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Which religion is more extreme? Plus, a Watergate metaphor



Last Friday the Wall Street Journal ran a news story about a radical religious sect with great power in a certain country that seeks to ban “sex outside marriage, gay sex and cohabitation of unmarried couples.” This religious group’s “influence has grown with the popularity of their conservative agenda” as they seek to appeal to “hardline groups…”.

Here’s your quiz for the day, kids. Which of the following rightwing religions was the Wall Street Journal writing about?

Evangelical Christianity, as represented by this man,

Or extremist Islam, as represented by this man?

Before I answer the question, let me point out that there are two extremist religions in the world that are obsessed with sex, and particularly gay sex. One is the puritanical strain of Christianity that includes Roman Catholicism and evangelicals. The other is the extremist Wahabi sect of Islam. Although the two religions are mortal enemies, their preoccupation with sex gives them much in common.

Extremist Islamacists would kill adulterers and queers, according to their interpretation of the Koran. Most American Christians wouldn’t go that far—yet. But, were they to seize absolute power, who knows how far they’d go? After all, the Bible, which they claim to take literally, says being gay is “an abomination,” and Leviticus says that abominators “shall surely be put to death.”

 Imagine an America in which the Supreme Leader is Franklin Graham, who fear-mongers his low-information base (the same as Trump’s) with such nonsense as, They’re trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children—watch out!”

Can we agree that anyone who thinks two adults of the same sex should be murdered or punished for loving one another is insane?

So, back to today’s quiz: Which extremist religion was the Wall Street Journal writing about? The answer is contained in the article’s headline: “Evangelical’ Isn’t a Dirty Word.” Actually, ‘evangelical’ is a dirty word, at least, if you’re interested in democratic values like freedom, equality, reason and fairness. So, in the end, the two men whose photos appear above—Franklin Graham and Ayman al-Zawahiri—are two peas in a nasty pod.

* * *

And while we’re on the subject: Geraldo Rivera, the disgraced former newsman who now peddles gossip and smut on the Fox “news” channel, said something I actually agree with: Nixon never would have been forced to resign if you existed in your current state back in 1972, ’73, ’74,” he told Sean Hannity, Trump’s new BFF. Geraldo, who went to Fox when no reputable T.V. network would hire him, meant it as a compliment to Hannity’s power; but, of course, it has a far different, and more sinister, implication. He was referring to Nixon’s resignation in August, 1974. The shocking thing is that he’s probably right. Republicans didn’t fight back to defend Nixon; when it was clear he’d broken all kinds of laws, in an unConstitutional attempt to hang onto power, they broke with him. That was when Republicans believed that America is a nation of laws.

Today, we have another president who clearly has committed major felonies. The difference, sadly, is that the Republican Party no longer believes in the law. They believe in nothing, actually, except raw power to push their rightwing agenda, and they don’t care what kind of leader America has, as long as he’s on their side.

Some people say I, and other liberals, are going too far in denouncing Trump. My response: we’re not going far enough. I loved what Donny Deutsch said the other day on T.V. when he called Trump a “dictator…owned by Putin”. An emotional Deutsch pointed to the table he was sitting at and said, “Guess what? A year from now this doesn’t change, maybe this table is in trouble we keep talking like this. I’m not being dramatic. This is what’s happening, kids. I mean, and this guy is winning.”

I don’t know if Trump is winning or not. But he’s getting away with some pretty awful stuff, and the Constitutional Crisis people are talking about is getting closer.

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