Posts Tagged “birther”

89 - Cry Baby!The nation’s Christianists have been whining and fuming for the last 5 years about Barack Obama’s election as president. They’ve made numerous accusations about him … such as that he’s a Kenyan citizen and not American, he’s a Marxist, a “secret Muslim,” a minion of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that he’s the Antichrist.

Although some Religious Right figures are willing to make statements of this sort openly, a lot have been more circumspect about it. They prefer to wink in the direction of such ideas rather than espouse them explicitly. It’s a kind of triangulation that maintains their appeal among angry, militant Rightists who genuinely believe in one of those insane Obama hypotheses, without appearing nutty, themselves, to the rest of us.

One Religious Rightist who recently decided to engage in this sort of triangulation, as the Religion News Service reports, is famed Texas megapastor Robert Jeffress (WebCite cached article):

Already no stranger to controversy, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Dallas megachurch pastor, is coming out with a book that claims President Barack Obama is clearing the way for the Antichrist.

Jeffress, head of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, writes in his book “Perfect Ending” that he does not believe Obama is the Antichrist, yet he links Obama’s support of gay marriage to the coming of the Antichrist. Many Christians believe Jesus’ Second Coming will feature a confrontation with an enemy called the Antichrist, based on interpretation of passages 1 John and 2 John.…

“While I am not suggesting that President Obama is the Antichrist, the fact that he was able to propose such a sweeping change in God’s law and still win reelection by a comfortable margin illustrates how a future world leader will be able to oppose God’s laws without any repercussions.”…

Jeffress wasn’t claiming that Obama is the Antichrist, and said he was not questioning the president’s faith. “But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.”

Jeffress’s crybaby gripes center around the two current bogeymen of the R.R.: gay marriage and the contraception mandate. While it’s true he explicitly said he doesn’t think Obama is the Antichrist, that he connected Obama with this terrifying figure out of Christian legend can only be a potential appeal to other hateful Christianists who view the president as being in league with Satan.

The RNS article mentions the word “antichrist” was coined by the author of the Johannine epistles (specifically, it’s found in 1 Jn 2:18, 22; 1 Jn 4:3; and 2 Jn 1:7). But it’s not clear it refers to a single person or spirit. 1 Jn 2:18 reads:

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

Clearly the Johannine author is saying there are many “antichrists”; but all the other mentions of “antichrist” are in the singular, and appear to refer only to a singular being. So which is it? Your guess is as good as mine. Although most fundamentalist Christians view “the Antichrist” as some future person, and connect him/her with “the Beast” of Revelation, the Bible itself makes no such connection, and 1 Jn 2:18 certainly contradicts that (since it mentions more than one Antichrist, contemporaneous with its author to boot).

The RNS story also mentions another stupid thing Jeffress said:

In his book, Jeffress makes his case that Christians should study prophecy more closely. “Evangelist Billy Graham once observed that ‘the most neglected teaching in the church today is the second coming of Jesus Christ,’” he said.

This is idiotic on two counts: First, because all Biblical prophecy — every last stinking bit of it — is pure, unfiltered, 100% grade-A bullshit. Simple as that. Second, that Biblical prophecy is somehow “neglected” is a flat-out lie. For the last few decades there’s been endless “End Times” talk streaming out of Christian fundamentalism. The success of the Left Behind publishing empire all by itself thoroughly disproves Jeffress’s (and by extension, Graham’s) contention that Christian prophecy is being ignored.

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Raised seal on Barack Obama's birth certificate/FactCheckI’ve blogged before on the phenomenon of demonstrably-erroneous ideas that just will not die out, no matter how often they’re refuted. And I cited the “birther” delusion … i.e. the idea that President Barack Obama is not an American citizen and thus not entitled to hold office … as a prime example of this. His birth certificate from Hawai’i has been checked out and is fully legitimate (see FactCheck and Politfact, cached here and here).

But the Birthers, you see, don’t give a flying fuck about that. They just know, you see, that he’s not really an American. And they intend never to let go of that idea, no matter the facts. (One way they do this is to dismiss all fact-checking Web sites as “biased,” even though neither of the sites I linked to above avoids pointing out Obama’s exaggerations, misstatements, and lies. So they aren’t “biased” in the President’s favor.)

Because of the persistence of the “birther” delusion among their constituents, GOP politicians are constantly dancing around the subject, trying to appeal to “birtherism” without saying something that will make them look like total morons in the eyes of the rest of the country. Unfortunately, despite their wishes, there is no viable way to do that. Any conciliation to “birtherism” is, by definition, moronic.

