Those goals include universal acceptance of the gay lifestyle, the discrediting of Scriptures that condemn homosexuality , muzzling of the clergy and Christian media, granting special privileges and rights in the law, overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia, indoctrination of children and future generations through public education, and securing all the legal benefits of marriage for any two or more people who claim to have homosexual tendencies.
It’s a perfect storm. (p19)
When Nazi Germany marched its troops into Austria and then “annexed” Czechoslovakia in the late 1930’s---signaling Adolf Hitler’s dangerous and frightening intentions---the response from the rest of Europe was startling: It did nothing. … Essentially their strategy was to ignore the threat, give Hitler what he wanted, and hope against hope that the trouble would soon pass. It didn’t. (p29)
Hitler … subjugated most of the people of Europe to tyranny and slavery. … Millions of men, women and children lost their lives
Today…we find ourselves in a terrible battle of a different sort, but one that also threatens the very existence of society. … The future of the nation is in crisis (p 29-30)
Like Adolf Hitler…those who would favor homosexual marriage are determined to make it legal, regardless of the democratic process that stands in their way. (p41)
The third reason marriage between homosexuals will destroy traditional marriage is that this is the ultimate goal of activists, and they will not stop until they achieve it. (p50)
The homosexual agenda is not marriage for gays, It is marriage for no one. (p53)
homosexuals are rarely monogamous, often having as many as three hundred or more partners in a lifetime---some studies say it is typically more than one thousand (p54)
The apostle Paul described such a society in the book of Romans, referring apparently to ancient Rome: “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless” (1:29-31). (p55-56)
[Re Matthew Shepard] In 1998...Katie Couric of NBC’s Today Show asked a guest one morning if he thought the leaders of Focus on the Family, the Christian Coalition, and the Family Research Council were in directly responsible for Shepard’s murder because of the venom we espoused. …In twenty-seven years I have never said anything hateful about homosexuals on our broadcast, and I do not condone violence or disrespect for anyone. (p68)
"Nazism is not a metaphor"
Friday, August 7, 2009
But we begin with the convergence of two of the great sources of jaw-dropping, I can‘t believe that just happened-ness in modern American politics. We have the mob rule, shut it down, screaming, don‘t talk about health care mobs and we have Sarah Palin.
The now unemployed former vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor, who turned to her Facebook page today to add this to our national conversation about reforming our health care system. She said, quote, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama‘s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide based on a subjective judgment of their level of productivity in society whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”
I actually agree. Of course, such a system isn‘t actually being considered by anyone. But don‘t let that hold you back.
Last night, on this show, we hosted Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity. It‘s a beltway organization with significant corporate funding. They‘re staffed by experienced Republican campaign strategists, like Mr. Phillips himself.
Americans for Prosperity has churned out a number of what appear to be grassroots organizations. They have names like Patients First and Patients United Now. And these groups are formed to oppose health care reform and to get people to pack these town hall meetings about health care.
These groups direct people to town halls. They give them talking points to use there. And they try to get them fired up.
Here for example is the fire ‘em up message from a speaker on Mr. Phillips‘ Patients First bus tour, which yesterday held an event in Pueblo, Colorado.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this new Obama-care program comes to fruition, when you reach 65 and every five years thereafter, you‘re going to have a counseling session with some federal airhead. Part of this process is called end-of-life counseling and part of the end-of-life counseling can be an end-of-life order.
Adolf Hitler issued 6 million end-of-life orders. He called his program the final solution.
I kind of wonder what we‘re going to call ours.
If you find all this stuff is as repugnant as I do, you need to take it to the next step. You need to notify your congressman. How do you that? How do you notify these people?
You can call them. You can write them. You can e-mail them. Or you can go to their office and put the fear of God in ‘em.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Put the fear of God in them—because what Obama is doing with killing all these people like Sarah Palin said, that‘s like what Hitler did and you know what Hitler deserved.
This is the rhetoric that corporate-funded, GOP-allied groups like Americans for Prosperity are funneling through which they set up to look like grassroots organizations to get people to go “put the fear of God” into elected officials.
“Politico” is reporting that an event planned by Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona was overrun by protestors who showed up after receiving robocalls encouraging them to show up and demonstrate. And, of course, the nice thing about robocalls is it‘s never easy to know exactly where they came from, but it is known that Conservatives for Patients‘ Rights—another one of the fake grassroots organizations, a 20 organization—a $20 million operation run by former hospital CEO Rick Scott—that group posted the time and location of these events on its Web site.
And what has started as rowdy and rude and mean-spirited disruptions has turned, in some cases, into actual violence, with several hospitalizations for minor injuries and some arrests being reported at health care town halls last night. What‘s also evident is that the antireform rhetoric increasingly is invoking specific references to Nazis and specific comparison of President Obama to Adolf Hitler.
