Hate Comes to the Capitol Plaza

Oh looky, the anti-critical race theory fanatics gathered last night at Montpelier’s Capitol Plaza Hotel! CRT, a purely academic construct understood by few — and by no one who’s taken it up as the latest cudgel in the culture wars — is apparently a front for Marxist indoctrination! Who knew???

This ignorance extravaganza was promoted by Vermont Grassroots, whose tag line is “Empowering Parents and Teachers.” Well, that’s the friendly mask on this angry face; the full motto is “Empowering Parents and Teachers By Exposing Marxism.” The rest of the two-day event was held at the Ignite Church in WIlliston, a notable outpost of far-right Christianity. Or, more accurately, a radical worldview masquerading as Christianity. It’s the kind of thing that’d have Jesus rolling in his grave if he was still there.

(Funny that they put a Montpelier event in the middle of a Williston soiree. I seem to recall that Ignite had a spot of trouble with a Burlington hotel canceling in the face of controversy. Did they have to go all the way to Montpelier to find a willing caterer?)

Vermont Grassroots was the organization behind the series of low-budget, local-talent-only meetings organized around the state last summer by Gregory Thayer, Rutland ideologue and Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. Apparently the group’s budget has increased because now they’re bringing in outside speakers.

Sadly, it’s too late to organize a protest in Montpelier. It’s not too late to let the Capitol Plaza know how you feel about profiting off hatred. However, there will be other opportunities for protest throughout the summer. Vermont Grassroots has planned a series of events designed to fan the flames of manufactured outrage.

And before anyone goes all First Amendment on me, just stop. These jackasses have every right to express their views. And the rest of us have every right to express our views about their views.

Their views, in a word, are contemptible. The two featured speakers are members of a small cadre of anti-CRTers who are making a damn good living by cashing in on the gullibility of conservative Christians. Others in their number will be making their way to Vermont in the next three months. But let’s take a closer look at “Dr.” James Lindsay and Nicholas Meriwether, shall we?

Lindsay is a real piece of work. He’s a former massage therapist who claims to have a doctorate in mathematics, although I can’t find a reference anywhere to the granting institution. Makes me suspect it was from Bud’s Bait Shop and Academy of Advanced Mathematics or some such.

He’s also not a Christian, although he’s spent a lot of time trying to undermine the Southern Baptist Convention with his twaddle. He has found, to his personal gratification, that the Hate Circuit is much more lucrative than massage therapy. His work is heavily promoted by Sovereign Nations, a Christian Reconstructionist organization.

Reconstructionism, for those just tuning in, is devoted to making its vision of ultraconservative Christianity the foundation of American society and, ultimately, of the entire world order.

Wow. That’s neither Christian nor Constitutional.

As for Meriwether, his calling card is refusing to identify a transgender student by their preferred pronoun. He was reprimanded by his superiors at Shawnee State University in Ohio, a tiny and relatively young institution, and later won a free speech lawsuit against the university. Goodie for him. He was still imposing his religious beliefs on a student in a publicly-funded classroom, but whatever.

He was awarded $400,000 in the case, but more importantly, hee became a minor celebrity in far-right circles. I’m sure he’s making a lot more per appearance on the grievance circuit than he used to for a philosophy lecture.

Anyway, this is the caliber of people spearheading this anti-CRT movement. Poseurs, ideologues, opportunists, small-bore academics. Cream o’ the crop. We’ll have the opportunity to hear from more of them, thanks to the efforts of Vermont Grassroots.

Let’s shower them with gratitude.

6 thoughts on “Hate Comes to the Capitol Plaza

  1. gunslingeress

    Since Vermont is factually, according to at least two prominent polling organizations, the LEAST religious state in the nation, your bigoted, anti-Christian remarks should, sadly, be a surprise to no one. Do you not see what you are doing? If not, substitute the word “Jew” for “Christian” and you should. Or do you not remember your past history? You are persecuting people for exercising the very same First Amendment rights you award to the CRT, BLM, etc. people. Or has Vermont come to such a state that diverse points of view are to be squashed? You present conservative Christians in the worst light possible, while presenting groups like CRT and BLM supporters in the best light possible. The former can do no right, and the latter can do not wrong. You are way too blatant. We can see it. It’s called credibility and I don’t think you have a lot right now.

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      “Persecuting”? How in the world am I “persecuting”? I have no power, no authority to “persecute” anyone. Persecution requires a power dynamic that’s not present here. I am commenting on their actions, which I have [checks Constitution] the right to do.

      1. P.

        I the gunslinger got triggered.
        You feel good with ten dead because of CRT and Replacement theory.

      2. gunslingeress

        Persecution does not require a power dynamic, sir. You are wrong. To wander afield from the topic under discussion here before I return to it, I would cite as an example the ordinary German citizens who had no power whatsoever but reported on their Jewish neighbors to the Nazis. They told the Nazis the homes in their neighborhood where Jews were hiding. That was absolutely persecution of Jews by ordinary Aryan people with no power, who did it to curry favor with the authorities out of fear for their own hides. People do not need to persecute with weapons or riots or by passing laws as State authorities. They can persecute with words as well. Or didn’t you read the novels 1984 or Brave New World or Animal Farm? I notice you called out one of the men above for not using the correct gender preferred pronoun that a trans person demanded. From your perspective, was that not a persecution of a transgender person with words? If it wasn’t, then why did you bring it up? Why then call Meriwether out? All he did was refuse to use certain words that another person demanded of him. Or is persecution only to be defined by people with a liberal worldview? Do you see my point? Why is refusing to use words to be condemned, but what you did, that is, USING ACTUAL WORDS on paper in a public forum, okay? So you need to stop doing to one group what you do not approve of for another group. Otherwise, it’s just a political agenda where people are free to disagree, as you did with me. If you are free to disagree, then so is Meriwether. Comment all you wish (First Amendment) but be careful. The rights you demand for your preferred groups need to extend to people with other points of view as well. And we all need to be careful of religious persecution. History is too full of examples to the contrary.

  2. P.

    First, I am wondering if the Ignite church Williston is part of a larger national franchise. A quick look through the website shows an almost cult like grooming behavior and there are bunch of Ignite churches in the country with similar approach.
    Second, “Dr”. Lindsey is the creepy type massage that probably made it through a diploma mill.
    Lastly, may those dead in Buffalo know peace.

  3. Walter Carpenter

    “This ignorance extravaganza was promoted by Vermont Grassroots, whose tag line is “Empowering Parents and Teachers.”

    Keep calling these people out for what they are underneath their facades.


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