Extreme vetting

21 Feb 2017 02:18 pm
Posted by: Donna

I can’t find the archived video of it but back in the early ’80s Phil Donahue had Reverend Jerry Falwell on his daily morning show to discuss religion, which I watched because I was home sick or ditching high school. Falwell (of course) argued that his particular brand of evangelical Christianity was the true faith and that any person who had not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior by about the age of 12 was automatically condemned to Hell. Always the quick-witted and provocative interviewer, Donahue responded to Falwell with the following question:

“Is Anne Frank in Hell?”

I remember gasping at the question along with the TV audience. Again, I wish I could find the footage but I distinctly remember Falwell smirking, though not his exact answer. I do recall him indicating Anne Frank was probably in Hell, based on his understanding of Scripture. (That’s a 35 year old memory, and may be faulty, but it’s consistent with other statements Falwell, who died in 2007, made over the years. And I’ll add that I have encountered many, many right wing Christians in the meantime who have made it abundantly clear anyone who doesn’t believe exactly as they do is going to be roasting for all eternity.)

A couple of things today brought up Anne Frank and that memory of the Donahue/Falwell exchange: First was The Anne Frank Center’s withering response to President Trump’s statement (that came only after a lot of public pressure) condemning an explosion of Antisemitic attacks on Jewish organizations in the wake of his election.

“The President’s sudden acknowledgement is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism that has infected his own Administration,” the statement read.

“His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record. Make no mistake: The Antisemitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration.”

The other was this, from the CPAC schedule for this week:

cpac

I’m not saying everyone who attends CPAC is a proponent of the idea someone like Anne Frank isn’t in Heaven but it’s a safe bet there’s a plurality at least there with those views. And there are millions of people in this country who feel Heaven is only for people who believe as they do. So when conservatives frame the United States as Heaven and speak of “extreme vetting” of whom they allow to enter or be here, the rest of us need to be alarmed.

Oh, and if you’re in any of the districts represented by the Congressmen listed on that event, including Arizona’s Rep. Andy Biggs, you might want to contact their office and ask WTF they mean by this.

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