Election 2016

Candidates Court the Fringe

Yes, the Republican Party base includes a large share of conservative Christians. But there is a grim double meaning to the word "base."

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Panting heavily and gesticulating wildly, the imam raised his copy of the holy book high. In a voice shaking with emotion, he cited chapter and verse from the text supporting the idea that homosexuality is haram—sinful—and that the proper penalty for it is death. Was he calling for the execution of gays and lesbians now? No, he said—not right now. Now is not the time. They first must be given the opportunity to repent, just as America must be.

The imam made those comments before a rapt audience at a recent religious conference—where three Democratic presidential contenders also appeared. And the question must be asked: Why were they making common cause with such an extremist? Do they agree with his prescription? Is that their vision for America—a medieval theocracy where sexual minorities must repent or be executed?

Before proceeding further down that road, let's clear up a couple of points. The events described above did occur earlier this month, in Iowa. But the speaker was not Muslim. He was Pastor Kevin Swanson, appearing at  the National Religious Liberties Conference he organized. He did not cite the Koran for his assertions about homosexuality, but Leviticus and Romans.

No Democratic presidential contenders were there—but Republican presidential candidates Bobby Jindal (who has since dropped out), Mike Huckabee, and Ted Cruz were. All three attended the conference. Cruz, whose father was a conference speaker, told Swanson that "any president who doesn't begin every day on his knees isn't fit to be commander-in-chief"—which, as Reason's Ronald Bailey noted, flies in the face of the Constitution's proscription against religious tests for office.

Swanson is one of those apocalyptic apoplectics who finds Satan lurking in such unlikely places as Frozen and Harry Potter and How to Train Your Dragon. He claims America is "heading back into cannibalism, vampirism, tattooing, body mutilation and every form of fornication" and has praised Uganda's law mandating life in prison (formerly death) for homsexuality. He wasn't the only one at his conference preaching death for gay people, either.

Why on Earth did Republicans share a stage with such a nutcase? Cruz claimed not to know about Swanson's views, but that was before the conference took place. Once informed of them, why didn't he pull out?

As a writer for The Huffington Post noted, back when Barack Obama was running for president he took a lot of heat for attending a church led by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who once warned God would "damn America" for its sins. True, Swanson is not Cruz's pastor (or Huckabee's, or Jindal's). On the other hand, Wright, unlike Swanson, has not suggested the need to execute 12 million Americans, which is the approximate number of gays and lesbians in the U.S.

As the Cato Institute's David Boaz wrote recently, if a Democratic presidential candidate sucked up to a hatemonger who even hinted at killing millions of peaceful American citizens, Republicans would go ballistic. Yet conservatives don't hold their own candidates to a similar standard.

It's also worth comparing the blasé attitude conservatives hold regarding Christian wingnuts with the alarm they profess over "creeping Shariah." A number of states have passed legislation to ban the imposition of Shariah law, and Shariah is a popular topic on right-wing websites. Republican presidential candiate Ben Carson went so far as to impose another religious test when he said Muslims should not be president. Challenged on that, he eventually said a Muslim could be president, provided he or she "reject the tenets of Islam." Conservatives worry that Shariah would transform the U.S. from a tolerant, liberal democracy that respects individual rights into an intolerant, authoritarian theocracy that tramples upon them.

The irony, of course, is that this is little different from what the Kevin Swansons of the world would do. They might start from slightly different premises, but the outcome would be much the same.

Yet while Republican presidential contenders, or Democratic ones, for that matter, would never appear at a conference led by Islamic extremists, they apparently have no qualms about a conference led by Christian extremists. True, Christian extremists in the U.S. don't go around butchering innocent people, as ISIS did in Paris on Friday. But claiming "they're not as bad as ISIS" sure sets the bar awfully low, doesn't it?

Yes, the Republican Party base includes a large share of conservative Christians. But if Swanson is in any way representative, that gives a grim double meaning to the word "base."

This article originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  1. Jeremiah Wright says hello.

    1. To begin with, knock off the cheap trick of saying it was an imam speaking when no, it was actually a christian pastor. WTF!

      I imagine you’re a big fan of dream sequences in the films you watch too, huh? Go to writing school you hack!

      The evangelicals have destroyed the republican party with their Wars on Women, Gays and Drugs.

      That the evangelical candidates of the GOP would share a stage with this whack job should come as to anyone.

      1. Republicans should declare piece on women. But only the HOT ones.

    2. All your base are belong to us.

  2. Really Hinkle? You are going to favorably quote Bailey’s fatuous assertion that Cruz’s desire for a religious person hold the office of president is a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition of a legal disqualification based on religion?

    Could we get some writers here who understand the difference between “unconstitutional” and “notions I do not like”?

    1. No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the United States. Article 6, U.S. Constitution. How does Cruz’s comment comport with that? It may be just an opinion (and an odious one) but it is still unconstitutional.

      1. He was not suggesting it as legal test, which is what the Constitution prohibits, not a voters discomfort with a candidate’s religion or lack thereof.

        Again, the Constitution is a set of rules on the government, not the people.

      2. “Should not” is not the same as “must not”. That a candidate thinks Muslims “should not” be president does not qualify as unconstitutional.

        1. You guys are really bending over backwards to defend this comment. Parsing whether or not he implying that it should be law, his opinion that a non Christian isn’t fit for office is not in line with the Constitution.

          Of course there’s another way to interperate Cruz’ statement that a Commander in Chief should, “begin every day on his knees” – which is very pro gay rights.

