Wednesday, March 1, 2017

#1800: Sonnie Johnson

Sonnie Johnson is a Breitbart News author and Tea Party Patriot, the kind of person who argues (well, insists) that Obama is a Marxist who may or may not believe in God, but definitely thinks that “God must be dethroned.” It would be interesting (not really) to see how she defines “Marxism”: “Karl Marx had two main goals: to destroy capitalism and to dethrone God,” says Johnson. Not … quite. But you see why Obama is committed to dethroning God, right? “So when you hear the leader of progressivism, aka American Marxism, say that you are doing ‘God’s work,’ understand he means it. He means you’re taking over God’s work. God must be dethroned.” That’s all the subtlety and nuance her fans would ever ask for.

Moreover, if Obama and his ilk are claiming to do God’s work, it’s pretty easy to see that they are lying: “why are the Ten Commandments not allowed in the social services building?” And “why is there even a question if Little Sisters of the Poor have to pay for abortion?” (which I don’t think was an issue that was ever on the table). And not the least: “do we have to ask him [i.e. God] where he stands on marriage?

Johnson is currently affiliated with Blacks for Donald Trump (“we want greatness; we do not want free sh*t”), and seems to still claim that the media “dramatically underestimate[s] Trump’s support among black voters,” cause that’s the evidence she receives when she goes on social media.

Oh, and she’s a creationist. According to Johnson, there are two stories about the creation of the world: evolution or God; and she chooses God, not science, which she – of course – equates with atheism.

Diagnosis: Yes, she has readers. But at least she helpfully illustrates how some of these nutters are approaching the world: everything she doesn’t like is one: atheism, social justice, liberalism, Marxism, blasphemy. Ultimately, she really doesn’t like distinctions, does she?

Monday, February 27, 2017

#1799: Melvin L. Johnson

The title of “dumbest creationist argument ever” has seen some pretty spectacular competition. You may remember the banana argument and the peanut butter argument, and perhaps even “pygmies+dwarves”. A personal favorite is Richard Gunther’s argument against evolution based on the technological regress of civilizations since the stone age – though, really, any argument appealing to the second law of thermodynamics is at least as silly.

But the one used by Melvin L. Johnson, pastor of the Heart of Christ Community Church in Brazoria, TX, for his article in Christian Post (“the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website”) called “My Personal Encounter with Evolutionary Theory,” is a good candidate, too. In said article, Johnson claims that the theory of evolution was developed as “a means to explain through a biological format why black people could and should be maintained as slaves.” You see, the full title of Darwin’s book is The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, and as Johnson points out “What does ‘Favored Races’ mean? The term race refers only to humans, and there have been no voices in any of the hearings that I am aware of who have pressed this point.” The reason would presumably be that the point is stupid and false. Of course, for that very reason the point has, in fact, been pushed plenty by a variety of creationists, from Henry Morris to Paula Weston and Sharon Hughes.

Johnson used the argument as a basis for complaining to school officials about the biology text used in his kid’s school. The complaint also pointed out that “the most primitive fossils were almost always referred to Africa and the most modern findings were European (Neanderthal),” which is further proof that evolution is racist (“By the way, Darwin held a very low of opinion of women, including white”). He also mentioned Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man, which at least suggests familiarity with creationist texts and demonstrates no understanding of evolution or science whatsoever.

But he is just getting started, of course. There is also Hitler, whom Johnson describes as “an evolutionist who praised Darwin” (which, of course, is blatantly false since Hitler rejected evolution, but Johnson is a fundamentalist Christian preacher so apparently the don't lie-rule doesn't), Mussolini and Emperor Hirohito (a first in creationist screeds, as far as we know), and the “communist empires of the Soviet Union, China and smaller but just as brutal leaders and governmental powers” (explicitly including Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Fidel Castro), which in reality rejected and even banned the theory of evolution but according to Johnson’s imagination were all “based in evolutionary doctrine, where men ruled as gods” (the divinity of man is not a central tenet in the theory of evolution). He throws in Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well, since they preached about the death of God and evolution is atheistic and therefore evolution and atheism are the same as Marxism. There is more, but we are done.

Diagnosis: Not very concerned with truth or accuracy, is he? Not particularly influential, we think, but rather typical for the more idiotic strands of creationism so popular among certain segments of the American population.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

#1798: Jerry Johnson

Jerry Johnson is president of something called the Nicene Council, and a raging fundie. As fundies are wont to do, Johnson believes that the end is near, and is actively looking for signs to support that idea. (You can read his “10 signs of God’s judgment upon a nation here, but the web design itself should give you a clue about what you have in store if you decide to do so.) He is also a creationist, and has created some videos using common creationist PRATTs to argue against evolution, which he doesn’t understand at all.

Johnson may, however, be most famous for his anti-Mormon activism. In 2012 Johnson asserted that he would not vote for either Romney or Obama, complained that “the two major parties have given us the choice between voting for the Beast or the False Prophet,” and called the two candidates “twin evils.” He also posted a video explaining “why Mormonism is a cult”.

Diagnosis: Not easy to distinguish from a mass of similar-minded fundamentalists, but that doesn’t make him any less insane. Probably not very influential, though.

Note: I am assuming that he is a different person than president of the NRB Jerry A. Johnson.

Friday, February 24, 2017

#1797: Jay Johnson

There is heavy competition for being the most repugnantly deranged lunatic on the Internet, but Sandy Hook truthers put in a good application. According to them, the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax – arranged by the Obama administration or lizard people from space – cleverly designed to increase sympathy for gun control. Of course, a group unscroupolous and powerful enough to pull that off would likely not need to do so to implement gun control and would surely have been able to come up with a more effective means, but logic, reason and evidence don’t figure high on the list of guiding principles for inquiry among people like these. A brief article on the phenomenon is here.

An important resource for all things Sandy Hook conspiracy is the website It was created by one Jay Johnson, whose (self-reported) credentials include being “the only person in the world to solve LOST.” He claims that he originally created the website to help the victims, but then realized that “it was 99% odds another psychological operation that was going on.” He also emphasizes that he created the website on “12/21/12.” This is significant, “since I am the New Age Messiah, with my Look Your Heart in the Mirror™ as the new revelation from the Goddess Tefnut, aka Ma’at, of Egypt.” So there’s that, too.

Diagnosis: Needs a hug and someone to love and care for him. Desperately. As such it is unfortunate that we need to recommend people to maintain a safe distance, but we probably should.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

#1796: Derek Johnson

Derek Johnson is a state judge in California who, in 2012, got publicly reprimanded by the California Commission on Judicial Performance for going total Akin: “In the commission’s view, the judge’s remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not ‘put up a fight.’ Such comments cannot help but diminish public confidence and trust in the impartiality of the judiciary,” said the commission. With regard to a particularly ugly rape case Johnson alleged that “I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something: If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case.” It doesn’t work that way.

Diagnosis: Completely unqualified for his job.