Angle's Nevada PAC Promoted Crackpot Conspiracy Theories Attacking Gays, Atheists
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Jun 17, 2010 at 11:23:21 AM EST
A vast gay/atheist conspiracy against America ?... that's the sort of thing one hears quite often from right wing televangelists but it's not so common for candidates running for the US Senate to have engaged in promoting such crackpot conspiracy theory. And, it's a bit unusual for a Senate candidate to have belonged for a half-decade to a political party that claims the US was founded on "Biblical law."

Meet Sharron Angle.

While one could cast Sharron Angle's stated opposition to legalized alcohol and marijuana, and her leadership of a Nevada PAC that suggested pornography should be illegal, as just an excessively prudish approach to lifestyle decisions, Angle has also targeted whole societal groups, gays in particular.

As Talking Points Memo's Justin Elliott described in a June 15, 2010 story, Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle was a member of the Independent American Party of Nevada during the 1990's, from 1992 to 1997, during which time the IAPN engaged in bizarre anti-gay agitation and campaigns to legalize discrimination against homosexuality. Describes Elliott,

The small party attracted considerable controversy in 1994 when it took out a newspaper ad titled "Consequences of Sodomy: Ruin of a Nation," which suggested HIV could spread through the water.

It wasn't a fluke. As Elliott's TPM story goes on to detail,

During the period that Angle was a member, the party bought a red, white, and blue 16-page advertising insert in several Nevada newspapers to promote an effort to add a clause to the state constitution stating that "objection to homosexuality is a liberty and right of conscience and shall not be considered discrimination relating to civil rights," according to a 1994 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The so-called Minority Status and Child Protection Act would have explicitly allowed discrimination against gay people in jobs and housing.

The party then picketed a newspaper, the Reno Gazette-Journal, that refused to run the ad.

Angle apologists will no doubt try to claim that Sharron Angle's stance towards homosexuality and gay rights has changed since the 1990's, but that's not going to be so easy given that, according to Angle's current official biography, "She is proud of her past chairwomanship of We the People Nevada PAC that sponsored the Property Tax Restraint Initiative."

The We The People PAC had a web presence from 2003 to 2007, during which time its statement of principles web site page declared, "The radical homosexual movement and other groups seek to destroy the traditional family structure which is the underpinning of society. Their agenda should be opposed."

The We The People principles page also seemed to include atheists in the alleged vast conspiracy:

There is a strong movement by atheists to ban religious thought form the public square. This should be recognized as an attempt to establish atheism as the national religion. The establishment clause prevents the combining of the state with religious organizations (e.g. the official state religion) but does not prevent the exercise of free speech in conveying religious ideas and thoughts in public institutions. The ACLU, NEA, and other organizations are examples of atheistic institutions trying to gain political control and an unfair advantage over Christian groups by incorrectly interpreting the establishment clause.

Oddly, the conservative Wall Street Journal first picked up on Angle's association with the theocratic Independent American Party of Nevada, whose platform claims the United States was founded upon Biblical law. Otherwise mainstream media has so far almost wholly missed the most important aspects over the story.

But over the past several days, spadework and coverage from a small number of alternative press journalists has tied Nevada Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle's to American theocratic political parties and to the Christian Reconstructionist movement - Adele Stan of Alternet.org [1, 2], Justin Elliot of Talking Points Memo [1], Julie Ingersol for Religion Dispatches [1, 2], and my own coverage [1, 2]  




Display:
It actually does not surprise me that the Wall Street Journal would be among the first to notice Angle's association with the theocratic Independent American Party of Nevada.  The Wall Street Journal, though conservative, occasionally publishes some very good stuff critiquing irrational tendencies on the right as well as on the left.  For example, years ago, they published quite a bit of stuff by Dorothy Rabinowitz (interviewed here on Injustice Busters) debunking alleged "Satanic Ritual Abuse" cases, especially that of the Amiraults.


by Diane Vera on Thu Jun 17, 2010 at 03:15:44 PM EST

Thanks very much for your research here.  You've gathered some very important information about Christian Reconstructionism and its continuing influence on the religious right wing.

I hope you'll consider adding, to the left panel of Talk To Action, a new featured section on Christian Reconstructionism, similar to the sections on the New Apostolic Reformation.


by Diane Vera on Thu Jun 17, 2010 at 04:20:13 PM EST



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