Illustration by Kerry P. Talbott
In all honesty, I am not especially keen on writing about E.W. Jackson. It's as if I have seen this newsreel over and over. So instead of engaging in a lot of frustrated hand-wringing over why the Virginia GOP would nominate a candidate for lieutenant governor who makes the candidate at the top of the ticket look like a Birkenstock-wearing dude who just rolled up to Floyd Fest in his Subaru wagon with a COEXIST sticker on the bumper, I will just let you stroll through some of his words. But for fun, I've added quotes from other folks to see if you can pick out which ones came from Jackson.
"The idea that Barack Obama is a Christian is laughable. ... This is a man who has deceived the country, lied about who he really is. … [He] is, at best, a confused man, is, at worst, has the sensibilities — and I don't know how this combination works — of an atheist and a Muslim."
"I think some of the people who claim to be Mormon or claim to be this or claim to be that, that's all they're doing. They're just claiming. … They don't believe it or feel it in their hearts."
"Our Founding Fathers believed that there should never be a religious test, and yet that's what we're seeing today."
Indeed we are, insightful speaker of the third quote — who happens to be Jackson. So who said the other two? Well, they also came from Jackson, who seems to have no problem applying a religious test of his own for those who hold public office, from the president to Senate Majority Leader — and Mormon — Harry Reid.
OK, let's examine these quotes about the science behind creationism:
"Scientists have made much of the fact that chimpanzees have been trained to use sign language. They take this as proof that primates are our ancestors because they, like us, have ‘language capacity.' It is amazing the length to which people will go to prove what is so palpably false. ... There is an unfathomable gulf between humans and all other creatures because creation was designed that way. No amount of time or theorizing will ever bridge that gulf. Only mankind was made to represent the divinity and genius of God himself."
"Creationism, in essence, is believing that the world began as the Bible in Genesis says, that God created the Earth in six days, six 24-hour periods. And there is just as much, if not more, evidence supporting that."
If you guessed that Jackson, pastor and founder of Exodus Faith Ministries, said or actually wrote the first quote in his 2008 book Ten Comandments to an Extraordinary Life, you'd be correct! And if you spotted the typo in the title as it appeared in print, give yourself a bonus point. If you had any idea that the second quote came from the once fast-rising and hard-sinking star of the Republican Party Christine O'Donnell, then you clearly are up on your batty candidates! Personally, I don't care what you believe, but if there's any chance you might have a say over what my kids are being taught in science class, then I care a whole bunch.
Now here are a few quotes on what seems to be Jackson's favorite subject, homosexuality:
"The sodomites have taken over the country, and this country has given itself over to immorality. We want to warn the nation, let them know that God is not going to let this country get by with that kind of degeneracy."
"Their minds are perverted, they're frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality."
"Homosexuality is a horrible sin, it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of."
"The reality is they'll never feel satisfied because in their heart of hearts there will always be that place that God put there that says this is wrong, it is immoral, it is perverse, it is degenerate, and there is nothing they can ever do to overcome that so they got to try to change the culture hoping that it will make them feel at peace."
Jackson said them all, except for the first quote. That one came from Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, which protests outside the funerals of fallen American soldiers. Oh, and here's another pair just for fun:
"The President has proclaimed June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Pride Month. Well that just makes me feel ikky all over. Yuk!"
OK, maybe that was too easy. The first was a tweet from Jackson. The second was my 10-year-old son watching TV.
Last one, a single quote from 2010. Did E.W. Jackson say it?
"Authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not from the threat of force."
Sorry, that was a trick. That lucid libertarian philosophy wasn't from Jackson.
It came from Barbie in Toy Story 3.