Monday, May 23, 2011

Classic Right Wing Liars Return To Familiar Territory

Part 1 – Newt Gingrich and Harold Camping

Newt Gingrich – Amongst such whoppers as “Gay marriage is against the Constitution” and “Indiana has the lowest unemployment rate in the region”, Gingrich should always be remembered for the sleeziest political lie in American history. It all started when a South Carolina woman named Susan Smith drowned her children in her car and infamously blamed the crime on a mysterious black man.

Susan Smith’s stepfather had been a prominent Republican fundraiser for Newt Gingrich and so Gingrich put himself front and center with the scandal to fabricate a new reality for the American people. “I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things,” Gingrich said.

This was of course, after it had come to light that a black man was not to blame for the crime. Susan Smith’s sickness, Gingrich said, was symptomatic of the kind of society that Clinton-era Democrats had created in America. "We need very deep change if we're going to turn this country around." Never once did Gingrich mention that the man who helped Susan Smith cook up the story about an evil black kidnapper was her own step-father… a preacher and a Republican.

Also missing from Newt Gingrich’s spin on the story was the fact that Susan Smith had desperately tried to escape her family since she was 15 years old with no success. Why had she tried to escape? According to her ex-husband, it was because she had been repeatedly molested by her stepfather, the preacher and Republican Gingrich campaigner. Of course, all of this information only came to us after Laura Bush was already hanging curtains in the newly Republican White House.

Harold Camping – Another big fat lie from right-wing Christian Republicans during the Clinton era might sound very familiar to us in 2011. This one goes: “The world is going to end tomorrow and it’s all because of the gays”. The architect of this perennial lie is Harold Camping, the multi-millionaire from Southern California who owns more than 135 radio and television stations in America and other parts of the world. He has tens of thousands of followers globally and they don’t leave his side no matter how many lies he tells them. His followers are gluttons for usury.

What’s really amazing about Camping is the way the American media refuses to portray him as anything but a pitiful, crazy old man with silly ideas. The reality of the situation is that Camping is an angry homophobe who commands that his followers protest homosexuality as a full-time job. It’s basically like giving the Westboro Baptist Church access to thousands of daily listeners in places like New York City, Boise, Tampa, San Francisco and other metropolis’ throughout the United States.

Furthermore, even gay activists have been slow to uncover the fact that the last time Camping made his "end of the world" prediction, he was joined up with the full force of "Focus on the Family" (although someone has edited their wikipedia page to indicate that the break between the organizations happened way back in 1985). Focus on the Family were the principal architects of California's Proposition 8 and Florida's Amendment 2 against both gay marriage and civil unions and it was Harold Camping who really put them on the air in the first place.

With a lack of irony, Camping’s two end-of-days predictions both came about in times that a Democratic President was seeking re-election. Both of his predictions relied heavily on “gay pride” being seen as an absolute sign from God that the end was near. Lastly, both of his predictions were lies. But they were useful lies to tell because both times, a renewed interest in was born with hits to the website increasing by thousands of times their original traffic virtually overnight. Family Radio fans donated their life savings to Camping’s anti-gay efforts and in 1999 sixteen Family Radio cult members were sent on a mission to Kingston, Jamaica to distribute copies of this anti-gay tract in French and English. This was around the same time that CBN, the Christian Broadcasting Network began really setting up camp there. Since this time, Jamaicans had grown steadily and increasingly homophobic and fanatical in their beliefs about the rapture. It would take an entire decade before a woman came into my office to tell me that Camping’s spell had finally been broken and Jamaica had its first ever gay pride parade.

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