As a secular American, a liberal, and not a paranoid delusional, I spend a lot of time mocking the dire and hyperbolic predictions coming from the religious right. I remember when I was taking ballroom dancing lessons back in 2008 and was informed, the day after the election, the Obama was the anti-christ by another person in the class. Pretending that somehow this has to do with actions and wasn’t present since it looked like Obama would be the Democratic nominee is a favorite trick of the right wing, and they are lying every time they imply that.
That being said, those apocalyptic predictions, for all of their ridiculousness, have practical consequences.
Albert Peterson shot dead his wife and two sons hours after going to church because he dreaded the thought of Obama winning the election, a family friend has revealed.
A confidante of the family for the past 25 years has spoken to MailOnline about the strength and grace of the Peterson family, as well as the torment that plagued Albert which drove him to shoot dead his wife Kathleen and his two sons Christopher and Mathew at their suburban home [near] DC on Sunday.
A history of mental illness, the loss of a dear uncle, and a growing fear of Obama winning a second term in the White House took its toll on the mind of Mr Peterson, a wealthy defense contractor, the friend said.
There are times, when I am being more cynical, that I believe that the Rush Limbaughs of the world, the Matt Barbers and Bryan Fischers and David Bartons, look for these sorts of things to happen, either out of contempt for those foolish enough to believe their rhetoric or a desire to have violence perpetuated on their side, even self-inflicted, in order to craft a narrative to excuse their own extremism. On my more charitable days, I simply remove malice, replacing it with a cynical lack of care of the results of their wild ranting. Very rarely do I believe that they actually buy into their own claptrap, and that may be a fault of mine because the thought that influential people genuinely think that the fever dream of an obscure Greek preacher is about to become real because of an American election frightens me beyond any reason.
Still, make no mistake, this family was killed by irrationality. Four people are dead today because one of them substituted blind faith in vile people for critical thinking. That makes me mad beyond belief, not only that all this guy had to do was laugh at these psychopaths when they predict the End of Everything Ever like so many other people do, but that there are hundreds of Albert Petersons out there, all listening to the same people selling the End of the World in a coating of righteous indignation, and any one of them may take the wingnuts at their word at any point.