Brent Rasmussen at Unscrewing the Inscrutable has dug up a site calling itself "Baptists For Brownback 2008" and posted about it here. Sam Brownback, for those who don't follow the political news, is one of several fine village idiots running for a presidential nomination this year. He's also in the Religious Right camp, which makes it plausible that many Baptists would support him.
Now here's the challenge. It's a little hard to tell whether Baptists For Brownback is a sincere site or satire. And even if the site is satire (as I strongly suspect) some pretty wild comments left on the site appear to be quite sincere. Here is an excerpt from the site:
At this time, we would like you to join us in praying for the empty souls of those who are blinded by their own ignorance and hatred. Their shame of their own actions and lifestyle choices has made them petty, biased, and cruel towards others who do not share their own distorted view of life. May the Lord replace the vitriol and poison in their hearts with love, compassion, and grace. May He also open their eyes that they may see the error of their ways and never succumb again to the deeds of their master, Satan, that they serve.There's nothing in those lines you couldn't hear from a sincere member of the Religious Right, which is the beauty of Baptists For Brownback -- it artfully mixes the standard rhetoric of the extremists with lines like these:
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s most famous book is The Scarlet Letter, a frightening and righteous tale of a rare case of perversion in Massachusetts in the 17th century, when that state was not yet under liberal control (this was before the Kennedys arrived on our shores).
The villain of the story is Hester Prynne, who commits the sin of adultery. As a result she receives God’s fitting and inevitable punishment in the form of a baby, which she must bear, since the murder of womb-babies was illegal at the time. She is also punished by man, by way of a bright red letter “A”, which she is forced to wear on her dress so that everyone can know her for what she is.
I remember how the brilliant letter “A” idea was seared into my consciousness when I first read The Scarlet Letter in my college days. It led me to wonder why such a device is not used in today’s society. Would it not be a wonderful thing to be able to recognize sinners and unbelievers of every stripe by merely noting the colorful badges sewn onto their clothing?
Today, in an America filled with adulterers and baby-killers, an even worse sinner casts a shadow over them all—the atheist. Yet atheists are difficult to spot. They hide their sinister cult behind masks of smiles, science and soft, pleasant voices. Your next door neighbor might be an atheist. You just can’t tell.
Imagine if it was simple to identify atheists and their tainted works. Would it not be grand? Think how much easier it would be to protect your children’s eyes, ears and souls from atheists’ influences if their websites, books, movies and yes, even their very clothes, were clearly labeled with a bright scarlet “A”.
The site is entirely enjoyable -- a real treat -- but you should be forewarned the site appears to have taken in people from both the right and the left. That's to say, some of the comments look to all the world to be sincere. And -- perhaps surprisingly -- it's not just right wingers who are apparently taken in by the site, but some left wingers too.