if anyone had ever been denied the Eucharist for supporting an unjust war, for exploiting the poor, or for raping a child or covering up for someone who did.

    But that would require the Catholic hierarchy to be composed of people devoted to following the Catholic rules rather than to preserving the religious and political power of the Catholic hierarchy.

  • P J Evans

    Romney’s been caught owning stocks in various international companies

    His blind trust isn’t blind, either. It’s run by his own attorney, and its actions are suspiciously well-timed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

     

    Romney’s been caught owning stocks in various international companies

    His blind trust isn’t blind, either. It’s run by his own attorney, and its actions are suspiciously well-timed.

    Yeah, I’d find it easier to believe that he didn’t know anything about having any of these stocks if they hadn’t been sold the day before the first Presidential primary.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So was Romney, or whoever he pays to manage his money, expecting a stock drop after the primary? Why? Did stocks, or those stocks, drop after the primary?

    What’s a blind trust, anyway?


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