Dinesh D’souza: The reGIFing

So, Dinesh D’Souza. I find that I’m still at a loss for words that adequately capture the epic, absurd surreality of the scandal that’s still unfolding around him (the latest: he’s being sued!). You know what that means: more GIFS.

What to make of the fact the D’souza GIFs post is one of the most popular I’ve written for this blog, I’m not entirely sure. But I am pretty pleased with Slacktivist’s description of it as a “Snoopy-dance of schadenfreude.”

I feel like I should put that on my resumé somewhere.

Anyway! The saga continues: D’souza denies that he shared a hotel room with his now ex-fianceé and slammed the WORLD Magazine piece that broke the story as “pure libel.”

Again, what he did or didn’t do on his private time is really not a matter that should concern the general public. In any case, though, he became engaged to another woman while still married – something that most people, not just conservative evangelicals, tend to frown upon. This isn’t really the strongest position from which to argue that an article exposing this behavior is libelous. Just sayin’.

But! D’souza has an explanation for this! He says he had “no idea” – NO IDEA – “that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced, even though in a state of separation and in divorce proceedings.”

Um, sir? Who exactly do you expect to swallow this twaddle? You’re a professional Christian moralizer and defender of the “sanctity of marriage,” but you don’t know that conservative Christians and, oh, pretty much EVERYONE ELSE find it at the very least kind of tacky to be planning your next marriage before your current one is over?

Not content with telling a baldfaced lie about his ignorance of evangelical mores, D’souza also threw his current wife under the bus by declaring his belief that he has “good biblical grounds for divorce and was going through the legitimate process.”

See, in conservative evangelicalism, there are very few circumstances under which a divorce is considered acceptable. One is if a spouse is caught in adultery. The other is if a spouse who has decided to leave the faith (or who was never a Christian to begin with) requests a divorce.

That little phrase “biblical grounds” is a dogwhistle. Basically, D’souza’s response to being caught behaving badly is to shift blame to his wife – who isn’t a public figure – by implying she’s either a heretic or a cheater.

This is shady as hell. Buuuut there’s more! D’souza’s fianceé? She’s also already married. In fact, she got married less than a year ago.

D’souza clearly saw the writing on the wall. One day he’s complaining that the WORLD mag piece is an attempt to “destroy my career and my ministry” that makes Christians look bad: “The secular world is watching. Is this how we love and treat fellow believers?”

The very next day he’s submitting his resignation from his position as president to “enable The King’s College to go forward without distraction…[and] me to address personal matters in my life.”

In other words:

Now D’Souza is being sued by investors in his “documentary” film 2016: Obama’s America on grounds that, among other things, “D’Souza paid [his fianceé] as his assistant ‘in order to justify spending funds on Joseph that were intended for the movie production and exploitation.'”

Wheels within wheels within wheels, y’all! WHAT was D’souza thinking? This saga is a complete mess. I need someone to explain to me how people at the peak of their careers – and it always seems to be middle aged men – meltdown this completely.

I have to share the most hilarious comment I’ve seen on the whole situation: “This [scandal] will be used to detract from the important issues raised in the documentary 2016. Sad but true.”

A reminder: D’souza’s work is really, super racist. More than simply not caring about this, D’souza’s audience soaks up the toxic bigotry he dishes out with relish. Rod puts it nicely when he says that D’souza has played the role of “the brownface for racist whites when it comes to personally attacking leaders of ‘the’ black community.”

Also? Can I just point out the contrast between the time and effort WORLD and other Christian media have spent on getting to the bottom of this “scandal” and what they spend, say, investigating allegations of abuse in evangelical churches?

It’s a HUGE CRISIS that this dude maybe spent a night in a hotel room, but the epidemic of people coming forward with stories of emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse perpetrated or covered up by evangelical pastors? *crickets*

Again: sensible priorities, please get yourselves some.

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