          1. It is not defending the comment per se. It is objecting to the mischaraterization of what the comment means and what the constitutional prohibition is.

            1. .. It is objecting to the mischaraterization of what the comment means and what the constitutional prohibition is.

              Two bits says Cruz rejects what the constitutional prohibition means. His father recently freaked out with the typical lies about the founders’ intent (and word) It’s for sure that Ron and Rand Paul reject separation — like calling for religious tent revivals to pressure changing the Constitution.

              Santorum “almost threw up” when he read JFK’s support for separation. Would he commit suicide over Reagan being one of Americas top defenders of homosexuals when he announced his winning campaign And Goldwater’s famous, “Christians should kick Jerry Falwell’s ass

              Huckabee and Carson seem to reside in a parallel universe.

          2. That’s sexist. Although i can’t really imagine Hillary being on her knees.

            1. Although i can’t really imagine Hillary being on her knees

              Hence, Monica Lewinsky (and all the others.)

              1. Monica was one classy chick. She dreamed of knee pads.

                I dreamed of Monica.

  3. Because of the tribal natures of our system, the people that identify with the party do not criticize their own. They will grumble in private, but never come out and condemn the crazies of their party. This is true for both sides. Few core Democrats tell those with ideas like genetically modifying humans to be smaller to combat climate change to stuff their pie hole, just like few Republicans tell those with ideas that make us a totalitarian state to stuff their pie hole.

    If you are looking for condemnation of this sort of thing, you never go to the solid base of the party. They will affirm anything (we even have psychological research to prove it) they are told. Where you look for criticisms is outside the base, the people who are conservative but not necessarily Republican or those that are liberal but not necessarily Democrat.

    1. Yes, except no. It’s true, obviously, that people scrutinize the opposing “team” more closely for faults than their own, but your example of two sides is totally, ridiculously flawed. No one is seriously considering genetically modifying the human species. And every Republican candidate has to gain the approval of the Christian nut jobs.

      1. Multiple news publications around the world carried the “Story” of that particular idea – and have several times in the last 15 or more years. No greens went “Well, that’s stupid.” They stayed silent. How could that be “no one is seriously considering genetically modifying the human species”? Is this one of those “Ignore it because I don’t think they are serious” things? History has shown that’s not a responsible position to take.

        And, to counter your shrill admonition that ignores one side: The Democrats have to win the green and socialist nut job segments of their party to carry them into the White House. AKA the core base of democrats. This was my point: You AREN’T going to find anyone to rebuke Hillary or Sanders or Ted, or Bush 13 from their cores. All of the rebuffing comes from the opposition and the growing base in the center of the two bases that find what the parties have become ridiculous.

        1. To answer your question:

          ” Is this one of those “Ignore it because I don’t think they are serious” things?”

          Yes, that’s beyond obvious. And to say that history has shown that it’s “not a responsible position to take” is flatly wrong. There have been isolated examples over of ignoring movements that become powerful before they were dealt with, but 99.9% of these fringe ideas stay just that, fringe. We have, do and should continue to ignore ridiculous ideas that have zero chance of being enacted. To say otherwise is to say that candidates need to go out of their way to rebuke every crackpot idea that someone floats.

          Also, I’m not sure how I was shrill or ignored one side. I agreed with you in principle, but just pointed out that your example was flawed. All Republicans must court a group of voters and religious leaders that want biblical teachings in government, Democrats have to court their base too, but none of them have to engage with any group that supports genetically modifying the human species, much less gain their endorsement.

          Your dichotomy was bad and I pointed that out. That’s not ignoring one side.

          1. You should stop and look at history and realize your declaration about my dichotomy being bad is on pretty shaky ground.

            Pretty much any part of the industrial revolution was a crack pot idea ten years before it took off. The same with the rise of computers. In 2005 did you think that Apple would, two years hence, turn the smart phone market upside down? No. Apple wasn’t a phone company, despite the rumors. Since the 1800s, the western world has been in a constant state of change – changes that were ignored until they were suddenly upon the world and people had to adapt to them.

            This is not “isolated examples” – it is the way of our recent history stretching back a quarter-millennia. Heck, in 1985, did you think that the climate change industry would be how it is, today?

            And since you think the greens aren’t crazy enough to go through with it, how have they worked out their plans in Germany? A nationally destabilized energy grid that their engineers think will fail in less than 3 years. When they started energiewende, they didn’t even conceive of the damage that would be done. Today’s outcome was exactly as preposterous as you now say this latest green idea is. Surely, they would have said at the time, that sane, responsible heads wouldn’t let anything like this happen, hm?

            I mean, at what point should we start listening to people’s words and ideas instead of ignoring them, if not the beginning?

            1. You are displaying a fairly high level of confusion, I will try to sort it for you.

              Your dichotomy is in fact terrible and my characterization is spot on because of the reason I outlined above, but I guess will reiterate – Democrats do not have to go to multiple conventions to kiss the ring of fringe ideas like the one you mentioned, but Republicans DO have to repeatedly go to CPAC and other forums like the National Religious Liberties Conference referenced in the piece and others to kowtow to those that would like to impose their religious views on others though government means.

              As for the rest of what you said, I don’t know who you were directing that to but it wasn’t to me. Comparing technological innovation to forced genetic modification of the entire human species is a complete non sequitur. However I would note, people were not forced to adapt to the industrial revolution or Apple making pocket sized computers available, people embraced these changes as the products they produced made their lives better.

