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.”

  • friendly reader

    The threat to our liberty is “More serious than the threats we faced in World War II (…) because the attack on our liberty today is from our own government”?

    And I guess there weren’t any attacks on liberty during WWII from our own government back then, right?

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

    I’d say it’s Creationist math, but that would mean that Gee Dubs actually gave us about seventeen minutes of peace.

    That figure is forty minutes too long.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

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

    Which runs into a pretty clear problem when compared to their idea about fear of the oppressed rising up against them.  

    One would think that if a governmental power could potentially used to oppress people in the “wrong” hands, then they would be more careful about investing that power when the wheel will turn and they will eventually be out of power again.  Or do they just disbelieve that public opinion might shift against them (I mean more so) at some point?  Did they just believe that somehow Republican control of the government would be enshrined as unending?  Because that would require actual reduction of liberties to implement.   

    It seems like the easiest way to avoid future oppression is to not oppress in the present.  Like an extension of the social compact where we agree not to hit other people in the face in return for the same courtesy.  If you break the precedent, then others can turn that against you.  Reciprocity can be harsh if you do not respect it.  

  • Tricksterson

    I would like to thank this archbishop for giving me a convenient reference point in case i should ever question my decision to leave the Catholic Church the day of my Confirmation.

  • Joshua

    Weird cheese? Weird cheese?

    I have been to America and seen (and even tasted) that strange plastic shit you call cheese.

    Serve that stuff up in Europe, and they’d burn your shop to the ground, and quite rightly so.

    And I can’t tell any of your notes apart without reading them. Do I have twenty in my pocket or two hundred? Well, guess I have to leaf through each one and add them all up.

  • P J Evans

     On the other hand, we do have some good cheeses that you might enjoy. Carr Valley Mobay, which is a round white cheese, with one thinner layer of sheep’s milk cheese, and a matching one of goat’s milk cheese, and a thin layer of grapevine ash in between. (It’s delicious.) Or blue cheeses from Maytag and Point Reyes.

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

    You should come to Canada instead then. We have had multicolored notes since the 1970s.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     It amuses me no end how Europeans will make fun of Americans for being stupid in one breath, and then complain about it being SO HARD to READ THE LARGE NUMBERS PRINTED IN THE CORNERS OF OUR MONEY to determine what denomination it is.

  • P J Evans

    Colored money would be a little harder to counterfeit, though. (US currency is really dull stuff, compared to what other countries use.)

  • Joshua

    Been to Vancouver. Greatly enjoyed my time there, and would love to go again if I had the opportunity.

    Actually, went there directly from Hawaii. I enjoyed the climate in both places.

  • Joshua

    I would love to try them. While I hassle a lot of the supermarket food in America, I will admit that I have had some fantastically creative meals the times I’ve been there. You just have to pick the right restaurant, not expensive necessarily but avoid the bottom of the market, and I’ve found it’s world class stuff.

    There was this neat Chinese fusion place in Honolulu, but I can’t remember the name. And I never turn down a cheeseburger or pizza.

    I’ve never figured out how to choose a wine that wasn’t completely cat’s piss though. I’m told California turns out some great wines, but what I’ve tasted I tend to wish I hadn’t.

  • Joshua

    I’m not European, actually. But my point is that pretty much everywhere else I’ve traveled, I can get a rough idea of how much cash I have in one glance, without waving my wallet around at everyone else in the street for five minutes.

    Helpful in a tourist trap filled with interesting characters.

  • Lori

    Yes, the few seconds that I spend to put the bills in my wallet in order so that I can quickly tell how much money I’m carrying is truly a hardship.

    The counterfeiting issue is legit, and so is the pretty, but ITS SO HARD TO LOOK AT THE MONEY really isn’t. Even if the bills are different colors you still have to count them to know what you have unless you have so few that you can tell at a glance.

