"GOP Lawmakers Use Christian Hate Radio To Concoct Conspiracies, Build Opposition To Health Reform"
The American Family Association (AFA) is a Christian hate group that mobilizes activists around the country to protest gays, Muslims, and other groups it views as either abhorrent or in violation of its narrow view of the Bible. Recently, AFA called for the military to purge all Muslims from the military. The group is perhaps best known for its annual Winter crusade, when AFA leads boycotts against retailers that greet customers with something other than “Merry Christmas.”
Many GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Sam Brownback (KS) and Sen. Mike Johanns (NE), are frequent guests on AFA radio. In the last week, however, AFA has worked closely with right-wing members of the House to build massive opposition to health reform. AFA talk show personality Janet Porter has hosted GOP Reps. Trenk Franks (AZ), Todd Akin (MO), Michele Bachmann (MN), Steve King (IA), Tom Price (GA), Jim Jordan (OH), and others to concoct outlandish conspiracy theories against health reform, while urging listeners to make calls to Congress.
ThinkProgress has compiled clips of Porter and various Republican members of Congress discussing violent revolution against supporters of health care, impeaching Obama, whether health reform violates the Bible, how Democrats will use health care to ration care for Republicans, and the possibility that health reform will give the government power to kill “perhaps each of us”:
CALLER: Well I’m just wondering how much money they’re going to put in the bill here for extra security for all the Congressmen and Senators and Presidents if they get this passed because don’t you think there’s going to be an American revolt against them?
PRICE: Well I’m hopeful the revolt that we see if we get this passed is at the ballot box and that it comes swiftly this year. [...]
KING: The reality of it is, we can’t move anything in this Congress. Nancy Pelosi has a 40 vote advantage, Harry Reid has a 19 vote advantage. We can’t move impeachment of anything if the President of the United States commited some act, and this is hypothetical, completely, that’s so heinous that the American people would reject. Unless the, let me just say, if the committee chairs decided to move on impeachment, it would not happen in this Congress. [...]
BACHMANN: They want to have this [the vote] on the Sabbath, so this to me would be profaning the Sabbath. [...]
PORTER: And I gotta wonder if it’s the bureaucratic committees deciding whether you get health care or not, what if they treat healthcare like the auto industry? What if its just the Republican dealerships that get closed? What if it’s people who don’t support the administration who are told ‘no you can’t get that operation, you can’t get that medication that you need.’ These are frightening times, are they not?
FRANKS: Well they are frightening times and I’ll tell you what we’re moving toward here is a politically driven healthcare system. [...]
AKIN: We pray that you defend us against a great threat, an unbiblical threat, a threat that it is the job of government to steal from other people and redistribute wealth that is clearly against the teaching of your word and against your commandment not to steal. Certainly you have not given governments the authority not to redistribute wealth. [...]
PORTER: Well you hear things like the Slaughter solution which sounds pretty appropriate considering it’s the unborn, it’s the elderly, it’s the disabled and perhaps each of us who might get slaughtered by denying us treatment or paying outright for the killing as with abortion. Self executing rules, I mean this are things, well might be aimed at us. You think they’re going to use this trick to get this thing through.
KING: That seems more and more likely as the hours unfold.
At an AFA-sponsored conference last year, speakers told attendees to get their guns ready for a “bloody battle” with Obama, who was compared to Hitler. At another panel at the same conference, several speakers agreed that Obama is the “first Muslim American President.”
In the mainstream of the Christian religion and across America’s diverse faiths, leaders have come together to support providing health insurance to all Americans, and to end insurance industry abuses. Unfortunately, far right lawmakers, desperate to kill the bill, are leaning on hate radio and conspiracy theories to generate calls to Congress.