              1. And yes, there are some isolated examples of ideologies that spread when they shouldn’t have – Like 9/11 truthers, but the reason you can think of some and not the countless other dumb ideas that went nowhere is because of the availability heuristic – it’s why you can name the Super Bowl winning quarterbacks from the 49ers, but not all the high school quarterbacks from the Bay area. By your logic, everyone who plays football in San Francisco is Joe Montana.

                Then you say that I don’t think “the greens are crazy enough to go through with it” Go through with what? Even if you can show me an example of someone who really wants genetic engineering as a means to combat climate change, there is no possible path to making something like that happen.

                Lastly, Germany will have power in 3 years. The destabilization you are refering to is a product of having TOO MUCH power coming from renewables. I’d be happy to make a bet with you of any amount to the charity of your choosing that in November 2018 Germany will have electricity. And even if I were to lose that bet, you seriously think that a destabilized grid in one country is “exactly as preposterous” as artificially changing the entire human race? What on earth are you talking about?

                1. You’ve brought some fairly wide ranging ideas into this internet discussion, none of your comparisons make much sense. My hunch is that you’re preoccupied with the extreme environmental left, which is fine, but the power and influence they hold on the Democratic party is nowhere near the hold that conservative christians have on the Republicans. You’d be on much firmer ground citing the Dems ties to labor unions, for example.

                  Oh, and climate change is real. The reason the industry, as you call it, has grown since 1985, is that it’s causes and effects are more well understood now than they were then.

                  1. You are very misguided. I’m not “preoccupied,” I’m simply drawing on examples of the very same movement you seem to have issues criticizing. I will note that you seem very up-at-arms over the fact that the green movement was criticized off-hand. Your tribal identity? Sorry.

                    And it’s not that “dumb ideas go nowhere.” It’s that they sit on a shelf until they can be used. Since you don’t like Green criticisms, look to income tax. It failed, what, four times before it stuck in the US? I can keep going, giving example after example. Just because some ideas are sitting right now and someone isn’t trying to actively implement them this minute doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be shown the light of day and their flaws revealed.

                    Oh, and climate change is real – it’s just not driven by carbon dioxide. The industry has grown up around an idea that is easy to disprove. The reason it has done so is because it has given politicians an excuse to both centrally plan and add taxes for more government revenue. It is just one more area that the government should have no involvement in picking winners and losers.

                    1. OK, I’m going to step off here. You’re not engaging with anything I’ve said, you’re bringing up more non sequiturs – the income tax? How in the world is that germaine to the discussion? – you accuse me of having a green agenda when I just point out your deeply flawed thinking. You clearly do not understand what the availability heuristic is, hence you think that bringing up “example after example” would prove something. (Even though, weirdly, you haven’t brought up even one relevant to this discussion). You continue to refuse to acknowledge that your initial comment was a terrible analogy, and now I know why, you’re just a deeply confused person. I am no green activist, I’m a libertarian leaning registered Republican, but I accept the 98% of scientists who say Global Warming is real and is driven by CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, but you’re free to believe whatever nonsense is in your head.

                      Good luck and goodbye forever.

                    2. I brought up several examples, which you rejected because I’m apparently “pre-occupied.” And I have shown that the availability heuristic isn’t applicable because it operates on a binary principle of “if it isn’t, it will never be” which has never been the case.

                      I’m glad you’re gone forever. You obviously missed every point I made.

  4. Typo second paragraph.

  5. Another disgrace to Christianity. (I’m an atheist) They decide for themselves which of God’s Laws to follow and which to ignore, placing their own judgment above the Will of their God. What about God’s command to swiftly kill the infidels, including one’s own brother, spouse, child or friend? (Deuteronomy 13).

    And when will they start stoning to death all women who were not virgins on their wedding day?

    1. I’m an atheist, too, but well versed enough to know that Dueteronomy is in the Old Testament and thus its various rules are null and void.

      1. Not null and void, but superceded by nearly every interpretation of the New Testament.

        1. Not null and void, but superceded by nearly every interpretation of the New Testament

          Yup. Like Orwell’s Newspeak. “”War is Peace.” “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength.” Words mean the exact opposite of what they are. It’s also called suffering denial.

      2. “They decide for themselves which of God’s Laws to follow and which to ignore, placing their own judgment above the Will of their God.”

        He said “well versed enough to know that Deuteronomy is in the Old Testament and thus its various rules are null and void.”

        Well versed? God’s Word has an expiration date? Who knew?
        How does that equate with (many) Christians inventing lies about the Quran?
        What I quoted is actually the Will Of God. And you just proved my point by placing your own judgement above the clearly expressed Will of God? Thanks!

        1. Does the “flat earth” have an expiration date? Can it even get a date? Or must it resorrt to date rape?

      3. Yeah, I hear that about half the time. The other half of the time is Christians telling me – an atheist – that I should be following old Jewish laws that were never meant to apply to gentiles.

        So I’m not gonna fault anyone for thinking the Old Testament still applies. After all, it’s what half of Christians are telling us.

        1. So I’m not gonna fault anyone for thinking the Old Testament still applies. After all, it’s what half of Christians are telling us.

          HOWEVER, it drives them bat-shit crazy to point out that Jesus rejected Mosaic Law. “cast the first stone.” Or that the entire western principle of using violence in self-defense comes from… ISLAM! Christ strongly oppose force, even in defense of violence. You are to EXPAND what the aggressor takes from you or does to you.

          bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29″Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30″Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.?

          I’ve often wondered what rape victims should do. Hug the rapist? Help him penetrate?

