Ever wonder what goes on inside the small minds of fundamentalist Christian men? Want to know how they justify their blatant anti-woman policies and practices? Are they for real? Do they even know how hateful and intolerably ignorant they sound?
Thanks to Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a fundamentalist black pastor and up-and-coming Republican leader, there’s now a YouTube video which perfectly sums up the Religious Right’s core beliefs about women.
“One thing I know for sure, without a doubt, women cannot handle power,” says Peterson, in a 12-minute tirade posted to the “bondinfo” YouTube channel recently as a part of the Reverend’s “Exploring Your Destiny” video series.
“It is not in them to handle power in the right way,” he continues, “they don’t know what to do with it.” Really? That’s some blatant misogyny right there, folks. Ah – but Rev. Peterson is just getting started …
“It’s not real power anyway … it’s all ego-building. Real, true power come [sic] from God, and God is the one that gave man the power and authority over the wife, and to spiritually guide the world in the right way to go.”
According to the website listed at the end of the video, “BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, is a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to ‘Rebuilding the Family By Rebuilding the Man.’ BOND was Founded by Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson who is also its President.”
Rev. Peterson has been busy lately making himself a reputation for strident religiously-motivated bigotry. In January, the Tea Party leader and author of “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America,” caused a stir by suggesting that unemployed African Americans need to be sent “back to the plantation so they would understand the ethic of working.”
“I hope that once [black people] hear the truth, they will pull away from the Democratic Party and their godless leaders,” Peterson told the Huffington Post. “When you tell them the truth first, they become upset … They think if you’re black and conservative, you’re an Uncle Tom. Once you let them yell and scream and carry on — because they will carry on — and when they calm down, they understand.”
“Women are now degraded. Women have no shame,” Peterson laments in reference to Sandra Fluke’s courageous congressional committee testimony. “This woman’s sitting there testifying about … all the sex they having [sic] … and it’s really all about maintaining the freedom to kill babies in the womb.”
During his sermon, Rev. Peterson is wringing his hands as he explains how “all these women are into all this stuff [sex out of wedlock] with no shame – women would not have done that in the good old days.”
That’s right – it’s all about shameless women, whom Peterson says, do not realize they present themselves as sluts.
Apparently emboldened by the fact that none of the Christian women in his audience objected by hurtling heavy objects at his imbecilic head, Peterson continues, “It’s unfortunate that women are allow.., that men are so weak, they’ve been so intimidated that they allow these women to just run wild and screw up everything – including their souls, and their children.”
In the good old days, men knew that women are crazy and they knew how to deal with them … sadly for religious wannabe-cave dwellers, those days are gone …
“And if you speak up about it, Satan got [sic] it set up – through the women – that you’re gonna be punished in some kind of way.”
The Reverend is certainly not going to play into the Devil’s hands by refusing to speak his mind when it comes to the inherent, abysmal flaws of shameless women.
“They can’t handle stress. They can’t handle anything. You walk up to them with a issue [sic], they freak out right away. … They go nuts. They get mad. They get upset – just like that. They have no patience because it’s not in their nature. They don’t have love. They don’t have love.”
Heard enough? The majority of people who commented on this vile video could not watch more than a minute or two without feeling nauseated and violently angry due to the straight-out ludicrousness and unqualified misogyny of Reverend Peterson’s sermon.
Those lacking a masochistic proclivity to endure malicious, hate-filled bible-thumping missed the ironic spectacle of a black man bemoaning the evils of women’s suffrage:
“I think that one of the greatest mistakes America made was to allow women the opportunity to vote. We should’ve never turned this over to women,” Peterson complains. “And these women are voting in the wrong people. They’re voting in people who are evil who agrees [sic] with them who’re gonna take us down this pathway of destruction. And this probably was the reason they didn’t allow women to vote when men were men. Because men in the good old days understood the nature of the woman. They were not afraid to deal with it. And they understood that, you let them take over, this is what would happen.”
He goes on to blame women for all the supposed evils of modern society: homosexuality, “this gay marriage thing,” losing our right to bear arms, freedom to “speak truth,” … all this debauchery “because women are in a position of power.”
“Wherever women are taking over, evil reigns.”
It is no surprise that religious misogynists focus on shame when attempting to keep women in line. According to psychologist Dr. Darrel Ray, author of Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality, “religions have found shame to be a powerful tool for maintaining religious conformity and to control or limit sexual behavior.”
There is nothing so disheartening to me as when I hear women defending “The Big Guy” – and African American men who rationalize and advocate for the subjugation of fellow human beings in the name of God are no less pathetic.
As PZ Myers points out, Rev. Peterson is “incoherent and stupid, completely lacking in charisma, with a speaking style that makes you wonder if he’d been stunned with a hammer …” – so what’s the big deal? Nobody takes this loser seriously, do they?
As a former fundamentalist Christian woman and editor of a “pro-life, pro-family” Christian political newspaper for 16 years, I spent a lot of time in the company of patriarchal right-wing men – and from my experience, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is not exceptionally extreme or outlandish in fundamentalist circles. What makes Peterson “edgy” is that he has the audacity to speak aloud what most right-wing men truly believe about women – the Reverend is aberrant only because he is outspoken enough to post his misogynist views on YouTube.
Recently, conservative analyst, Kristen Powers, confronted Rev. Peterson about his misogynistic sermon when she and Peterson appeared together on Sean Hannity’s “Great American Panel.” Watch as Powers shamelessly hijacked Hannity’s program to lambaste Peterson, saying, “You are a pastor distorting God’s word for misogyny … when you say you leave a woman alone in charge a family and she destroys the family.”
Notice that when Powers directly called on the host to denounce Peterson’s regressive views on women, Hannity, who is a BOND advisory board member, issued not a single word of censure, but chose instead to steer the conversation back to the topic of President Obama taking credit for killing Osama bin Laden.
Peterson has endorsed Mitt Romney, saying, “Love of God, family and country are the most important values in my life. All are under attack in America as never before. I believe that Governor Romney, though not without flaws in his record, is a decent, highly capable man who believes in these same values.”
Yes, America is under attack – and she’s going down because brazen women are taking over.
Where’s your shame, right-wing Christian political leaders? Where are the outcries of socially conservative evangelicals protesting the Reverend’s anti-woman screed? Their silence speaks volumes.
The real shame is this: as an ultra-conservative black man, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is the darling of the Religious Right. What he says is the undiluted substance of what the Republican troglodytes believe about “their” women.