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.
The fact that someone is a Republican and differs with their view on tax policies means to them that that person is evil and probably eats babies. They believe that the religious are responsible for all the problems in the world and that everything would be perfect if they could just get rid of them — much like Iranian mullahs think everything would be perfect if they could make the whole world Islamic. They had many misconceptions about Republicans that only come from being isolated from them — much like mullahs isolate themselves from the West. And there wasn’t any thoughtful contemplation of whether they could possibly be wrong about any of this — much like the certainty mullahs get by claiming inspiration from God.
With this unquestioned certainty that people with different views than theirs are extremely evil and dangerous, what do you think they’d do to Christians and conservatives if they ever got into power? They were already plotting in the comments on how to eliminate and marginalize millions of Americans, and how do you think that would go? I’d say look to Iran and the violence and execution and oppression of anyone who dares go against them and then you’ll see exactly what we’d have if these people who think the religious right are just like Iranian mullahs ever seized control of the country.
So do we need to work to stop these people?
I mean, yeah, they’d make Nazis blush with their actions if they ever seized power and struck out against those they hate, but how in the multi-verse could that ever conceivably happen? They’re nitwits who like to think they’re saving the world by being rude to Christians so as not to come to face with how utterly useless they all are. I can’t even imagine a scenario where they could seize power even if I include sci-fi elements like alien technology and time travel. I mean, it would be horrible if three-year-olds controlled all our nuclear weapons — one tantrum and millions would die — but that doesn’t mean we go around fearing three-year-olds, because why in the world would we ever put them in charge of nuclear weapons? The closest any of these paranoid losers have come to power is Obama, and how is he going to round up right-wing Christians if he already can’t even get the Democrats to line up behind him?
So why point these people out if we don’t need to do anything about them? So we can laugh at them, as laughter is fun. Then if you see someone hanging out at Whole Foods ranting about Christians and neocons, pat him on the back and tell him how he gives you good cheer. He’ll feel good about himself for finally doing something useful in his life.