Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

May 22, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

MORE CRAZY....Another day, another crazy white pastor. Yesterday it was an anti-Semitic rant from John Hagee (John McCain's view: I'm "glad to have his endorsement");


today it's an anti-Islamic rant from Rod Parsley (John McCain's view: Parsley is "a moral compass"). Neither of these is new: Hagee's rant was from the late 1990s and Parsley's rant has been making the rounds of the internet (thanks to Brave New Films) for a couple of weeks. Today, Parsley's sermon, which has the advantage of being available in nice, high-quality video, is finally being aired for a wider audience by ABC News.

Good. Not because I think John McCain shares Parsley's views that Mohammed is "the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil," but because mainstream America needs to understand that this kind of stuff is out there. And not just out there, but tolerated and catered to by the modern Republican Party. It's toxic, and the people who spew this stuff need to be made toxic too. It's time for McCain to reject and denounce.

Kevin Drum 11:53 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (47)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

You just watch: IOKIYAR

And note Atrios' email and flagpin post from earlier today.

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on May 22, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Ah! The old 'reject and denounce' gottcha game. Well, Obama had to do it, now McCain has to step up.

My bet is this won't be as big a thing for McCain as it was for Obama, and the media will talk themselves out of it, using their own coverage of the Wright/Obama mess as an excuse, "We did this story already, and people think we overdid it then, so let's just peddle back on McCain.'

Posted by: TomStewart on May 22, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously this is deliberate: a McCainian wink at the real supporters of the GOP telling them that what the candidate says is not what he actually thinks, and a signal to them to ignore all his statements that contradict the wingnuts' agenda.

Posted by: gregor on May 22, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

So you get a twofer - attack your opponent, then use that fact as an excuse when you do it, and a second chance to retar your opponent with original attack all over again, in a he said she said stiuation.

Posted by: royalblue_tom on May 22, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry to say I think many, many Americans agree with Parsely, and this will actually help McCain in the general election.

People who disagree are already supporting the Democratic nominee, no matter who s/he turns out to be.

Posted by: Cal Gal on May 22, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Just think: With McCain, we get two candidates for the price of one...One McCain that appeals to the wingnuts and another that panders to moderate voters!

What a bargain in these trying economic times, my friends...

Posted by: grape_crush on May 22, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

unfortunately, i suspect all too many americans will agree with parsley's views.

Posted by: linda on May 22, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

I am not religious, and these guys are simply taking money from the stupid.

But, as we all really know but are afraid to speak, Muhammed was a ruthless fanatic who terrorized Europe, Persia and Egypt; and Islamic still retain the right to murder and pillage.

Churches in Palestine have historically small doors designed to keep the slaughtering, lunatic mounted Arabs from their march of murder.

Posted by: Matt on May 22, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Amen, Kevin

Posted by: reino on May 22, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm....maybe I'm being too cynical, but I actually think this will help McCain.

Posted by: Joe on May 22, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Give it up liberals!!!

1. Parseley's statements are not the moral equivalent of Wright's.

2. The objective parts of Parseley's statements are correct when viewed against objective truth ( i.e it is undeniable that the Koran speaks of evangelization by violence ) while some of Wright's in are pure moobattery ( U.S. gov't purposely starting AIDS )

3. AFAIK, McCain does not and has not attended Parseley's church, been married by him, or had his kids baptized by him.

Raising this issue makes liberals look said. Grasping at straws to somehow get rid of the Wright issue.

As I have said before. If Obama had asked for and received the endorsement of Wright, it would have been no problem. I can understand a politician in Chicago wanting a strong religious leader perceived to be on his side.

The problem is that Obama, by his years of attendance at the church, endorsed Wright. That is why Obama has a problem. McCain does not.

Posted by: John Hansen on May 22, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

People like Parsley and Hagee are not merely religious leaders, they are gang leaders. Religious gang leaders, whose gangs are mob-like. Their congregations resemble the mobs in S. Africa who were burning people to death this week. If given the chance, people like Hagee and Parsley will lead American mobs to a similar violence.

Posted by: Brojo on May 22, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

I had posted this question weeks ago on this blog, "when is John McCain going to publicly renounce the teachings of his bigoted spiritual advisor, Rod Parsley"? It's too bad so many people can only hear the sound of their own voice.

