Fighting back


Lana Theis: a horrible person who shouldn’t be in politics.

This is inspiring. Michigan state senator Mallory McMorrow was accused by another politician, Lana Theis, of being a pedophile and a groomer — get used to it, this is the preferred tactic of Republicans everywhere, and every Democrat is going to get labeled “groomer” in the next campaign season. McMorrow decided to fight back with a fierce rebuke, which I think is the best strategy. It’s analogous to another great reply to Joseph McCarthy by Joseph Welch, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” It ought to be our standard reaction when a Republican lifts their slimy head up from the muck they wallow in.

I sat on it for a while wondering why me?

Then I realized…

I’m the biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme. Because you can’t claim that you’re targeting marginalized kids in the name of “parental rights” if another parent is standing up and saying no.

So you dehumanize and marginalize ME. You say I’m one of THEM. You say she’s a groomer, she supports pedophilia, she wants children to believe they were responsible for slavery and to feel bad about themselves because they’re white.

Here’s a little background on who I really am.

Growing up my family was active in our church. I sang in choir. My mom taught CCD. One day, our priest called a meeting with my mom and told her that she was not living up to the church’s expectations, b/c she was divorced, and because he didn’t see her w us at mass every Sunday.

Where was my mom on Sunday?

She was at a soup kitchen. With me.

My mom taught me at a young age that Christianity and faith was about being a part of a community, about recognizing our privilege and blessings and doing what we could to be of service to others –

especially people who were marginalized, targeted, who had less…often unfairly.

I learned that SERVICE was far more important than performative nonsense like being seen in the same pew every Sunday or writing “Christian” in your Twitter bio and using it as a shield to target and marginalize already-marginalized people.

I also stand on the shoulders of people like Father Ted Hesburgh, the longtime president of the University of Notre Dame who was active in the civil rights movement, who recognized his power and privilege as a white man, a faith leader, and the head of an influential and well-respected institution – and who saw Black people in this country being targeted and discriminated against and beaten, and reached out and locked arms with Dr. Martin Luther King when he was alive, when it was unpopular and risky, and marching with them to say, “We got you.” To offer protection and service and allyship, to try to right wrongs and fix the injustice in the world.

So who am I? I am a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom who knows that the very notion that learning about slavery or redlining or systemic racism means that children are being taught to feel bad or hate themselves because they are white is absolute nonsense.

No child alive today is responsible for slavery. No one is this room is responsible for slavery.

But each and every single one of us bears responsibility for writing the next chapter of history. We decides what happens next, and how WE respond to history and the world around us.

We are not responsible for the past. We also cannot change the past. We can’t pretend that it didn’t happen, or deny people their very right to exist.

I want my daughter to know that she is loved, supported, and seen for whoever she becomes. I want her to be curious, empathetic, and kind.

I want every child to feel seen, heard, and supported, not marginalized and targeted if they are not straight, white, and Christian.

People who are different are not the reason our roads are in bad shape, or healthcare costs are too high, or teachers are leaving the profession.

We cannot let hateful people tell you otherwise to scapegoat and deflect from the fact that they’re not doing anything to fix the real issues that impact peoples lives.

I know that hate will only win if people like me stand by and let it happen.

And I want to be very clear right now:

Call me whatever you want. I know who I am. I know what faith and service mean, and what it calls for in this moment.

We will not let hate win.

I’m glad that Christians like McMorrow exist, but I fear that there are a great many wretched, hate-filled, repressive Christians like Lana Theis. I hope that the people of Michigan make Theis’s political career a short one.

Comments

  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    My mom taught me at a young age that Christianity and faith was about being a part of a community, about recognizing our privilege and blessings and doing what we could to be of service to others –

    especially people who were marginalized, targeted, who had less…often unfairly.

    I’m sorry, but these people haven’t been paying attention to the last 2000 years of Christian history. If they did, they’d know their filthy religion teaches the exact opposite, usually with bloody results.

