Running around like a chicken with its head cut off, the American Family Association's Don Wildmon is out to prove that America's most high profile religious voices are as archaic, bigoted and dumbed-down as "the new atheists" preach they are.
Wildmon may as well be on tour with Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and Dennett.
As James Watkins at Think Christian points out, Wildmon recently sent an ominous warning to supporters that "A bill in Congress makes it a crime for pastors and churches to speak against homosexuality," claiming that the new Hate Crime bill, which extends protection to the LGBT community, actually threatens free speech.
Err, not exactly. What H.R. 1592 DOES say is that if you bash a gay or transgendered person -- that is, if you physically assault them -- you are subject to a particular kind of prosecution because of the nature of the crime. In fact, while it should say that when a religious figure's expressed antipathy toward anyone in the LGBT community (or Muslims or women or anyone) can be directly tied to a violent crime, they can be held accountable -- but it doesn't.
It just says that if you cause bodily harm you're in trouble. Who could oppose that?
So you're left to ask yourself: is Wildmon's reading comprehension so poor? Probably not... it's more likely that Wildmon knows exactly what the bill says. But, as the conservative religious movement requires a surfeit of both fear and cash, any opportunity to misrepresent a bill that exactly ten people will read as the approach of the forces of doom will be taken and exploited. Case in point.
But these shenanigans are nothing new for the man whose reputation was solidified by a high-profile row with Three's Company, and its immoral message. This stuff just writes itself.
So, Mr. Wildmon, you can still preach the gospel of hatred to your heart's content, you just can't physically assault people. In today's marketplace, even this is controversial. And you can practically feel the whoosh of Hitchens' anti-religion screed flying from the shelves...
On the other hand, at this weekend's Pride parade in Sacramento, A Church for All came out to neutralize conservative evangelical protesters, commenting that:
"Just think of having rocking waves while you're getting your insides plowed into by some doctor. That doesn't sound like fun to me..."
I'm sorry, I know it's like shooting fish in a barrel, but could Pat Robertson be more of a caricature of himself? Is it possible? If it weren't revered by millions as a not thoroughly insane voice he'd almost -- almost -- be bordering on that doddering old uncle (I'm blind in one eye and I can't see outta the other...) you know is repugnant but you forgive him because he's, well, not the figurehead of a large swath of your fellow Americans.
The newscaster says that the Women on Waves ship will make Mifepristone (aka RU 486) available to women off-shore of countries that do not currently allow women to make decisions for themselves.
A P-I-L-L. Is CBN so bad the good reverend doesn't even watch his own news agency?
Or perhaps the reverend does not care. He resorts to the domain of the impotent: fear and lies. He talks about women "getting [their] insides plowed into by some doctor."
That has to be one of the most repulsive uses of language I've heard in months. Jesus.
Okay, now forget about Robertson and read about the history of Women on Waves here...
In other news, doctors are pissed at the Supreme Court's recent ruling as it does not have, how you say, meaning...
Jon Stewart gives John McCain the business. McCain comes back with IED humor. Heh. Heh heh.
McCain lies about Iraq (about his words about Iraq), Stewart confronts him more critically than the rest of the news media. But these things -- these things you know...
The highlight for my money:
*Asked about the fight them over there, so they don't... blah blah cough cough, McCain says (paraphrasing): just read the words of bin Laden and Zarqawi, they'll tell you.
Stewart replies (roughly): yeah, well, they also aim to draw the US into a war that depletes lives and treasure, so...