As we watch the horrors in Iran, it makes us wonder if anything like that could happen in America. In Iran, the mullahs control everything and feel justified in any injustice they commit because of a belief in the rightness of their own actions. Is there anyone like that here?
In an answer to that question, Frank Schaeffer wrote a column for the Huffington Post entitled “The Real Lesson of Iran — Beware America’s Republican Mullahs.” Reading it and the comments to it, I came to a realization: people who think the religious right are just like Iranian mullahs are just like Iranian mullahs.
The article is pretty creepy. Schaeffer makes reference to “neocons” by the second sentence, which already raises flags, as it seems it’s getting hard these days for anyone to use that word and not be a crank. And the whole premise is quite disturbing. The author has seen all the horrors of people being brutalized and murdered over just wanting their voices heard, and he comes to the conclusion that his completely unrelated political opponents — Republicans — are very bad.
It takes a certain kind of sociopath to witness great tragedy and then turn back to his narrow political talking points completely unaffected. It’s pretty much the same as seeing someone brutally murdered in the street and saying, “This is why we need to change subsidies on corn farming.”
Given the obvious mental imbalance of the author, it’s no wonder the whole article is basically fevered ranting about how Christians want to round up and imprison and execute anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus and use the government to crush dissent — all the usual paranoid stuff you’d expect from someone who decides to demonize some group he doesn’t like. He, of course, hits today’s favorite target, Sarah Palin, who, despite her rather libertarian record, he’s convinced wants to unleash death squads that kill non-believers, since she was spotted going to church once.
Then there’s his disjointed logic in claiming that Christians are too pro-Israel and also like to deny the Holocaust. And he tries to link von Brunn — an anti-Chrisitian, anti-Bush extremist — with the religious right. In his simplistic mind, Republicans are bad, and therefore anything else that is bad must be related to Republicans. Or to the Christian right. Or to right-wing people regardless of whether they are Republican or Christian. It’s kinda hard to figure out exactly who he’s ranting against except that everyone who has a different view than him is very very bad — an attitude shared by Iranian mullahs.
I wasn’t going to worry myself with a lone crank, as I figure he’s just someone who somehow snuck by HuffPo’s usually studious editors, but then I read the comments to the article. There were people actually agreeing with this. People who somehow have the intelligence and motor skills to use a computer and write semi-coherent English sentences. They all seemed convinced that Christians were waiting outside their rooms to strangle them with rosaries, and the only thing protecting the country was their vigilance.