I have a substantial blog backlog right now, so it's taken me a while to post commentary on the November 4th election. -- Ahab
The November 4th election earlier this month was sobering and full of unpleasant surprises. Republicans gained a majority of Senate seats, which disappointed those hoping for Congressional support for progressive legislation. Republican successes may have been due in part to support from their traditional base. According to exit poll data from NBC News, 78% of white evangelical/born again voters and 61% of other Protestants voted Republican in the House of Representative races.
Several strident members of the Religious Right ran for office in this year's election, including Gordon Klingenschmitt and Scott Lively. Running as a Republican against Democrat Lois Fornander, Klingenschmitt won the District 15 seat in Colorado's House. According to the Colorado Gazette, he received nearly 70% of the vote.
Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain, was reprimanded in a military court in 2006 for appearing in uniform at a political protest, according to the Washington Post. Currently, Klingenschmitt hosts the Pray in Jesus Name show, which he uses as a vehicle for anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ messages. Right Wing Watch has documented Klingenschmitt's shocking statements and actions, including his "exorcism" of a rape victim, his claim that President Obama is infested by demons, his support for homophobic discrimination, and his promotion of vicious anti-LGBTQ stereotypes. I fully expect him to continue his right-wing from his new seat in the Colorado House, which should worry the citizens of Colorado.
Klingenschmitt was genuinely shocked that observers would find his election victory horrifying. "Why would people hate a chaplain? I'm just a guy who believes the Bible. I love Jesus. I love people. I'm a man of faith and compassion," he said in a recent edition of Bible News Radio. Voters who cherish religious freedom in the face of "backlash against the name of Jesus" were responsible for his election victory, he insisted. (Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.)
"There is a backlash against the name of Jesus. People do not want God to rule their hearts, and a lot of people are offended when a chaplain or a man of faith gets elected to political office. But thank God, the voters in my district were very conservative and very open to religious freedom."He told Bible News Radio that he received death threats from a gay activist, which is how his opponents allegedly act when their "agenda" is thwarted.
"I did report these death threats to the FBI, and today I got a letter from the FBI saying 'you have been entered in our system; we are still investigating; it looks [inaudible] that there was a crime, an actual crime committed against me when this gay activist called me up and literally told me he was going to slit my throat, and he started screaming 'I'll kill you!'. It makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up when you realize that these people are serious, and they have an agenda, and it's a political agenda, and if they don't win, then they want to carry out violence. In seven years of daily blogging, I have never once written that I hate anybody, never once written that I fear any person, and ye, those are the left-wing allegations that come against us. 'Oh, you're a bigot, you're a hater, you're too Christian, and you're homophobic.' Well, it's not homophobia when they really are threatening to kill you."On the bright side, Scott Lively lost his bid for the Massachusetts governor seat. Lively, author of The Pink Swastika and a globetrotting opponent of LGBTQ equality, ran under "the miracle ticket", with platform goals such as "Restore respect for marriage and the natural family" and "Rebuild the inner-city family by restoring Fatherhood in the home". According to Edge Boston, Lively received 18,992 votes, and the fact that nearly 19,000 people thought that Lively would make an acceptable governor alarms me.
In a November 9th blog post, Lively blasted voters for supporting a "lesser evil", disgusted that Charlie Baker won the Massachusetts governor seat.
"In the times we live in, it has become commonplace for believers to substitute their own reasoning for the wisdom of God. But there is nothing new under the sun. This was the same in Elijah’s time. So in this election we have seen Christian and pro-family voters across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, both Protestant and Catholic, deliberately cast their votes for Charlie Baker, a man whose hands drip with the blood of the innocent unborn babies and whose tongue rationalizes the promotion of sexual perversion to school-children. They have chosen to support what they believe is the “lesser evil” rather than trust God and stand on His truth."He praised the voters who "did not bow their knee to evil", applauding them for trusting God.
"We have a remnant of nearly 20,000 people who have proved by their vote that they trust God, not their own human reasoning, to heal our land. We have a core of trustworthy men and women with whom to work to restore the commonwealth."
Lively concluded the commentary piece by mocking human rights organizations that have criticized him or taken legal action against him for his anti-LGBTQ activism.
"...I am being sued for “Crimes Against Humanity” by a Marxist law firm trying to take away my First Amendment rights and destroy me the way the LGBT bullies try to destroy anyone who gets in their way – from Anita Bryant in the 1970s to Phil Robertson in 2013. It’s the classic Saul Alinsky strategy of malicious slander and character assassination. And in the middle of the campaign the largest homosexual activist organization in the world, the so-called Human Rights Campaign piled on, naming me the Global LGBT Movement’s Public Enemy #1."
Outrageously, he claimed that his political efforts had crippled the "anti-Lively coalition" opposing him, and that the public now recognizes him as a "kind-hearted Christian".
I believe my faithfulness in stepping out into the political arena to preach the gospel has spiritually broken the back of the anti-Lively coalition and demolished its campaign of defamation. The public has seen me in the debates and other venues and know I am a sincere and kind-hearted Christian man, whether or not they agree with my views. They will never again believe the vicious LGBT lies trying to paint me as a genocidal monster. The Lord has vindicated me in an entirely unique way.Oooooookay then. Despite the disappointments of the November election, the fact that this guy failed to win the Massachusetts governor race brings me comfort.
To read additional commentary, visit the following links.
Mother Jones: This Anti-Gay Candidate's Message Is Bigger in Moscow Than Massachusetts
Wonkette: Gordon Klingenschmitt To Slay All The (Literal) Demons In The Colorado House
Raw Story: Colorado elects Obama exorcist who wants to spank transgender children
Slate: Gays Harbor Demons and Wear Diapers. Meet the Craziest Anti-Gay Legislator in America.