Irascible Theocrats in the Treasure Valley

Originally to have been more national in scope, I dropped it rapidly to our local theofest.

This is the type of shit that tends to irritate the shit out of me and tends to make my blood boil over. The irascible theocrats who think they are much more regnant than they actually even appear to be- regardless of the form of bullshit they spew.

First up – Mitt Romney and his stupid bigoted crap about blacks and Muslims on his staff or involved in decision making. The clip here from TPM is one I actually watched on CNN the other day. He doesn’t believe in quotas or filling slots based on quotas. However later on in the response, as Josh Marshall references, to the question posed by Mansoor Ijaz regarding the inclusion of Muslims in his cabinet, Romney had this to say.

He answered, “…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.

Romney, whose Mormon faith has become the subject of heated debate in Republican caucuses, wants America to be blind to his religious beliefs and judge him on merit instead. Yet he seems to accept excluding Muslims because of their religion, claiming they’re too much of a minority for a post in high-level policymaking. More ironic, that Islamic heritage is what qualifies them to best engage America’s Arab and Muslim communities and to help deter Islamist threats.

Romney wants to use his religion to make judgments regarding various issues but does not want his religious faith or preference to be the subject of any conversation as he claims it is not particularly relevant. It is SO relevant when it’s used as a model to hold yourself above others, which is just what Romney does.

I had some other relevant examples, but I’m going to jump straight to the one most close to home – Emmett, to be more precise, and Mr. Steven Thayn.

Mr. Thayn, (R-Emmett) is the chair for the Family Task Force with the Idaho Legislature:

Charge: To study the magnitude of the decline of the family since 1950; the effects the decline has had on state social policies; the reasons for the decline, and ways to strengthen the family.

Why? No – seriously . . . . why? And just since 1950? As Kevin Richert pointed out in the Idaho Statesman: “The first-term lawmaker and father of eight acted as if he had all sort of answers about how 1.4 million Idahoans should run their households. He set himself up as an authority.

Oh yeah, the moral authority . . . . now growing up in an evangelical fundamentalist home (Assembly of God & Foursquare Gospel types) overwrought with unworthiness and the constant specter of violence, I have no use for those who spout Jesusisms™ and delight in holding up to the rest of us how WE shall be held in the eyes of G*d. As for my mother, she was simply ‘encouraged’ to accept her lot since my father rarely touched us. He just beat the shit out of her whenever he felt like it without interference from or disapproval from those who mattered most to my family – our church leaders. Our moral authority. Pfffttt!

Then in the seemingly typical Ted Haggard style, Mr. Thayn’s proposal of wanting to throw back society just a mere 40-plus years (rather than 400 years in some quarters) was disrupted. I then see this post at The Mountain Goat Report. This bastion of moral authority, all whilst proffering and glowing in the apparentness of being the kingpin of moral authority and spouting the necessary life moralisms, has a son who was being arrested for domestic violence (battery) while Mr. Thayn was pursuing said throwback.

Yep – the very same Mr. Thayn – who lambasted mothers who work as apparently being part-n-parcel of the destruction of society AND helping in the furthering of the destruction of the family and promotion of domestic violence – that Mr. Thayn, his son – no doubt a product of Mr. Thayn’s and Mrs. Thayn’s stay-at-homeness and upbringing, was arrested for “domestic battery” (violence).

See that’s the thing. When you’re a state legislator, you’re in the public domain. And when YOU are a state legislator and YOU present yourself (and your family) as the model of what the ‘model family’ should resemble, then you’re definitely in the public domain. AND – furthermore – when you or your ‘model family’ cannot and do not, oh, I don’t know, consistently perform within the confines of that model, then you’re MOST DEFINITELY in the public domain. If you cannot be that which you say you are – then don’t say that you are. Get it.

Court documents show that Thayn received a standard plea arrangement for a first offense. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, paid court costs and a fine and was required to attend anger management classes as a condition of probation. It’s unclear whether he spent time in jail or did community service.

Now – a little background. My sister married a man, who is Mormon, some 30 years ago. My brother-in-law, while considering himself a worthy Mormon, was all that while beating the shit out of my sister from time to time, not to mention the completely outlandish controlling shit he did in which he wouldn’t have survived a day in my scope doing, but that’s another story. I was banned from their home for four Thanksgivings because when my sister FINALLY told me he had hit her (not that it was ongoing, but just this time thing), I called my brother-in-law up at work and told him the next time she told me he touched her, I would come over there myself, put my hands around HIS throat and choke the living shit out of him. My sister has repeatedly stated that their “bishops” have always been aware of the violence in their home and yet there were no sanctions of any kind against my brother-in-law. My sister once lost her “calling” because she brought it up – or at least that’s what she thinks.

When my sister finally broke down and told me it was an ongoing atmosphere of violence in their home, just as there had been in ours when growing up, they had been married close to 25 years. It’s the reason I returned to Idaho. They’re divorced now. In the last four years of their marriage, my brother-in-law was arrested twice for domestic violence. Yeah, he – just like the Thayns – presented himself (and still presents himself) as the model Mormon or Christian.  (Edited on Sat: It was pointed out in the comments that I seemed to be saying Thayn is Mormon. I don’t know the religious preference of the Thayns.  My b-i-l, who I was referencing, is Mormon.)

Now as much as I cannot stand my brother-in-law, he is not a state legislator who promotes his values as “the values” and bolsters his family apparent aggrandizers of those values.

Mr. Thayn has done that. And when one of Mr. Thayn’s ‘models’ is arrested for the very thing Mr. Thayn rales against, it is not only a matter of public record, it is a matter of public interest. It’s as simple as that. It’s called hypocrisy.

Now, there appears there’s more. Mr. Thayn’s son, Damon Thayn, the arrestee – it appears his wife is pregnant. So not only is there the problem of domestic violence against a woman, there’s the problem of smacking around, throwing down, holding down, ……. what else? to a pregnant woman. Good looking out there for the life of your unborn child, Damon. Yep, nothing like those good ole 1950s theocratic values with respect for women, children, and all forms of chattel. Forty or four hundred years, what’s the difference?

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5 Responses

  1. Sorry I haven’t been by recently. Got you on the favorites now. Loved the post and the personal story. I have a few of those myself as I was raised in IF and “family issues” never got to the courthouse before being addressed in the stakehouse. Sometimes they were remanded there by the judges. And the women always suffered as a result.

  2. Great post, and as Sis points out the personalization puts a face to the issue. I believe the way to make changes here is to put people and faces behind the issues and you’ve done that very nicely, although I wouldn’t wish on anyone the face of domestic violence.

  3. Do you have any proof — other than people making assumptions on blogs or chatrooms — that Thayn is Mormon? His personal website ( http://www.reclaimidaho.com/ ) has a lot of opinions that are quite outside the mainstream of LDS teachings and thought (particularly with respect to public education.) To be honest, he sounds more like a Calvary Chapel type. Also, I’m quite surprised, and saddened, to hear that your sister wasn’t helped by her Church leaders. In any ward I’ve been in, the Bishopric wouldn’t have overlooked abuse like that.

  4. Had to reread that…..I’ll edit that. I don’t know the religious preference of the Thayn’s. Any reference to ‘model Mormon’ in my post is in reference to my brother-in-law.

    Just an FYI for the heck of it and for the record, I’m not entering any fray. My field of vision (so to speak) is the theocratic shoving that goes on.

  5. I know Steven Thayn well, and he is a Mormon.

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