    As for food in the US I always think of the British guy I knew who talked about how stunned he was at what tasty food he could get cheap in LA. He maintained that high end food in England was better than high end food in the US, but that at medium to lowish price points the US had it all over what he had been able to get back home. He used to joke that the pizza place in his old neighborhood in London, which had been open for years and had plenty of customers, would have gone out of business in less than a month in the US because Americans just flat would not have eaten such crap pizza.

    Obviously his experience was influenced by the fact that he was in LA, which has a lot of really good food at good prices if you know where to look, but he was comparing it to London, not some tiny little backwater town or something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     One of my favorite aspects of this is hearing right-wingers rail against that sort of thing now. Well, “favorite” isn’t the right word for it. It’s actually pretty painful, watching their minds slow-w-wly stretch to understand that warrantless surveillance and extrajudicial killings are a bad thing. We spend eight years trying to explain to these idiots that rolling back civil liberties and suspending due process to buy a little bit of safety is a bad trade. Interesting, though, that it turns out that all we needed to do is tell them to imagine George Bush as a black man for them to figure out what’s wrong with all of these things.

  • Joshua


    ITS SO HARD TO LOOK AT THE MONEY really isn’t [a legit issue].

    Now, I may be going out on a limb here, but am I correct that you have lived with these notes all your life, and have never used them as a foreigner? That the subtle differences between your notes are ones you’ve practiced distinguishing at a glance for some number of decades?

    I’m telling you that I personally found it hard enough that I held up queues paying for things. When travelling overseas, quite a lot of time gets spent standing in queues paying for things.

    As for counterfeiting and aesthetics, my feeling is that they were domestic issues, and not really any of my business.

  • Lori

    I’ll take your word for it. When I traveled in Canada and dealt with colored money I used pretty much the same organization method that I use here at home and it worked about the same way. If I needed a particular bill I had no trouble grabbing it, if I needed to know exactly how much money I had on me I had to count it. I can’t tell just by looking if I’ve got 5 of the red ones or 6.

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

    Ross, the human eye is drawn to colors of things more than to shapes on the things, at least in my experience, when objects are similar in appearance.

    Consider the gross differences between a blue block and a red block versus two blue blocks, one with an O and one with an X.

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

    One thing I will say about greenbacks is that if you want to steal someone’s Canadian money you look for red and brown bills, but you can’t tell at a glance if some high roller’s just trolling you with a stack of ones or if he/she actually has a whack of hundreds.

  • Lori

    True. That’s a technique that’s commonly used both to inflate and cover the actual value of wads of cash.

  • mattepntr

    Well, it was no different for me (an American) when I traveled a few times to London. Sure, their paper money is prettier than ours, and comes in different colors for ease of use. But after a day of wandering around town paying for things, my paper money disappeared (nice and light to carry) and I wound up with a pocket filled with big heavy coins, mostly one and two pound denomination. The only times I was given paper money was at an ATM. Everywhere else gave change in coins. And I never was sure how much I had, and had to drag those coins with me everywhere.

    Conclusion: money abroad is a PITA, no matter where you hail from. ;)

  • reynard61

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

    Sorry, I prefer to save my fainting couch and clutching pearls for things that actually matter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    First of all, I ditto everything Joshua said about money (aside from the not-being-European part), and would add that I dislike the texture of the american notes. No good argument why, just personal preference.

    I also admit, I find it astonishing to hear some of the doom arguments against  Obama. What, exactly, could he do to kill liberty in this 2nd term that he couldn’t do in his first?

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    First of all, I ditto everything Joshua said about money (aside from the not-being-European part), and would add that I dislike the texture of the american notes.

    *nods*

    It’s so much easier when your money is colour-coded.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Of course, colour-coded money is obviously discriminatory against the colour-blind….

  • The_L1985

    Er…we have multicolored bills now.

  • The_L1985

     It is colored now, though.  Has been since 2005 or thereabouts, except for the single.  And a $1 bill costs more to counterfeit than it’s worth.

