The Importance of Being Ernest: Wisconsin GOP Candidate Seeks To Outlaw Homosexuality, Abortion, and Pornography

Ernest J. Pagels is a politician who is not just satisfied with balancing the budget. He is campaigning on a promise to “outlaw” homosexuality as well as abortion and pornography. You may think he is running for Kandahar city council on the Taliban ticket, but he is one of the candidates vying for the GOP slot to challenge Russ Feingold in the Senate.

Here is Pagels’ pitch:

Hi my name is Ernest J. Pagels Jr., I’m a born again Christian, a U.S. veteran and a very conservative Republican. I’m running for U.S. Senate from the state of Wisconsin and if elected I will initiate a bill to outlaw homosexuality, abortion, and all forms of pornography. I think these are three ills that are plaguing our nation and bringing it down. And if elected, I will also initiate a bill for a Constitutional amendment which prohibits Congress and the President from spending more money than they bring in. My name is Ernest J. Pagels, Jr. and I hope you vote for me on September 14.

The campaign commercial is followed by a quotation from Matthew 28:17:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Pagels will apparently teach all of us “to obey everything” commanded by the Bible. The problem it appears is runaway freedoms. Algernon observed the same thing in the The Importance of Being Ernest”: “Oh, it is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn’t. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn’t read.”Algernon, Act 1.

55 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Ernest: Wisconsin GOP Candidate Seeks To Outlaw Homosexuality, Abortion, and Pornography”

  1. jonathanturley

    “… remind the couple that one of the best ways to enjoy a Honeymoon is to engage in vigorous debates on the blog. It is the foundation for a lasting and passionate relationship. …”


    Oh brother!

  2. Jill,

    I first saw Sharlet on Maddow … he kept postponing his vacation to make appearances … then I read the book.

    The Family’s membership is made up of one nut-case after the other and we can’t afford to ignore them soooo,

    I recommended the book to my book club and the discussions were fantastic. Three other local book clubs are now reading the book and the last I heard two others have it on their list.

    It’s the way I chose to get the word out and it’s working.

  3. Hi Mike,

    This is a quote from Carlin on Greenwald’s blog, (the video clip is there as well). ” Of America’s elite, Carlin says: “I’ll tell you what they don’t want — a population of citizens capable of critical thinking . . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests” I think that pretty much sums it up!

  4. Jill, I read the Sharlet book this past spring. Scary stuff. I found it particularly interesting that the Family’s origins are rooted in anti-union activities in the Pacific Northwest. I’m certain that Mr. Pagels fits in comfortably with that tradition, opposing unions, gays and, of course, gay unions.

  5. Elaine M.:
    Best wishes to the mother of the bride. Have fun dancing!

    I hope you didn’t soil your blue suede shoes.

  6. Oh this is rich. Haven’t we identified a pattern concerning people who scream the loudest? Aren’t their closets the ones constructed with no ilumination at all? I do miss Mike Spindell’s analysis on this type of miscreant.

    Funny who buys the most porn:

    Porn in the USA: Conservatives are biggest consumers

    “Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by,”
    Benjamin Edelman at Harvard Business School.

  7. I know the hotel in Victoria you are talking about Elaine. Been there myself a few times. Congratulations again and the food sounds wonderful.

  8. Another Canidate for the AZ State Society of Utopian Living……

  9. Thanks, Professor Turley. The crab cakes are my daughter’s favorite. She used to bring them home from the restaurant when she worked there during her high school/college years. They are the best I’ve ever had.

    I hope you and Leslie have a grand stay in Vancouver! My husband and I once stopped for an elegant tea at a fancy hotel in Victoria. That was a half-lifetime ago.

    I’ll see what I can do about encouraging the young couple to become Turley regulars. They’re usually beat by the end of a workday. They’re both licensed social workers for the Department of Children and Families. I should add that my daughter is no “silent Suzy.” She is an inveterate wise*ss like her mother–and isn’t afraid to express her opinion or stand up for herself. I’m sure there will be many vigorous debates in her household.

  10. Hello Elaine and Congratulations.

    As I said, I don’t think Feingold is a member of The Family. However, the fact that he is Jewish would have nothing to do with his membership. Sharlet’s book explains why being of any religion isn’t important, it’s only being a person of power that counts. The Family works with the powerful of every religion. period.

    As to Obama, I think leaders who are true leaders would refuse to associate themselves with the prayer breakfast, which is sponsored by The Family. Would you accept a politician hosting an antisemitic prayer meeting? This is really no different. The Family preaches a level of hatred for common people that is repulsive. I’m not certain how much of the book you read because you seem like a very kind person and I cannot believe you would countenance any of their beliefs. I think they would horrify you. Further, one must look squarely at Obama’s actions. Three of them for squarely within the philosophy of The Family. Obama has, in his own words, 1. claimed the right to imprison the innocent 2. claimed he may kill any American citizen that he wishes should he deem them a terrorist and 3. has authorized the use of drones even though it is know this will kill civilians.

    If Bush did any of these things, there are many people on this blog who would be outraged, and rightly so. These are the actions of a tyrant and they are perfectly consistent with how The Family views “leadership”. I am saying to people on this blog, if we the people do not hold to the integrity of our values when it’s someone from “our” party, how can we expect our leaders to show any integrity? There is a real connection between letting our own values twist based on whomever is power and the power that is taken by our “leaders”. They will always know they can get away with anything if we, as a people, do not maintain a stance that some things are simply wrong, no matter who is doing them, and we will not tolerate these actions.

  11. Jill–

    IMO, Obama probably felt he had to host the prayer breakfast for political reasons.

