Manhattan Declaration Direct-Mail Fundraising Inc.


The Manhattan Declaration -- a 2009 anti-gay manifesto by right-wing persecuted hegemons -- collected half a million names and addresses. That's quite a mailing list. More importantly, it's a mailing list of reflexively fearful white Christians who have already proven they can be easily manipulated by scary stories about the Big Gay Menace, the Satanic baby-killers, and the evil secularists threatening Christian America. And that was the whole point of the original declaration. A list … [Read more...]

Imaginary Satanic baby-killers, real people still in prison

Frances Keller was not part of a secret conspiracy of Satanic cults. Yet she remains in prison, sent there by people who want to believe such lurid fantasies are real. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Jordan Smith of the Austin Chronicle reports on a legal appeal in Texas: A roster of leading psychologists and related experts from around the world last week signed on to a pair of letters in support of an appeal filed on behalf of Frances Keller, who was convicted of sexual assault and who has spent the last two decades behind bars for a crime that almost certainly never happened. Keller and her husband ran a daycare center. They are both serving 48-year sentences in Texas prison after being … [Read more...]

Matthew 16:6


It was the second Sunday after the baptismal service out at the lake and she was finding it impossible to concentrate on the sermon. It wasn't getting better. Gallons of unsweetened Ocean Spray and a week's worth of the over-the-counter stuff weren't helping any. "If symptoms persist," it said on the tube, "see your doctor." She thought about what it must be like to have a doctor who was "yours," as though they were a member of the household staff, like your gardener or your nanny or your … [Read more...]

Michele Bachmann, Rick Warren telling lies for Jesus that hurt poor women


"Let's love people," Rep. Michele Bachmann said, "let's care about people." The Minnesota Republican said this, perversely, in support of the 39th attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Igor Volsky of Think Progress provides a fuller context for Bachmann's odd remarks: While the main coverage expansion provisions will go into effect in 2014, the ACA has so far saved seniors over $6 billion on prescription drugs, reduced administrative overhead, deterred private insurers from … [Read more...]

A delusional fantasy … on fire!

I've sometimes characterized much of the "Teavangelical" right-wing of America as people caught up in a delusional fantasy -- and elaborate make-believe role-playing game in which they pretend to be heroic champions battling against Satanic baby-killers, Satanazis, and other imaginary monsters. They speak and behave, I've argued, as though they prefer the world to be much, much worse than it is. They are privileged, but they enjoy pretending they are persecuted. Their neighbors may be very … [Read more...]

Satanic baby-killers: What the Devil happened in Arkansas?


Beginning in the 1980s, a feverish hysteria swept across America. It was centered in one demographic -- the white evangelical subculture -- but it wasn't confined to that group, and it came to reshape the wider culture, the agenda of elected officials, and the political landscape of the country in fundamental ways, placing a fear of imaginary monsters at the core of our national identity. That same moral panic continues to shape American culture today, decades after it first began making … [Read more...]

Pseudo-Satanism and Satanic baby-killers


Since this morning's flashback post featured an excerpt from Jeffrey S. Victor's important and helpful book, Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Urban Legend, I thought we'd look at another passage from Victor that sheds light on another recent story in the news. This is from Victor's chapter on the supposed links between "Satanism and Teenage Crime," from the sub-section discussing "Juvenile Delinquents Involved in Pseudo-Satanism": When people justify murder in terms of their … [Read more...]

James Dobson just not putting much effort into perfunctory lies


Here's a disappointing recent statement from Focus on the Family founder James Dobson: I have not had this confirmed, but a physician told me last week that Congress recently passed a law that has been signed by the president that would make it illegal to give people over 70 years of age stents for their heart. Which means you're going to let them die. I don't know for sure if that's true, but that's the kind of thing that is coming. In any competition between the young and the old, guess who … [Read more...]