The National Religious Liberties(?) Conference

So, a virulently anti-gay pastor threw a party last weekend and guess who showed up?
So, a virulently anti-gay pastor threw a party last weekend and guess who showed up?

These days, it seems like bat shit crazy is everywhere you look. Between Ben Carson’s notion that Joseph (you know, from the Bible?) built the pyramids to serve as grain silos, people getting their shorts in a knot over a god damn paper cup and the mere fact that human hair ball Donald Trump is a credible candidate for the Presidency of the United States, you can go all day without encountering a whole lot of sanity. And, while none of these things are good, they aren’t nearly as bad as some of the shit that’s gotten lost in the shuffle. Like the National Religious Liberties Conference.

Now, this wasn’t your average,run of the mill we’re-pissed-because-you-won’t-let-us-shit-on-gays-anymore “religious liberty” conference. Oh no, beloved, it was so much more. Organizer/preacher/radio show host Kevin Swanson used his platform to warn us about some of the terrible dangers facing America today: Harry Potter, “How To Train Your Dragon” and “Frozen”, among others. Seriously, I’m not making this up.

According to Swanson, there are characters in these movies that can cause little ones to “stumble”, because said characters are gay and, as everyone knows, indoctrination is priority number one for the LGBT community. The good Reverend Swanson refers to Dumbledore and one of the characters in “How To Train Your Dragon” (not sure which) as “homosexual mentor(s)” and Elsa from “Frozen” is a lesbian-recruiting bride of Satan (I’m not sure if Swanson himself spoke on Elsa, but she and the song “Let It Go” were a focal point of the conference).

Oh, you know how I ended the list with “among others”? A couple of those “other” things are vampires cannibalism and witchcraft. Yes, you that correctly: “vampires, cannibalism and witchcraft”. Let that sink in for a minute: these three topics were seriously mentioned at gathering of grown ups as actual threats to America. Holy…fucking…shit. I will admit, however, that the last one was kind of a welcome addition. I mean, how are you going to complain about Harry Potter and not mention “witchcraft”?

Up to now, this has all been fun and games. But, all too soon, things took a very ugly turn. In the closing speech of the conference, Swanson said the Bible states that “homosexuals are worthy of death”. Originally, I had planned to use some video from Right Wing Watch which showed Swanson saying those very words, but someone filed a copyright violation claim on that video and YouTube has suspended their account. Never fear, brothers and sisters, through remorseless and diligent research (i. e. clicking the link RWW provided), your intrepid reporter has found that footage on The Rachel Maddow Show. If you’re only interested in Swanson, skip ahead to the 6:00 mark:

Okay, I know it sounds like he’s calling for LGBT folks to be rounded up and executed, but he’s not…, yet. You see, while Swanson may be a virulently anti-gay bigot, he’s not an unfeeling one, because he goes on to say he doesn’t think “gays” should be put to death until they’ve had time to repent. See, he’s really not a virulently anti-gay bigot, he’s a caring and concerned anti-gay bigot.  Isn’t that nice?

Earlier I said I wasn’t making this up and I wish I was. I really, really wish I was. In fact, you have no idea how much I wish I was fabricating the whole sorry mess out of thin air. Or, maybe you do. Maybe a preacher, a self-professed man of God, spouting bullshit to scare the hell out of his followers, and have a few political dumb asses kiss his ring, makes you as sad as it does me. Not trying to wish anything bad on you, but I kind of hope it does.