There’s ignorance, there’s stupidity and then there’s just out of your mind insanity. Which is exactly what Susanne Atanus seems to be suffering from. She’s a Republican from Illinois who’s trying to unseat Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky in Illinois 9th District.
And she’s one of the reasons why I love primary season. Some of the absolute ridiculousness spewing from the mouths of many of these candidates is astonishing.
During the “questionnaire” portion of her primary battle, Ms. Atanus said:
“God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions. Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”
She also blamed diseases like autism and dementia, as well as natural disasters like tornadoes, on advancements in LGBT rights that are currently going on in this country.
In previous questionnaires for ABC Chicago she’s also denied the existence of global warming, and actually claimed that the 1929 stock crash never happened.
As expected, Republican leaders within the state are denouncing her comments.
But as insane as they sound, they didn’t shock me.
I’ve frequently met conservatives here in Texas who honestly believe diseases are God’s wrath for sin and that natural disasters are used by God to punish people.
There are tens of millions of conservatives who deny evolution and believe the Earth is just a few thousand years old, so are her comments really that far off from the beliefs many conservative voters have?
Prominent Republicans often claim homosexuality is a choice and that climate change is some global hoax – ridiculous beliefs aren’t exactly foreign to the GOP.
And while her comments are completely absurd, I’ve heard many religious leaders make these same claims.
Hell, Senator Ted Cruz’s father, a pastor, has made several ridiculous comments such as there’s no science behind evolution, and that communism and evolution go hand in hand. And this is the father of a U.S. Senator who’s a probable (and some say favorite) candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
But at the core of it, who really cares why someone opposes rights for the LGBT community? Whether it’s a more sane Republican who cites the Bible as their reason for opposing gay marriage, or it’s this woman who believes diseases and natural disasters are God’s vengeance for supporting gay rights, both individuals ignorantly oppose those rights based on cherry-picked religious beliefs.
So while Republican leaders might be distancing themselves from her comments, and people might mock them as ludicrous, personally I feel they represent exactly what many conservatives really believe in – ignorance about the LGBT community.
Because at the end of the day, denying someone equal rights is denying someone equal rights. It doesn’t really matter why you do it, just that you’re doing it.
And when it comes to denying homosexuals their equal rights, the Republican party and Ms. Atanus are in complete agreement.