          Our entire moral standard of self-defense — a foundation of even libertarianism … comes from Muhammad The Quran has many parables describing examples when violence is justified. Like “kill the infidels” is if they attack the temple. When the attack is repulsed, lay down your arms, pursuing them would be YOUR aggression.

          1. Instead of casting stones could we just grind them into shape?

          2. Jesus had a favorable impression of swords.

    2. Never.

      While far from perfect, for many centuries now the Christians have done a good job of keeping their fringe elements on the fringe.

      1. Christians have done a good job of keeping their fringe elements on the fringe.

        Presidential candidates are the fringe? Huckabee, Santorum, Carson, Paul, Cruz …

    3. What about God’s command to swiftly kill the infidels, including one’s own brother, spouse, child or friend? (Deuteronomy 13).

      God’s land, given to the nation of Israel conditionally, was “given them” in a contract freely entered into by the people (Exodus 24). The blessings for obedience and curse for disobedience were directly told to them (Deuteronomy 28-30).

      God was the land owner, the people his guests. Had they wanted to stop following him, they could leave. If they didn’t leave, they were bound by the oath they had given (to the land owner). Ergo, it’s not a question of “sin”, really, but one of trespass.

      Hence the reason why this doesn’t apply here and now. After the Cross, the making of the New Covenant, the old Covenant was done. Also, the land we are now in, while created by him, wasn’t given by God and no-one put “pen to paper” (in those days done by sacrifice) promising to follow him.

      You won’t like this answer, but that doesn’t keep it from being true.

      1. God’s land, given to the nation of Israel conditionally, was “given them” in a contract freely entered into by the people (Exodus 24).

        The real people were called Canaanites. There was no contract. It was mass genocide of an entire culture. the only one in human history.

        Then they ruled the land for only 300 years, over 2000 years ago, and lost the land when a civil war created TWO Jewish states … “the divided kingdom” … until one group of Jews REFUSED to defend their fellow Jews from invasion and conquest. So they stole the land by genocide and later lost it themselves.

        “The First Holocaust” (slaughter of Jews by Christians) was nothing to be proud of either.

        You won’t like this answer,

        Howdja like mine?

        but that doesn’t keep it from being true.

        Check the Canaanites and get back to us.

        1. The real people were called Canaanites.

          Trespassers on God’s land. (Creator gets to claim it’s his).

          There was no contract.

          Exodus 24.

          It was mass genocide of an entire culture.

          Perhaps they should have moved off the owner’s land?

          the only one in human history

          Bull.

          until one group of Jews REFUSED to defend their fellow Jews from invasion and conquest.

          You go fight the Assyrians at that time, then. After all the nation of Judah was paying tribute to Assyria to avoid invasion at the time, almost like they couldn’t even defeat them in a defensive war… Also, your infamous problems with the Jews is showing, might want to keep that more in check.

          ‘The First Holocaust’ (slaughter of Jews by Christians) was nothing to be proud of either.

          Nope, though Abusus non tollit usum.

          Howdja like mine?

          As boring and wrong as usual. You don’t know the history near as well as I do (love is a better motivation than hatred).

          Check the Canaanites and get back to us.

          I would, but the nation of Israel at the time never actually killed them all (and intermarried with many). In fact, some of the Philistine tribes got completely absorbed into the Jewish nation… so if you want to talk to the Canaanites, then talk to a modern day Jew.

          1. Even wackier!

            The real people were called Canaanites.

            Trespassers on God’s land. (Creator gets to claim it’s his).

            (snicker) Did they get the land when God was distracted?
            The same God who created a flood to cleanse the world on his own?
            Make up your mind. Did God say “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shall commit mass genocide of an entire civilization?”

            It was mass genocide of an entire culture.
            Perhaps they should have moved off the owner’s land?

            When were they asked to?
            Make up your mind (same as above,

            the only one in human history
            Bull

            Name another! (lol)

            until one group of Jews REFUSED to defend their fellow Jews from invasion and conquest.
            You go fight the Assyrians at that time, (babbling redacted)

            (yawn) One Jewish kingdom refused to help their fellow Jews defend from an invasion. Period. Full stop,

            .. Also, your infamous problems with the Jews is showing, might want to keep that more in check.

            NOW you say no difference between self-defense against aggression and launching mass genocide ? . on a libertarian website Then again, the western moral concept of self defense came from Islam. Jesus literally rejected self defense.

            Moving on. Nothing here but lame excuses for moral atrocities.

            1. (snicker) Did they get the land when God was distracted?
              The same God who created a flood to cleanse the world on his own?

              No. Yes.

              Make up your mind. Did God say “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shall commit mass genocide of an entire civilization?”

              It’s not “Thou Shalt not kill”, it’s “Thou Shalt not murder”. The words in Hebrew are different. Justice sometimes means killing another.

              When were they asked to?

              If it happened, I’m not aware of it being recorded. But again, as the entire Earth is God’s, and “the wages of sin is death”, then God killing any human is just. Yes, even me.

              Name another! (lol)

              As I’ve already shown, it wasn’t “genocide” as you define it as their descendants still live. So all the other “genocides” would be just as bad (in your view).

              (yawn) One Jewish kingdom refused to help their fellow Jews defend from an invasion. Period. Full stop,

              And?

              NOW you say no difference between self-defense against aggression and launching mass genocide ? . on a libertarian website

              God dispenses justice. If all deserve death, then only his mercy keeps us alive. Ergo, death is justice if it’s from God. If a man does it on his whim, it’s murder.

              Jesus literally rejected self defense.

