Sunday, January 12, 2020

#2293: Anita Staver

Perhaps most familiar as the wife of deranged fundie Mat Staver, Anita Staver is a deranged fundie in her own right and president of Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT hate group (you’d never imagine, from their actions and arguments, that Liberty Counsel fancied liberty; that’s why they had to put “liberty” in their name.)

No fan of public schools, Staver has called them “dangerous, anti-God indoctrination camps” that “threaten our nation’s very survival” because they teach facts and science, like evolution, that Staver does not think children should be exposed to lest their commitment to fundie denialism might start to waver. Pleading with parents to homeschool their children instead, in a column titled “Stealth Creation of Government Indoctrination Camps Underway”, she complained that “millions of helpless people are taken there on busses to be brainwashed and victimized” in “repressive” schools controlled by “secularists, humanists, and socialists.” “Public schools have indeed, become some of the most dangerous places in America,” Staver concluded.

Mostly, though, Staver dislikes LGBT people, who she – albeit totally unable to cite even cursory evidence – perceives to be threat. Staver was for instance part of the group behind the American Prayer Initiative, which offered members a specific prayer for every day of each month until Election Day 2012, including prayers condemning the separation of church and state and homosexuality, and endeavored to pray for God’s “healing for those who struggle with same-sex attraction” and to “replace unnatural affections”. (Other members of the initiative included National Day of Prayer’s Shirley Dobson and Vonette Bright, Janet Parshall, Penny Nance, Susan B. Anthony List’s Marilyn Musgrave, Rebecca Hagelin and Susan Allen.) Staver’s comments on the Florida proposition to enshrine a definition of marriage as between man and woman in the constitution in 2008 probably sum up her views reasonably well: “We don’t need a crystal ball to tell what’s going to happen … Normalizing same-sex marriage will suppress speech and religion. The ultimate goal for those opposing Amendment 2 is to silence all opposition to same-sex behavior and the homosexual lifestyle,” presumably based on what she would do to those who threatened to disagree with her if she had the power to do so – there really is no other justification for the claim. Moreover, noting that the debate, in her mind, is “really a battle over the freedom of speech,” shows that her stance is, unsurprisingly, mere standard wingnut conspiracy mongering based on strong feelings and no facts to appeal to.

She has also taken a strong stance on the imaginary War on Christmas, arguing that when enough people learn the truth, the ACLU and similar “Scrooges” and “grinches” will lose their power to steal Christmas.

Diagnosis: Standard wingnut fundie fare, but Staver definitely wields some power, and must be considered a significant threat to human civilization and well-being.

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