Posts Tagged “democrats”

Pastor Wiley S. DrakeThis past summer I blogged about the creepy but popular southern California preacher Wiley Drake praying for God to kill Barack Obama. With the passage of healthcare reform, he’s added to his list of imprecatory-prayer targets, as the Daily Beast reports (WebCite cached article):

As Randy Neugebauer cops to shouting “baby killer” on the House floor, a pastor who ran for VP with Alan Keyes has asked for the death of all 219 Democrats who voted for yesterday’s bill.

The vitriol stemming from yesterday’s health-care vote—from Randy Neugebauer’s shout of “baby-killer” aimed at pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak on the House floor to slurs shouted at John Lewis and Barney Frank from crowds outside the Capitol building—has reached a new apex: a call for the death of all 219 Democrats who voted for the bill, through the power of prayer.

Orange Country Pastor Wiley Drake fired off an email to his supporters this morning, telling them that all 219 Democrats have been placed on the “imprecatory prayer list.” “We’ll remember in November and pray Psalms [sic] 109 while waiting,” he urged, before listing each offending congressman by name in “Satan’s domain in Washington D.C.”

Here’s a link to Psalm 109, if you care to read it. It’s essentially a long, whiney prayer that God strike down some horrible enemy and leave his children fatherless and his wife a widow (Ps 109:9). I discussed this particular psalm and its political uses earlier; have a look, if you wish.

What a marvelous, enlightened, compassionate sentiment from “the Religion of Love” (i.e. Christianity), which was founded by the man who famously delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

As I’ve blogged before, Wiley is not some “fringe” preacher that no one pays attention to. He is, in fact, quite influential, and well-known and respected in Religious Right circles. He’s served on the board of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant organization in the country and the “flagship” denomination of the Religious Right. He was also Alan Keyes‘ vice-presidential candidate in 2008 (on the “America’s Independent Party” ticket).

I’m not quite sure why Drake is concentrating solely on the 219 House representatives who voted for healthcare reform and isn’t praying for the deaths of the Senate members who voted the same way … but I’m sure he has his reasons. Those reasons may not make sense, but I’m sure he has them.

Also, Jesus Christ himself was a healer, so I’m not sure how or why Drake views healthcare as “Satanic” … but he does. Again, I’m sure he has his reasons, but I doubt they’d be comprehensible to anyone but another ferocious, delusional fundamentalist Christian religionist like himself.

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If you haven’t already figured it out by now, the Religious Right has gone insane. Completely, totally, and utterly insane. They were driven to this state by sheer frustration at having been voted out of control of Congress (in 2006 with further losses in 2008) and the White House (in 2008). They’re so insanely angry that they no longer even understand what they’re saying or doing. An example of their crazy outrage can be seen in their comparison of healthcare reform with Herod’s massacre of the innocents, as reported by Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches:

Religious Right: God Should Kill Health Care Reform to Save America from Herod

It’s no secret that the religious right is opposed to health care reform (a.k.a. “death panels,” “government takeover,” or “Obamacare”) but as the Senate races to the winter recess with its bill that’s controversial even to progressives, the religious right is using new Christmas-themed rhetoric to rally the base to oppose it. …

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference whom Sojourners’ Jim Wallis has labeled “one of the most hopeful young Christian leaders of our time,” led the charge for this narrative in last night’s “prayercast” co-sponsored by the Family Research Council and The Call. (For more on The Call and its leader Lou Engle, see my account of its spiritual warfare movement in opposition to gay marriage from last year.) Other participants on the prayercast included FRC’s Tony Perkins, Republican Senators Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Sam Brownback of Kansas, Reps. Todd Akin (R-MO), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Randy Forbes (R-VA), and Mike McIntyre (D-NC); as well as Shirley and James Dobson; Bishop Harry Jackson, who recently led an unsuccessful crusade against gay marriage in the District of Columbia; and Pastor Jim Garlow, a leading proponent of California’s Proposition 8 who claimed last night the health care bill violates the Ten Commandments. …

In the prayercast, Rodriguez prayed:

Heavenly father, righteous God, in this season as we celebrate birth of our savior, the one who came to give us life, everlasting life abundant, we come in His name to intercede for that very gift of life. Father, the same spirit of Herod who 2000 years ago attempted to exterminate the life of the Messiah today lives even America. …

Get it? If you’re pro-choice, you’re like Herod, trying to wipe out an army of anointed ones, a battalion of Esthers — you’re a co-conspirator on a massive death panel for Christianity.