  • Ross Thompson

    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.

    In 1994, when he was running against Ted Kennedy, Romney thought that blind trusts were “an age-old” ruse and that “you can always tell them what to do”. I guess they must have tightened up the rules since then?

  • Ross Thompson

    It amuses me no end how Europeans will make fun of Americans for being stupid in one breath, and then complain about it being SO HARD to READ THE LARGE NUMBERS PRINTED IN THE CORNERS OF OUR MONEY to determine what denomination it is.

    Yeah, don’t those Europeans know there are no blind people in America? Everyone can clearly see the denominations written there, and making them different colours or even different sizes would benefit absolutely no-one.

  • Matri

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

    Clinton nothing. I’ve been told that it was Obama who started the pointless Afghanistan war.

  • Ross Thompson

    It is colored now, though.  Has been since 2005 or thereabouts, except for the single.

    OK, I just pulled a $10, a $20 and a $100 out of my wallet (all of them series 2006 or series 2009), and I honestly cannot see any difference in colour. Well, the $100 is maaaaaaaybe slightly paler, but it’s also crisper, so any difference (and I’m really not sure there is any) is equally well explained by it being cleaner.

    But, of course, I’m slightly colour-blind, so I’m not in the set of people with perfect vision that are expected to be using US bank notes.

  • Lori

     

    Yeah, don’t those Europeans know there are no blind people in America?
    Everyone can clearly see the denominations written there, and making
    them different colours or even different sizes would benefit absolutely
    no-one.   

    Yes, when other countries went with different colored notes they really helped out their blind folks.

  • Lori

    And Romney is responsible for the death of bin Laden. “Unemployed” former governors being our secret weapon in the war on terror I guess.

  • Lori

     Older bills are basically 3 color—white(ish) background with green print on one
    side, white & black on the other. The newer bills have more colors
    in the background. Look at the $20 again (I use that for comparison
    because I have a  new one in my wallet).  The background shades from
    green to sort of peachy and back to green again on the side with the
    White House. On the side with Jackson’s picture there’s also blue, in
    the picture of the eagle and the written denomination, and gold on one
    of the “20″s. 

    Of
    course all this really has nothing to do with the ease of use
    discussion because the color on US bills is an anti-counterfeiting
    measure and not intended to make them look different when you glace into
    a wallet or at a stack of bills. But if you’re red-green color blind
    having some of the bills red isn’t going to help you either. Different
    size bills would solve that, but creates other problems so it’s a
    trade-off.

    We’re in the process of switching over from dollar
    bills to dollar coins. The new ones are pretty easy for me to
    distinguish at a glance (different size, color & weight than
    quarters), but they’re heavy & my wallet doesn’t have a very big
    coin compartment so they’re sort of a PITA. They apparently save a ton
    of money though because they don’t wear out the way bills do.

  • Ross Thompson

    Yes, when other countries went with different colored notes they really helped out their blind folks.

    I know you think you’re being sarcastic, but it really did. Blindness covers more than a complete inability to see. Plenty of blind people can’t make out the numbers in the corner of a bill, but can distinguish a big block of red from blue. Or even an element being a red circle from a green triangle.

    And for those who are truly cannot-see-a-thing blind, and get no benefit from colour elements, bank notes come in different sizes, and have different textures.

    But the point remains. These are non-problems in America. Everyone has perfect vision, and the idea of making it easy for sight-impared people to use the currency is laughable, because I can use it, so how could anyone else have a problem with it?

  • Donalbain

    The counterfeiting issue is legit, and so is the pretty, but ITS SO HARD TO LOOK AT THE MONEY really isn’t.

    Actually, for a large (and growing) number of people it is.

  • Donalbain

     Yes, when other countries went with different colored notes they really helped out their blind folks.

    Yes, yes they did. The term “blind” legally covers a wide range of visual impairment. Someone can certainly be legally blind while still being able to differentiate between the colours of reasonably large pieces of paper.