Here for example is a 16-year-old wearing a -- 16-year-old at a Denver town hall event wearing a t-shirt with a picture of the president and the words on it, “Hitler gave good speeches, too.” Here‘s a toddler in a stroller at the same event carrying a sign with a swastika that reads, “No to Fascism.” Here‘s a protestor at a Michigan event held by Congressman John Dingell carrying a sign that depicts the president with a Hitler mustache.
Yesterday, talk show host Rush Limbaugh compared the president, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the proposed health care reform, and the president‘s health care logo to Nazism and/or Hitler. And despite criticism from, among others, the conservative “National Review Online,” the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Congress, and Rabbi Marvin Hier whose founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rush Limbaugh actually retrenched with the whole Hitler/Nazism thing today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: By the way, his health care logo looks damn like the Nazi logo. I‘m sorry but it does. I didn‘t create either logo, but I have two eyes and I can see. Infuriating Democrats—good. Is Obama not got a Web site where he‘s asking supporters to provide the names of people providing disinformation about the health care system? What did I say yesterday that is not true?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You know, there are people alive today who barely survived the Holocaust. And there are many people alive today whose whole families were killed in the Holocaust. Nazism is not a metaphor for a political policy you disagree with. Used deliberately as a strategy to characterize a political opponent, it has a very specific resonance with people looking to justify violence. The implication of conjuring up the Third Reich is that, in the case of someone who‘s identified as a Nazi, as a modern day Hitler, violence against that person, even murder, would not only be seen as justified, it might be celebrated.
This rhetorical strategy sets the stage for political violence that the perpetrator could hope would be praised. As such the idea of assassination, other kinds of political violence are always in the subtext. And you know, sometimes assassination isn‘t even in the subtext. Sometimes it just bubbles right up to the surface.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS HOST: I wonder what it would be like seriously. I mean, if I could go, you know, to the speaker‘s shindig. Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to—are you going to drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you go. I want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.
I really just wanted to thank you for having me over to wine country, you know? To be invited, I thought I had to be a major Democratic donor or long-time friend of yours which I‘m not. By the way, I put poison in your—no!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Yesterday, we played a tape of a Republican congressman joking about lynching Democratic members of Congress. Now, it‘s conservative national radio hosts calling the President Hitler and conservative national television hosts joking about assassinating the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Right wing media deliberately and systematically invoking both Nazism and political assassination; hostile crowds consistently displaying Nazi symbolism at these demonstrations; the corporate-funded anti-reform movement using Hitler as a rhetorical weapon against the president and against Democrats in Congress—it‘s scary, of course, if they don‘t understand the implications of their actions. And it‘s much, much scarier, still, if they do.
Joining us now is Frank Schaeffer. He‘s the author of “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All or Almost All of It Back.”
Mr. Schaefer, thank you so much for coming back on the show tonight.
FRANK SCHAEFFER, AUTHOR, “CRAZY FOR GOD”: Thanks for having me on, Rachel.
MADDOW: Do you think that calling the president a Nazi, calling the president Hitler is an implicit call for politically motivated violence?
SCHAEFFER: Yes, I do. In fact, this rings a big bell with me because my dad, who was a right-wing evangelical leader, wrote a book called “A Christian Manifesto” that sold over a million copies. And in that book, he compared anybody who was pro-abortion to the Nazi Germans and he said that using violence or force to overthrow Nazi Germany would have been appropriate for Christians, including the assassination of Hitler. He compared the Supreme Court‘s actions on abortion to that and that has ban note that has been following the right-wing movement that my father and I helped start in evangelical context all the way.
So, what‘s really being said here is two messages. There is the message to the predominantly white, middle-aged crowd, the people screaming at these meetings, trying to shut them down. But there‘s also a coded message to what I would call the “looneytunes,” the “fruitloops” on the side.
It‘s really like playing Russian roulette. You put a cartridge in the chamber, you spin, and once in a while it goes off. And we saw that happen with Dr. Tiller. We‘ve seen it happen numerous times in this country with the violence against political leaders whether it‘s Martin Luther King or whoever it might be. We have a history of being a well-armed, violent country.
And so, really, I think that these calls are incredibly irresponsible. The good news is that it shows a desperation. The far-right knows they have lost. They‘ve lost the hearts and minds of most American people, for instance, who want health care.
But they also know they have a large group of people who are not well-informed, who listen to only their own sources, who buy the lies, for instance, all this nonsense about euthanasia being mandatory and all the rest of it, and these people can be energized to go out and do really dreadful things. And we‘ve seen it in front of abortion clinics. I‘m afraid we‘re going to see it with some of our political leaders.
And the Glenn Becks of this world literally are responsible for unleashing what I regard as an anti-democratic, anti-American movement in this country that is trying to shut down legitimate debate and replace it with straight out intimidation. It is ironic they‘re drawing a parallel to Hitler.
