Christie bans ‘ex-gay’ therapy for minors, world comes to an end.
In the United States, the “ex-gay” movement is collapsing under the weight of its own bullshit. In case you’re unfamiliar, the ex-gay “conversion therapy” is snake oil BS that claims to be able to turn gay people straight. It’s so dangerous and so completely ineffective that the largest ex-gay group in the country, Exodus International, has folded up shop and officially denounced the practice they’d previously pushed.
The problem with “conversion therapy” is the tremendous psychological and emotional harm it inflicts on the subjects. First, they convince patients that homosexuality is a disease, that it’s not normal, and that it’s terribly immoral — on the scale of pedophilia. Then, it promises to “cure” them. Since the initial argument that homosexuality is a disease is false, the cure fails. And, since they believe they still have this horrible disease that makes them sinful monsters, the patients become despondent and even suicidal.
The good news is that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a bill that will make forcing minors into “conversion therapy” illegal. The bad news is that the religious right is still stupid and hostile to scientific evidence. Check out this reaction from the rightwing news website Rightscoop:
You’ve got to be kidding. How can someone who claims to be a Christian sign a piece of legislation like this? Does he not believe that Christ has the power to heal? Well apparently not…at least in regard to this. He is expected to announce when signing this bill that he doesn’t believe homosexuality is a sin.
Yes, Chris Christie hates Jesus because he doesn’t believe in Christ’s ability to cure something that was never a disease in the first place. And all the evidence that this “ex-gay” crap is all hogwash? They don’t want to hear it, which means they won’t believe it — no matter how convincing the evidence against it is.
That’s the problem with religious conservatives, they think “faith” means “I get to believe whatever crazy shit I want to believe and ignore all consequences.” Actually, that seem to be the problem with all conservatives. From global warming to evolution to ex-gay therapy, they only believe what they want to believe — facts and evidence be damned.
NRA loves Christie’s ridiculous non-plan to deal with gun violence.
Talking Points Memo: Campaign finance reports filed this week by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) show he has collected $3,000 in donations since March from a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association.
The latest of those reports became public Monday, just as Christie’s Democratic opponent in the Garden State governor’s race, state Sen. Barbara Buono, has been hitting him for having a weak stance on gun control.
“We’ve seen really exceptional leadership across the river with Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg, but unfortunately, in New Jersey, Gov. Christie has not shown leadership,” Buono told TPM by phone on Monday evening.
“Her criticism has centered on a task force Christie launched in January to address violence following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.,” the report goes on. “Buono has repeatedly described the recommendations issued by that commission as ‘shallow’ and accused Christie of using it to avoid the issue of gun control immediately after the shooting.”
“Shallow” works, but “a joke” would be good too. “He set up this commission right after Newtown. I’m not sure why he set up the commission considering Vice President Biden had already set up a commission,” said Buono. “It really appeared as though it was a delay tactic to delay and put it off hoping that people would calm down after the latest tragedy.”
The commission’s recommendations: criminalize the video games like “Call of Duty,” as well as mental illness. There’s even a call to ban the Barrett .50 caliber rifle — not because it’s been a problem in New Jersey, but because it’s featured in “Call of Duty.” The NRA is apparently cool with this ban, I suppose because it helps lay the blame for gun violence in America on video games and not the deep saturation of guns in our population.
Meanwhile, the state legislature is expected to pass legislation ignoring the panel’s recommendations and instead expanding background checks. That legislation may not have a bright future and this might explain why the NRA is shoring up Christie early — a veto of background checks legislation is pretty much the same as voting against it. Ask Kelly Ayotte how that sort of thing plays in the northeast these days.
A Serious Blow to the GOP’s Rebranding Effort.
After months of soul-searching and wandering the wilderness, the Republican Party has decided it needs to change. Well, not change really, so much as rebrand. After losing every minority group — plus women as a whole — to the Democratic Party in their quest to unseat Barack Obama, it’s become clear that the infamous, racist “southern strategy” is finally dead, dead, dead. No longer are the votes of white Christian males alone enough to elect anyone to national office. It’s now clear that “angry white guy vs. the world” is a fight in which the world will now come out on top, every time. Unfortunately for the GOP, that rebranding effort is scheduled to unravel in the middle of March. Then it will become clear (probably to everyone but the Republican faithful) that rebranding is a hopeless effort — as is real change. In fact, the great unraveling has already begun.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was not invited to speak at the annual CPAC conference this year because he broke with conservatives on key issues over the past year, according to American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas.
Cardenas, whose group organizes the conference, wrote in an e-mail to National Journal that while CPAC was “proud” to invite Christie last year based on his record of balancing the budget and taking on teachers unions, Christie’s record over the past year is far less conservative.
“CPAC is like the all-star game for professional athletes; you get invited when you have had an outstanding year,” Cardenas said. “Hopefully he will have another all-star year in the future, at which time we will be happy to extend an invitation. This is a conservative conference, not a Republican Party event.”
For those new to all this, CPAC is the Conservative Political Action Conference, a yearly convention that basically serves as the rightwing crackpot prom. It’s a big, boiling pot of extremists of every stripe — racists, anti-abortion zealots, homophobes, talk radio hosts, birthers, people who see Communists behind every potted palm, gun nuts, Islamophobes, etc. For obvious reasons, I tend to refer to it as the Crazy People’s Action Conference — and it is poised to set the effort to paint a kinder, friendlier face on the GOP back to square one, if not into negative territory.
If you need any evidence of that, look at the Christie story. Chris Christie, deservedly or undeservedly, is hands down the most popular Republican in America. There is no question. If you want to drag the GOP back into national relevance, you sit down, you shut up, and you listen to Christie. Yet CPAC believes he’s not worth listening to, because he hasn’t had “an outstanding year.” 70% approval is not an “all-star year,” because he lambasted House Republicans for blocking disaster aid after Hurricane Sandy and now he’s embracing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. The very things that make him popular with the general public make him unpopular with the hothouse lunatics at CPAC.
And the people who’ve had a great year, by CPAC’s rigid and totally reality-proof standards? People like Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Allen West.
Oh, and Mitt Romney. According to CPAC, Mitt Romney just had an excellent, all-star year.
Bashing the one remaining popular Republican in America is just the start. CPAC speakers will return to immigrant bashing, gay bashing, Muslim bashing, science bashing, Todd Akin-like War on Women frootloopery, accusations of Marxism toward Democrats in general and Barack Obama in particular, painting the middle class as “freeloaders,” Christian supremacism, etc. Seriously, just skim CPAC’s history — I’m not exaggerating in the least. And this year you can add gun control fearmongering. Believe me, it’s just going to be worse. For Republicans looking to change the party’s image in the public’s eye, no good can come of CPAC. None at all.
The party can’t change if the base doesn’t change, since somewhere along the line, Republicans decided to lead by following. And the base is ready to listen to Frenzy McCrackpot tell them all about the coming dystopia, where gay atheists force Christians to have abortions in compliance with Sharia law, but they aren’t interested in having Chris Christie tell them how to become popular and become a competitive party again.
Maybe Chris Christie could lead the GOP out of the wilderness and maybe he couldn’t (personally, I think he’s still leading by following, but at least he’s following more people than just the ‘bagger base). In any case one thing’s for sure: the nuts at the Crazy People’s Action Conference are dead set on leading the party deeper and deeper back into those dark woods.
[image via Bob Jagendorf]