Thursday, June 4, 2020

#2345: Larry Tomczak

Larry Tomczak is an apostolic leader, evangelist and founder and leader of the fundamentalist organization People of Destiny International. He has also been editor of the People of Destiny magazine and author of multiple books, notably Clap Your Hands, the Church Planters Handbook (with Dick Benjamin, Jim Durkin and Terry Edwards), The Bullseye Challenge and the disconcertingly titled The Little Handbook On Loving Correction: How To Raise Happy, Obedient, Respectful Children and God, the rod, and Your child’s bod: The art of loving correction for Christian parents. It should go without saying that you don’t take parenting advice from people like Larry Tomczak. He is also a longtime board-menber of the Intercessors for America ministry and Executive Director of The Awareness Group. 

However, no matter what hat he is wearing, Tomczak is tirelessly combatting the influence of Satan. Why do you think American media is so biased against wingnut conspiracy theorists? That’s Satan, of course. “For hundreds of years, our beloved nation enjoyed a blessed reprieve from many aspects of Satan’s reign because of the prevailing influence of the gospel and our Judeo-Christian foundations,” claims Tomczak (black people and native Americans were presumably treated according to the will of God), but “[i]n the past few decades America has drifted rapidly away from our heritage,” and rather fallen under the sway of Satan (apparently the election of Trump was a prophetic “breakthrough – Tomczak was positively giddy – though the more recent impeachment efforts have proved to him that “we are in perilous times of the Last Days.”). Though Tomczak has assiduously worked to reveal a variety of ways in which “the devil is using the Democratic Party to try to destroy America,” including the devil’s / Democratic party’s “6-point battle plan, you can probably guess which of the devil’s most “diabolical schemes” is most clearly being pushed and by whom.

Yes, it’s the gays
Tomczak is, as you predicted, virulently and unhingedly anti-gay, and he has claimed that gays will destroy America like the Nazis did to Germany. In particular, gay people and their allies are putting America “on the path to destruction,” and events that “brazenly celebrate, legitimize and promote the gay lifestyle in America” are just symptoms of the country’s “downward spiral” and gay “tsunami”; as Tomczak puts it, “[i]t would do us well to recall that in Nazi Germany, only a small percentage of the people were part of the Nazi party. Amid the atrocities, the overwhelming majority were apathetic and afraid to speak up [not actually accurate]… Is history repeating itself?” Yes, that’s the entirety of the parallel, and it’s based on an easily demonstrable falsehood. But accuracy is, of course, not a relevant parameter here. He later likened opposition to homosexuality – including “courageous” African countries that “outlaw homosexuality”, thus “standing strong amidst this moral storm” – to the fight against Nazis; indeed, as Tomczak sees it, we are already “in a civil war” over gay rights. God, of course, is on his side, and is already punishing gay men and lesbians by making them “effeminate” or “mannish,” with Tomczak citing Romans 1:27 to claim that gays and lesbians “receive in their own bodies the penalty for their sin.”

Otherwise, Tomczak promotes most of the standard bullshit myths, such as the pseudoscientific “findings” of Paul Cameron, about  how people “become gay,” for instance through “spousal and child abuse; media influence, pornography; absence of a father; childhood experience; experimentation; seduction and molestation by peers or authority figures; [and] misunderstanding ‘artistic’ bent.” And among allegedly prudential reasons you have for rejecting the homosexual lifestyle is of course the idea that it inevitably leads to disease and misery: “Engaging in sodomy with the sewage system of another’s anatomy is contrary to God’s design and it will bring inevitable consequences,” says Tomczak. He also promotes the ex-gay movement.

Tomczak on popular culture
Like many other religious rights activists, Tomczak is no fan of BeyoncĂ©, and is deeply concerned that Michelle Obama is apparently a fan because BeyoncĂ©’s music will “lead naive young girls on a dangerous path that could lead some even into sex trafficking” and ultimately “abuse, abortions and abasement-sometimes death.” Tomczak’s criticisms of popular culture also encompasses “former Christian Katy Perry flaunting her sex in a satanic witchcraft spectacle with fire, horned men and a sacrificial offering to … ?”, Emma Stone (who is “compromising to defile our daughters) and “closet lesbian” and same-sex-marriage supporter Queen Latifah. In general, Tomczak warns of the dangers of music festivals and says that if deceased rock stars could return to life, they would tell everyone to “steer clear” of rock music. He has also warned that “Archie comics embraces homosexuality, witchcraft demons and occult practices” and that the film “Love, Simon” is “a sham. It’s also another device of the devil to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ (John 10:10) our children.”

