Pastor Stephen Broden, a Texas Republican running for Congress and frequent guest on the Glenn Beck program (pictured right with RNC Chairman Michael Steele), has a history of making surprising statements … But this one takes the cake.
He’s running for US Congress in a strongly Democratic district of Dallas, and he’s not going to win — at least, not if the recent polling is any indicator. Ten days out from election day, Broden was trailing Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) by almost 30 percent, according to The New York Times.
So, he’s doing what any longshot contender would do: throwing a “hail mary” to the fringe.
In an apparent appeal to the party’s most radical elements, Broden declared during a recent television interview that if Republicans do not win control of Congress in 2010, violent revolution — while not the “first option” — is “on the table.”
Supporters were quick to distance themselves from the long-shot tea party favorite. Even Glenn Beck, who has hosted Broden six times since August of last year, denounced his support for the south Dallas pastor, telling listeners, “I can’t stand with you at all if you are saying stuff like that.”
So too did The Dallas Morning News, which had endorsed Broden but withdrew its recommendation on Sunday.
“[The] Editorial Board has too many concerns about his judgment,” they explained. “We plan to offer more details in the days ahead.”
For concerns about his judgment, the paper could have looked back to as early as last year, when he told Fox News: “This administration is trying to figure out how to deal with that stress and so they are doing end-of-life counseling in order to depopulate that particular group of people.”
He’s also compared the Obama administration to the most elite in Nazi Germany.
“If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary,” Broden said during the Thursday broadcast in Dallas.
Asked what his thinking means if Republicans fail to take Congress in 2010, he added: “Our nation was founded on violence; the option is on the table. I don’t think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms.”
Jim Schutze, a longtime writer for The Dallas Observer who was working on an as-yet unpublished profile of Broden, panned the News‘s endorsement as poorly researched and “superficial.”
The real reasons to be cautious of Broden, he suggested, is his passionate belief that the pro-choice movement was originally part of a conspiracy by Nazi acolytes to eradicate black people.
One of Broden’s main connections with the Tea types is over right-to-life issues. He is stridently and passionately opposed to abortion — but for reasons The News editorial board probably doesn’t quite ken.
Broden is an important figure in a national movement among African-American thinkers and writers who see concrete historical linkages between abortion, birth control and Planned Parenthood on the one hand, and white racist schemes for the genocidal extermination of black people on the other.
More specifically, these writers, who have done meticulous historical research, argue that the American eugenics movement and some early birth control champions like Margaret Sanger were motivated by a desire to exterminate black people and other minorities. They claim further that there were direct historical ties between Sanger’s disciples and Adolph Hitler and that the American eugenics movement provided Hitler the theoretical pretext for the Holocaust.
Broden is also in what Glenn Beck calls his “Black Robe Regiment,” which is a reference to revolutionary-era pastors who spoke out about issues of their day.
(Though having castigated black churches involved in social justice efforts — saying he would leave any church that tried to tell him how to vote — Beck admits to having worked with James Dobson, a prominent figure in the religious right who has made a career out of using religion to boost conservative political candidates.)
“Broden represents not just the religious right, and not just the tea party, but the volatile tea party-religious right marriage, where claimed religious imperatives meld with assertions of the ‘tyranny’ of the federal government, and where accepted elements of a liberal civil society are routinely depicted as godless oppression in need of revolutionary, and even violent change,” summarized Sarah Posner, writing for Religion Dispatches magazine. “I wonder if he’d object to being thrown out of office, should he be elected.”
Broden has since backed away from his comments, suggesting he was only speaking about a “theoretical” violent overthrow of elected Democrats.
“In 2010, the only way to bring about change is through the ballot box,” he told the Morning News.
This video is from WFAA in Dallas, broadcast Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010.