              You don’t know my religion very well. “Turn the other cheek” is in reference to insults. Luke 22:36-38.

              1. Make up your mind. Did God say “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shall commit mass genocide of an entire civilization?”.

                It’s not “Thou Shalt not kill”, it’s “Thou Shalt not murder”..

                Wrong again The two major versions are “Thou shalt not kill” and …”You shall not murder” and the former is most common. Proof here:

                https://www.bing.com/search?q=thou+shalt+not+kill

                The words in Hebrew are different.

                (yawn) This is English,

                Justice sometimes means killing another.

                Scripture?

                (yawn) One Jewish kingdom refused to help their fellow Jews defend from an invasion. Period. Full stop,

                And?

                Go back and look. I called out another lie.

                Jesus literally rejected self defense.

                You don’t know my religion very well.

                Umm, it’s about the BIBLE, which you screwed up again

                “Turn the other cheek” is in reference to insults. Luke 22:36-38.

                (OMG) It’s Matthew 5: 39! Another Biblical blunder!

                https://www.bing.com/search?q=turn+the+other+cheek

                Repeat: 1) Did God say “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shall commit mass genocide against an entire culture?”
                2) Support your assertion of other genocide(s) of an entire culture.

                Will you continue publicly humiliating yourself?

                1. The two major versions are “Thou shalt not kill” and …”You shall not murder” and the former is most common.

                  Not arguing that the error isn’t common, just that it’s an error. Also, your link (if you go to Wiki) proves me right.

                  This is English

                  Congrats on IDing your own language. The Pentateuch was written in Hebrew. The word was “murder”, not simply “killing” (murder being a subset of killing).

                  Go back and look. I called out another lie.

                  That word, I don’t think it means what you think it means. You see, I was giving a reason they didn’t defend their fellow Jews, not telling you it didn’t happen. Perhaps you have comprehension issues due to your irrational hate…

                  It’s Matthew 5: 39

                  Yes, I know. It’s also otherwise inconsistent with Luke 22:36-38 (self defense). Slapping a cheek was a severe insult, but not a deadly attack. But you’d know that if you could reason through your hatred.

                  Did God say “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shall commit mass genocide against an entire culture?”

                  He said “Thou Shalt no Murder” (as your link proves) and then told them to kill those who are on his land (that he gave them) and breaking their contract with him (Exodus 24). Hating that fact doesn’t make it any less true.

                  Will you continue publicly humiliating yourself?

                  Pot, meet kettle.

                  1. Slapping a cheek was a severe insult, but not a deadly attack.

                    (lol)
                    1) Who said a slap was deadly?
                    2) Now you say that if someone “insults” your CHEEK, you should turn your other CHEEK to be … “insulted” (OMG)

                    1. 1) Who said a slap was deadly?

                      Fair enough. I was using self defense as meaning self defense against a real attack. You meant it (or mean it now) to be defense against a minor attack or insult. A simple misunderstanding.

                      2) Now you say that if someone “insults” your CHEEK, you should turn your other CHEEK to be … “insulted” (OMG)

                      You’ve never heard of the traditional way to start a duel? The glove slapped against the cheek? That’s (more or less) what this is referring to. A slap to the cheek is really more insult than attack, though I suppose still a technical violation of NAP.

                      So yes, Christ would say (or did say) to not defend yourself against a slap to the cheek, but you may defend yourself against an actual, deadly attack (Luke 22:36-38).

                      Fair enough?

      2. After the cross? What about the double cross?

  6. “True, Christian extremists in the U.S. don’t go around butchering innocent people”

    I guess A. Barton has never heard of Eric Robert Rudolph. He killed 2 people and injured 120 others for his anti-abortion/anti-gay religious views. How does that not compare to Islamic terrorists? How about other abortion clinic bombings. Or abortion doctors killed in cold blood? Religious extremists are the same throughout the world, no matter the god they claim to kill for.

    1. So the Republicrats are courting religious types who call for the killing of up to 12 million Americans if they do not repent? I as a REALLY religious type, would point out to these WEAK WIMP fake-religious types, that God will not be happy with a mere 12 million dead Americans; He wants us ALL dead!

      And I can quote chapter and verse to prove it, all ye infidels!!!

      Our that them thar VALUES of society outta come from that them thar HOLY BIBLE, and if ya read it right, it actually says that God wants us to KILL EVERYBODY!!! Follow me through now: No one is righteous, NONE (Romans 3:10). Therefore, ALL must have done at least one thing bad, since they’d be righteous, had they never done anything bad. Well, maybe they haven’t actually DONE evil, maybe they THOUGHT something bad (Matt. 5:28, thoughts can be sins). In any case, they must’ve broken SOME commandment, in thinking or acting, or else they’d be righteous. James 2:10 tells us that if we’ve broken ANY commandment, we broke them ALL. Now we can’t weasel out of this by saying that the New Testament has replaced the Old Testament, because Christ said that he’s come to fulfill the old law, not to destroy it (Matt. 5:17). Read on below…

      1. So we MUST conclude that all are guilty of everything. And the Old Testament lists many capital offenses! There’s working on Sunday. There’s also making sacrifices to, or worshipping, the wrong God (Exodus 22:20, Deut. 17:2-5), or even showing contempt for the Lord’s priests or judges (Deut. 17:12). All are guilty of everything, including the capital offenses. OK, so now we’re finally there… God’s Word COMMANDS us such that we’ve got to kill EVERYBODY!!!