A particular nemesis is apparently Ellen DeGeneres, whom Tomczak has accused of recruiting children into homosexuality. When the accusation received some attention, Tomczak asserted that he was merely trying to create a respectful and civil dialogue regarding homosexuality, before insisting that Ellen and her “partner” (Tomczak’s scare quotes) are harming children and their caregivers, and that her marriage and support for marriage equality will potentially doom “5000 years of Western civilization” and “the future of our nation” because marriage equality “opens the floodgates for other arrangements and legitimizes a lifestyle replete with dangerous, at-risk sexual behavior such as HIV/AIDS and over 30 STDs that are endangering lives, jeopardizing healthcare and impacting our economy.” All in the name of respectfulness and civility, of course. He also insisted that he was simply speaking the truth by condemning homosexuality – his ability to assess what he says being what it is – just like Martin Luther King, Jr. denounced racism.

Duane “The Rock” Johnson, on the other hand, seems to be some kind of prophet – at least Tomczak thought his movie "San Andreas" was some kind of prophetic warning about the impending end times. But then, Tomczak sees signs of the end times everywhere, though mostly in conspiracy theories about things that simply never happened. In fact, Tomczak’s end game is somewhat unclear – on the one hand, he accuses gays and others (most people he disagrees with, in fact) of bringing about the end times, though on the other he is also literally and explicitly praying for God’s judgement to fall upon this nation because “apart from divine intervention in holy judgment, America will simply slide deeper down the spiral of sin and destruction.” It really does make it unclear what he is really trying to achieve here, but the source of any confusion is probably due to trying to ascribe coherence and sanity to Larry Tomczak.

Creationism
To no one’s surprise, Tomczak is a creationist and angry critic of evolution, a theory he doesn’t begin to comprehend and which belongs to a field (science) he doesn’t begin to comprehend either and is therefore deeply mistrustful of. In a criticism of current depictions of the Scopes trial and its aftermath for the WND, Tomczak laid out his misunderstandings of evolution with great fervor – for instance, according to Tomczak, the theory of evolution is the “dogmatic theory taught in schools and perpetuated by Hollywood [?] that human beings accidentally evolved over billions of years by ‘natural selection’,” and it “is mind-boggling. It’s akin to postulating that the images on Mount Rushmore formed spontaneously”; Tomczak is clearly referencing our common understanding of Darwin’s theory of evolution by spontaneous random manifestation. And he does, of course, have some damning refutations – most of it familiar creationist talking points, but some of it a bit novel, for instance his observation that “[I]n his 160-year-old ‘Origin of the Species,’ Darwin stated, ‘Let us assume …’ or ‘We may well suppose …’ over 800 times! We’re supposed to acquiesce so our youth base their lives on assumptions rather than the authoritative Word of God.” So yes, we’re headed for the end times, and it is partially Darwin’s fault. “Christians are not to be silent bystanders in the face of this tsunami of secular humanism,” implores Tomczak.

Diagnosis: We’ll grudgingly recognize the ability of such deranged fundies to come up with novel expressions of lunacy – the topics and general gist are the same, of course, but Tomczak does admittedly manage to add some individual touches of color. He also wields a bit of influence, and must be considered moderately dangerous. 

4 comments:

  1. How does he know that Trump isn't another minion of Satan, undermining America? Looks open and shut to me.

    On another topic, I have a 9/11 truther I'd like to tip you off about. He's a guy who actually has a good PhD in physics from CalTech, and a search on Amazon reveals several publications on 9/11 etc. I knew him as an undergraduate. He has an interesting life story.

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  2. Tips are welcome. I'd need a name, though.

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    1. That name would be West Texan Crockett Grabbe, inevitably known as Crotch Grabber in high school. He started his education at crackpot Garner Ted Armstrong's Ambassador College in Pasadena, but got his degree at UT-Austin. Then he went back to Pasadena, but this time to Caltech, for his PhD. I believe he has used the name Sealane Gray on the internet. His middle name is Lane, hence C. Lane, Sealane. He has a bio etc. on the Internet.

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    2. Wait, now. It Crockett was rejected by Ambassador. It was his brother Orlin, also a bit of a loon himself, who went there. See https://hwarmstrong.com/history/pasadena-memories.htm

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