  2. climateteacherjohnj says

    It’s always projection with them. Their narcissistic abuse of others must always be fed a supply of victims to validate their own self-worth and constant insecurity. So, they claim victimhood while pushing down on anyone they perceive as below them. What a psychosis!

  3. says

    I comb my hair several times a day. Am I a groomer?

    When I was a kid I expressed complete disinterest in politics because I had a nagging suspicion that there’s something wrong with people who get so het up about controlling other people. Todays republicans have convinced me that I was right.

  4. petesh says

    @1: I’m sorry, but (i.e. I am not sorry at all) when someone with whose beliefs I disagree stands up and does something that I agree is good and useful, I think it is appropriate to offer them encouragement and support.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    I want every child to feel seen, heard, and supported, not marginalized and targeted if they are not straight, white, and Christian.

    WOW! The doofus REALLY doesn’t know shit about Christianity.

  6. raven says

    This is inspiring. Michigan state senator Mallory McMorrow was accused by another politician, Lana Theis, of being a pedophile and a groomer — get used to it, this is the preferred tactic of Republicans everywhere,…

    Yeah, just call them on their latest insults in these words.

    Just point out that this is the latest tactic of the GOP, to call everyone pedophiles and groomers (whatever that is).
    Call it what it is. A routine smear tactic, a meaningless insult, an inept attempt at a new witch hunt.
    Then point out they have no plans to actually govern and make the world a better place.
    Point out that they are hate filled bigots that substitute insults for intelligent thoughts.

    If you are really ambitious, point out that a huge number of convicted pedophiles are Catholic priests, fundie xian ministers, and GOP politicians.

    PS We’ve been here before. As PZ notes, all the Democrats used to be Communists.
    That smear campaign didn’t work that well and didn’t last that long.

  7. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 4

    Well, I’m not sorry either, so I don’t give a shit. I’m grown truly sick and tired of liberal Christian like this trying to whitewash the blood-soaked history and dogma of their cult. I don’t care how “woke” this superstitious scut is, she’s still a magically thinking fool polluting our civilization with supernatural bullshit.

  8. voidhawk says

    I’d rather have a Christian standing up for marginalised people than an atheist spreading hate.

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 9

    Oh please! She doesn’t really give a shit about the marginalized. Like ALL Christians, she’s just trolling for converts. More converts means money for the pastor’s private jet, not to mention more political and social power.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    Minorities should work together. Christians with a sense of integrity and empathy are certainly a minority , so are atheists, especially the woke ones with a social conscience.

  11. microraptor says

    @8: So this woman is “bad” because she’s not calling out the hate and the lies in the AKira MacKenzie approved way? Get off your high horse, the altitude is cutting off the oxygen to your brain. I’m sick and tired of ideological idiots who think that policing other peoples’ private beliefs is more important than protecting the rights of marginalized minorities.

  12. Doc Bill says

    @9

    Ooooh, atheists spreading hate! Do tell.

    The only thing atheists I know spread is mayonnaise down at the shelter on weekends where they prepare 5,000 sandwiches to be given away to all comers.

    You’re probably confused by the Baptists who shout at people to go back to their own country. Yeah, those guys.

  13. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 12

    The ONLY way we’re going to protect the rights of minorities IS by policing private beliefs! Racism is a private belief. So is homophobia/transphobia and sexism. All of them are aided and abetted by theism. The reason we are still dealing with this are because our precious “free speech” doesn’t allow us to punish these people for these evil scum, but actually protects them!

    Jebus… You’ll chew out a Republican for having religious beliefs, but you won’t call out a leftist for believing the same primitive, superstitious, trash! Worse, after years and years of this and other atheist blogs calling out the evils of theism on this very blog, you’ll DEFEND their savagery and barbarism!

    I guess object reality only matters when it’s convenient.

  14. Rob Grigjanis says

    Akira, you are living proof that atheists can be as blinkered, frothing at the mouth and hate-filled as any bible-thumping fundamentalist.