        (I am still looking for that special exception clause for me & my friends & family? I am sure I will find it soon!)

        1. Before / lest ?

          ‘A) The Homeland Security-types come by to question me, or?
          ‘B) I eventually decide to run for Inter-Galactic Emperor, and someone finds these writings to throw in my face?

          ? (I think “A” to be near-infinitely more likely than “B”, by the way)?

          ? let me please amend. Yes, I was being sarcastic. Un-believers will find my point obvious (we all pick and choose our verses to confirm what we already think, and we can literally justify ANYTHING that we want to justify, out of almost ANY “Holy Book”, if not just every last lousy one of them).

          What I really think? All ideologies (religions, nationalism, libertarianism) can be perverted and run to an extreme. There is but ONE exception, and that is LOVE! NO ONE ever has done evil out of genuine and sincere love! OK, “love” is nebulous? But we all know what it is. “Love” all of creation (except for AIDs viruses, un-earned suffering, and evil things), and all will be well! Love? Can NOT go wrong!

      2. And I can quote chapter and verse to prove it, all ye infidels!!!

        Only if you copy and paste bullshit from an Islamophobe hate site. One more time: It was Jews who were ordered to kill all the infidels.

        1. “It was Jews who were ordered to kill all the infidels.”

          At a time and place (or two or three or seventy-seven, I have lost track) in time and space, yes, this is true…

          In their own minds, at those times and places!!! VERY important distinction!

          Sad to say, many-many (too-too many) ideologues of all types (not just Jews, but believers in “God”, “gods”, communism, environmentalism, what have you) have hear these ideologies / “voices” in their heads, “go ye and smite the unbelievers”… Somehow, they can NEVER sit still long enough and quietly enough to hear that also-present (but muted) “voice” in their heads that says, “Go ye and make a sincere effort to love your neighbors, WAY hard and WAY long, before you pick up the instruments of violence… The latter are reserved for utterly DESPERATE moments ONLY! Only when you have FAILED utterly, at EVERYTHING else!” Isaac Asimov was an atheist… I will be near-last to fault him for that. But he caught an essential truth! He said, “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”.

          1. Ooooopsie…

            “Only when you have FAILED utterly, at EVERYTHING else!”

            “…. AND your motives are good and true, in favor of what is right, just, and compassionate! AND you have enough data to KNOW that what you are doing, has a VERY good chance of working right!”

          2. In their own minds, at those times and places!!! VERY important distinction!

            Especially when Muslims have NEVER been commanded to do such a thing.

            1. Really? I musta read the wrong Koran.

              1. Really? I musta read the wrong Koran.

                You musta read one that never existed. Quite common.

    2. I guess the islamite ones are just more effective at killing lately.

    3. You need to get some perspective. There are 200 million Christians in the US. In the last 30 years, two of them have been terrorists. There are a small number of million of Muslims in the US. In the past 30 years a whole lot of them have been terrorists.

      There are a couple of important reasons for that. Christianity at its core is not a violent religion, and Christians in the west are also citizens of a modern state where butchery isn’t the way to enforce your will – “render to Caesar” is interpreted to mean that Christianity does not need to control government. Ignorant people will quote the old testament and imagine it rules all Christians, but it does not – it is part of the Jewish religion, although you may note the lack of Jews committing terrorism also. Islam, on the other hand, is explicitly violent. Unlike Christ, Mohammed was unable to spread his religion by preaching – he had to resort to warfare, and a warfare that spared no innocents. In Islamic law, later pronouncements supercede earlier ones when they conflict, and it was the later commands that invoked violence, the murder of homosexuals and apostates, etc.

      Another reason is that many of the Muslims in the US come from very different cultures. Those cultures are tribal and have expect Islam to be enforced by the government.

      The combination of these facts means that citing “extremist Christians” is usually way out of proportion

      1. The only way you can get to “two of them have been terrorists” is either to reclassify a whole bunch as *not* terrorists, or to reclassify a whole bunch as *not* Christians.

        Which, admittedly, is a common practice. When Christians go on murder sprees in America you regularly get both responses.

        That is to say… two men, both American, commit the same crime. If the man is Muslim, he’s likely to have his religion prominently displayed and the act called terrorism. If the man is some sect of Christianity, he’s likely to have his religion downplayed or denied (“he’s not a *real* Christian”) and the act will *not* be called terrorism.

  7. “As the Cato Institute’s David Boaz wrote recently, if a Democratic presidential candidate sucked up to a hatemonger who even hinted at killing millions of peaceful American citizens, Republicans would go ballistic. Yet conservatives don’t hold their own candidates to a similar standard”

    Works for both sides. Liberals do not hold their candidates to same standard they hold conservatives. Neither does the media.

    Don’t like what they are saying here, but be real. The supporters on both sides are blind to their own leaders.

    I think the liberal side (with the media) is much, much worse at it than the conservatives.

  8. “any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief”

    Uhm, seriously is phrasing just dead?

  9. As the Cato Institute’s David Boaz wrote recently, if a Democratic presidential candidate sucked up to a hatemonger who even hinted at killing millions of peaceful American citizens, Republicans would go ballistic.

    Members of either TEAM don’t hold their own fellow ‘tardos to the same standard. They’re all raging hypocrits. Hope everyone was sitting down for that stunning revelation.

  10. See Christians are worse than Hitler !!’!1!!

    – derp

    1. Not all of them. But the First Holocaust — also known as the Rhineland Massacres — was performed by Christians, in … ummm …. Germany. Part of slaughtering tens of thousands of Jews, during what is now claimed to have been an “anti-Muslim” Crusade.”