In any case, as Cal Gal points out, many Republicans agree with Parsley and this may work to McCain's benefit. Conservatives seem to think hating Muslims is something a Christian should do, which of course it is not. Look, a black preacher can't say anything controversial and he or she will be villified - a white preacher can say absolutely anything and the mainstream media won't bat an eye. It's about keeping those uppity Negroes in their place.

I'll say it again - Rev. Jeremiah Wright is the Willie Horton of the 2008 election cycle.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 22, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

We shouldn't forget the recruitment effect this sort of thing can have on the War on Terror. Al Qaeda tries to portray it as a war against Islam. Then we provide them, and more importantly their Muslim audience with confirmation. But then Repubs have always secretly wanted us to have enough -and scary-enough foreign enemies to use for domestic fearmongering, and this plays perfectly.

Posted by: bigTom on May 22, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

I find it hard to believe that ABC news ran that piece. Even the editing was devastating, intercutting McCain and Parsley.

When did these journalists have their spines installed? Did they buy the extended warranty?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on May 22, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Go--am America" got far more play than

"Stop waving the Constitution in my face it's just a go--am piece of paper." (GWB)

People hear what they want to hear.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on May 22, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I sometimes wonder whether you really have any first hand knowledge of Islam.

Posted by: akm on May 22, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Keep trying Kevin.

Let us know when McCain attends this guy's congregations
for 20 years, and chooses to put him in a position of authority over his own children.

Posted by: a on May 22, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

ABC beat the competition on this one. Great!

Posted by: Bob M on May 22, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Yes, Parsley is all types of offensive, but offending Islam doesn't cost you votes among the mouth breathers, or even big chunks of the working class. Calling Catholics devil worshipers would cost some votes, but funny how that hasn't gotten any play.

Undecided voter "thinking"

1. McCain's guys hate Muslims.
2. Obama is a Muslim with an angry Baptist preacher.
3. We're at war with Muslims...

I'll vote for McCain.

Posted by: do on May 22, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

1. Parseley's statements are not the moral equivalent of Wright's.

No shit. Wright condemned the moral failings of a supposedly Christian country. Parsley is picking a fight so that other people can do the actual, you know, fighting.

Moral chicken-hawks!
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on May 22, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Just think: This Parsley guy who said:

"We were built for the battle! We were created for the conflict! We get off on warfare!"

represents not only the Evangelical community, but the mainstream of right-wing thinking.

Sad, really.

Posted by: grape_crush on May 22, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Would it be the worst thing in the world for Obama or one of his surrogates to tell the Jewish community that Obama is now courting in Florida that one of McCain's supporters said their people deserved the Holocaust? I have a hard time believing that they are going to support McCain over Obama knowing this and/or that they don't know about this but don't care. I suppose it's possible that members of Florida's Jewish community don't know, but a lot of politically active people know. And perhaps I don't understand the dynamics of this situation properly, but why does Obama have a hard time gaining the support of the Jewish community when McCain's paling around with Hagee? Even though it doesn't appear to really make a direct difference, it's still somewhat shocking that it's allowed to slide.

Posted by: Brian on May 22, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Mohammed is "the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil,"

Well. Do you think that submission to the will of Allah, as expressed by Mohammed, is spiritual evil? How about submission to the will of men who believe themselves to have submitted to the will of Allah?

It's worth remembering that Ayatolla Khomeini's rebellion against the Shah of Iran began when the Shah gave women the vote (not that voting carried great influence under the Shah, but the symbolism enraged Khomeini.) It's not decided yet whether Islam is compatible with The Declaration of the Rights of Man, or the rights embodied in the American constitution, with its separation of powers, first, second, fourth, fifth, etc. ammendments.

"jihad" may be supported (in it's military manifestation) by a small minority of Muslims, but "submission" is universal.

the reverend may be a bigot, but he may also be correct. The next time that you consider the limits of "duress" in the interrogation of prisoners, the perfect limitations on government surveillance of civilians, or the best correction to the Kelo decision, ask whether these issues would arise under a regime of Submission to the Will of Allah. Probably not, and that would be not to the benefit of those experiencing submission.