    I’ll take Martin Niemöller, MLK, or Desmond Tutu over any number of shallow dogmatic twits like you.

  15. Artor says

    I’ll direct everyone’s attention to Bill Maher as an example of a regressive, hateful atheist who really needs to STFU.

  16. says

    @raven #6

    Call it what it is. A routine smear tactic, a meaningless insult, an inept attempt at a new witch hunt.

    And perhaps a confession? It’s noticeable how often they accuse others of what they’re doing themselves, so when they start on something like this, it gives me a very creepy feeling.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    More bastards.
    “Boris Johnson blocks questions, then hides in India
    “https://youtu.be/5NY4MtcUrcwb

  18. Rob Grigjanis says

    @18: That’s pretty rich coming from someone who feels superior to all theists and most atheists (i.e. those that don’t share your fascist views).

  19. PaulBC says

    RobG@15

    I’ll take Martin Niemöller, MLK, or Desmond Tutu over any number of shallow dogmatic twits like you.

    That’s an unfair comparison. I believe many people, religious or not, would respect all three of these individuals for their courage and dedication. Akira (and I’ll add myself) are just here to comment on a blog. Speaking only for myself, I do not expect to be held up to the standards of Nobel Peace Prize recipients and the like.

  20. Rob Grigjanis says

    PaulBC @23:

    That’s an unfair comparison.

    Hey man, I’m just here to comment on a blog.

    I believe many people, religious or not, would respect all three of these individuals for their courage and dedication.

    Ask Akira what he thinks. The bloke who wrote

    Like ALL Christians, she’s just trolling for converts.

  21. birgerjohansson says

    Can we maybe talk about the need to counter the enormous flood of desinformation and slander coming from the Republican Mordorsphere?

  22. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 26

    Sure. What can we actually do about it? Presenting the facts won’t work. We can’t legally shut them up. The only thing I can think of is being louder, snarkier, and more hurtful to precious conservative sensibilities than the Right. However, as we’ve seen since Slick Willie, the Libs/Dems don’t have the spine, stomach, or gender-respective gonads to play dirty. I don’t think Brandon is up for the task.

  23. PaulBC says

    Akira MacKenzie@27

    I don’t think Brandon is up for the task.

    I have to question your taste here. Who are you trying to reach by coopting the dumbest rightwing meme ever invented?

  24. whatmannerofloaf says

    Akira MacKenzie@27
    jfc man – in response to an elected dem’s justified anger about a baseless and vicious smear you call her a ‘doofus’ and her religion ‘filthy’ before you use a right-wing epithet to refer to president biden and then make an incoherent plea that Somebody Should Do Something.

    i give you 5 years and 1 inheritance before you’re retweeting breitbart articles and urging everybody to read rand.

  25. whatmannerofloaf says

    Akira MacKenzie@27
    jfc man – in response to an elected dem’s justified anger about a baseless and vicious smear you call her a ‘doofus’ and her religion ‘filthy’ before you use a right-wing epithet to refer to president biden and then make an incoherent plea that Somebody Should Do Something.

    i give you 5 years and 1 inheritance before you’re retweeting breitbart articles and urging everybody to read rand.

  26. microraptor says

    @27: Well, I’m sure that immediately rushing to denounce anyone who actually speaks out against the Right and tries to push back against them because that person doesn’t have exactly the same beliefs on everything that you do is going to very helpful. Alienating all potential allies is definitely going to be a winning strategy.

  27. christoph says

    @Akira: You’re blaming religion for a lot of ills-religion isn’t to blame, the cause is just human nature, or at least an ugly part of human nature. If religious beliefs weren’t available to twist and pervert to justify bad or criminal behavior, they’d use something else.

  28. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 28

    Oh please, Look at the polls! If the Dems don’t eject that old fool then we might as well hand the country over the GOP.

