Friday, January 4, 2019

#2126: Burt Prelutsky

“Columnist for the WND” is not a badge of honor, but Burt Prelutsky is one and has none. As a fundie wingnut with a persecution complex, Prelutsky is very concerned about the marginalization and persecution of Christians in the US. As evidence for such (widespread) persecution and marginalization, Prelutsky cites for instance the, well, claim that when conservative politicans are criticized for their political views it is really intended an attack on their religion. Which, for course, is merely a restatement of the hypothesis. A tendency to take a restatement of one’s (ridiculous) hypothesis to be evidence for the hypothesis can help explain quite a bit of Prelutsky’s thinking on these issues. Prelutsky is for instance very concerned with the War on Christmas, which he blames on “my fellow Jews” who are trying to “pull off their own version of the Spanish Inquisition, forcing Christians to either deny their faith and convert to agnosticism or suffer the consequences.” When it comes to “pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists and the largely Jewish funded ACLU at the forefront,” writes Prelutsky: “anti-Semitism is no longer a problem in society; it’s been replaced by a rampant anti-Christianity,” a claim splendidly undermined by his own column. (He went on to attack Jewish Americans for not showing enough support for the Republican Party and not being grateful that America is “a Christian nation.)

Part of the problem, as Prelutsky sees it, may also be that Christians in the US are too nice and timid. That’s why Prelutsky had to remind them that it is wrong for Christians to care for undocumented immigrants, pointing out that such actions as treasonous, and leading to the sad state of affair that Christians are currently helping Latinos “overrun America by destroying our schools, undermining our economy and over-taxing our social services” and “encouraging one specific group, Hispanics, to invade this nation” in order to “fill their respective pews.” Most blame, however, should be placed on “homicidal” progressives like then-President Obama and congressional Democrats, of course, who are actively seeking to “destroy America”.

No fan of Obama (a “friend and close associate” of Satan because he threatened to close the Guantanamo camp), Prelutsky has also complained that Obama shared “the instincts of Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Castro and Mussolini, but, fortunately, he lacks their power to kill dissidents or even have them exiled to Siberian gulags.” Because anyone who disagrees with Prelutsky on politics is Hitler. And if you disagree with him you want to murder him – an idea that tells you nothing about those who disagree with him but may suggest something rather disconcerting about how Prelutsky would have wanted to treat his political opponents if he had the opportunity. A further illustration: Prelutsky wants us to “bomb Mecca off the face of the earth, not concerning ourselves in the least with collateral damage, letting the Muslims [or “swamp creatures”, as he calls them] know once and for all that our God is far more powerful and, yes, vengeful than their own puny deity.” We should apparently do so because Muslims are “savages”.

In the internal WND competition to come up with the silliest attempt to compare Obama to an evil person, Prelutsky went with John Hinckley, arguing that the president “is every bit as delusional” as the guy who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in a stream-of-consciousness rant that would be incoherent even by WND’s (lack of) standards. Here is his take on whether Obama is the Antichrist.

Prelutsky has also weighed in on issues connected to race with his usual combination of insightfulness and sharp wit. Here he compares Mandela and MLK in a way that is impossible to sum up; it is, however, at least telling that his criticism of MLK is based on the premise that “the relations between blacks and whites in America not only haven’t improved since the late ’60s, they have become far worse,” which, given segregation laws and lynchings, might tell you something about what Prelutsky thinks is the proper way of treating black people. He certainly has a thing for stereotypes. (Apparently he thinks they are humorous.)

Vehemently anti-science, Prelutsky is both (apparently) a creationist and (definitely) a global warming denialist. Science, as Prelutsky sees it, is a liberal conspiracy: “Liberals are always given to landing on the side of what they insist is science, whether the topic is Darwin’s theory of evolution versus intelligent design or man’s ability to control the weather. That’s because they believe that scientists are, like themselves, much smarter than other people,” says Prelutsky. As examples of the folly of science, Prelutsky then goes on to highlight the Piltdown Man, which scientists revealed was a hoax, and Pluto, “which for a long time, was regarded as one of the planets in our solar system. Then, without warning, Pluto woke up one morning to find it had been demoted to the status of a plutoid.” And, not least, the Brontosaurus, where “anthropologists mistakenly mixed up a few bones. What it was actually was something called an Apatosaurus.” It is not entirely clear what Prelutsky thinks his examples are supposed to illustrate, apart from the fact that science is a self-correcting enterprise, given that it is scientists, and not delusional wingnut bloggers, who discovers that corrections are needed and then go on to make them; it seems, though, that a guiding idea is the delusion that because scientists adjust their theories in the face of new evidence and better models, Prelutsky is correct when he rejects science for religious and political purposes. Apparently, this illustrates something about Obama, gay people (Prelutsky has problems with gay people) and leftwing professors.

Diagnosis: Ok, so he is ultimately a relatively minor figure, but he is awfully silly so we couldn’t help but describe him at some length here. Though ostensibly a “humorist” the way in which he is funny – he sort of is, if you can disregard the hate, rage, evil and stupid – is not the way he intends.

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