The election might be between a man whose most referred reverend believes that the U.S. govt invented HIV/AIDS on purpose to kill African-Americans and Africans -- the alternative a man whose religious backers believe that Mohammed was a prophet of evil. Even though there is no religious test for the office of the president, we voters may be forced to choose which religious advisors were really more influential, and which were more repugnant to our values, and which the least aligned with the truth.

Posted by: spider on May 22, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

but why does Obama have a hard time gaining the support of the Jewish community

He does? Last I checked, Jewish Americans voted Democratic by 3:1. Is there any indication that Obama won't get those numbers in November?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on May 22, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Well, this guy surely isnt preaching the word of the prince of peace.

Posted by: Jet on May 22, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

It's worth remembering that Ayatolla Khomeini's rebellion against the Shah of Iran began when the Shah gave women the vote

Yeah. The torture chambers and the Shah's growing invocation of Iran's Zoroastrian past had nothing to do with it.

ask whether these issues would arise under a regime of Submission to the Will of Allah. Probably not,

Which is why they're barbarians and we should not follow their example.

we voters may be forced to choose which religious advisors were really more influential, and which were more repugnant to our values, and which the least aligned with the truth.

Hagee says he's trying to bring about his own prophecy in which America's east and west coasts get nuked. Some losers may pine for the end of the world, but bringing nukes down on my own country is repugnant to me as an American. Your thoughts?

As for "our values," are you including the 1.8 million American Muslims?

I didn't think so.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on May 22, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

If you keep this up, you might inspire some GOP opposition research person to dig up video of some of the radical lefty preachers, black and white, Christian and Jewish, who have endorsed Obama. I have no doubt that there is no shortage of them.

Posted by: DBL on May 22, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a catholic. For what i can recall from my conversations with my pastor, we talk about my husband, my kids how i can be a better Christian mother. We rarely talk about my job. That is why i was troubled by the confusion that a lot of people have on the relationship that senator Obama had with his pastor. I have my own experience which tells me something different. One of the heated conversations that i had with my pastor was when i heard him justifying the trouble history of our church in Latin America or other parts of the world like Africa.
I find the relationship between Senator Mc Cain and Pastor Parsley more troubling because of the fact that by seeking his political support, Senator Mc Cain implicitly acknowledge that they share the same agenda. There is no video footage of Senator Obama and Reverend Wright in the same political decorum, meaning a meeting or a rally.

Senator Obama seems to understand the distinction between what belongs to Cesar and what belongs to God. This is not the case with Senator Mc Cain here.

Posted by: J on May 22, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

There is no video footage of Senator Obama and Reverend Wright in the same political decorum, meaning a meeting or a rally. - J

You sure?

Posted by: optical weenie on May 22, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

"submission"

You must not have attended many Christian evangelical churches, where submission is preached as the way to salvation all of the time.

"Assume the position
go into doggie submission"
Devo

Posted by: Brojo on May 22, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

This is politics speaking the language of religion, but it is not religion. It is straight up nationalism. Think of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Change "Islam" to "Judaism" and change the language from English to German and you see the racist eliminationism quite clearly.

The folks at ABC are doing their job to highlight the ugly underbelly of the "evangelical base". It is really a nationalist base whose identity is defined, in part, by the patina of evangelical religion.

Posted by: bellumregio on May 22, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid do at 12:56 is right.

This can only help McCain with those who worry "he's not conservative/Christian enough." Never mind the cognitive dissonance involved in:
2. Obama is a Muslim with an angry Baptist preacher. That's no crazier than voting for a dry drunk because you'd like to have a beer with him.
This stuff is, in Kevin's words, "tolerated" by the modern Republican party because that's what wins elections in this great land of ours.
I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: thersites on May 22, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

texan: As for "our values," are you including the 1.8 million American Muslims?

American Muslims are a diverse lot.

You wouldn't want to be governed by people who agree with the Muslim Student Association at UC Irvine. They are definitely hostile to the American constitution.

On the other hand, there are Muslims who work in American Big Pharma, and they definitely like American investment and patent systems. The women mostly do not wear hijabs, but some do.

Posted by: spider on May 22, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

mhr: hates white people to boot

Yeah, I hate to boot and I'm a white person. What's your point? I hate to reboot, too.

Posted by: thersites on May 22, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

brojo: You must not have attended many Christian evangelical churches, where submission is preached as the way to salvation all of the time.

This election is turning into a referendum on types of submission and who's got the craziest clergy.

