If you haven’t read the whole back-story, stop right here. Go read it at least. Listening is better.
The summary is this: Dan Johnson was a goof-ball preacher who conned everyone with wild self-aggrandizing stories, all demonstrably false, who managed to get himself elected to the state legislature from Bullitt County, Kentucky. When investigative journalists did what investigative journalists are supposed to do, and checked up on his ridiculous stories and uncovered the proof that he was a crock of shit, and when it came out that a sexual-assault victim had gone to the police with a complaint, he committed suicide on Wednesday afternoon.
But don’t rely on that summary, I’m telling you. Go to the link and read/listen.
Notice the date on the website. December 11. That is the day when the piece first went live. December 11. Two days later, on December 13, Dan Johnson killed himself. You don’t get “worn down” in two days.
This is vintage, typical Nicole. She doesn’t read anything. She just sees the headlines, and then she makes it all about her.
She’s not “fighting false claims.” Dan Johnson wasn’t “fighting false claims.”
He was a lying sack shit, and spent his whole adult life conning everyone in sight. I think there is a parallel there, but that’s not my subject today.
Last night, one of my husband’s relatives-by-marriage made a comment on a crappy Facebook page, one I would never follow in a million years, but you know how Facebook tells you that your friend “Edward” commented on some page. The comment was “We love you, Mr. President.”
Here’s what she was commenting on.
I couldn’t help myself. I commented too. You know, something about how I hoped he choked on his next Big Mac.
But what do these two things have to do with each other? Dan Johnson and his lying sack of shit widow, and Donald Trump and my distant relation, what do they have in common?
My question, the one I’ve been chewing over for the last twenty-four hours, is this: How do these lying sacks of shit get elected, and why do their supporters go right on supporting them no matter what they do? What is wrong with people in Bullitt County? What is wrong with Republicans across America? What is wrong with my husband’s relative that she cannot see Trump for what he is?
What is it with the religious right and why do they overlook the lying sacks of shit and their lying lies?
There are certainly degrees of outrage when it comes to bad behavior. We understand, at least most of us do, that if somebody filches $5 from the till because their children are hungry and they can’t pay their bills or buy groceries, that is stealing. We also know that armed robbery is stealing also, and requires a much larger penalty than the filching thing.
Sexual assault/rape comes in degrees.
On one side, we have Al Franken. What he did (and it appears that he actually did some stuff that none of us would call appropriate) isn’t the same as rape. He never committed arson. He never lied repeatedly about his background. He is leaving the Senate because people on the left said no. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t commit a crime.
On the other side, we have Dan Johnson and Donald Trump. I don’t think I need to list their crimes (and they are, in fact, crimes).
Yet, the religious right, including my husband’s relative, think it’s all fine. They never mention Franken, of course.
When I meet somebody who has engaged in questionable behavior for decades, for all their adult life, I usually don’t expect better behavior from them. I know that their past actions are predictive of what they are likely to do in the future.
People change, of course, but I am not stupid, and I’m not going to trust somebody like that until/unless I see evidence of that change.
This is the reason why employers look at police records, and evictions, and past employment records. They assume there will be more of the same.
But not these evangelical Christians.
And this is why.
Yeah, the Bible.
Sometimes (a very few times) the Bible gets it right. This is not one of those times.
Has anyone ever been to see Mike Warnke? Does anyone but me know who he is?
Mike Warnke, for the unintiated, is still alive, but thoroughly discredited. He still has a website, begging for money.
During the Satanic Panic years (the eighties) Mike Warnke, who is a comedian, styled himself as a former “Great High Priest of Satan” and an expert on all things Satanic who had been “gloriously saved” and was now a preacher.
Coming from my very strict fundamentalist background, I was briefly enamored of the guy simply because he wore jeans and had long hair. We went to see him speak. I left the auditorium that day convinced he was a fake, and was not surprised when he was shown to be exactly that several years later. He was, in fact, funny as hell, but fake.
It wasn’t like the Tammy/Jim Bakker thing. He wasn’t just a flamboyant performer. He was a fraud. The stories he told were not true. His personal history was a pack of lies.
Mike Warnke was taking advantage of a phenomenon that seems to exist solely in the fundagelical, “Bible-believing” world.
. . . to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
Remember the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)?
Here’s the summary. Two sons, each due to inherit from Daddy. Younger son demands his inheritance early, goes and wastes it all. Loses the whole damn thing. Older son is dutiful, does a good job. Younger son comes whining back to Daddy and begs forgiveness for being a jerk. Daddy meets him and has a big feast. Older dutiful son bitches. It’s, of course, more Biblical horseshit.
In this story, the prodigal son becomes the hero. The dutiful good son is the bad guy, and Daddy is a sucker.
Christians love this shit.
They believe this actually happened, and that it’s indicative of more than just a real life story. They believe that “Daddy” is God, that they are the prodigals and that the good sons are all those goody-two-shoes folks who do everything right.
They absolutely love a redemption story. Their whole religion centers around it.
The result of all this worship of redemption is that the worse your pre-conversion story is, the better. If you grew up in a religious home and went to a Christian school and then married another believer, hand-picked for you by Mommy and Daddy, and never missed a day of Sunday School or a Wednesday night prayer meeting, well, meh. If you were the child of a prostitute who became a drug addict and then a member of the Church of Satan, and finally a hit man for the Mafia, and then you found Jesus, well, hell, you’re golden.
Christians believe in a sort of presto-chango instant-morphing thing they call “salvation.” They don’t evolve. They are “changed.” It’s a miracle and it supposedly happens instantly, at a specific time and date. Many of them can tell you when. There’s Before and then there’s After.
Before no longer counts, except that the worse Before was, the better After will be. The more stark the contrast, the better it all is. The more entertaining and salacious the story (they call this a “testimony”) is, the more accolades they get. There is a reason that Christians absolutely love to hear a “testimony” from one of these people. It’s godly x-rated movie time.
This is why Linda Fossen could marry a guy who murdered his entire family (parents and sister) on a Sunday afternoon and think that everything is wonderful because he found Jesus. This is why Mike Warnke’s life story grew and grew and grew until it simply was obvious it was all false.
This is why Dan Johnson could lie and lie and lie and sexually assault women, and commit arson, and everything was okay until those evil journalists pointed out that it was all lies. This is why in the wake of his suicide, his supporters still insist that nobody should judge him and that it was all the evil media.
This is why Donald Trump made the statement that he could kill somebody on the street in NYC and his supporters would still be with him.
I find it sort of interesting that Nicole finds it necessary to say that Joe is just totally innocent over and over and over again. She says this like anyone should believe her. Why on earth would I believe a thing she says?
Joe Naugler has a history of bad behavior of one sort or another over a lot of years. He’s been convicted of that bad behavior. He threatens people repeatedly. He refuses to take any responsibility for his children, his property, his animals, nothing. He lies about me often and egregiously.
I see no reason to expect anything better of him in the future. Unlike the Christians, I don’t believe that redemption is an instant thing. He’ll have to show evidence and I’m not seeing it.
Why wouldn’t I believe what Nicole calls “rumors” and what was actually courtroom testimony? There are plenty of other stories to give credence to that one. I know for certain that Donald Trump and Dan Johnson were/are lying sacks of shit. I believe Al Franken did pretty much what he was accused of doing, enough that it was out of bounds. I believe Joe Naugler has as well. And I strongly doubt he is “disgusted and appalled” by much of anything except police officers and me.
Nicole would have more credibility if she would just read shit before commenting.
And I will be simply amazed if Dan Johnson’s widow fails to get elected to his seat in the legislature. Christians are so gullible.