We all know that it's an article of faith among wingnuts that President Obama is a radical Kenyan Mooslim. Well, fundie talk show host and homeschooling maven Kevin Swanson has taken this lunacy to its logical conclusion. On the Thursday edition of his Internet radio show, Generations Radio, Swanson actually suggested that 9-11 was orchestrated as part of a massive conspiracy to put a Muslim in the White House.
Swanson had as his guest Les Riley, the leader of the failed effort to write a personhood amendment into Mississippi's constitution. He claimed that the fact we elected a Muslim as president was evidence this nation didn't turn back to God after 9-11. People for the American Way managed to get a clip.
Swanson: On Sunday I was preaching from Isaiah Chapter 9 and 10 when people are warned not to embrace those nations that are striking them and I got to thinking about 9/11, remember 9/11, which is probably the most devastating thing which has happened since the War of 1812 at least in terms of an invasion upon our land. God has preserved us for many hundreds of years; we’ve had relative security and peace in this nation for a long time, so 9/11 shows up. These Muslims come in and kill our people so we elect a Muslim as President of the United States. Maybe not a pure Muslim but at least a man who has been very well indoctrinated, rooted, grounded and founded in Muslim theology and he is certainly more sympathetic to the Muslim religion than any other President we’ve ever had in the history of the nation. Five years after the Muslims came in and killed our people! There’s something odd about this, what’s going on here? We see the Muslims killing our people and so we elect a Muslim. Seems to me like we’re not turning back to the true and living God here, are we?Listen to the whole thing here. The screed starts at the 4:05 mark.
Riley: No, we’re not.
Un. Freaking. Believable. I'm used to hearing half-baked stuff from fundies, but this has got to be one of the most unhinged things I've ever heard. For anyone to even suggest that our president was part of a conspiracy with al-Qaeda is off-the-charts crazy.
I did a little digging this weekend, and found out Swanson doubles as the pastor of Reformation Church in Castle Rock, Colorado. That church is a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, a conservative Presbyterian denomination that broke off from the Presbyterian Church in the USA (forerunner to the current Presbyterian Church USA) in 1936. Hmmm--do Reformation Chruch's elders and deacons, or the Presbytery of the Dakotas (of which Reformation Church is a member) find this acceptable? I would hope not--some cursory research indicates that the OPC, unlike the Presbyterian Church in America (the other major conservative Presbyterian denomination), doesn't engage in right-wing political hankering even though it is as conservative theologically as the PCA. Their contact information is after the jump.
Regardless of what one thinks of Obama, peddling this sort of conspiracy theory is unacceptable. Period, full stop. And it would be equally unacceptable if a pastor somehow suggested Bush and Cheney were behind 9-11. This sort of crap has no place in civilized discourse, no matter whose side you're on.
Swanson appears to be one of the more popular religious right talk show hosts, especially among the homeschooling crowd. But unless you read Right Wing Watch a lot, you probably haven't heard of him. All the more reason that he needs to be called out. Drop him an email at kevin at generationswithvision dot com, or flood Generations With Vision's Facebook page.
You can also drop the session of Reformation Church a line at elders at reformationchurch dot com, and contact the church's deacons at deacons at reformationchurch dot com. You can also notify the stated clerk, Archibald Allison, at allison1 at opc dot org. I know, I know--a lot of you think it may be fruitless. But it's important to force them onto the record if nothing else.