RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
This week, we learned from the Right that gay people and immigrants are out to destroy our freedoms, with the help of President Obama, who is secretly preparing to stay in office for a third term.
5) Gay Marriage Threatens Freedom
Speaking with an Iowa talk show host this week, Sen. Ted Cruz once again appealed to the anti-gay Right when he railed against judges, like the members of the Iowa Supreme Court, who strike down bans on same-sex marriage. Cruz alleged that such rulings pose “ a real danger to our liberty” and are in defiance of the Constitution:
Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council also described marriage equality as a threat to freedom this week, writing that the Supreme Court is “headed for another Dred Scott opinion” if it finds same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional, referring to the ruling which said that African Americans could not be U.S. citizens.
“If the Court overturns marriage, it will not only further delegitimize itself as an institution, it will gravely damage American society,” he said. “And it will undermine the ‘consent of the governed’ — the only basis for just laws.”
Blackwell, notorious for his efforts as Ohio’s secretary of state to stifle voting in the 2004 election, went on to compare judges who rule in favor of marriage equality to officials in the Jim Crow South who restricted the voting rights of African Americans: “We should remember Selma and the ‘Bloody Sunday’ that was necessary to achieve the too-long-denied equal voting rights for all our citizens. Today, rogue federal judges are engaged in the most massive case of voter suppression we have seen since the days of Jim Crow! Across the country, but especially in the South, black Americans joined other citizens in voting to affirm true marriage.”
But neither Blackwell nor Cruz can claim the prize for the most distraught outburst against gay marriage of the week, as that honor belongs to Indiana politician John Price, who suggested that Americans should “flee” the U.S. before the Supreme Court rules on marriage rights.
4) Gay Twilight Zone
So how exactly does LGBT equality threaten freedom?
Well, according to Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler, writing in an op-ed titled “ Free speech, rights are under attack,” the LGBT rights movement is threatening his freedom not to see photos of gay people:
I’ve watched with dismay the controversy surrounding Amarillo Town Club’s family membership policy, which was placed prominently before our community by the Amarillo Globe-News on March 2 with its front-page article showing a picture of two angry-looking homosexual women.
The story was also mentioned by a reader in a letter to the editor (Letter: Shame on Amarillo Town Club, March 6, amarillo.com) who believed the business’ conduct was “shameful.”
Shameful? Sometimes I feel like we are living in the twilight zone.
Mechler went on to write that people who criticize his view that same-sex marriage shouldn’t be legalized are actually attacking the freedom of speech: “What I find troubling is the incredible attack that has been launched on free speech. I love this country, and as an American the Bill of Rights gives me the right to say what I please.”
3) Immigrants Will Take Your Guns
Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt is a staunch opponent of immigration reform since he believes that new citizens will vote Democratic and “take away our guns.”
Pratt expanded on this theory in an interview with Armed America Radio recently, explaining that immigrants have a “dependent mentality” and thus don’t understand what it’s like to want to protect yourself from bodily harm.
“A dependent class that depends on the government for their income, for all kinds of financial and other assistance, is not generally of a mind to be able to protect itself, which is after all the most important part about living, is staying alive from one moment to the next in case some dirtbag wants to try to terminate you,” he said. “And if you don’t think enough of your own freedom to take charge of that aspect of your existence, then of course you’re likely to expect handouts and ‘more, more, more’ because you have a dependent mentality.”
2) Another Petraeus Conspiracy Theory
When David Petraeus resigned as CIA director in response to allegations, to which he has since pled guilty, that he leaked classified information to a woman with whom he was having an affair, several conservative pundits rallied to his defense. According to these commentators, along with at least one GOP congressman, Petraeus was actually the victim of an Obama administration plot to stop him from exposing the truth about the 2012 Benghazi attack. In reality, since leaving the CIA, Petraeus has dismissed conspiracy theories surrounding the Benghazi attack and praised then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s response.
On Wednesday, as Media Matters notes, Rush Limbaugh made a similar claim, alleging that administration officials knew Petraeus was leaking sensitive material but “kept it in reserve” and acted on it only “when Petraeus refused to go out and spout the company line on Benghazi.” Limbaugh said that Clinton knew that this cover-up of the cover-up occurred, and that is why she used a personal email account at the State Department: “And so Mrs. Clinton knew that they knew, because she was secretary of state when they sent Petraeus out there to spout the company line and refused to do it. Plus she knew Obama — so that server is to keep things from Obama.”
1) Obama’s Third Term!