I wouldn‘t draw such a parallel, but I would draw a parallel to the Brown Church (ph) of 1930s who got into a habit of shutting down dissent and making it look as if they had a majority by spreading out in groups just as these folks do, screaming the loudest and making debate impossible.
So, these are very, very bad signs and I‘m not at all optimistic about how this is going to end in terms of violence, although I do think Obama is going to win the day in terms of most Americans.
The problem is, we‘re not talking about most Americans, we‘re talking about a small, angry group of white people who to—you know, to paraphrase Bart Simpson, the election broke their brains. They‘re angry. And they are ready to do just about anything to stop the process at this point because they‘d rather see us all lose than admit defeat.
MADDOW: Mr. Schaeffer.
SCHAEFFER: That‘s where they‘re at.
MADDOW: . one of the reasons that I wanted to talk to you about this tonight is because what you describe as the potential that this could be a coded message. What we‘re seeing here is vituperative language like this from some members of Congress, from some people who are considered to be relatively mainstream, within conservative politics.
But we‘re also seeing it from movement organizers, from people who are organized, like this Americans for Prosperity group. It‘s a very well-connected group. We have the president of that organization on the show last night. He‘s a former political strategist partner of Ralph Reed. He‘s up in the Jack Abramoff scandal. I mean, these people who are—he was the campaign strategist for George Bush‘s primary campaign for president in 2000 -- these are people who are very much linked into the conservative movement.
And so, what I‘m trying to get down to is the question of whether or not this is a deliberate coded message, whether this is sort of a dog whistle that‘s going out on the right by using specific language about Nazism, it is a specific call for violence?
SCHAEFFER: Yes, I would like to just say this and I know this may come off as a little harsh to people, but I honestly think that there is a type of white middle-aged American male, I‘m a white-middle aged—well, I wish I was middle-aged, I‘m over middle age—but a white male about my age who has had a kind of mental collapse. I mean, you look at the way they went after Sotomayor and called her a racist. You look at them now using all these foundations and these groups, lobbyists and others pouring millions of dollars from the insurance industry and stirring up misinformed, right-wing white people, not terribly bright people, the sort of people who are yelling at these meetings.
There is a coded message here. And that is that you have a group of people who like Rush Limbaugh would rather see the president and the country fail, and their coded message to their own lunatic fringe is very simple—and that is go for broke.
When you start comparing a democratically-elected president, who is not only our first black president but a moderate progressive, to Adolf Hitler, you have arrived at a point where you are literally leading—leaving a loaded gun on the table, saying the first person who wants to come along and use this, go ahead. Be our guest.
Now, all these people, when something bad happens, will raise their holy hands in horror and say, of course, we didn‘t mean that. We were just talking about being Americans. It‘s American to protest.
B.S. They know exactly what‘s out there. There is a whole public there who went out and stopped up on ammunition and guns thinking Obama would take away their weapons. One such person shot down three policemen in Pittsburgh. I‘d like to know exactly what Glenn Beck and FOX News will say the morning after someone takes a shot at our president or kills a senator or congressman.
And if it‘s one of the people who we find a little note in their car or the literature or their television watching habits whose tied to these people who are stirring the pot, or tied to these foundations that people, like Dick Armey, are running, trying to use insurance company money to make look this fake grassroots movement then—then we‘ll see what happens. But at that point we‘ll be in a new zone and it‘ll be too late.
So, my warning to my old friends on the right and those who read my book, “Crazy for God,” knows that without the work of my father, Dr. C. Everett Koop and myself, there would have been no pro-life movement, no religious right to be fomenting these things from, it‘s the same cast of characters. I came to a place in my life when I realized I had made a big mistake.
Now, we‘ve crossed a line into which hate and vitriol have gone to a point where it is anti-democratic and anti-American. These people do not want America to succeed. They would rather see our system go down than have a black president, someone with different political views, someone appointing people like Sotomayor, Hispanic people, women and others. And we have arrived at a point where enough is enough.
So, these people are hatemongers, and they are distributing a kind of information on two levels. One the lies about the health care system requiring euthanasia and all this nonsense, but on another level, as I say leaving a loaded gun on the table, they‘re calling our president Hitler, they‘re spreading this rhetoric, they‘re spreading these lies.
It isn‘t just a question of being bad journalists anymore. These are bad Americans, and they are putting all of us at risk.
MADDOW: Frank Schaeffer, author of “Crazy for God”—thank you very much for coming on the show. Mr. Schaeffer, we really appreciate your insight. Thanks.
James Dobson's book Marriage on Trial, et al, are those loaded guns "left" on the table.
They were designed as weapons of violence, to rip and tear lives apart.
Designed. Carefully, carefully, designed.