That said, there are some who simply don’t care that they look like total morons. Among them, as MSNBC’s Maddow blog reports, is Jeff Duncan of the great Biblical state of South Carolina (WebCite cached article):

As my friend Kyle Mantyla at Right Wing Watch reported yesterday, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) was a guest on Rick Wiles’ unhinged radio show the other day to discuss some of the major issues of the day, including the host’s fears that immigration reform may lead the government to implant biometric scanners in U.S. citizens. Wiles specifically asked Duncan whether lawmakers might “pursue Barack Obama’s phony identification papers.”

Duncan initially tied to laugh it off, saying that people should have voted against Obama during the last election but Wiles refused to let it go, saying “if we know they are lying about all these other things, why not go back and say ‘well, maybe the first scandal was a lie too?'”

And with that point, Duncan wholeheartedly agreed, saying “there you go; I’m all with you, so let’s go back and revisit some of these things because Americans have questions about not only the IRS scandal but also about the president’s validity.”

A recording of Duncan’s comments is provided by Right Wing Watch via Youtube:

Sadly, this is yet another example of GOP insanity. I wonder how long it will take these guys to get over the fact that Obama was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. My guess is, they won’t. Hundreds of years from now there will still be lunatic Right-wingers screaming to high heaven that the US had an ineligible president in office for 8 years.

The best thing for everyone, of course, is for Republican officials, and the “birtherist” masses to whom they’re appealing, to just fucking grow the hell up and get over the fact that someone they despise was elected president. Maturity is the only solution to this mass delusion. Unfortunately, even grown adults tend to resist maturity. More’s the pity.

P.S. I’m well aware that Rachel Maddow and the Right Wing Watch are both ideologically-driven Web sites, and tend to avoid such sources, however, in this case there’s primary-source evidence to back up the report of what Duncan said. I suppose RWW could have faked this recording … but barring evidence to the contrary, I doubt they did so.

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Osama dead? Going to need a death certificate, long form (modified Donald Trump photo)There are lots of people who will never be satisfied with anything about President Barack Obama. Most of these people are “birthers” who deny he was born in the US to an American mother. But the odd juxtaposition of Obama releasing his “long-form” birth certificate (cached) — which the birthers have long demanded, but now refuse to accept — with the killing of terrorist-in-chief Osama bin-Laden, these people have morphed into “deathers,” who refuse to accept the al-Qaeda founder is dead (cached).

Well, as though in answer to their childish demands to see the body of bin-Laden, al-Qaeda itself has admitted their revered prophet of death has, in fact, been killed, as Politico reports (WebCite cached article):

Al Qaeda appears to be confirming that Osama bin Laden was killed in Sunday’s raid on a Pakistani compound by American forces, and is vowing revenge against the United States.

In a statement posted on militant websites and signed by “the general leadership” of Al Qaeda, the group says that bin Laden’s blood “is more precious to us and to every Muslim than to be wasted in vain” and that it will soon release a voice recording made by bin Laden a week before his death.

The Taliban have confirmed what al-Qaeda said:

Meanwhile, in a separate statement released later Friday, the Taliban in Afghanistan said that bin Laden’s death would “give a new impetus to the current jihad against the invaders” — the United States and its allies in the Afghan war.

Of course, not all the “deathers” are extreme Rightists, a few are extreme Leftists, like Cindy Sheehan (cached).

I doubt that even the admissions by al-Qaeda and the Taliban that bin-Laden is dead, will silence the “deathers.” They aren’t interested in facts, they’re interested in their own feelings … and since their feelings are of intense hatred for Obama, they cannot and will not let go of them. This is, perhaps, a neurophysiological inevitability, since studies have shown that people predisposed to believe something, will continue to believe it, even moreso than before, after having been given demonstrable evidence that it’s not so. If this is the case, then they truly cannot help themselves … they’re essentially prisoners of their own immature, irrational minds.

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Raised seal on Barack Obama's birth certificate/FactCheckAs I’ve blogged a number of times already, Birtherism is a delusion that simply will not die. A frequent mantra of Birthers is that Obama has never produced his birth certificate. That, however, is factually incorrect; he has done so, and did it prior to his election in 2008. See FactCheck and Politfact, cached here and here for the evidence. (Note, neither of these fact-checking sites is “biased” towards Obama and the Democrats; recently, for instance, FactCheck pointed out tall tales told by him and by his party, and Politifact has a running “Obameter” listing promises he’s made, and has not shied from listing some as broken.) Oh, and that Kenyan birth certificate you may have heard about? It’s a fake (cached).

Making this situation worse is that denial that Obama is a US citizen has become religionized, and inextricably linked to the claim that he’s a Muslim. So the delusion has taken on an added dimension and, essentially, doubled in scope. Yes, that’s been covered by FactCheck (cached) and Politifact (cached), too — but again, the deluded Right-wing Birthers don’t give a fuck about facts.