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah wants his readers to know that he takes very seriously concerns “out there across the fruited plain” that President Obama will defy the U.S. Constitution and remain in office after the end of his second term. In fact, WND is so worried about this conspiracy theory that it even asked potential GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson how the American people can stop Obama’s (non-existent) plot.
Since “Obama himself may not even be constitutionally eligible for office,” according to Farah, there is reason to believe that “he and his family might remain in Washington after leaving office” since he has no respect for the Constitution anyway. After all, Farah believes that the Obama family enjoys lavish vacations and is “living it up” on the taxpayers’ dime so much that they may refuse to leave the White House.
Farah even suggested that groups like People For the American Way are paving the way for the third Obama term since there is “simply no organized opposition to Obama’s illegal, criminal actions and behavior.” The only one who can stop Obama, Farah writes, may be Hillary Clinton.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
According to the right-wing media, Sharia law is gaining a foothold in Michigan, President Obama is blocking the sale of miracle drugs and Satan is commanding the gay rights movement. But Sarah Palin has uncovered the most menacing threat to America of them all: criticism of Sarah Palin.
5) ‘Obama’s Deadly FDA Secret Could Kill You’
Emulating Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, Fox News contributor and RedState founder Erick Erickson sells out his RedState.com email list to questionable sponsors who prey on the conspiracy-minded and science-averse.
According to Media Matters, one email to Erickson’s list claimed that the federal government is suppressing a miracle cancer cure that healed Ronald Reagan. Another warned that President Obama and the FDA could kill “over 45 million Americans…including you” because they are refusing to release a “secret” cure to cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
But 45 million deaths is low compared to the potential toll of another “Obama scandal” that a RedState sponsored email warned could “wipe out 281 million Americans.”
4) Fox News Helping … Hillary?
At least according to Sarah Palin. Upset that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly mocked the prospect of Palin and fellow reality television star Donald Trump running for president as a “reality show,” Palin charged that O’Reilly is trying to undermine the conservative movement just as it prepares to take on Hillary Clinton.
Palin fumed that “quasi-right” media outlets like Fox News should wake up to the fact that “this is a war” against Clinton and should help the GOP unify and “surface the competitor who can take on Hillary or whomever it may be and win for this country.”
Palin made the rambling, self-pitying remarks , of course, on Fox News.
3) Sharia Law In Michigan
The preposterous right-wing conspiracy theory that the city of Dearborn, Michigan, is controlled by Sharia law has long been completely discredited, but that of course hasn’t stopped the Family Research Council’sTony Perkins and Jerry Boykin from promoting it.
Perkins recently spoke with Frank Gaffney, a fellow anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist, about the supposed rise of Sharia law in the U.S., and unsurprisingly, Gaffney joined in on the frenzy and referred to the city as “Dearbornistan.” He said the “Muslim-only” city of Dearborn has become a “ghetto” that is “too dangerous” to enter.
This might be news to the city’s residents, including one Army veteran who was able to find no shortage of stores selling haram goods like ham and liquor, along with a gentleman’s club, despite the claims of right-wing activists that the city is now imposing Sharia law.
2) Marriage Equality Turns Kids Into Government Property
A group of Catholic and Protestant leaders signed a statement this week warning that the legalization of same-sex marriage will lead “to the coercion and persecution of those who refuse to acknowledge the state’s redefinition of marriage, which is beyond the state’s competence.”
Signatories, including National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher and prominent Proposition 8 supporter Rick Warren, warned that marriage equality for same-sex couples represents an even “graver threat” to society than divorce “because what is now given the name of marriage in law is a parody of marriage.”
By legalizing same-sex marriage, the statement reads, “a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself,” since same-sex marriage apparently “disregards the created order, threatens the common good and distorts the Gospel.” The statement even claims that marriage equality will turn children “in important legal respects, the property of the state.”
1) Gay Demonic Energy
American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer thinks that Satan makes people gay, so of course Fischer believes that Satan is also in command of the gay rights movement.
“I don’t think you will ever find a more directly demonic energy than when you deal with the homosexual agenda,” Fischer said this week. “They’re vicious. They are mean. You literally are staring into virtually the unvarnished energy of Satan himself when you come up against the forces that are pushing the homosexual agenda forward.”
Upset with the coverage of his comments, Fischer said that he feels bad for gay people, since they are “captives, prisoners of war” of Satan.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
The Religious Right rang in 2015 with dark predictions about America’s imminent collapse and God’s judgment under President Obama’s second term. So if you want to survive the remainder of the Obama presidency, you’d better sign up for Mike Huckabee’s email list.