    @ 29

    So they can stab us in the back later? BTW. what ever happened to “Liberal Christians provide cover for the fundies” or “Religion is the opiate of the masses?” No, looks like barbaric magical thinking and primitive superstition is cool so long as it’s the cool hippie dippy variety.

    @ 30

    Are you sure you’re on the right blog?

  29. quietguy says

    I understand that laws regarding libel are pretty complicated for public figures, but when a politician is accused, by name, of being a predator, don’t they have any legal recourse? It seems like a lot of right wing folks have really gotten in to spurting out horrible groundless accusations and I’m not aware of anyone hauling them off to court (Alex Jones is being sued by regular citizens, I’m pretty sure, not public figures).

  30. whatmannerofloaf says

    Akira MacKenzie@33

    and calling democratic lawmakers ‘doofus’ and their religion ‘filthy’ along with working to undermine biden will help democratic chances this november … how?

    oh, and in your list of cliches above you seem to have forgotten ‘magical man in the sky’. another oversight like that and i’ll have to take away your fedora!

  31. PaulBC says

    Akira MacKenzie@31 Biden is not a great president. Calling him “Brandon” is just asinine though. Again, what audience are you trying to reach here?

  32. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 33

    Calling him “Brandon” is just asinine though

    Well, can you think of a name for that drooling dotard that is just as insulting and derisive that everyone would recognize?

    Again, what audience are you trying to reach here?

    Anyone who’ll listen to me.

  33. Jazzlet says

    Akira @#34
    There isn’t a whole lot of point in getting anyone to listen to you if you are so unpleasant their first impulse is to do the reverse of what you suggest.

  34. says

    They are interested in projection, not protection. The number of straight WXYZ republiclowns, pastors and cops caught raping, molesting, and trafficking women and children seems never ending.

    And completely absent from the attention of republiclowns or fox nuisance. This is part 30 from Daily Kos:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/4/6/2090446/-Republican-Sexual-Predators-Abusers-and-Enablers-Pt-30

    Did you hear what Bloviating O’Reilly did this week? A “do it live!” type meltdown at an airport, taking it out on a Jetblue employee because the flight was delayed.

    Where was he heading? The Turks & Caicos Islands. You might want to look up one of the most common forms of criminal activity on the TC Islands.

    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/04/bill-oreilly-caught-video-airport-meltdown/

  35. unclefrogy says

    @34
    I am not sure why I would want to call Pres. Biden an insulting name he is not who i would have preferred but politics is the art of the possible I thought.
    as for reaching people not sure yelling at everyone is a very good way either.
    I am also pretty sure that as @30 it is not religion but human nature is at the root.
    When I was a child I went to catholic school one the things the school I went to emphasized was reason over blind faith. We were told about the lives of the saints often the founders of religious orders and whole schools of religious thought. they were praised for often giving up all their stuff and following their faith and ministering to the poor.
    One of the things that began to make me question faith and god was the contrast between those ideals and people who were held in such high regard and the petty judgmental actions of the ordinary church behavior reason forced me further away.
    I have begun to think now that those loud judgmental christians of the right do not actually believe in that god that was celebrated last week. I do not think they even really believe in any of it really.
    Those christians as were mentioned above like Tutu and MLK. how ever seem to be the believers who were held up to me in those bygone days . they lived the life not just said the words.
    I would suggest that it is probably not even possible to force people to change their beliefs and prejudices I will be satisfied if it is only peoples behavior that is changed.
    That would require that we had to live as a people of the law and not personality and power. It would require action and involvement and not just speeches

  36. whatmannerofloaf says

    quietguy @34,

    I was curious about that too, and Popehat has a twitter thread about it today:
    https://twitter.com/Popehat/status/1516836165436944387

    His conclusion is unfortunately ‘no’. Kind of like with LibsOfTikTok, Theis said that McMorrow was ‘outraged she can’t groom and sexualize kindergarteners’ but stayed away from making the kind of provably false statement that could get her busted for libel.

