Monday, March 25, 2019

#2163: Robert Ritchie

Robert Ritchie is the rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan and executive director of America Needs Fatima (ANF), a project of the right-wing American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (we’ve dealt with them a couple of times before), and one might naturally suspect that he is therefore related in some way to last entry’s John Ritchie. Robert Ritchie is in any case just as delusional as John, and exhibits a similar level of deranged fundie wingnuttery and paranoia. For instance, in November 2013 Ritchie linked tornadoes that hit Illinois to the state’s recent approval of a marriage equality bill “Do you think the massive Illinois tornadoes are linked to the passing of the same sex ‘marriage’ bill? The massive tornadoes that hit Illinois after the passing of the same sex ‘marriage’ bill, has stimulated many people to reflection. In it, some see God’s chastisement; others see it as yet one more merciful warning from Providence; others yet deny both options and give various reasons. What do you think?” Oh, yes – he’s just JAQing off. Do you think we can find an example of Betteridge’s law of headlines, too? You bet: “Is the Voice of God Resounding in the Recent Catastrophes,” asks a contemporaneous ANF article, which promptly goes on to blame homosexuality for a range of natural disasters.

Responding to the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic church, Ritchie suggested that we should “pray for the priests.” This is not a proper response.

Ritchie is also a creationist, celebrating in his post “Why Evolution Is The Lonely Dinosaur” survey polls that suggest that many teachers in public schools fail to teach the theory of evolution properly and many even promote creationism. Ritchie suggests that “[m]aybe it is time to tell the liberal establishment to let the dinosaur evolve into something more believable?” since scientific theories are really political creeds and scientific truth should be decided by the practices of American public school teachers. His blog also promotes global warming denialism (e.g. Gary Isbell’s guest post “How Global Warming Stopped 16 Years Ago”, promoting one of the hoariest denialist myths in the repertoire.

Diagnosis: A predictable mix of bigotry, denialism, fundamentalism and moral corruption. But as mentioned in the previous post, these fundie Catholic groups still seem to wield quite a bit of power and influence.

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