      Plus the pastor described here.

  11. I don’t agree with what the jackass pastor said, but… to seriously compare a guy who spent almost two decades in the church of an America-hating asshole (who also called himself a “second father” to Obama) with a few candidates that just happened to be in the same building as a gay-hating asshole is fucking beyond absurd.

    1. Plot. Kettle. Black
      Umm, being in the same building as a gay-hating assholes is somehow different from being in the same building with Jeremiah Wright. Can we say “tribal hatred?”

    2. Plot. Kettle. Black
      Umm, being in the same building as a gay-hating assholes is somehow different from being in the same building with Jeremiah Wright. Can we say “tribal hatred?”

    3. Plot. Kettle. Black
      Umm, being in the same building as a gay-hating assholes is somehow different from being in the same building with Jeremiah Wright. Can we say “tribal hatred?”

    4. Spinasch Chin; Plot. Kettle. Black
      Umm, being in the same building as a gay-hating assholes is somehow different from being in the same building with Jeremiah Wright. Can we say “tribal hatred?”

    5. Plot. Kettle. Black
      Umm, being in the same building as a gay-hating assholes is somehow different from being in the same building with Jeremiah Wright. Can we say “tribal hatred?”

      1. Sorry, it kept showing my comment as not posted. And I’d hit Submit again …

  12. The complete lack of understanding of what that pastor was saying is sad. This is the kind of pathetic hit job I’d find out was posted at huff post or some other statist rag. This seems akin to the Alan Grayson “Taliban Dan” ads. When that pastor is saying homosexuality is deserving of death, he is saying it’s deserving of that because it’s a sin, and all sin is deserving of death. Guess what, there are plenty more sins than just homosexuality. He’s also saying that homosexuals, like any other sinner, which we ALL are, can repent and seek God’s forgiveness. This is hardly a call to execute every homosexual in the country, and anyone with even the most basic understanding of Christianity would have easily understood that that is what the pastor meant. Now, you can disagree with the above beliefs, and I would certainly figure any non-Christian would likely disagree, but don’t go misrepresenting what is actually being said.

    As for the anyone who doesn’t start their day off praying on their knees shouldn’t be in the White House, that is obviously a statement of personal preference, not a call for a test for all presidential candidates. Again, completely obvious to anyone who isn’t trying to make an attack against Christians, no matter how laughably out of context.

    1. I’d like to see the entire quote. The way the author of this article made it sound the quote was calling for their death sometime in the future; I highly doubt this is the case. See my above comment as to why this call to kill the disobedient wasn’t unjust and also doesn’t apply today.

      1. You excuse any sort of atrocity, defend barbarities the past, while claiming “we don’t do that any more.”
        Tell us WHY it was EVER just for God to command the slaying of EVERY infidel/

        1. You excuse any sort of atrocity, defend barbarities the past,

          If by “atrocity” and “barbarity” you mean “justice”, then yes, I excuse it.

          while claiming ‘we don’t do that any more.’

          Who is this “we”? Christians? As my Christ served and died for me, and “Christian” means “little Christ” (Christ follower), then yes, we don’t do barbarities and never have (a definitional truth).

          Tell us WHY it was EVER just for God to command the slaying of EVERY infidel

          He didn’t. He did tell the Hebrews to kill the evil people on his front lawn, however…

          And Hihn, hater’s gonna hate.

          1. Evasion or delusion?

            while claiming ‘we don’t do that any more.’

            Who is this “we”? Christians?

            Umm, YOUR words.

            As my Christ served and died for me, and “Christian” means “little Christ” (Christ follower), then yes, we don’t do barbarities and never have (a definitional truth).

            Liar. YOU said we don’t do it any more.

            Now you say that killing your own child for following another profit is NOT a barbarity … by definition! Keep showing everyone how you people defy the Will of God, in the Name of God,

            Tell us WHY it was EVER just for God to command the slaying of EVERY infidel.

            He didn’t. He did tell the Hebrews to kill the evil people on his front lawn, however.

            Read Deuteronomy 13, chump.
            How can an athiesr know he Bible better than you? (that was rhetorical)

            And Hihn, hater’s gonna hate.

            MORE LAME. It ain’t harted to correct your lies and ignorance of the Bible … as I did again, you just above.

            1. Umm, YOUR words.

              No human being on Earth can follow your “logic”, so what the heck does this even mean?

              Liar. YOU said we don’t do it any more.

              “We” (Christians, not the self-reported group, but actual “little Christs”) don’t.

              Now you say that killing your own child for following another profit is NOT a barbarity

              Did a Christian do that? A real “little Christ” or just one madman who can claim anything (including, perhaps, being a disciple of Michael Hihn)?

              Read Deuteronomy 13, chump.

              I did. You go read it again. Property rights.

              How can an athiesr know he Bible better than you? (that was rhetorical)

              I’ve yet to meet one. Not even the great and powerful Hihn… Psalms 119. 2 Corinthians 2:15-17.

              MORE LAME. It ain’t harted to correct your lies and ignorance of the Bible … as I did again, you just above.

              I would have to be wrong in order to be corrected. All you do is see that which isn’t there. Hatred will do that to a person.

              I would love to meet you in person… I feel sorry for you and will continue to pray for you.

              The Lord bless you
              and keep you;
              the Lord make his face shine on you
              and be gracious to you;
              the Lord turn his face toward you
              and give you peace.

              1. I call him out as a liar. What does he do? Too funny!

                Umm, YOUR words.