Birtherism among Rightists has become so strong and pervasive, that GOP leaders refuse to confront it any more. If anything, they make excuses for Birtherism and wink in its direction. A recent example is House Speaker John Boehner, who did exactly this during his appearance on Meet the Press yesterday (WebCite cached article). When host David Gregory asked about persistent Birtherism, he said:

David, it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people.

That’s an interesting claim on Boehner’s part, since he’s been telling Americans for the last couple of years that Obama is a vile, wicked socialist, and he hasn’t “listened” to any Americans outside of the extreme Right-wing. After having told us what we’re supposed to think about Obama and the Democrats all this time, suddenly he declares he’s unwilling to tell us what to think? What a fucking hypocrite! At any rate, he continued hedging:

Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.

That’s all well and good, but it’s hardly a dismissal of Birtherism. Then, having said that, he veered back toward his original position:

MR. GREGORY: But that kind of ignorance about whether he’s a Muslim doesn’t concern you?

SPEAKER BOEHNER: Listen, the American people have the right to think what they want to think. I can’t–it’s not my job to tell them.

So the Speaker slalomed from, “I’m not supposed to tell people what to think,” to “Obama said he’s a citizen and a Christian,” to “People have a right to be deluded.”

Well, Speaker, you’re correct in that Americans have a “right” to be deluded. No doubt about that. The right to be a fucking ignoramus is undeniable. But you — as a leader in your political party — have a moral and ethical obligation to inform them of the truth. Even if it’s not a convenient truth to tell, and — yes — even if they don’t want to hear it. This is not a question of anyone’s “rights.” This is a question of what the objective facts are and what his duty is, as the leader of the Republican party in Congress.

In other words, it’s a question of fortitude and leadership.

Boehner has purposely chosen to keep his party chock-full of childish, delusional, paranoiac imbeciles. Just because he’s too much of a sniveling coward to tell them to knock off their Birtherist bullshit and shut the fuck up about the President not being a citizen or a Christian.

Way to go, Speaker. What outstanding courage you’ve shown! Why, you’ve demonstrated perfectly the kind of character it takes to lead the Right in the US.

It’s time for everyone on the Right — starting with Speaker Bonehead and the rest of his sanctimonious Rightist rabble in the House — to grow the hell up, stop telling demonstrable lies, and move on to something else, fercryinoutloud.

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Sarah Palin Promotes Bridge To Nowhere With T-ShirtAn odd story has come up, first reported by ABC News, about the militant Religious Rightist and former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, and something she did on Twitter (WebCite cached article):

In recent weeks Sarah Palin has used her Twitter page to endorse midterm candidates, offer political commentary and get out the vote. But last week, she used Twitter to list as a “favorite” a tweet linked to a photo of a sign labeling President Barack Obama a “Taliban Muslim.”

Palin posted as a “favorite” a tweet by conservative political commentator Ann Coulter linking to an image of a sign outside “The Blood of Jesus ATLAH World Missionary Church.” The sign reads, “The blood of Jesus against Obama history made 4 Nov 2008 a Taliban Muslim illegally elected president USA:Hussein.”

Here’s the picture in question:

The blood of Jesus against Obama history made 4 Nov 2008 a Taliban Muslim illegally elected president USA:Hussein.

The blood of Jesus against Obama history made 4 Nov 2008 a Taliban Muslim illegally elected president USA:Hussein.

Of course, Palin is denying she actually “favorited” Coulter’s tweet, claiming it was “accidental,” which ABC News is also reporting, since she responded to them (cached article):

Asked for comment, Palin wrote to ABC News:

“Jake, I’ve never purposefully ‘favorited’ any Tweet. I had to go back to my BlackBerry to even see if such a function was possible. I was traveling to Alaska that day…it was an obvious accidental ‘favoriting,’ but no one can mistake that Ann Coulter was obviously being tongue in cheek with that Tweet. Shall I correct this with whichever wonderful media outlet ran with this (an obviously bored reporter…since there must be nothing going on in the world today, like, um, ramifications of a shake up of power in the U.S. House of Representatives?).”

Note the requisite snide comment about how horrific the media are. For a publicity hound whose career is now built on having her face and words carried around the world by the mass media, Palin sure spends a lot of her time biting the hand that feeds her. Yep, definitely one helluva class act that woman is, no?

Quite aside from her juvenile jabs at the media … it is by no means “obvious” that this was an “accidental tweeting.” If Palin had been unaware of how to “favorite” a tweet, then it could not have been something she might have done even accidentally.

One might easily suspect that Coulter and Palin would both support the “birther” sentiment expressed in this church sign. It’s a delusion that just won’t die among the Religious Right, as I’ve blogged a number of times already. But these heroines of the Religious Right happen to have picked the wrong church to join. You see, ATLAH World Missionary Church is an African-American church in Harlem, NYC; it’s run by a crazy, (reverse) racist pastor, James David Manning; and the cold fact is that neither Ann Coulter nor Sarah Palin would be welcome there!

