Here is a little blog post offered as a companion to my column this morning and drawn from a discussion yesterday afternoon with Jason Rapert.
He tells me that the national media posts accusing him of racism in his country pulpit jive session at that Tea Party rally caused him to receive what the State Police told him were “credible” threats on his and his family’s life.
I have no reason to disbelieve him, and, indeed, understand that a nation al posting of a video that, taken without context, seems to indicate blatant racial bigotry could indeed spur some evil reaction of that kind.
It is important to get these kinds of issues right. Rapert’s bigotry was not racial, but religious. His outrage was to call for a theocracy. His offense was to pander as a demagogue. Race is not any part of it.
Now, Rapert denied to me any religious bigotry by telling me a long dramatic story, as is his wont, about his Holy Ghost MInistries missionary work in Muslim land. I told him his story was nice, but that it had nothing to do with the issue.
He acknowledged only one thing — he gets too preacher-like in his political communication, but is better about that. He stressed that the offending video was from nearly two years ago, when he was a state Senate rookie.
He also claims that the pro-choice crowd is reacting so vigorously because it knows his bill is constitutional.
That is simply nonsense. It reacts so vigorously because the bill is such a flagrantly unconstitutional affront to the rights and respect of women.
Oh, and he said he was talking about President Obama’s blowing off a National Prayer Day, not blowing off the National Prayer Breakfast.
Yeah, Ok. He said National Prayer Breakfast. But it’s quite possible he misstated because, after all, his whole country pulpit jive was fabricated nonsense.