On January 7, second-term Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia and two friends prayed over a door. It was not just any door, but the entranceway beneath the Capitol that President-elect Barack Obama will pass through as he walks onto the inaugural stage to take the oath of office. “I hope and pray that as God stirs the heart of our new president that President Obama will listen and will heed God’s direction,” Broun proclaimed.
While the Capitol prayer partners appeared earnest in the prayers for the president elect’s success, they have each distinguished themselves from their Christian right comrades by leveling some of the most paranoid imprecations Obama has faced since he arrived in the Senate. On November 10, 2008, a week after Obama’s election victory, Broun took umbrage at the President-elect’s call for a national civilian security force, a proposal also backed by George W. Bush. According to Broun, who acknowledged the possibility that he might be “crazy,” Obama had revealed himself as a radical Marxist Nazi socialist comparable to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
"It may sound a bit crazy and off base,” Broun told an AP reporter, “but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force. I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may—may not, I hope not—but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism. That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.”
After seeming to back away from his comments when he was heavily criticized, Broun announced that he was “not taking back anything [he] said.” “I firmly believe that we must not fall victim to the ‘it can't happen here’ mentality,” he declared in a press release. “I adhere to the adage ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’”
The son of a Democratic state senator from the liberal college town of Athens, Georgia, Broun attributes his conservative transformation to the wonder working power of Jesus. Broun’s born-again moment arrived in 1986, during the height of the Reagan Revolution, while he toiled as a doctor in rural Georgia, struggling to keep afloat during the first year of his marriage. He had suffered through several “broken marriages and episodes of broken relationships and financial problems,” Broun recalled during a November 2007 speech on the House floor. While watching an NFL game, Broun became entranced by a “gentleman with this big type hair wig on” holding a “John 3:16” sign. “As I sat there in my office that fall trying to figure out life, I picked up the Bible and read John 3:16,” Broun said. He suddenly transformed into a true believer, a cadre of the Christian right.
(The wigged “gentleman” was Rollen Stewart, an evangelical fanatic and fixture at sports events who is currently serving three consecutive sentences in jail on kidnapping charges as well as several minor sentences for stink bomb attacks).
But voting for an atheist is nuts.
You can see the video at the link.