Pope Jim Garlow I joins the Münchhausen martyrdom brigade

Pope Jim Garlow I joins the Münchhausen martyrdom brigade June 21, 2012

Jim Garlow is a silly, silly man.

We’ve written here before about the Münchhausen martyrs — privileged people who prefer the self-congratulatory fantasy of persecution. And, as Kyle Mantyla reports, Garlow is an extravagantly ridiculous example of this.

Speaking at the Family Research Council’s “Watchmen on the Wall” conference (the name of which is, itself, a gloriously pompous example of Münchhausen-martyrdom fatuousness), Garlow denounced same-sex marriage. In doing so, he also unwittingly denounced a host of biblical heroes, saying that “Nature has dictated what the Bible clearly affirms, and that is, one man, one woman” as the only acceptable form of marriage.

Then — after condemning Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, Gideon, Moses and many others as the enemies of biblical marriage — Garlow turned his sights on President Obama for speaking in support of marriage equality:

Maybe a basic 101 of Christianity, it would be wise for [the president] to know, that throughout historic, orthodox, authentic, biblical Christianity — and there’s no other kind of Christianity other than biblical Christianity — marriage has always been defined as one man, one woman.

Pope Garlow I wants you to know that he, and he alone, is the arbiter of who is and who is not a real, true Christian. President Obama, by citing the Golden Rule and the words of Jesus, has set himself beyond the bounds of Christianity acceptable unto Pope Garlow I. Obama, therefore, is not a “historic, orthodox, authentic, biblical Christian.” And that, Pope Garlow I says, means he is no Christian at all, because “there’s no other kind of Christianity” than that taught and affirmed by this wannabe pope and his gaggle of supporters.

OK, you’re thinking, so far we’ve seen that Jim Garlow is a self-righteous, judgmental jackwagon, but when do we get to the ridiculous martyrdom business?

That’s next. Garlow and his cohorts, he said, are:

Like the Colonial pastor who called his congregation to go stand at the bridge. According to the story, he took off his vestments, he marched out with his musket. The men of the church followed him. He stood at a bridge watching the British troops advance towards him. And he turned to his men and he said, “Here we die.”

And that is where we are here. This is one we go to the mat for. If necessary, here we die.

Does Garlow really believe a word of this? Is he so caught up in the paranoid delusion of his own martyrdom fantasy that he actually imagines that some vague government entity is trying to kill him? (Or, perhaps, to pin him in a wrestling match?)

Because no one is. Garlow and his ilk are not in any danger. His physical safety is not in jeopardy. And his constitutional rights — the same rights he proudly seeks to deny others — are not in jeopardy.

People like Garlow like to pretend they’re being courageous by spouting this kind of thing, but, again, if this is what constitutes courage, then Fred Phelps is the bravest man in the world.

As mean-spirited as Garlow is in his politics and his theology, Fred Phelps is far worse. Garlow wants to deny LGBT people the right to marry, the right to serve in the military and the right to employment protection, but Phelps wants them all to burn in Hell. Garlow thinks he knows the secret to who is an “authentic, biblical Christian” and who is an “apostate,” but Phelps draws that circle even tighter, excluding everyone who isn’t a member of his congregation– meaning everyone who isn’t a member of his family.

But give Phelps credit for at least this much: He doesn’t pretend that his cruel beliefs make him some kind of martyr. Fred Phelps doesn’t pretend that Obama’s redcoats are marching across some bridge to kill him. He doesn’t pretend that he’s somehow being persecuted because he knows he is not. And Phelps doesn’t pretend that his “religious liberty” to say the most hatefully bigoted things he can imagine is somehow being threatened, because he knows it is not.

So if Garlow really believes his own hype, let me reassure him:

Mr. Garlow, look at Fred Phelps. He is, like you, a free man enjoying his freedom in the Land of the Free. His religious liberty is unfettered — just like yours.

So relax. You’re not on a bridge with a musket facing down a powerful army. No one is coming to take away your rights or your freedoms or your safety. You’re not persecuted, you’re privileged. Try to enjoy it.

And maybe try not to be such a jerk to other people who don’t get to enjoy all the same rights, freedoms and safety you do, OK?

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  • Like Chris the Cynic said, Victor’s been commenting on Fred’s posts for years, though not as much since the jump to Patheos.  I don’t always understand what he’s trying to say, but I’ve never seen him be mean or cruel to other commenters, so he’s okay in my book.

    This. I think a lot of people who haven’t been following Fred for very long (relatively speaking) are mostly just reacting to the opening line:

    With all due respect Fred, I think that you also are over doing “IT” and in their view, they probably also consider you a silly, silly man.

    So, just to be clear: Victor’s all right. As far as I’ve seen, he’s not here to judge you, rail against marriage equality, or convince you of some bigoted, self-righteous theology, and he’s been around a lot longer than most of the people here.

    So lay off.

    If you don’t like it, don’t read it, because it’s not like he’s talking shit about you. Besides, I’ve always found it to be rather poetic.

  • In a metaphorical sense, I think that Jim Garlow’s analogy with the colonial pastor is apropos.  Yes, they are taking a stand in front of their opposition, and yes, their opposition is going to roll over them and they will be left broken and dead.  

    Granted, it will be nothing so quick and brutal as a regimental line-firing battle, but as a political battle in the culture war, this is one they are going to face their annihilation in, and they know it.  The end of days is upon them, and by “them” I mean Americans who use the Bible as a bulwark to shield their own homophobia.  

