Monday, June 13, 2011

#225: Tim LaHaye

Timothy LaHaye is an evangelical Christian minister, author, speaker, a primal force at the most insane fringes of American fundamentalism, and one of the more dangerous loons on our list. He has written more than 50 books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is best known for the apocalyptic series of novels titled “Left Behind”, written with former sportswriter Jerry B. Jenkins (Jenkins seems to have actually written the books, though the story and ideas are LaHaye’s).

The Left Behind series depict the Earth after the pretribulation rapture (LaHaye seems to think of the books as something more than fiction – apparently Obama is about to bring on the Rapture). The series includes 12 titles in the adult series, but also juvenile novels, audio books, devotionals, graphic novels, and even video games. It has been uncannily popular, with total sales surpassing 65 million copies and seven titles in the adult series reaching #1 on the Times bestseller lists (Jerry Falwell said, concerning the first book, something to the effect that it was the most important book for Christianity since the Bible). There are also three movies, promoted by Grace Hill Media starring Kirk Cameron (who else). Also look out for a brief guest appearance by John Hagee.

LaHaye has, apart from his literary antics, promoted (or founded) numerous groups to promote his insanity, such as the Council for National Policy, back when he was the head of Falwell’s Moral Majority. In 1979, he helped to establish the Institute for Creation Research, along with Henry Morris. In the 1980s, LaHaye founded the (radically insane) American Coalition for Traditional Values (Andrea Lafferty’s organization) and the Coalition for Religious Freedom, currently run by James Lafferty, the husband of yesterday’s Andrea Lafferty), and the Pre-Tribulation Research Center along with Thomas Ice (covered earlier) in 1998, dedicated to producing material that supports a dispensationalist, pre-tribulation interpretation of the Bible. Tim is also connected to the John Birch Society, and played a significant role in getting the religious right to support George W. Bush for the presidency in 2000 (he has later cast his vote for Huckabee, an outspoken fan of LaHaye’s Left Behind series). He also co-hosted (with Dave Breese) in the prophecy television program The King Is Coming (partially the foundation of his delightfully paranoid mixture of conspiracy theories and batshit crazy Rapture-porn in his book “The Rapture”). LaHaye has furthermore contributed millions of dollars Liberty University, earmarked for its student center and “LaHaye’s School of Prophecy”, which opened in January 2002. He is, finally and unsurprisingly a historical revisionist of the David Barton school, though more extreme.

Oh, there’s more. LaHaye believes in the Illuminati, a “satanically-inspired, centuries-old conspiracy to use government, education, and media to destroy every vestige of Christianity within our society and establish a new world order”. The Illuminati is, in fact, just one of many groups he believes are working to "turn America into an amoral, humanist country, ripe for merger into a one-world socialist state”, together with secretive, cabalistic, satanic groups such as the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, Harvard and Yale universitites, and the Democratic Party. LaHaye described his views in the book “Mind Siege”, written with David Noebel. In fact, according to LaHaye, if you are not a biblical literalist, you are a tool of the antichrist.

In 1978 LaHaye published “The Unhappy Gays” (a.k.a. “What Everyone Should Know About Homosexuality”), describing homosexuals as "militant, organized" and "vile”, and arguing that gays share 16 pernicious traits, including "incredible promiscuity," "deceit," "selfishness," "vulnerability to sadism-masochism" and "poor health and an early death." LaHaye suggested that Old Testament death penalty for homosexuality would in fact be acts of mercy towards gays, and did as such call his own book “a model of compassion.”

Tim’s wife, Beverly LaHaye, is famous for following up his views on homosexuality. Beverly is the founder of Concerned Women for America, which is devoted to fighting the militant gay agenda and the gays’ attempts to recruit our children. The group has also stated their opposition to publicly funded HIV screening and publicly funded STD treatment (after all, these are effective weapons against homosexuality).

Diagnosis: Absolutely insane, and extremely influential. A real threat to civilization.


  1. You could see this one coming a mile away.

  2. My sister (who's as atheist/Buddhist as I am) thinks the Left Behind series is pretty good science fiction/fantasy.

  3. It's actually not badly written. They're still written by a certified loon. There are plenty of similar examples out there. Orson Scott Card is a good writer, but batshit insane in real life. Scott Adams has certainly penned some clever and funny stuff (Dilbert) - he's still a notable misogynist and Intelligent Design proponent. Then there's the sad case of Bill Kaysing. Heck, even Kurt Vonnegut lost his mental abilities some time before his death (and was as such exploited by various extremist groups).

  4. It's a pity the Left Behind game was such a useless ripoff of Command & Conquer. But then, whenever Christianity tries to make a religious version of something, they've got to model it on something that works really well and it still *never works for them*. XD Their Guitar Hero ripoff, the entirety of CHristian rock by extension, and that dreadful Noah's Ark game on NES. Screw that for a game of Mario.

  5. Thanks, watchers of American Loons. You might enjoy Googling "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" (note LaHaye's hypocrisy under "1992"), "LaHaye's Temperament," "Pretrib Rapture - Hidden Facts," and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty."

  6. For the 2012 elections, he's endorsed Gingrich on I-don't-know-what-to-call-them grounds. And the Gingrich campaign has duly responded.

  7. You forgot some of LaHaye's special crazy!

    "Under such circumstances, she is often twenty-two or twenty-three by the time she is ready for children, and surprisingly enough, that is past the ideal childbearing age." - How To Be Happy Though Married

    "A large percentage of women's and children's attire is designed by homosexuals, who can hardly be expected to highlight the differences between the sexes. Because the mother is so feminine, what she considers 'darling' or 'cute' may really be harmful for a boy." - The Male Temperament

    You know, so you can be horribly sexist and homophobic at the same time!

    "Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be placed in submission to another human being on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year -- for life? That is exactly what God demands of your wife." - The Male Temperament

    "Show me a little girl of five or six who can run into her daddy's heart, sit on his lap, and kiss him any time she likes, and in fifteen or twenty years I will show you a young woman who is emotionally prepared to be a sexually responsive wife." - Spirit Controlled Family Living

    Do I need to respond to this one?

  8. One loon many more to go.