  • Lori

    No, these are not non-problems in America and yes, it would be good for the design of the bills to take the visually impaired into consideration to a greater degree rather than focusing exclusively on anti-counterfeiting.

    That doesn’t change the fact that for folks who aren’t visually impaired the difference in ease of use has more to do with what one is used to than with some vast, inherent superiority in one design style over another. Which is what we started out discussing.

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

    *sigh*

    Canadian bills (and presumably other countries’ bills too) are now printed with raised dots in a particular pattern easily detectable by the blind.

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

    Also?

    On a more serious note I would like to take up something I think that’s been passed over-

    When people warn of the “darkness” of Obama, they’re implicitly tapping into racist modes of thought that tend to associate darker colors with eviller things, and in days past it was sometimes thought that black skin meant less of a soul, or the like.

    So there is more than just religious fearmongering at work here I think.

  • Lori

    How well do those hold up? When I was doing reading for the blind one of the complaints that clients had was that such things tended to wear down and become pretty well useless, but since they were supposed to be usable people just assumed that they were. (In a “Why are you having problems with this?” kind of way.)  That was in a different context, but wear is obviously  a significant issue with money. 

  • AnonymousSam

    Romney was criticizing someone for using blind trusts?

    Can some deity just smite this guy, please? I’m not picky about who does it. I’d be happy if he chokes on a spaghetti strand.

  • Münchner Kindl

     1. Not everybody has excellent eyesight. Banknotes that have different size and bright different colours for different values mean that children and elderly can easily tell them apart. No cheating blind black jazz players by giving them 1$ and telling them “It’s 10$”.

    2. Ease and speed of use. The question isn’t whether it’s possible to read the numbers, it’s that it takes more time and concentration during every time when you pay with cash.

    As for the counterfeiting, that’s already been addressed. North Korea, who does counterfeiting on a professional basis, gathers used 1$ bills by the attache case, bleaches them and reprints them as 50 and 100$ bills. Real paper, real ink, so impossible to discover.
    With different sizes and colours, that wouldn’t work.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Different colours + different shapes = helps blind people and bad-sighted.

    The touch-based value is new, though. Well new for the last decades. And it’s a security measure first.

  • Ross Thompson

    That doesn’t change the fact that for folks who aren’t visually impaired the difference in ease of use has more to do with what one is used to than with some vast, inherent superiority in one design style over another. Which is what we started out discussing.

    Notes that can be easily differentiated by all people, instead of just most people is an inherent superiority.

  • AnonymousSam

    More money does need vision-impaired qualities. I don’t know about bills and coins being of different shapes being enough though. — I can tell how much money I have in my pocket by touch, but I have to take out the coins and sort them individually in order to tally it all, and while I can do this with bills, can you imagine a worse mugging waiting to happen like a blind person leafing through their notes in public?

    (Incidentally, this is why I dislike colored bills — it’s harder for the guy standing behind you to notice a “100″ than it is to notice a color that only $100 bills have.)

    My spur-of-the-moment-minimal-thought-input solution to it all? A debit card which reads off your available funds when you push the button, and does it softly enough that you can only hear it if you hold it up to your ear. For those without vision issues or who have hearing impairment, perhaps an LCD screen to read out your total when a button is squeezed.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

     

    Can some deity just smite this guy, please? I’m not picky about who does it. I’d be happy if he chokes on a spaghetti strand.

    Are you proposing that the great FSM choke Romney with his noodley appendage? 

  • AnonymousSam

    Let’s just say I would announce it as a tragic accident and encourage the police not to think too much about it.

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

    Proof that any kind of deity exists would be lighting striking down on a clear day and smiting Mitt Romney on national television followed by a large booming voice claiming responsibility. 

  • Steph

    “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”

    The Catholic bishops are really just a branch of the Republican Party.  This is a large part of the reason why I left their church.


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