When we last left the Religious Right, its leaders were huffing and puffing and threatening the Republican Party leadership with the political equivalent of eternal damnation if they failed to get Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. One thing they were not doing was showing any concern or sympathy for Prof. Christine Blasey Ford or any of the other women who have courageously come forward with their own stories of sexual assault in the wake of her going public.
Since then, I am sorry to report, things have only gotten worse.
Let’s start with Jerry Falwell Jr., perhaps the biggest of the President Donald Trump’s Religious Right sycophants, who in a tweet called on conservative Christians to stop electing “nice guys” and go with more street fighters like Trump.
Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing “nice guys”. They might make great Christian leaders but the US needs street fighters like @realDonaldTrump at every level of government b/c the liberal fascists Dems are playing for keeps & many Repub leaders are a bunch of wimps!— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) September 29, 2018
Somehow, I’m having a hard time imaging Jesus offering the same advice, but let’s put that aside for a moment. I’ve not heard one peep from Falwell about Ford’s ordeal, and his call for more obnoxious people in government is hardly a balm to other women who have been victimized. (By the way, who are these “nice guys” right-wing Christians supposedly love to elect? U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, perhaps? Maybe U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz?)
Next out of the gate is the always-appalling Franklin Graham, whose tweet bemoaned that the hearing “ruined [Kavanaugh’s] reputation and devastated his family.” Graham said not one word about what Ford has been going through. Nothing about the death threats, the fact that she had to flee her home, split up her family and hire security guards. He’s oblivious to the anxiety she faced as she appeared before a panel composed of the some of the most powerful men on the planet, men who hired an aggressive professional prosecutor to cross-examine her.
Yesterday’s hearing was an embarrassment. Let’s pray that our country will do better than this. Judge Brett Kavanaugh said this has ruined his reputation and devastated his family. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that is exactly what the minority leadership wanted to do.— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) September 28, 2018
Someone must have told Graham that he looked insensitive because a few minutes later he issued another tweet calling for prayers for all involved – first for the Kavanaughs, then for Ford and then for Judiciary Committee members. Yes, it felt perfunctory.
Then our old friend TV preacher Pat Robertson struck. Fresh off of his latest hurricane-diversion triumph – Robertson prayed that Hurricane Florence would not hit his empire in Virginia Beach, but unfortunately, he failed to use his awesome powers to send it out to sea, and the storm slammed into the Carolinas, killing 42 people and leaving thousands homeless – the volatile televangelist asked God to “throw confusion” into Kavanaugh’s opponents.
He went on to rant, “The Supreme Court of the United States is the power center of the liberal left. They have done their bidding for years and years and years, and now comes a decisive moment as to whether they will lose control of that particular body and they are putting an all-out assault to destroy the reputation of one of the finest judges in America. It is a pre-planned plot, it is unbelievable, and if anybody buys it, they’d be willing to buy the story of the Great Pumpkin and any other myth that you can think of.”
It was vintage Robertson. I have no doubt that he did manage to draw up a generous amount of confusion, but it’s not afflicting the people he thinks. (A hat tip to the folks at Right Wing Watch for capturing the video.)
I just got back from a series of speaking engagements in Sarasota, Fla., and the Orlando area. At every event, I was asked questions about Kavanaugh. People were familiar with these antics by the leaders of the Religious Right and are rightly appalled by them.
I reminded people that this incident is yet another reminder of the amorality of these alleged “values voters”; it’s another example of how they’ll excuse pretty much anything from this president as long as he keeps dishing out the treats. The Religious Right is salivating over the possibility of a right-wing high court giving them more power to meddle in our lives and usher in their neo-Puritan Handmaid’s Tale-lite society, and they simply do not care about the human cost.
Remember that the next time you run into a moral majoritarian eager to lecture you about how everything would be great if we’d just get back to “traditional values.”
(Photo: Pat Robertson on "The 700 Club." Credit: Screenshot from CBN.)