If you watch religious right broadcasts and listen to sermons from religious right-aligned churches long enough, you’ll notice one recurring theme–a severe persecution complex. The nation’s so-called moral guardians like to tell their followers that those big, bad, God-hating liberals are out to get them. And that’s the case even when it’s clear that the fundies are the ones who are the bullies. We got an example of this mentality at its most nauseating on Thursday, via one of the religious right’s favorite celebrities, Pat Boone.
Most of us may know Boone as the second-most successful rock singer of the 1950s–behind only Elvis Presley. However, for some time, he has been a social conservative darling for the better part of half a century. His right-wing hankering dates back to at least 1964, when he was one of the headline speakers at a rally pushing for the restoration of mandatory school prayer after the Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional.
Boone hasn’t let up since. Most recently, he pitched a hissy fit over “Saturday Night Live” mocking the “God’s Not Dead” series, saying that the gang from Studio 8H was going to answer to “the one they defame.” Indeed, he was so upset about it that he called for the return of blasphemy laws.
But this was a moment of sanity compared to a recent chat he had with Charisma magazine publisher Steve Strang. Boone has been a particular favorite of right-leaning charismatics and Pentecostals; he himself went charismatic in the 1960s, during the early stages of the charismatic movement. On Wednesday, Strang asked Boone to join him on his “Strang Report” podcast to discuss the spiritual state of the union. Listen here.
Boone, like most old-line Christian conservatives, believes America is running away from God, and needs to turn back fast before we lose all of our freedoms. One of his concerns is that people are no longer presumed innocent. “You just make the accusation,” he said, “and it sticks.”
For example, he cited the recent tussle over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. He claimed that he and Clarence Thomas still have to deal with “the mud, the sludge that was thrown on them” during the confirmation process.
Apparently Boone either doesn’t know or doesn’t want Strang’s audience to know about the evidence that raises real questions about Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. Apparently the FBI was given the names of 25 people who could corroborate claims of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh during his days at Yale–and never interviewed them.
When you’re giving someone a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land and virtually the only way to remove him or her is by way of impeachment, it’s incumbent upon us to get it right. And yet, if we believe Boone, raising questions about that process amounts to throwing “mud” and “sludge.”
But this is merely standard religious right agitprop. It’s more or less an article of faith among fundies that, in the words of Erick Erickson, we were willing to smear and destroy Kavanaugh to protect “the right to kill kids.” However, Boone dropped any pretense of good faith when he claimed that liberals hate Roy Moore “because he stood up for the Ten Commandments.”
Really, Pat? So you’re saying that when several women came forward to say Moore either molested them or improperly pursued them, we harped on it because we hated the Ten Commandments? Gee, I thought it was because we believed their claims were credible enough that he had no business in the Senate. So are you willing to tell Moore’s accusers that they were merely pawns for those evil, God-hating liberals? And are you willing to say it to their faces?
If the answer to either of those questions is “no,” Pat, then your concerns about the loss of our freedoms might as well sound like this.
Boone is 89 years old–five years younger than another famous “Pat” on the religious right, Pat Robertson. But if Boone believes that we wanted to keep Roy Moore out of the Senate just because we hate God and the Ten Commandments, he shares another trait with Robertson–they’re long, long past their sell-by date.
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