Democrats can occasionally do some truly dumb things. If you're a Democratic leader or candidate, it's entirely possible to be arrogant, preachy, endlessly corrupt, prone to wanting to screw people you're not married to, and generally an asshole. You can have views about economics and national defense that your political opponents will say are misguided. You can even, on occasion, be more than a little out there in terms of how you express your opinions. But if you're a Democrat, or really anyone whose politics are left-of-center, there's a pretty good chance you don't think that autism is God's punishment against America for allowing gay people to get married and school shootings can be blamed on kids not praying enough. No, when I tell you that two people involved in politics made those claims, you already know which party they belong to.
It's not at all surprising that a Republican political operative would, while discussing real-world problems in the year 2014, point to the wrath of the biblical god as the potential cause. We're used to this by now. But maybe an example needs to be made when two cases of it are reported on the same day. Earlier today, Raw Story circulated an item about a Republican congressional candidate from Chicago, a woman named Susanne Atanus, who has some beliefs that any civilized society would consider completely insane.
"I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first," Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.
"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."
Sounds solid to me.
Then Charles Johnson's "Little Green Footballs" blog published this gem, about the former head of the Republican party in South Carolina and his fascinating views on what's really behind the rash of school shootings that's plagued our country for the past couple of decades:
“Since the time that prayer has been tackled, you’ll see that we don’t have the discipline, you don’t have the respect, you have more violence and I think and many of us believe that that correlates directly with not having that little bit of morality boost in the morning,” former Florence GOP Chair Bill Pickle told WBTW last week.
What's most interesting about these kinds of statements is the lack of reluctance these somewhat prominent Republicans have in voicing them. They know no one on their side is going to be the least bit shocked that views you'd normally expect to hear from people being held in padded rooms are being offered as fact by supposedly lucid adults; that God is sending tornadoes to kill people because he doesn't like gays getting married; that the solution to the problem of school shootings is to "pray more." Someone who thinks this way should barely be allowed to use the remote control, much less be able to run for Congress (or for that matter be a member of Congress).
Say what you will about the Democrats and the left, they can generally be counted on to choose logic and reason over crazy religious quackery. And even if they do believe in some of the strange tenets and customs of the faithful, they know that if they were to loudly demagogue them or try to base legislative policy on them while ignoring reality, they'd be laughed out of their party. If a Democrat says Jesus is using autism as a weapon because he's pissed at us and prayer cures the minds of potential school shooters, it's an anomaly. If a Republican says it, twice, it's just Wednesday.