Mohammed carried out (with his army) and taught (in his later revelations) submission of the infidels to the swords of the faithful. Martin Luther and other Christians have done the same.

If these are the alternatives in the 2008 election, the outcome can't be propitious.

Posted by: spider on May 22, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Cal Gal above. The Hagee bit hurts McCain. The Parsley clip probably helps him.

Posted by: Don on May 22, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

referendum on types of submission

A majority of Americans are tired of submitting to the authority of war pigs. Even though Obama's skin color and the speaking of truth to power by his former pastor may motiviate many native racists to vote for the canidate who most demands submission to his authority, that still leaves between 60-70% percent of the rest of the electorate who will not want to subjugate themselves to another crazy man's wild ideas. The election of 2008 is not a referendum on which type of authority Americans prefer to submit to, but a referendum on whose authority America will follow: the voters' or the establishment's.

Posted by: Brojo on May 22, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

MHR,

Wright doesn't hate white people. No individual white person has ever reported an angry or hateful encounter with him. Wright belongs to the United Church of Christ, a largely white denomination. His congregaton includes white people. The work he does through the church often benefits white people.

Wright has publicly and occasionally stupidly ranted about the evils perpetrated by a United States largely run by white people. Now you could disagree as to whether the U.S. has acted wrong on the occasions pointed out by Wright. Feel free.

But do you deny that if the U.S. had done evil things, then white people in the U.S. are largely to blame? And can't you see some distinction between that point and "Wright hates white people"?

Also, who, seriously, is more dangerous? A radical speaker of a religious and racial minority whose basic point is that the U.S. should apologize for past wrongs? Or a politically influential pastor whose worldview leads him to look forward to war in the Mideast?

Posted by: glennn on May 22, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

People hear what they want to hear.
Posted by: Tom Nicholson on May 22, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Except for that part about me wanting to hear Bush and Cheney being impeached and later indicted for war crimes.

Parsley's rants appeal to the fear sensitive -- like many other wingnut mantras. I think those bed wetters would vote for McCain regardless.

I admit I have not studied the speeches of Wright, Parsley or Hagee much, but I can say that I have heard batshit wacko things from all three. But I have heard Wright say some things that are spot on. Everything I have heard from Hagee's mouth has been loopy to the extreme, IMO.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on May 22, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Thripshaw for President.

Posted by: thersites on May 22, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

spider ... I have equal evidence to suggest that christian nations turn out to be genocidal nationalists that joyfully slaughter Native Americans or Jews in the name of christ. there is also ample evidence of a Jewish nation embarking on ethnic cleansing once given the opportunity.

and do you honestly feel that the christian fascists you're defending will allow the courts to decide on fucking Kelo or Roe v Wade??

the entire posts smacks of sophistry. you're either bored, stupid, or attempting to rationalize your own bigotry. I suggest you pray for guidance.

Posted by: on May 22, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm Bubba Gump and I approved this message."

((note the unfortunate Times Square sign over Brian's shoulder. It was even funnier at home in High Def.))

Posted by: art hackett on May 22, 2008 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

For crying out loud, McCain sought the endorsements of these two whack jobs, appeared in person with them, and praised them to the sky.

What kind of "vetting" is his campaign staff doing? The views of Hagee and Parsley were hardly secrets.

But yes, I agree that while Hagee will hurt McCain with the Jewish vote, the mouth-breathers will love Parsley.

Posted by: Richard on May 22, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

and do you honestly feel that the christian fascists you're defending will allow the courts to decide on fucking Kelo or Roe v Wade??

Which Christian fascist did I defend? I agreed that Mohammed was a military leader who put people to death if they did not convert, and that such behavior is evil. In that he wasn't different from Constantine or Luther, but Mohammed was the founder of his religion, not an interpreter or misguided zealot.

Posted by: spider on May 23, 2008 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Brojo: The election of 2008 is not a referendum on which type of authority Americans prefer to submit to, but a referendum on whose authority America will follow: the voters' or the establishment's.

I did exaggerate. It was a pessimistic moment.

On the other hand, in the U.S. the voters are the establishment. They (we?) just don't like to admit it.

Posted by: on May 23, 2008 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

I wish what I wrote was true. I must have been ecstatic with optimism when I wrote that.

Posted by: Brojo on May 28, 2008 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly