Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Bro. Wade opposes same-sex marriage, but is happy to marry his Christianity to far-right crackpot theories

That the good Southern Baptist minister, the Rev. Wade Burleson, is a babbling rightwinger isn't news. Don't think I'm being "uncivil" in saying that. He almost certainly would take it as a compliment.

In Storm Clouds Are Brewing on America's Horizon 08/07/2012, Bro. Wade's title doesn't refer to biweekly mass gun murders. Instead, he pulls various flotsam and jetsam out of the wingnutosphere for fellow rightwingers to entertain themselves with.

I check Bro. Wade's blog periodically because he's an example of a minister that has achievement some prominence in the country's largest Protestant denomination but not so much that he's quoted regularly in national publications.

But something anyone who reads and listens to enough far-right propaganda quickly learns is that most of it is dull as dirt, despite the scare words and predictions of doom. And, no, you don't have to read every page of every piece of loony drivel that crackpots promote or watch all of their films to get a decent idea of where they're coming from.

He recommends an explicitly anti-democracy quotation that has been a favorite for the decade or so in the informal conservative e-mail network of anonymous forwarded material, for which there is no real liberal/progressive parallel. (See Snopes.com, The Fall of the Athenian Republic 12/30/2008) For some reason, these vaguely-sourced e-mails, which often use bogus quotes and wrong information, are very influential among conservatives.

He also links to a movie called America: Freedom to Fascism (2006), which was reviewed by Nathan Lee in 'America: Freedom to Fascism' Makes a Mess of the Mess We Are In New York Times 07/28/2006:

It would take two months on Google to sift through all the provocations of "America: Freedom to Fascism," which begins with an intriguing investigation into the methodology of the I.R.S., then extrapolates its conclusions into a tirade against the Federal Reserve, the Homeland Security Department, Congress, presidents of the United States (all of them), judges (all of them), war, computer voting machines, the national ID card, microchip implants, overzealous police, the banking conspiracy, and so on. The mess we’re in never looked so messy.
Dave Neiwert has described the producer of the film as "the late crackpot Aaron Russo." ('Brown Shirts'? Town Hall teabaggers' ranks are indeed riddled with right-wing extremists C&L 08/08/2009) He links to the following piece about Russo and his film: David Cay Johnston, Facts Refute Filmmaker's Assertions on Income Tax in 'America' New York Times 07/31/2012.

Bro. Wade also recommends Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Tea Party) The Debt Bomb, about how The Deficit is going to kill us all in our beds and make hyper-inflation. Bro. Wade's software might blow a virtual gasket if you tried to explain to him about what a depression is and what interests rate being at the "zero lower bound" means.

And the good Rev. Wade also recommends The Creature from Jekyll Island : A Second Look at the Federal Reserve by Bircher G. Edward Griffin, an editor of the John Birch Society magazine The New American. Sean Easter explains more about Griffith in Who Is G. Edward Griffin, Beck's Expert On The Federal Reserve? Media Matters 03/26/2011. He's a full-blown crackpot who's also into phony quack medicine theories on AIDS and cancer, the sleaziest and most dishonest corner of the the "alternative medicine" racket. The Birchers and Bircher favorites like Ron Paul have various conspiracy theories about the Federal Reserve based on ideas so goofy it would be generous to call them "economics".

(Just to be clear on that last point: Many people use the term "alternative medicine" to refer to health practices, like exercise and healthy dietary practices, that are very much part of what alternative medicine advocates sometimes derisively call "school medicine." But there are some ugly scamsters in the business as well, and fake cancer and AIDS cures can produce big bucks for them.)

I haven't seen any recent polls on how deeply committed rank-and-file Southern Baptist active church members are to particular policies produced by their leaders. But the SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the US and they a major players in the Christian Right and Republican Party politics.

Also, check out Bro. Wade's participation in the dialogue in the comments to his posts. He sees no ethical problem as a religious leader promoting bonkers Bircher-type conspiracy theories and beggar-your-neighbor economics.

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