I hardly know what to say about this, except that it doesn’t surprise me. The Religious Right has been flirting with collective psychopathology almost since its inception. They have existed in a virtual state of denial about reality, for decades now. It only stands to reason that their electoral collapse, which began some 3 years ago now, has driven them over the cliff of emotion, and into the abyss of raging, sanctimonious, paranoid insanity.

As far as I’m concerned, they no longer can be reasoned with. There is no amount of rationality that can reach people who think this way. The Religious Right must be written off as collectively mentally ill and beyond redemption. We have no other choice … because we just cannot allow people this insane to be running our country. It just can’t be permitted any longer.

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I’ve already blogged about one example of moral relativity from the Right … an ideology that condemns all moral relativity as repugnant, but which engages in it nonetheless. There is another example of this hypocritical phenomenon, however, which is playing out not in the world of beauty pageants, but in Washington DC.

The issue is “harsh interrogation” (aka “torture,” “waterboarding,” “enhanced interrogation,” whatever you choose to call it; I’ll refer to it hereafter as simply “torture”). Democrats (rank and file) and the Left generally have complained for years against the Bush 43 administration’s use of torture. The Right, however, staunchly refused to concede there could have been anything wrong with it … in spite of the fact that public distaste for it may well have played a role in Democratic electoral victories last year. Unable to admit the possibility of error, even out of office, Rightists like Dick Cheney and Karl Rove are trumpeting how successful their torture program was. Cheney, for example, declared that his administration’s use of torture had saved “perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives” (see this AFP story).

The Right has also begun claiming that the former administration’s use of torture was actually morally acceptable, because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — among other Democrats in Washington — had been briefed on it at the time, as long ago as 2002 or 2003. This story has been all over the Right-wing news outlets, such as Drudge Report, Fox News, etc. (Here’s a sample Wall Street Journal story on it by none other than Karl Rove.)

The Right’s position appears to be that Democrats in Congress were told about the torture, but said nothing, which makes it morally acceptable. In other words, the administration’s opposition consented, so it was OK to torture.

This is a specious argument, however, and exhibits shades of moral relativity. That one’s opponents do nothing to stop one from doing something immoral, does not somehow make it moral; it just means that something immoral was done without interference. The real moral issue here is not whether Congressional Democrats consented to the use of torture. It is, instead, whether or not it’s moral to torture people. That Democrats may or may not have known about it, does not make it moral. This matter is, in fact, quite irrelevant. This notion reduces morality to a matter of consent between opposing parties.

This is a gross violation of the Right’s underlying philosophical assumption that morals are always absolute and non-negotiable in all cases. Quite the contrary to this “absolute” philosophy, they have decided that the morality of torture is negotiable, in spite of this.

This, of course, makes them hypocrites — brazenly and obviously violating their own claimed principles in order to justify their own actions. Nice, huh?

One last consideration: The idea that Pelosi, or any other Democrat, could have raised Cain over the torture, had they been upset about it after having been briefed on it, is invalid by itself. CIA briefings are frequently confidential; those briefed cannot disclose the information gained. For her to have shared this information with others, then rallied others against it, would have violated that confidentiality. Congressional Democrats’ ability to do anything about the torture was extremely limited. In many ways, they could not “consent” to it, since their legal power to approve or disapprove of the administration’s actions, was almost non-existent.

The bottom line here is that the Right has engaged in a practice that may or may not have been morally acceptable … but rather than justify it morally, based on the principles of morality itself, they’re claiming it was acceptable because their opponents didn’t stop them. That position, all by itself, is morally repugnant. The Right, once again, is as hypocritical as it could be. (Not that this is unexpected.)

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