If you’re wondering — as I am — how an African-American pastor could oppose President Barack Obama rather than support him, on the basis of his race … well … welcome to the wonderful world of raging irrational religionism. I don’t plan even to try to make sense of this.

Anyway, I extend congratulations to Coulter and Palin. They just demonstrated their stupidity and ignorance to the entire planet, via Twitter.

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Picard Facepalm: Because expressing how dumb that was in words just doesnt workBack in August I blogged about the explosive Youtube video claiming to have proven that Barack Obama is the Antichrist. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer‘s Strange Bedfellows blog has details of a Harris poll showing that this belief is held by a significant number of Americans (WebCite cached article):

… Full results are expected tomorrow, but preliminary findings were released in The Daily Beast by John Avlon, whose book “Wingnuts” details the hyper-partisanship that has swept America since 2008. …

And 24 percent of Republicans, and 14 percent overall, agree that Obama “may be the antiChrist.”

The other ridiculous, juvenile and untruthful beliefs that many Americans have about their president are:

  • 45% of Republicans and 25% of Americans think Obama was born abroad

  • 57% of Republicans and 32% of Americans think he is a Muslim

  • 38% of Republicans and 20% of Americans say Obama is “doing many things Hitler did.”

Look, idiots, see if you can get this: Obama is not a Muslim, but a Christian (see FactCheck and Politifact, cached articles here and here respectively). Obama was born in Hawai’i, not some other country, and has proven it (see FactCheck and Politfact, cached here and here). Also, both Barack Obama and Adolf Hitler were heads of state, so I’m sure you will be able to find similarities in their behavior … but confusing the two is irrational and illogical.

It’s time for the Right in the US — especially the Religious Right — to grow the hell up and stop lying about people they don’t like just because they don’t like them. No one says you have to be happy that Barack Obama is the president … but not wanting him to be president doesn’t grant anyone license to lie about him. Are we clear on that?

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The “Birther” delusion I’ve blogged about a couple times already, apparently has not died, even though it’s been as thoroughly debunked as anything can be. The occasion of the “Tea Party Convention” — a loose collection of paranoiacs, anarchists, and assorted other falling-off-the-cliff Rightists — has kicked up the (non-existent) controversy over President Obama’s birth. The Los Angeles Times Top of the Ticket blog reports on the persistence of this delusion (WebCite cached article):

Joseph Farah, to cheers at Tea Party Convention, again questions location of Obama’s birth

If the National Tea Party Convention hoped to keep its focus on political organizing and its message on limited government, it has had little success so far.

Capping the first full day of the meeting, right-wing instigator Joseph Farah spent much of his dinner speech questioning whether President Obama was born in Hawaii and casting doubt on whether the president was legitimately elected.

“The media, the politicians … all say, no, it’s all been settled. I say, if it’s been settled show us the birth certificate. Simple,” Farah’s said, as his remarks were cheered by the roughly 600 activists gathered in Nashville for the event.

If you don’t know who Joseph Farah is, consider yourself fortunate. You haven’t missed much, except for Farah’s insane religiofascist gibbering.

Farah runs WorldNetDaily.com, a conservative tabloid, book publisher and tireless critic of the administration [WebCite cached version]. He dismissed those who say he is obsessed with the birth certificate issue saying, “I admit it, I’m obsessed with the Constitution.”

But Mr Farah, if you were truly “obsessed with the Constitution,” you would know that it says absolutely nothing whatsoever about birth certificates. Not one blasted thing! Farah, being a dutiful Religious Rightist, inserted a religious angle into his drivel:

Farah said he believed establishing lineage was important for leaders, using Jesus’ genealogical ties to King David as an example.

Mr Farah, if you know so much about the Bible, then surely you must know that the two genealogies of Jesus that are provided in the gospels, conflict with one another (cached article)! The truth about Jesus is that no one knows if he even existed; and even if he did, his genealogy is utterly unknown.

In any event, the matter of Obama’s birth has been settled. FactCheck has gone over the matter with a fine-tooth comb and has not found any problem with Obama’s citizenship (cached article). (For those who don’t like FactCheck, here’s Politifact’s article on the subject, along with a cached version.) The “birthers” who demand an “original” birth certificate in order to demonstrate Obama’s citizenship — and who say that only an “original” birth certificate will suffice — are legally incorrect. In some jurisdictions, it is not possible for a person ever to get an “original” birth certificate … it is the property of the recording agency, not the person, so the person cannot give it to anyone. If the “birthers” are to be believed, anyone born in such a place is automatically and forever barred from becoming president. This is, of course, totally asinine and childish. But then, “birthers” are not known for being bright or mature, so it’s to be expected, I guess.

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