Okay, so that’s a dog bites man headline if ever there was one. But in preparation for this weekend’s religious liberty conference in Iowa being put on by Kevin Swanson and featuring several Republican presidential candidates, Right Wing Watch has been going through some of Swanson’s old radio shows and finding some truly unhinged stuff. Like how ending slavery actually enslaved the entire nation:
Swanson said that the abolition of slavery in the U.S. following the Civil War only showed that the country “moved from decentralized forms of fiefdom slavery to a big federal state that enslaves hundreds of millions of people unlike any time in all of human history. Thanks a lot, Karl Marx; thanks a lot, Abe Lincoln; thanks a lot, whoever you were that centralized power in Washington, D.C., and enslaved an entire nation since 1865.”
This is a common position among the very far right (not just your average Christian righter but the very fringe of the fringe) and among what my old friend Tim Sandefur refers to as the “doughface libertarians.” Some of them will say that slavery was a bad thing but that the assertion of federal power over state power brought on by the civil war was far worse and more permanent. Some of them will say that slavery wasn’t so bad after all, or was even a good thing. Either way, it’s a position that is both logically absurd and morally repulsive.
But then Swanson turned to the Bible and some of the terrible atrocities ordered by God in the Old Testament, all of which he thinks were perfectly justified.
First, Swanson used the story of the annihilation of the Canaanites as a warning to America: “The Canaanites were extraordinarily wicked, we know that, and God wanted to wipe out all remnants of them off the earth. Part of the reason is they were doing homosexuality and child sacrifice. They were big on abortion and homosexuality, so God says, ‘You take a society like that, you wipe it off the face of the earth.’ That’s the way he treated the Canaanites and that’s probably what’s going to happen to America as well.”
Swanson then discussed the plight of women treated as the spoils of war, which he said was better than having them go on government welfare. “What do you do when you’ve wiped out the fighting men and there are 50,000 single women hanging out in B.C. 1200 when all the men have been eliminated?” he asked.
“The modern solution is you turn them all into prostitutes and put them on welfare. That’s what you do with inner-city women, turn them all into prostitutes and put them on LBJ’s welfare program. Turns out God doesn’t want to do that, okay?”
I just…I can’t…wow. Imagine how fetid and warped one’s mind has to be to make such a statement.
So why isn’t this weekend’s conference and the attendance of three Republican presidential candidates at it getting any real media attention? If the conference were organized by a white supremacist, that would surely make it news and every network (except maybe Fox) would be all over it. But this one is organized by a guy who thinks that we should murder all gay people, women who aren’t virgins on their wedding day and many more people. That’s at least as horrifying a thing, isn’t it? So why doesn’t Christian supremacy get the same attention and approbation from the media? Why isn’t it just as controversial for a politician to rub elbows with a Christian Reconstructionist as it is to rub elbows with David Duke?