                No human being on Earth can follow your “logic”, so what the heck does this even mean?

                Umm, you denied “YOUR words!” Cut the bullshit. Go back and see what I quoted. This is after your THREE screwups on the Bible Here:

                http://bit.ly/1Ylotx5

                Stop blaming me, and the personal attacks, for all your screwups here.

                1. Umm, you denied “YOUR words!” Cut the bullshit. Go back and see what I quoted. This is after your THREE screwups on the Bible Here:

                  The best I can translate Hihn-speak into English, what you think I said was “we don’t do that anymore”. I didn’t say that. Ergo, I’m not denying my own words. The only time I used the word “we” (the issue at hand) was here:

                  Also, the land we are now in, while created by him, wasn’t given by God and no-one put “pen to paper” (in those days done by sacrifice) promising to follow him.

                  To which I meant the “we” to refer to Americans, not Christians.

                  Also, saying I feel sorry for you isn’t a personal attack, it’s the honest truth.

                  The Lord bless you
                  and keep you;
                  the Lord make his face shine on you
                  and be gracious to you;
                  the Lord turn his face toward you
                  and give you peace.

    2. it’s a sin, and all sin is deserving of death.

      So you say Jesus lied to us?

      Guess what, there are plenty more sins than just homosexuality

      Should they ALL be slaughtered? Including you?
      Being Muslim is also a sin punishable by death, you say, even though they worship the same God?
      Believing ANY other religion is punishable by death?

      And anyone with even the most basic understanding of Christianity…

      Which excludes yourself
      .

      would have easily understood that that is what the pastor meant

      Please explain YOUR understanding of Christianity.
      Death instead of redemption. And cite a Bible verse, please.

      Again, completely obvious to anyone who isn’t trying to make an attack against Christians, no matter how laughably out of context.

      Is bullshit a sin? If so, do you deserve death?

  13. Gaystapo Calls for Arrest of “Unenlightened” Pastor | Fire Breathing Christian
    Which is pretty much why the Gaystapo/Crybully Brigade over at HuffPost wants Pastor Swanson arrested.
    In Arrest Pastor Kevin Swanson?, Marc Leandro writes:
    I believe that the words of Iowa Pastor Kevin Swanson at last weekend’s so-called National Religious Liberties Conference, and on many previous occasions, may well meet the definition of incitement to illegal action and that he should be arrested under available federal statutes, in order to determine whether his speech legally qualifies as incitement.
    Here again we see weaponized victimhood in action. If you, me, or Pastor Swanson dare speak out clearly as to the evil, sinful, and culturally corrosive nature of the LGTBQRSTUVWXYZ movement, then we must be silenced. We must be arrested. The State must step in and make us stop.

    1. It is LBGT. I LOVE lesbians.

    2. then we must be silenced. We must be arrested. The State must step in and make us stop.

      One more Psychopath For Jesus, blaming their victims. Sieg Heil

  14. Captain Tolerance continued:
    It seems only a matter of time before a follower of Mr. Swanson takes his words straight to heart and kills a member of the LGBT community in the belief that they are helping to “cleanse” the country of what ills it.
    Statist and Gaystapo types of all sorts routinely employ this tactic to justify the perpetual expansion of State power over its increasingly fearful, dependent, and compliant cattle. Every evisceration of privacy rights, private property rights, and free speech rights is always “for our own good”, of course. (See also: Privacy is for masters. Transparency is for slaves. Welcome to “the land of the free” and the home of the NSA.)
    Folks like Captain Tolerance here just want to “take care” of us. They only want to see their “enlightened” perspectives enforced through the brute force of the State for our own benefit in the name of peace, happiness, kittens and bunny rabbits.
    They’re all about love. And if you disagree, you should go to jail. [*hugs*]
    http://www.firebreathingchrist…..ives/11401

  15. Another article claiming to be the only reasonable opinion. Denigrating, dismissing, and condescending of conservatives and Christians. Your liberalism is glaringly obvious, but no doubt you are proud of that.

    1. Well yes. A common notion about libertarians is “socially liberal, fiscally conservative”

  16. To people thinking this is just another case of not going after your own team, I encourage you to explore the history of LGBT advocates and lobbyists in the Democrat party.

    Namely, that we are where we are today, with a Democrat party friendly to LGBT rights, *because* we went after our own party. We pushed, and yes, punished, our own party in order to change it.

    That’s something “we’re not all like that” Republicans (who claim not to be social conservatives) have been unwilling to do to their own team.

    1. You must be new here. See “Republican Liberty Caucus” and cannabis prohibition. The caucus votes with Democrats in a slow repeal of Prohibition.

    2. Yeah, FUCK those goddamn commies for thinking constitutional rights apply to them.
      Why, everyone knows that God-given rights only apply to straight whites, because God was Godly.

      What? Unalienable? We all know that George Soros inserted a phony Declaration and Bill of Rights, then brainwashed all Americans into forgetting our original … manifesto
      .

  17. What we need in America is a baseless party.

  18. This is a red-herring article by the RINO shill, Barfdom Hinkle.

    1. wordNfish,

      How very adult of you.
      And cowardly.
      Typical of how you people troll.

  19. How ironic to read Reason talking about candidates courting the fringe . . .

    1. How ironic to read Reason talking about candidates courting the fringe .

      HUH? Libertarians are 59% of Americans, per one of the top political pollsters, Zogby. The Christian Taliban is less than 15%

      Shall we assume that you’re part of the tiny fringe exposed in this article?

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