Montana State Sen. Theresa Manzella said if LGBTQ people didn’t want to experience physical violence, then they should have decided to not be LGBTQ / Photo courtesy of Sebastian Bergmann via Wikicommons under CC BY-SA 2.0
Do you have the devil in you? If not, then what are you waiting for? ’Tis the season, after all.
Flu shot season, that is. And COVID-19 vaccination booster season. And if saving your own life or the life of someone else — not to mention keeping yourself and others out of the hospital and from suffering a serious illness — isn’t a big enough incentive, how about a big ol’ helping of Satan?
According to “Demon Slayer” Stella Immanuel, getting the COVID-19 vaccine puts the devil in you.
“If you’ve taken this vaccine, there’s a way out,” she told right wing talk show host Pete Santilli, a self-proclaimed “raw & real” commentator. “If you repent and cry out to God for Mercy, he will deliver you.”
OR you could look at the vaccine as a gift from God? I mean, if you believe in that. If not, it’s fun to tell people your blood is flowing with the power of Lucifer.
To be clear: vaccines are not witchcraft. Get vaccinated if you haven’t already. JFC.
Speaking of JFC, a State Senator in Montana had some really charitable things to say about LGBTQ+ people recently.
The Missoulianreported that on November 17, Sen. Theresa Manzella (a Republican, obviously) said out loud into a microphone during something called the “God, Country, Family” tour that if LGBTQ people didn’t want to experience physical violence, then they should have decided to NOT be LGBTQ.
“They like to play the protected class card and they’re the minority and they’re discriminated against and they’re scared to walk down the street hand in hand,” Manzella said. “I’ve got to tell you, I think those are normal consequences associated with the choices they made.”
Apparently this is the Christian way of saying, “Fuck around and find out.”
Manzella has since said she was taken out of context, but Missoulian reporter Skylar Rispens says she was not. According to Rispens, who posted a transcript of the remarks on Twitter, Manzella continued, “We don’t prevent them from doing that. Besides being a minority, my rights and your rights are given to me and you as individuals by God and protected by the Constitution, and the smallest minority on earth is the individual. And those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”
Huh. Okay. So SHE has rights that can’t be denied, but LGBTQ people don’t, I guess?
It all comes down to religious freedom, see. Why should good Christians have to — oh, I don’t know — refrain from violence against their fellow man if they think their fellow man is a pervert?
“My right to live a righteous lifestyle based on my sincerely held beliefs does not end where their choice to live a perverse lifestyle begins,” Manzella said.
Also, according to The Missoulian, there were 15 protesters outside of this event who “donned pride flags, a rainbow fish windsock and handmade signs along the road to greet attendees on their way to the church and show their support of local LGBTQ youth.” Thank you sincerely to those 15 people.
Oh, and apparently the church this “tour” was held at is located on Clown Lane. CLOWN LANE! And people say that God doesn’t have a sense of humor.
Unsurprisingly, people are upset about Manzella’s comments. The Democrats in Montana’s legislature want her stripped of her seat on the Children, Families, Health and Human Services Interim Committee. According to the Billings Gazette, House Minority Leader Kim Abbott and Senate Minority Leader Jill Cohenour sent a letter to Senate President Mark Blasdel, a Republican.
“Sen. Manzella’s remarks are nothing short of offensive, dangerous and unacceptable,” the letter read. “LGBTQ Montanans have always been valued members of our communities, and they deserve the basic dignity and respect owed to everyone in our state — the most basic of which is to be able to live their lives without fear of violence.”
But people living with the constant fear of violence is basically the Republican M.O. these days. Vote them out. Everywhere.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.