Tuesday, August 6, 2019

#2224: Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder is currently Senior Lecturer at Regent University, Pat Robertson’s mockery of educational institutions. And prior to that, Schwarzwalder was vice president of the fundamentalist hate group the Family Research Council. In that capacity, Schwarzwalder would for instance call for boycotts of Starbucks, warning that the company may be endangering the country’s economic health by supporting marriage equality. How, you might ask? Well, because “[b]y supporting a movement that would further vitiate the already weakened family unit, [Starbucks CEO Howard] Schultz is tacitly but actively advocating the continued erosion of the institution – the two-parent, heterosexual, traditional and complementary family unit – without which no economy or society generally can thrive.” How recognizing same-sex marriage would lead to erosion of the family unit is not entirely clear (unless Schwarzwalder believes that gay people, if denied same-sex marriage, would instead opt into stable, loving heterosexual marriages), but this really has nothing to do with reason or evidence, of course. Apparently it has something to do with supporting gay rights being a matter of  “show[ing] a lack of love” and sexual intimacy outside of heterosexual marriage leading to “the withering of the soul and the erosion of society.” President Obama thus got it all wrong, since “there is no love in affirming something God declares wrong and harmful, whether it relates to human sexuality or thievery or malice or deception or anything.” Schwarzwalder has also suggested that legalizing gay marriage might lead to civil war.

To change it up a little, Schwarzwalder claimed in 2016 that defending trans rights is “fascistic” and “the banning of dissent”. Apparently legal or political decisions Schwarzwalder don’t agree with are violations of his First Amendment rights and thus contrary to democracy. And indeed, Schwarzwalder is much concerned about First Amendment rights, in particular religious freedom; he has little idea what religious freedom involves, though. “Everyone should be free to agree with me” is not quitethe correct interpretation.

Schwarzwalder has weighed in on other issues, too. He has for instance argued that conservative Christians do not “cherry pick” the Bible when they claim that the Bible’s command to stone rebellious children doesn’t really mean what it says. The guiding principle to reading the Bible is apparently that you should adhere to the Biblical commands Schwarzwalder favors the way he interprets them, and that principe should be applied universally and without exception. He is also a creationist and climate change denialist, of course.

Diagnosis: Precisely what you’d expect from someone in Schwarzwalder’s position: complete rubbish.

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