    Their faith will not protect their position of influence forever, and this stand will kill that influence.  They will die, years from now, presumably from natural causes, abandoned by their followers, forgotten and dismissed by the culture at large, and even only kept in contact only grudgingly with their own families, because they took this kind of stand today.  

    I may not wish death upon them, but I do wish them eventual rest.  May God have mercy on their embittered souls.  

  • Jessica

     Holy crap, it’s Victor! LOLOLOLOLOLOL

  • Jessica

    This is one we go to the mat for.

    Unintentionally gay?! (This is my new thing, LOL and Fred’s remark about it was spot on)

    Also, the ability to like posts seems to negate any real  need to discuss much… Hrm.

  • Abean

    Or bad spelling?

  • veejayem

    Never fear, puppies and orphans! On the day that President Obama, in accordance with some Muslim/atheist/African/socialist ritual, is poised to throw you all into a volcano*, Jim Garland will be there to stop him. With a musket.**

    * Few people know that such a ritual is a mandatory part of the Gay Marriage Ceremony. You just throw puppies and orphans instead of confetti.

    ** A musket?! I very much doubt that the USian President who has access to all kinds of lethal shiny things, is going to lose any sleep over a musket. Mr Garland really, really needs to wake up and find out which century he’s living in.

  • JustoneK

    I’d seen him described as a troll (some recent thread somewhar when he popped by again).
    I honestly don’t know him from adam but I really wanna understand what he posts.

  • The_L1985

    Exactly. Some people really think life is like that old joke about Soviet Russia.

  • LL

    Victor reminds me of Fafblog. 

  • Victor Savard

    Whow! I honestly don’t know where to start and part of me does not even believe “I” should start! Call me crazy :) but some of my cells tell me that “I” should just go to some far off corner of “ONE” of God’s Galaxies  and hide cause my grammar is the less of my worries. I should have listened to Joe Carter when he told me that I should never talk in the third person because people will start thinking that I’m crazy and “IT” was nice of him to say in so many words that he didn’t think that “IT” was the case with me back then. :)

    Folks, as most know, “IT” is hard and some might even agree that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and because “I” was born in the year of the dog, that makes “IT” even harder for my humanity. Long story short, “I AM” who “I AM” and when Me, Myself, i, my soul and spirit become a GOD and (Good Old Dad) feels that “I’M” worthy to have my world where every “ONE” of my cells will have their own galaxies then “I” should be complete. Come to think about “IT” “Jesus” did tell U>S (usual sinners) in so many words to try and be perfect like His Heavenly Father is so “I” guess “I” might need to go to Angel School for awhile but that’s OK cause my gut feeling tells me that we’ll have all the time in the world. Mind ya! You must believe that a moment for “Jesus” is an XYZ kind of moment  for U>S human if you know what “I” mean spiritually speaking.

    In closing, I’ll just say that, I’m certainly not going to answer every coment that was directed my way here like “I” implied “I” would but if God puts “IT” in my heart to start a “Third Blog” in September but if “I” don’t stop I’m sure that I’ll find myself on someone’s “HIT”, I mean “IT” list if ya get my drift. :(

      Call me crazy again but “I” believe that we’ll have all the time needed to make “IT” to our own so called heaven so don’t be too hard on our brothers and sisters who want to go the long way around.  For God sake don’t agree with what you know in your heart of heart is wrong but then again you should never try to kill because of “IT”. Just remember that as “IT” was in the beginning, is NOW and “IT” will always be as far as “I” can see “IT”.

    I would ask for those who hate me and/or think “I” hate them to pray even harder for U>S  cause “Jesus” did say in so many words to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute ya and call me crazy one more time but “I” don’t think “I” really do have any enemies in this century.

    sinner vic would like to finish with a joke so go for “IT” sinner vic!

    Once UP on a Time there was a country and this country was so special that cause Turkeys would fly over “IT” in abundance that the hunters would line UP during hunting season but come to think about “IT” there was to regulated season and long story short, a plane was accidently shot down because of “IT”.

    That’s not funny in the real world sinner vic!:(

    Sorry Victor!


  • AnonymousSam

    Interesting text parser script.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Well, obviously no Real True American will want marriage once it’s got icky GAY COOTIES all over it.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Unfortunately, there’s a rather large subset of the Christian population
    that does not understand that the converse of a true statement is not
    automatically also true.  In this case, the converse is “for you to be
    blessed, you MUST be persecuted, and that persecution MUST be because of
    your faith.”  Well, if you have to be persecuted in order to be a good
    Christian, then you must make yourself unpopular by using Christianity
    as an excuse to be a jerk.  Then, people are guaranteed to “persecute”
    you by disagreeing with you.

    Being the bitter cynic that I am, I’ve found myself wondering if there would be a market for a ‘pay-for’persecution’ business.  Someone signs up, signs a stack of waivers, and for small monthly fee, we’ll send them hate-mail, spread nasty rumors about them on the Internet, and phone in death-threats.  All the persecution they crave, in a pre-packaged, risk-free program!

    Having your car vandalized costs extra.

  • Victor

    (((Being the bitter cynic that I am, I’ve found myself wondering if there would be a market for a ‘pay-for’persecution’ business. )))

    Don’t we have enough problems created by sinner vic without you adding to “IT” Consumer Unit 5012? :(

    I hear ya U>S (usual sinners)! Having your car vandalized costs extra but we do have a sale on seeds if ya get my drift? :)