    I’ve provided a link below to Jeff Sharlet’s appearance on Democarcy Now last year. Sharlet is the author of “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power”–an excellent book. Sharlet also appeaerd several times on Maddow’s program. I highly doubt Feingold is a member of “the family.” He is of the Jewish faith. He is definitely not a Christian Fundamentalist.

  12. Thanks, Buddha! I appreciate your good wishes. The happy couple will be heading to Ireland for their honeymoon on Sunday.

  13. Obama participated in many of, and this year hosted The Family’s prayer breakfast. Draw your own conclusions from that. You’d be surprised who is a Family member. It takes time to look into that. Part of the Family’s idea is to confuse the general public with lies and secrecy. They like to keep their membership as secret as possible and they like to hide their true ideas. It is therefore important to understand what their true ideas are.

    It would not then be public statements that count, but membership in an organization that believes some truly vile things. If you look at the actual philosophy you really will see the justification of our wars and economic policy. You will also see a desire to form a chrisitian theocratic govt. This isn’t a partisan organization.

    P.S. I don’t know if Feingold is a member. He doesn’t seem to vote their way.

  14. Elaine,

    Now that’s a vicarious pleasure indeed! I’d need to be rolled out of the reception in a wheelbarrow. 😀

    It sounds like a beautiful spread for a beautiful day (weather notwithstanding) and the start of what I sincerely hope is a beautiful marriage.

  15. Buddha,

    It is indeed Wedding Day weekend! The wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are scheduled for this evening. The “big day” is tomorrow. Unfortunately, it looks like I won’t get my weather wish from Mother Nature. It’s supposed to be humid here–with good possibility of showers. We may not be able to have wedding photos taken down at Derby Wharf in Salem (MA) as we had planned.

    That’s okay. We’ll have a great day anyway. Good food, good wine, good people–and, of course, the most beautiful bride EVER!!!


    For your vicarious pleasure–I give you our wedding menu. We will not be having a sit-down dinner.

    – Smoked Salmon Platter: A Side of Sullivan Cove Maine Smoked Salmon with Classic Accompaniments

    – Iced Bowl of Jumbo Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

    – Antipasto Platter with Sliced Proscuitto & Salami, Marinated Fresh Mozzarella & Mushrooms, Artichoke Hearts, Provolone Cheese, Tomato & Basil Salad, Cured Olives, Stuffed Sweet Peppers and Assorted Breads

    – Roasted Vegetable Platter with Zucchini, Summer Squash, Carrots, Eggplant, Onions, Fennel & Mixed Peppers with a Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

    – Hot Dip Platter with Spinach & Parmesan Dip, Sun-Dried Tomato Dip and Tomato & Artichoke Dip served with Pita Chips, Assorted Breads & Bread Sticks

    •Blue Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
    •Chicken Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce
    •Vegetable Spring Roll with Plum Sauce & Japanese Mustard
    •Pork Potsticker Dumpling with Hoisin Sauce Served in an Asian Soup Spoon
    •Sliced Peppered Sirloin with Horseradish Sauce on Crostini
    •Seared Tuna Carpaccio with Crispy Wontons & Japanese Mustard and Pickled Ginger
    •Spanikopita Filled with Spinach and Feta Cheese
    •Clams Casino
    •Coconut Shrimp Tempura with Mango Chutney Sauce
    •Mini Crab Cakes with Ginger Cream, Hoisin Sauce, Mango & Tomato Salsa
    •Lamb Lollipops with Spicy Mint Glaze
    •Skewered Spicy Beef with Orange Chipolte Sauce

    It will be a three-tier hexagonal cake. The bottom layer will be Chocolate Paradise (chocolate cake soaked with rum syrup and filled with coconut buttercream); the top two layers will be Strawberry-Grand Marnier (vanilla cake soaked with Grand Marnier syrup and filled with Grand Marnier buttercream and fresh sliced strawberries).

    1. Elaine M:

      I am going (with Leslie) to Vancouver tomorrow but we will toast the happy couple from British Columbia. I would personally be following around the plate with the Mini Crab Cakes with Ginger Cream, Hoisin Sauce, Mango & Tomato Salsa. Please extend the best wishes from everyone on the Turley blog and remind the couple that one of the best ways to enjoy a Honeymoon is to engage in vigorous debates on the blog. It is the foundation for a lasting and passionate relationship.


  16. I don’t think Russ Feingold shares his views neither does Obama.

  17. What is truly scary is his beliefs are shared by many of our nation’s leaders, including both Democrats and Republicans. Many people believe this is the blinding stupidity of mega church voters, which it is. Unfortunately, The Family, shares these beliefs and acts on them. For example, our tax dollars were taken by Family members, both R and D to support a Ugandan dictator who wanted to kill gay men. As they were exposed, they had to back off for a while, at least in public.

    We must be careful as citizens to remember the link between these heinous views and our ruling elite. It is so much more fun (and comforting) to believe these are only the rants of far right lunatics in crystal cathedrals. The truth is, these are the far right rants of our ruling elite, who act on them with impunity. Because citizens do not understand this, the elites have been allowed to build their insane empire of “Jesus plus nothing”. It is their philosophy of war, empire, and economics. All but a few suffer by their hand.

    Here is an article that sheds light on our ruling elites deranged thought processes. Rachael Maddow did some interviews on The Family last year which are quite interesting.

  18. And speaking of “insanity” (the good kind), isn’t this Wedding Day Weekend, Elaine?

    I hope so. I could use some good news, even if it’s a vicarious pleasure.

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