The Reverend Bill Keller: God’s Gift to Debunkers

When you spend your time watching for inaccurate information in order to debunk it, you sometimes dream about the “big one.” You know, that story that will come out with an untruth in every sentence, full from start to finish with lies, hysteria, and bad grammar. And though you sometimes lose hope, it’s often just at that point that someone like Bill Keller comes along and fulfills all your wildest fantasies.

That’s right, Bill Keller, of “A vote for Romney is a vote for Satan” fame, is at it again. This time, he’s got a press release out complaining that the Mormon Church gets closer to world domination every time someone looks at Mitt Romney without shielding their eyes and genuflecting. No, I don’t believe the guy needs more attention, so normally I’d pass on commenting, but I can’t help it on this one. After a few battles with some legitimately smart and credible people these past weeks, I’m ready for some low-hanging fruit. We’re talking low-hanging, like potatoes.

Where to begin? You want factual inaccuracies? How about the charge that PBS recently aired a “propaganda” piece for the Mormons called “A September Dawn.” (PBS recently aired a documentary called “The Mormons”- which many found less than flattering. There is a movie coming out later this summer called “September Dawn” which is neither connected to PBS nor kind to the Mormons by any stretch). Keller announces that Romney “will soon” deliver a “Kennedy-esque” speech on his faith, a possibility that, while speculated upon, has never been confirmed in any public media, let alone by the campaign itself. Or how about the charge that young Mormon missionaries are now knocking on doors using the greeting “we’re from ‘Mitt Romney’s Church!” That’s about as likely as Bill Keller deciding to become a Mormon himself– absolutely impossible. Or else Joseph Smith’s prophesy that a Mormon president would someday save the constitution (never happened), or the allegation that the Mormon Church, (which studies and teaches both Old and New Testaments, and believes in Jesus, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul and all of their teachings), is “100% inconsistent with Biblical Christianity.” He couldn’t grant us even two percent, just for stocking the Bible in our Church libraries?

Or is nonsensical sentence construction your cup of tea? Try this on for size (remember, this is a formal, final press release, which, back in the old days, people used to “proof read” before sending out):

The head of the Mormon’s chief apologetics website FAIR recently used my public comments exposing this cult as the work of Satan it is in their latest fundraising effort to their constituency.

Or what about this:

People thought I was crazy when I said “a vote for Romney is a vote for Satan!” They thought my logic of having a member of the Satanic Mormon cult wouldn’t draw people to their cult” says Keller . . .

Speaking of logic, there’s plenty of that here too. How about this delightful little oxymoron:

Make no mistake about it, this multi-billion dollar, media-savvy, well-run cult based in Salt Lake City is in full attack mode . . .

Wow. So the Mormons really have the best of both worlds– they’re sophisticated financial and media players, they’re quite well run . . . and they’re a cult. How many other cults can you think of that are also worth multi-billions of dollars and have the press eating out of the palms of their hands? Hmm. David Koresh is the only one that comes to mind.

Bill Keller would be easy to dismiss out of hand, except that his claim to have 2.4 million subscribers can’t be a complete fabrication. Sure, the TV show he brags about comes on at 1 in the morning, apparently only in one city, but if he has that many listeners to his online programs, he’s having an impact somewhere. Sadly, this press release appears to be nothing more than an attempt to gain more listeners. There’s no coherent thesis in the release, just odd figments of Keller’s imagination strung together into something he could publish to keep up the buzz about his own name– probably something he became intoxicated on after his last media blitz.

Regardless of his intentions, though, it’s always fun to have one of my own prejudices confirmed- the creeping suspicion that the truly hateful bigots out there are, under all that bile and vitriol, just plain dumb. Thanks Reverend Bill!

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