As we’ve written before the xenophobia and paranoia of evangelical groups, shock jocks, and extremist G.O.P. members is sometimes so extreme as to border hilarity. Take for example Bradlee Dean (who?) of the religious ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International. On his AM radio show Saturday he ranted about Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to us Congress. Rep. Ellison is a strong supporter of LGBT rights. He supports Marriage Equality, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Hate Crimes Legislation, and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
But WAIT, he’s a muslim:
“What is Keith up to? I think we have to ask the question, Keith,” said Dean. “I’m just asking the gay communities what’s up with Keith Ellison because they are so foolish, blind and stupid not to figure out that their vice chair is a Muslim. This is no hidden secret, folks. This is in America. Who is this guy working for?”
“Why is this guy advocating the overthrow of the United States Constitution in the state of Minnesota?”
He goes on to say that Ellison is opening the door to Sharia Law (which he mispronounces as “sharee”) by advancing the homosexual agenda. Setting aside, for the moment, that some interpretations of Sharia Law are consistent with Dean’s own views, the idea that the LGBT community would turn on an ally simply because of his religious heritage is absurd. Simply put, there is no way that advocating for LGBT equality would usher in extreme interpretations of any religious doctrine into the U.S. Constitution.
Normally this type of speech would go unnoticed. It is increasingly the common language of the far right and is not particularly newsworthy. What is unsettling is how close to the actual stance of the current GOP Dean’s views are, from the Minnesota Independent:
Dean and his ministry have close ties to the Republican Party and GOP elected officials and candidates including gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Secretary of State and current state Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, and state Rep. Dan Severson. Rep. Michele Bachmann has fundraised for the group extensively in recent years as well.
Read Bradlee Dean’s views for yourself and decide.