5) Stop Making Larry Tomczak Watch Gay People On TV!
Larry Tomczak knows that the gay community is bent on “targeting innocent and impressionable children,” and he knows just what to do to stop it: kick them off television. The Religious Right pundit is greatly disturbed that “home and remodeling reality shows regularly feature lesbians and gays in partnerships exploring homes” while “Ellen DeGeneres celebrates her lesbianism and ‘marriage’ in between appearances of guests like Taylor Swift to attract young girls.” Even “’Scandal’ has two gays,” Tomczak laments.
“The indoctrination and propaganda coming from those advocating a gay lifestyle in our country, classrooms and culture are increasing,” he writes, urging conservatives to act as “a bulwark against this tidal wave of unprecedented evil.”
He recommends that people turn off the TV and instead start watching “wholesome DVD series and streaming selected programs” such as “The Fugitive, Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie, I Love Lucy” and “Leave It to Beaver.”
4) Equating Gays With Charlie Hebdo Assailants
An Atlanta fire chief recently lost his post after distributing to colleagues copies of self-published book containing condemnations of homosexuality, which city officials thought was a violation of employment practices. Of course, he has since turned into a Religious Right martyr.
Erick Erickson, the Fox News contributor and RedState editor, used the controversy to compare gay people to the terrorists behind the massacre at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Another Fox News pundit, Todd Starnes, said that Christians are losing “equal rights” in the U.S. and experiencing a “cultural cleansing.” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council even suggested that the actions taken by Atlanta’s mayor will spur the violent persecution of Christians in countries such as Iran and North Korea.
Unsurprisingly, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer also weighed in on the matter, and pointed to the fire chief’s firing as a reason that gay people should be “disqualified” from servicing in public office.
3) Who Needs Obamacare?
Mike Huckabee may have temporarily left Fox News to begin exploring a second run for the presidency, but he hasn’t stopped selling his email list to quacks and conspiracy theorists. Huckabee recently sent his fans a sponsored “special message from [the] Health Sciences Institute,” which describes a secret cancer cure found in the New Testament uncovered “by biblical researchers in Maryland.”
That’s right, “a mysterious healing message within ancient scripture” that has even “been verified by one of America’s top doctors.”
The email promoting a “cancer cure on the 859th page of an ancient Bible” that makes “‘untreatable’ late stage cancer disappear” with “zero painful side effects” is just the latest health-related email to be sent from Huckabee’s account; others have endorsed bunk treatments of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Another sponsored email sent out with Huckabee’s blessing give readers advice on how to be “darn sure your family won’t go hungry or get herded into a FEMA camp.”
2) Jim Bakker Has It All Figured Out
In his New Year’s message, televangelist Jim Bakker didn’t hold back about what God told him was in store for America in 2015. According to Bakker, God appeared to him while he was taking a bath, and gave him a morbid vision of the country’s future. Bakker revealed that it will be impossible for the U.S. military to ever win a war as a result of abortion rights, secular government and “taking God out of schools.”
1) What Awaits America In 2015
The Christian Post’s resident prophet Michael Bresciani has issued his predictions for 2015, and they don’t look good. America, Bresciani writes, will soon face a devastating economic meltdown, race riots and divine punishment for gay rights.
The U.S. economy is absolutely set to crash if not slide into its last hurrah. Jobs, new businesses and corporate profits will show declines. Obama's economic policy, started in 2008, will bear fruit in his lame duck years from which there will be little to no recovery. Racial distractions the promised new warfare with the newly elected republican congress and senate will fuel distraction, but provide little economic relief. The predictions are dire.
Even as markets and corporate earnings begin to show decline radicalism, rebellion and general lawlessness will take Obama's cue and begin its debut both at home and around the world. From Bush's drive to increase police and law enforcement to the recent cry of protestors in NYC to produce "dead cops" only someone living on a remote desert isle could not see the spirit of lawlessness beginning to flower.
Under the Obama administration we have gone from the petted slogan "don't let a good crisis go to waste' up the ladder to "why not just create our own crisis to keep the nation off balance."
We can analyze Obama's policies till the cows come home to see what they mean. A shorter route would be to examine what they are not.
For example, race riots and race baiting are not the protests of the sixties. Opening our borders to anyone at any time is not "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses." Bailouts and battles with coal and other energy companies are not free enterprise, but it is welfare for corporations. ObamaCare is not assurance against bad health it is a disease in its own right that promises to leave the nation in death and disarray if not thrown out or seriously modified.
