Hate Sells category archive
Dartmouth professor Randall Balmer tells the story of the rise of the “religious right.” It’s not what you might think, and certainly not the stories they tell themselves. A nugget:
What really happened? According to Paul Weyrich, conservative activist and architect of the religious right, the movement started in the 1970s in response to attempts on the part of the Internal Revenue Service to rescind the tax-exempt status of whites-only segregation academies (many of them church sponsored) and Bob Jones University because of its segregationist policies.
Follow the link for the rest.
Many years ago, I visited Bob Jones U. while researching a paper I was working on for some class I forget which one but most likely a sociology class my senior year.
It was one of the spookiest places I have ever seen.
The editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun is somewhat taken aback by Republicans’ willingness to believe anything. Here’s a bit:
New Hampshire state Rep. Ken Weyler was so convinced about the accuracy of a new report on the COVID-19 vaccine that the 79-year-old Republican felt compelled to circulate it among his colleagues recently.
Imagine his fellow legislators’ surprise in learning the findings of the report, including that the vaccine contains a “living organism with tentacles” and is causing the babies of vaccinated parents to be born “transhuman” with “pitch-black eyes.”
Amazing. And, of course, completely insane.
Follow the link for a litany of lunacy.
History professor Kyle Harper points out that irrationality, fear mongering, and falsehoods are not unprecedented in the face of health crises. A snippet:
Leaders who brazenly project an alternate reality, at unfathomable cost? Read the gripping story of the delusional reaction to the plague in 1630-31 in Milan, a town with maybe the most advanced public health system in the world at the time, but which ultimately lost over 40% of its population in the outbreak.
Private interests that shamelessly peddle misinformation? The history of British mercantilists lobbying against quarantine sounds perfectly contemporary. Resistance to medical science? Since the introduction of smallpox inoculation and then vaccination, a weird alliance of religious militancy and pseudoscience has worked to stoke fears and doubts about our best tools to protect human health. Livestock dewormer? Just a fresh take on the venerable tradition of quackery. It’s hard to be original in the annals of human folly.
Drew Sheneman cuts through the–er–marlarky. A nugget:
Zuckerberg throws up his hands, mumbles something vague about the first amendment and proclaims for the millionth time that they’re not a publisher — because that would make them liable for what they publish — but merely a platform for others to express themselves. What a crock. Once you start tweaking the algorithm to decide what users see and when they see it, you’re a publisher. Congress should act and redraft the laws to make sure they can be held accountable as one.
Methinks he may have a point worthy of consideration.
At the Las Vegas Sun, Vicki Larson wonders where the civility went.
And, elsewhere in the same paper, sportswriter Ray Brewer laments similar issues in high school athletics.
For many years, my brother has umpired baseball games, mostly for high schools, but also for youth leagues. He gets a little bit of money for it, but he does it mostly because he loves baseball.
He tells me that umpires for amateur and scholastic games are in increasingly short supply and that one of the primary reasons for this is the behavior of parents, fans, and coaches.