  37. voidhawk says

    @13,

    If you think that atheists can’t spread hate, I don’t know what to tell you, man. Post something online about trans people and watch all the biological essentialist atheists come out of the woodwork to spout hateful nonsense.

  38. Kagehi says

    @7 muttpupdad

    As apposed to the rest of the world, where its… 1) an odd cult that only a small number of people in secular nations follow, 2) losing out to an even more insane faith called Islam, or 3) just as bad, but we mostly don’t hear about it, because they have near total control over the populous/media/governments (but what does get out, and is usually Catholic in origin, is stuff like Mother Theresa).

    Yeah, not sure what point you where trying to make there…. lol

  39. Doc Bill says

    @42 VoidedBrain

    Your idiotic reply says it all. Thanks for the confirmation bias. Have a sammich, they’re free.

  40. says

    @ Doc Bill #44
    To me, it sounds like you’re essentially dismissing the collective experience of my social circles as confirmation bias because it doesn’t confirm your biases about atheists. The attitude I’m picking up from your comment reminds me of this one gamer who blew up at me as an SJW for lamenting how many RPG horror stories there are about bigoted game masters and wondering how we could make the hobby more LGBT+ friendly. Just because I, my LGBT+ associates, and the original poster of the horror story where this exchange took place experienced these things didn’t mean there was a reason to worry or act.
    I was around for the “deep rifts” in atheism, so I don’t have a very rosy view of atheism as a whole, despite being an atheist. I’ve seen far too many atheists argue at length on how atheism shouldn’t hold any values, and how internet-famous atheists are entitled to my support despite their bigotries.

  41. says

    If the Dems don’t eject that old fool then we might as well hand the country over the GOP.

    Yeah, right, because ditching one’s own leader, with no other credible alternative, is always a winning strategy, especially for a party already in trouble for not having strong enough leaders to get the right things done. Fuck off, Akira, your self-righteous rage isn’t even coherent, let alone helpful.

  42. Kagehi says

    @40.. Art of the “possible”… Yeah, teccccchnically.. But, lets be honest here, this is a bit like have two groups of rich people running “pageants” in a city, in competition with each other, and telling the parents of some kid that desperately wants to be in one of them, “Well… it might seem like only the rich kids from opposite sides of town get in, but I am sure its still ‘possible’ they might take you, despite being from the bad part of town, and a poor school!” The problem is, the people defining “possible” isn’t us, its the parties, and their backers, who… seem to be various parts of the stock market.

    And, given that is the case, this is in the same category as, “Its possible to house everyone in America, but if we did how would we buy more tanks, or, alternatively, send more aid to Africa? Huh, huh! Gotcha! We can’t do both!” Pick any one of the things that it is *possible” for us to do as a nation, if we a) stopped cutting taxes for the rich, b) stopped gutting agencies to do everything from actually investigate tax fraud to help the poor, c) stopped wasting money on things the people its wasted on, like the military, say they don’t need it for, etc., and… lets be honest here, BOTH parties have, “something else, which is more important”, to spend the money on.

    I mean, its “possible”, mathematically, its “possible” logistically, its “possible” ethically”, but its “impossible” politically – and.. whoops… somehow that last one is, “more important”, no matter who happens to be in charge at the time.

    I, honestly, could see someone, somehow, getting enough votes to get into office (but it would be a damn struggle, and suspect someone would try a lot of things to stop them), stomping in, using executive orders, and what ever else they can to push through sweeping changes, and literally tell all the other politicians, “F you, I know I am a dead man, politically or otherwise, but while I am here, I will actually do my job!”, and that person “making a difference”. At this point, however, I don’t see anyone that the “parties” offer up as options doing anything more than temporarily slowing things down, or flushing the whole freaking country down the toilet into some right wing dystopia. Either way… “possible” right now smells a whole damn lot like the contents of a backed up chemical toilet.

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