Debate Magazine

Conservative GIGO 1, the Prayer Breakfast 2015

Posted on the 11 February 2015 by Doggone
Conservative GIGO 1, the prayer breakfast 2015GIGO - in computers, garbage in, garbage out.  Or in the case of conservatives, we could fairly refer to it as garbage information [results in] garbage opinions.
The ridiculous right, especially the religious right are having fits and frenzies, widespread hysteria and general all-round rabid foaming at the mouth, including calling his comments 'verbal rape'.
Although he was referring to the Holocaust, a famous quote applies here:
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.”
Elie Wiesel
I would argue this is exactly what the President did in his comments at the recent National Prayer Breakfast, references conservatives are trying equally to eliminate from our AP history coursework and our public discourse.

There is no such thing as verbal rape; this comment trivializes rape, and is an obscenity as a comparison. And this grossly misrepresents the actual comments of the President.
The reason for this particular epidemic is the perfectly accurate observations made about religion as a justification and pretext for evil, even horrific conduct.  Obama properly identifies this as an abuse of religion, an improper application of religion.
Thanks to the Uptake for the video of the remarks:

Of course, it's one that right wing Christians hate him for stating, because these conservatives too often invoke religion for their worst actions. The specific comments that have righties writhing in outrage occur about 6:30 minutes in.

"We see faith driving us to do right. We also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge, or worse sometimes used as a weapon."

He goes on to address the use of religion in acts of violence and terrorism. The President then goes on to elaborate that this is not unique to Islam, but also to Christians in the United States, mentioning slavery and Jim Crow.
A little over 99 years ago, there was a case of burning a man alive right here in the United States, by Christians, legitimized by religion and the Bible, that was more horrific than the horrific and tragic burning of the Jordanian pilot by ISL.
from Wikipedia, on the lynching of Jess Washington (my emphasis added):

Conservative GIGO 1, the prayer breakfast 2015

charred corpse of Jesse Washington

Washington was tried for murder in Waco, in a courtroom filled with furious locals. He entered a guilty plea and was quickly sentenced to death. After his sentence was pronounced, he was dragged out of the court by observers and lynched in front of Waco's city hall. Over 10,000 spectators, including city officials and police, gathered to watch the attack. There was a celebratory atmosphere at the event, and many children attended during their lunch hour. Members of the mob castrated Washington, cut off his fingers, and hung him over a bonfire. He was repeatedly lowered and raised over the fire for about two hours. After the fire was extinguished, his charred torso was dragged through the town and parts of his body were sold as souvenirs. A professional photographer took pictures as the event unfolded, providing rare imagery of a lynching in progress. The pictures were printed and sold as postcards in Waco.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a significant number of lynchings occurred in the Southeastern United States, primarily of African Americans in the states of Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas. Between 1890 and 1920, about 3,000 African Americans were killed by lynch mobs, usually after whites were the victims of crimes purportedly committed by blacks. Supporters of lynching justified the practice as a way to assert dominance over African Americans, to whom they attributed a criminal nature.
...A chain was placed around his neck and he was dragged toward city hall by a growing mob; on the way downtown, he was stripped, stabbed, and repeatedly beaten with blunt objects. By the time he arrived at city hall, a group had prepared wood for a bonfire next to a tree in front of the building.[24] Washington, semiconscious and covered in blood, was doused with oil, hung from the tree by a chain, and then lowered to the ground.[27] Members of the crowd cut off his fingers, toes, and genitals.[24] The fire was lit and Washington was repeatedly raised and lowered into the flames until he burned to death. German scholar Manfred Berg posits that the executioners attempted to keep him alive to increase his suffering.[28] Washington attempted to climb the chain, but was unable to, owing to his lack of fingers.[29] The fire was extinguished after two hours, allowing bystanders to collect souvenirs from the site of the lynching, including Washington's bones and links of the chain.[24] One attendee kept part of Washington's genitalia;[30] a group of children snapped the teeth out of Washington's head to sell as souvenirs. By the time that the fire was extinguished, parts of Washington's arms and legs had been burned off and his torso and head were charred. His body was removed from the tree and dragged behind a horse throughout the town. Washington's remains were transported to Robinson, where they were publicly displayed until a constable obtained the body late in the day and buried it.[24] The lynching drew a large crowd, including the mayor and the chief of police, although lynching was illegal in Texas.[31] Sheriff Fleming told his deputies not to stop the lynching, and no one was arrested after the event.[32]
The same year, Julie Armstrong of the University of South Florida argued that Washington was probably innocent of both charges.[95] Bernstein notes that Washington's motives have never been established. She also states that his confession could have been coerced, and that the murder weapon—perhaps the strongest evidence against him—could have been planted by authorities.[96]
Bernstein states that Washington's lynching was a unique event because it occurred in a city with a reputation for progressiveness, but was attended by thousands of people who were excited by the brutal torture. Similar acts of mob violence typically occurred in smaller towns with fewer spectators.[97] William Carrigan of Rowan University argues that the culture of central Texas had glorified retributive mob violence for decades before Washington's lynching, maintaining that this culture of violence explains how such a brutal attack could be publicly celebrated.[98] Hale posits that Washington's death signaled a transition in the practice of lynching, demonstrating its acceptance in modernized, 20th-century cities.[36
While this marked a beginning of a change in public opinion about lynching, lynchings continued well after 1916 in this country.  Burning as part of lynching was not unique.
The part of the nation where the greatest incidence of violence and lynching occurred was the very conservative and very Christian south, where religion was used to justify these actions with the intent to terrorize, intimidate and control people, and where Christianity and the Bible were used to justify treating black Americans as second class citizens.  The worst offenders could be found among the most fundamentalist Christians and the Evangelicals such as the white Southern Baptists.  As noted in Slate,

Christian Soldiers
The lynching and torture of blacks in the Jim Crow South weren’t just acts of racism. They were religious rituals.

In a new report, the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative documents nearly 4,000 lynchings of black people in 12 Southern states—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia—between 1877 and 1950, which the group notes is “at least 700 more lynchings in these states than previously reported.”
...More savage was the lynching of Mary Turner and her unborn child, killed for protesting her husband’s murder. “[B]efore a crowd that included women and children,” writes Dray, “Mary was stripped, hung upside down by the ankles, soaked with gasoline, and roasted to death. In the midst of this torment, a white man opened her swollen belly with a hunting knife and her infant fell to the ground, gave a cry, and was stomped to death.”
These lynchings weren’t just vigilante punishments or, as the Equal Justice Initiative notes, “celebratory acts of racial control and domination.” They were rituals. And specifically, they were rituals of Southern evangelicalism and its then-dogma of purity, literalism, and white supremacy. “Christianity was the primary lens through which most southerners conceptualized and made sense of suffering and death of any sort,” writes historian Amy Louise Wood in Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890–1940. “It would be inconceivable that they could inflict pain and torment on the bodies of black men without imagining that violence as a religious act, laden with Christian symbolism and significance.”
These are the kinds of events that the radical right wants removed from our history classes, most especially Advanced Placement, aka AP History.  These are the events that our president is accused of verbal rape for obliquely rather than specifically referring.
Another black man wrongly, unfairly accused of rape, this time the inane 'verbal rape', and then finding himself verbally lynched.  It's a tragedy and a great shame to the right wing media that they promote this, and it should be a great shame to the black woman who made the accusation in the above video, both because it was unjustified, and because it was the worst kind of Uncle Tomism, brown nosing conservatives for acceptance at the expense of her own integrity.

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