Abortion, the eradication of DOMA and the gay agenda may seem like something debated and finally settled, but they will only settle the future of the nation and nothing less. Already conservatives are debating what will make their list of top priorities for the newly elected house and senate. The Keystone pipeline, immigration and the securitization of the borders are at the top, but so far no one has mentioned abortion or the restoration of DOMA. We may think Obama's policies are in place and unalterable, but God does not see it that way. If these mis-guided policies are left to stand we will continue to decline and suffer a full judgment as a nation.
Politicians, news organizations and pundits cannot decide the morality of our nation, only our citizenry can make that decision. In the old school of thought such changes were called repentance, revival, renewal and the end of backsliding. Can America wise up in time? That also is entirely up to us. We will soon see that if we don't return to some old school thinking that class will soon be let out and the school will close completely.
2014 was a great year for conspiracy theorists running for office, but these extreme politicians couldn’t do it without the help of a conservative media bent on pushing outlandish conspiracy theories from the fringe into the mainstream. Here, gleaned from our weekly Paranoia-Rama, are the conspiracy theories that shaped the year.
While the temporary increase in unaccompanied child migrants coming to the southern border this summer has since subsided, the children fleeing violence in Central America provoked a year’s worth of fear mongering and conspiracy theories from conservative commentators and politicians.
One member of Republican National Committee speculated that the children were actually anti-American “warriors” who would soon “rise up against us,” an anti-immigrant activist suggested that they were child soldiers bent on waging war against the U.S., and Phyllis Schlafly and Alex Jones told their audiences to start worrying about becoming slaves to immigrants.
Republican members of Congress came up with their own conspiracy theories. Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama accused Democrats of using immigration as part of the party’s “war on whites,” Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said Democrats planned to turn the child migrants into illegal voters, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota warned that the government would use the immigrant children “to do medical experimentation” and a whole host of GOP politicians falsely claimed that the child migrants were carrying Ebola, a disease that has still not infected a single known person in Central America or Mexico.
Ebola Ebola Ebola
Is anyone surprised that conservatives cynically turned a disease ravaging West Africa into a political attack on Democrats and immigration from Latin America? Republican officials and conservative pundits went as far as to suggest that President Obama would deliberately infect Americans, including military service members, with the disease as part of his nefarious, Big Government agenda, or to further his purported goal of punishing America.
What Turned The Kids Gay This Year?
The right-wing adage that gay people “cannot reproduce so they must recruit” children is still alive and well, and this year many anti-gay conservatives continued to worked overtime to propagate the homosexual recruitment myth. Televangelist Pat Robertson warned that Hollywood is turning children gay through “girl-on-girl movies,” while radio host Kevin Swanson said movies like “Frozen” are trying to “indoctrinate my five-year-old to be a lesbian.”
Gordon Klingenschmitt, a televangelist who was recently elected to the Colorado state legislature, said a Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Al Franken would “require pedophilia in all public schools” and “require pro-gay child recruiting.” He even hosted a whole show about how parents should avoid interactions with “a gay” lest he “recruit” their kids. Conservatives also railed against Common Core and other education efforts by warning that they would turn kids gay.
Religious Right leaders who hope to criminalize homosexuality and strip LGBT people of marriage rights and antidiscrimination protections are pretty sure that conservatives are the real victims of oppression. And they not afraid to use absurd historical analogies to prove their point.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins charged that gay rights supporters are getting ready to “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians” to concentration camps, Rick Santorum feared “reeducation camps” for gay rights opponents and pastor Scott Lively claimed gay people are using against conservatives “the same ‘blood libel’ used against the Jews by the Nazis.”
Others drew comparisons to slavery and Jim Crow, with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association alleging that gay people have become “our new slave masters” who will “send us to the hole if we refuse the massa’s demands” and “Trunews” host Rick Wiles warning that Americans “will be saves” to the newly powerful “homosexuals and sodomites.” Wiles even said that gay people in America may soon realize Adolf Hitler’s dream of creating a “race of super gay male soldiers” who are determined to “slaughter” Christians.
Cliven Bundy Hysteria
Becoming vocal cheerleaders for Cliven Bundy — a Nevada rancher and anti-government extremist who refused to obey several court orders to pay decades of back grazing fees — may not have been the best idea for Republican politicians and Fox News pundits. Even Glenn Beck seemed horrified by the racist and violent messages coming from the Bundy ranch.
Bundy’s supporters, however, insisted that the government was using the Bundy standoff as a way to prepare for “civil war,” “mass graves,” “FEMA camps,” “tyranny” and “jihad.” After all, Bundy said that God was on his side.