“I Hope You Rot in Hell:” Greetings from a Liberal Fundamentalist

Are there “fundamentalists” of every political and cultural persuasion?  That is, do some people cling to such extreme and unbending worldviews—from the political and cultural left as well as the right—that they lash out at any dissent?  People—religious or not—who cannot tolerate any deviation from the Truth As They Know It?

It seems we have an example of such a thing from the cornfields of Iowa today.

The Sioux City Journal reported recently on a simmering conflict between an evangelical pastor and a gay politician.

Pastor Cary Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach complained that Human Rights Commissioner Scott Raasch had made hateful and threatening comments a few years back.  At issue, apparently, was The Reverend Gordon’s opposition to Iowa Supreme Court judges who had supported gay marriage.

A few years ago, according to the Sioux City Journal, their disagreement degraded into the following Facebook exchange:

In one comment, Raasch wrote: “You are haters and bigots and you will get what’s coming to you sooner or later. I hope you rot in hell.”

Gordon replied, “I hope you repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. I wouldn’t want you or anyone else to go to hell.”

Raasch wrote, “I know Christ and don’t need a snake oil salesman like you to tell me about him. I guess that’s the difference between us because I think there are many people that deserve to burn in hell … including you and your entire family.”


The Reverend Gordon called for Raasch’s removal from the Human Rights Commission.  Someone with such extreme views, Gordon argued, should not be in charge of making rulings on discrimination cases that involve religious issues, as well as issues of race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation.

Raasch has admitted that he made the comments, and apologized for any stress caused.

Is this an example of what we might call “liberal fundamentalism?”  A case where someone feels so morally assured of his own righteousness that he lashes out at dissenters in such an angry way?