Here is the link to the Fresh Air interview and here is the link to his book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party.
Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. has Tourette syndrome and largely speaks through his wife, shuns the media, and for some reason decided to speak to me in 2004. He was the man behind Proposition 8 in California, which banned same-sex marriage. Proposition 22 in California, before that, the intelligent design movement, he’s donated $2.8 million to that. Countless right-wing Christian right causes across the country that have been successful have been funded by Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr.
And the reason that I was interested in him is because he embodies the sensibility of the movement that I’m writing about in my book, Republican Gomorrah, that controls the Republican Party. At age eighteen, Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. inherited $300 million from his father, who had just dropped dead. His mother died soon after. And he basically went crazy. He literally went crazy and wound up in a mental institution. When he came out of the mental institution, he found, as so many people do who have had a personal crisis and are seeking some kind of means of transcending it, evangelical religion.And he found R.J. Rushdoony, who I talked about earlier. He became Rushdoony’s financial angel, and Rushdoony became his surrogate father. And he helped—and he declared, Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., in 1985, that “My goal for this country is the literal application of biblical law and its integration into our daily lives,” which was the goal of Rushdoony. And he’s doing this through mainstream mechanisms through the Christian right. He’s able to still succeed, even with the Democrats in power, through ballot measures in California. And what it really is about is about creating this, what they see as this theocratic utopia, which is actually becoming a Republican Gomorrah.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Right-wing craziness and ID
Under normal circumstances, the current health care debate (however crazy it gets) would not show up here. However, here is a Fresh Air interview with Max Blumenthal that talks about the craziness on the right - and (perhaps not too surprisingly) it gets connected even to the Intelligent Design movement in the US. The interview is about how and why the Christian right is painting Obama as Hitler, Stain, un-American, non-American, Muslim, socialist, communist, etc etc. You should listen to the whole interview to get to know some of the craziest people out there - including those who want to have a theocratic US - and many of them even have some access to main stream media (hmm..Fox). So where does ID comes in? Listen to the bit about 20 minutes into the interview. One of the major donors to right-wing Christian causes is Howard Ahmanson Jr. and he gave the Discovery Institute $2.8 million to support ID. Here is Blumenthal from another interview: