There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2019.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
| One of the|
|And a dirty dozen more|
“”America is engaged in two wars for the survival of its civilization. The war over same-sex marriage and the war against Islamic totalitarianism are actually two fronts in the same war — a war for the preservation of the unique American creation known as Judeo-Christian civilization. One enemy is religious extremism. The other is secular extremism. One enemy is led from abroad. The other is directed from home.
|—Dennis Prager on one of his bad days|
Dennis Prager is a neoconservative radio host, professional tone troll, and conspiracy theorist who believes that the United States is a Christian nation, and that it's under attack from "secular leftists" who control the media, universities, public education system, and other institutions. Despite being a fairly extreme conservative, to the point of being a weekly WND columnist, he does moderate on certain issues such as abortion and, to his credit, he does seem to know quite a bit about religion and aspects of United States history.
Unfortunately, for every reasonable position he has he seems to say at least ten things that are either blatant lies or mind-fuckingly bizarre. He is also notable for having one of the worst cases of psychological projection ever, even by wingnut standards and for possibly being a worse offender of Jonanism than Jonah Goldberg himself. He is well known for his opposition to "the left" allowing their "feelings" to get in the way of policy, but when policy hurts his "feelings" he loses his freakin' mind. Hmm…
As of recently he's been focusing far more on pushing anti-environmentalism than usual, mainly through global warming denialism ("leftist hysteria" apparently) and myths around DDT bans, though he's even gone into some weird "Environmentalism is replacing God" (paraphrasing) territory. However he is rarely countered, largely due to the fact that nobody to the left of radical right can take him seriously any more anyway, though he has a small group of very devoted fans.
Prager is notable for having a history of being extremely homophobic despite denying it every ten seconds in his articles and radio show. He has claimed that the legalization of gay marriage is a greater threat to America than economic depression. He claims that this is because legalizing gay marriage will redefine the concept of "gender itself". He is credited with writing the 1993 essay Judaism's Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism rejected Homosexuality in which he writes, well, we'll let the man speak for himself:
“”But the major reason for anyone concerned with women's equality to be concerned with homosexuality is the direct correlation between the prevalence of male homosexuality and the relegation of women to a low social role. The improvement of the condition of women has only occurred in Western civilization, the civilization least tolerant of homosexuality.
“”While the typical lesbian has had fewer than ten "lovers," the typical male homosexual in America has had over 500.
Except he states no evidence for that at all. Also notice how he basically says "I'm cool with lesbians but gays are gross." Many of Prager's fans will cry out "he wrote it in 1993, he could've changed his views since then!" If that is the case, then he certainly shows no remorse over writing it since he has not apologized for the article and rarely brings it up, probably hoping everyone will forget he wrote it. The essay in question is still used by openly homophobic sites such as the Catholic Education Resource Center. Besides, even if Prager has completely changed his views since then, he really shouldn't act dumbfounded when people think he's homophobic, since this article is the first result on Google for "Dennis Prager" + "homosexuality". Acting as if he's being persecuted by gay activists for his beliefs when called out for his apparent homophobia is ridiculous.
A glaring problem with Dennis Prager's opposition to gay marriage is the fact he's been divorced twice and married thrice. He actually talks about this on occasion, saying that the argument that divorce threatens marriage is a non sequitur. He goes on to defend his position with a hilariously non sequitur argument himself, saying that "divorce itself no more undermines the institution of marriage than car crashes undermine the institution of driving." This is, of course, an example of a false analogy, since you don't swear to be with your car til death do you part.
Ferghtin der Mooslims!
When Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison was elected to office Prager decided to harass him in the most assholish way possible, writing an article on Townhall that Ellison should not be allowed to take the oath on the Koran but instead the Bible, which would essentially violate the First Amendment.
He states in the article that allowing Ellison to use the Koran would be more devastating to American values than 9/11. This was a manufactroversy since, according to the Anti-Defamation League: "No Member of Congress is officially sworn in with a Bible. Under House rules, the official swearing-in ceremony is done in the House chambers, with the Speaker of the House administering the oath of office en masse." Only in private ceremonies held after the official ceremony can religious texts be used. Prager also ignores the Establishment Clause, but it's likely the Constitution isn't American enough for Prager. He attempted to bullshit his way out of what he wrote on Hannity, saying that he was merely making a "request" for Ellison to not use a Koran, despite his article explicitly saying "He (Ellison) should not be allowed to do so — not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization." He later attempted to state that the liberal media was on Ellison's side, a sign that he was being persecuted for his "Islamophobia". He is probably too stupid to recognize that there is a difference between criticizing Islam itself and targeting the human rights of a single Muslim who isn't breaking the law, hurting someone, or even a fundamentalist for that matter.
Most confusingly, Prager said that Ellison's beliefs were irrelevant, it was the ceremony that mattered since it was an "unbroken tradition" since George Washington. This is incorrect since John Quincy Adams was sworn in on a law book, Franklin Pierce also used a law book and simply affirmed the oath as opposed to being sworn in, LBJ used a Catholic Missal, and Congressman Henry Waxman never used a Christian Bible. Some Jewish officeholders, such as Governor Linda Lingle, have also been sworn in on the Tanakh, but Prager said this was irrelevant since any Jews who used the Tanakh were "secularists who didn't believe what was in it anyway". Of course, this contradicts Prager's claim that the officeholders belief is irrelevant and that it's only the ceremony that matters.
Prager's comments led to him being criticized by the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Only the theocratic American Family Association and Virgil Goode supported Prager.
One of the most disturbing articles he's written is "The Rape of a Name Is Also Rape" in which he writes that being falsely accused of rape is just as bad, if not worse, than actual rape. While such a false accusation is a terrible crime, it is obviously not on par with rape, but again that is somehow a "leftist" view.
When it comes to relationships there's no one to go to for worse advice than the Pragernater. This is made especially apparent in his essay "When a Woman Isn't In the Mood: Part II" where he gives eight reasons as to why women should submit to having sex with their husbands even when they’re not in the mood. He is just able enough to write it in a way so he can plausibly deny that he was advocating for marital rape. However, he sure as hell wasn't being sensitive to victims of marital rape and at one points calls "childhood trauma" one of the "myriad" of reasons that women try to get out of sex. By the way if you take his advice by constantly pressuring your wife into having sex as opposed to trying to "get in the mood" together the relationship will probably end in resentment and divorce. Also, having sex with someone who's not in the mood doesn't sound pleasant to most sane people.
Later, in an article on Todd Akin's rape comments, he is impressively hard on Akin, showing some hope that he will be sensitive to rape victims. He ends up blowing this opportunity when he tries to say that some rapes may not really be rape, so long as they're not "forcible rapes." Of course if you point out his borderline sociopathic attitude towards rape victims he will just call you another "leftist" who lets "feelings" get in the way of "logic" (a.k.a. his feelings).
Prager's creepiness reached its height when he wrote an article that was horribly titled "Sandusky Abused Children, NCAA Abuses History" in which he attacked the NCAA for stripping Penn State of their football wins in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal. He accused the NCAA of trying to rewrite history and then went off on a separate rant on how the evil libs in California were "rewriting" history to include minorities. Most of the creepiness came from how callous he was towards the rape victims, thus proving that he's not one of those touchy-feely lefties who are controlled by emotion. For those who believe this to be an exaggeration the article includes this paragraph:
“”The lesson the NCAA is teaching young people — that history and truth don’t matter if enough powerful people don’t want them to matter — can be as injurious to society as the cover-up was to the victims of Sandusky.
One would think that if the media was as liberal as Prager claimed they are they could've simply used this single, fucked up sentence to destroy his career but instead it was largely ignored and the article itself still managed to get 34 Facebook "likes."
Prager's greatest enemy is not the gays, or even the feminists, but instead "the left". Who Prager believes the left consists of is unclear since his definition of the left apparently means that Barack Obama is our first leftist president, with the possible exception of FDR. This is another blatant lie since JFK, LBJ, Carter, and even Nixon and Eisenhower governed to the left of Obama. The left is also working hard to turn university students into bisexuals. He has even accused the "secular left" of being anti-Semitic (that must be a lot of Jews, then); during a debate Christopher Hitchens confronted him on this claim and Prager couldn't back it up, which led to Hitchens accusing Prager of being "evasive".
Basically "the left" is based off of overgeneralizations that are built on either straw man logical fallacies or the spotlight fallacy if he bothers to find some left-wing fringe group. Ironically, he repeatedly accuses the pinko liberals of generalizing the poor conservatives. Sadly, his fans pretty much buy into whatever he says and seem utterly convinced he is one of the greatest intellectuals of our time, even though he basically just scares them into thinking that everyone (the media, public schools, universities, Hollywood) is out to turn them and their children into liberal homosexuals which can only be avoided by listening to Prager's show or buying his books so he may show you what American values really are. Groupthink at its very best.
Since Barack Obama's reelection and the repeal of DOMA, Prager appears to have grown increasingly crazy. Prager compared the repeal of California's Prop 8 to the Egyptian coup, because he believed it was anti-democratic. He blamed the repeal of Prop 8 on the "Supreme Court of the United States, colluding judges and the Democratic Party of California". After all this is the first time courts have overridden the will of the majority.
Recently he went even further off the rails and wrote a column about how efforts to promote LGBT tolerance would lead to a fascist takeover of America. What tolerance has to do with a nationalistic, corporatist, and anti-democracy political philosophy that believes in quashing the rights of minorities, we can't be entirely sure of. He still thinks it's the left that's hysterical, by the way (remember what we said about psychological projection?).
Recently, in an article on Intelligent Design, he basically pulled the old "atheists have more faith than creationists", and then exaggerates the theory of a multiverse as being more influential than it actually is.
|—An inspiring quote from Dennis Prager|
- Prager wrote an article in 2011 that "predicted" that during Obama's State of the Union address the "Under God" motto in Congress would not be shown based off how it hadn't been seen in recent years due to godless cameramen. The first statement was incorrect, since about five minutes into the address the motto is seen several times and the second statement was a blatant lie as seen by a picture of the 2010 State of the Union address.
- Claimed that feminism and women abandoning marriage for careers were responsible for higher depression rates among women, despite housewives reporting higher rates of depression than working women. Whoopsie!
- Claimed liberal teachers and CBS News (it doesn't make much more sense in context) were responsible for "indoctrinating" young girls with feminism which was making them "oversensitive" to men's advances, which in turn explained the reason higher levels of sexual harassment were being reported by young girls. The idea that girls had a better idea of what sexual harassment was and weren't as afraid to report it never crossed his mind.
- Counts as one of his fans Mike J. Nelson (of MST3K and Rifftrax fame) — heartbreaking.
- Counts as one of his fans Adam Carolla (of Loveline and The Man Show fame) — also heartbreaking.
- Persistently claims that his preference for children to be raised by heterosexuals over homosexuals is a perfectly rational one despite studies showing it makes no difference.
- Took a Dorito Ad way too seriously, believing it to be racist against African-Americans, even though the race of the actors was irrelevant.
- To his credit, he's managed to anger Randroids and Ron Paul fans in the past, mainly when he raged on Paul for saying that blacks are disproportionately executed. Unfortunately for Prager, Ron Paul was actually right in this case. Also, the fact that Prager accuses Paul of being a "radical lefty" during his rant makes his definition of a "leftist" even more confusing.
- Is one of the greatest Chickenhawks of all time with his continued support of the Iraq War and pro-torture stance.
- He is fervently opposed to Obamacare and has used disproven talking points to back his arguments. This blog deconstructs said talking points quite nicely and proves how intellectually lazy Prager is.
- Even the libertarians have taken potshots at him due to his anti-marijuana legalization stance. Plus, he basically lumped them in with "leftists" (again). Wonkette went after him as well, briefly uniting libertarian and liberal bloggers in their disdain for the man.
- His lax attitude towards rape made him a favorite target at liberal blog Sadly, No!.
Note: Though this page could be much longer due to its subject saying something outrageous or batshit every other week, we ask you to refrain from adding any more examples or this could enter Gish Gallop territory. If you must, replace one of the other "fun facts" instead.
He has also started his own non-profit online program called Prager University. Watch two or three Youtube videos and you'll be assaulted with an ad of theirs. Keeping up with his paranoia around universities turning students into secular bisexual leftists, the "university" has the totally not bizarre motto "Undoing the damage of the University… five minutes at a time." Since it doesn't offer degrees, the "University" does not even rise to the level of diploma mill. It posts YouTube videos on a regular basis through its YouTube channel, PragerU.
Prager "University" actually presents history and politics from a hard-right point of view. This includes rampant New Deal denialism, promotion of the Laffer curve, Europhobia, and an off the walls weird interpretation of liberalism. The channel also promotes zionist pro-Israeli politics, claiming the IDF to be the "World's Most Moral Army", and promotes fossil fuels as being "the greenest energy". It has called wealth income inequality "good". In a multitude of ill-informed videos, it furthermore espouses climate change denialism, militarism and American exceptionalism, and probably many more nutty reactionary beliefs.
Prager also has a video explaining reasons marriage is healthy to a couple for non-legal reasons, which is kind of dickish given his position on gay marriage.
Nevertheless, the series does offer a few worthwhile videos, such as Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore criticizing the extremist and anti-scientific positions the organisation has been known to adopt and Colonel Ty Seidule of the US Military Academy at West Point debunking neo-Confederate apologetics for the Civil War.
Spurious censorship lawsuit
“”Watch any one of our videos and you’ll immediately realize that Google/YouTube censorship is entirely ideologically driven."
In 2017, PragerU sued Google claiming that YouTube censored their videos for political reasons. The lawsuit was accompanied by a petition and much whining, but was summarily dismissed several months later. The presiding judge stated that not only did PragerU fail to demonstrate that YouTube's age restrictions imposed on their videos are a First Amendment violation, but also that Google is not subject to the First Amendment because it's a private company and not a public institution.
Climate change denial
Prager University hosted a video by Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress[note 1] that strawmans climate change, calling it "catastrophic climate change", and has assumed people are taught to believe that "fossil fuels pollute the environment and make the climate unlivable". The latter statement appears to be an exaggeration of the claim of the negative impact of climate change on life. The video shows a graph apparently "never seen before" (and no source given) that shows a correlation between fossil fuel use and access to clean water, as well as correlation between more fossil fuels and better sanitation. This is a spurious correlation where the video fails to account for any other external factors, including improved technology, that have led to more fossil fuel use and access to clean water and sanitation. Perhaps the technology that has improved access to clean water and sanitation requires fossil fuels, but fossil fuels in and of themselves are not directly associated with access to clean water. The video itself even admits that getting clean water requires energy and technology, and not necessarily fossil fuels, though the video insists that fossil fuels are the only source of energy and have either negligible side effects or none at all. The sanitation argument is debatable, considering fossil fuels have demonstrably lead to acid rain and lung cancer.
Speaking of lung cancer, the video tries to show a graph[note 2] showing a negative correlation between fossil fuel use and air pollution, and this is from anti-pollution technology[note 3] that requires fossil fuels. The video overlooks, thanks to air pollution standards, air quality overall is higher, but CO2 emissions are still on the rise. They cite indoor air pollution being a global problem back in the 19th century (and still a problem in the developed worlds) until kerosene made it a non-issue. Again, the video implies that fossil fuels are the only source of energy, instead of addressing how access to cleaner energy improved air quality rather than fossil fuels in and of themselves.
The video then tries to make a point between "climate change" and "catastrophic climate change", when these two "distinctions" are often made up by climate change deniers to make them seem more "moderate" and those who accept global warming as "paranoid". "Catastrophic climate change" is rarely, if ever, used in climate change research. Epstein accepts that while burning fossil fuels have some warming impact, the real issue is if the climate warming is "dangerously fast". This argument does nothing to address preventive measures to avoid dealing with issues that will become more serious, and it is also a simplification of the entire package of climate change, which includes longer and more intense droughts and more unpredictable weather. The video tries to refute a leading NASA scientist, James Hansen, and his prediction in the 90s that in the first decade of 2000, temperatures will rise 2 to 4 degrees. The video shows a graph in 2000 (with a source) that apparently contradicts that statement. They also draw a half-assed trend line to make viewers believe the trend is flat. Nevermind that the statement was done back in the 90s, and graphs of satellite measurements and global surface temperatures point to the same direction. They also bring up that people talk less about "global warming" and more about "climate change", without mentioning how "climate change" more accurately describes the events of unpredictable weather.
The video then uses a "key statistic" that's "unfortunately almost never mentioned": that "climate-related deaths" and a negative correlation between CO2 emissions[note 4] and climate-related deaths[note 5] is evidence that climate change is not dangerous. But even in the graph, at some point in 1970s, the decline starts slowing drastically. This is apparently because fossil fuels, and not access to energy, allow the developed world to protect its population from extreme weather and temperatures, but the developing world needs a chance to get some fossil fuels running. While the video may be correct that the developing world may not have the resources to transition to renewable sources, the developed world certainly does have them.
- How to Survive College as a Conservative — One of their tips is to "seek out allies… with whom we can talk freely." Safe spaces are good when they benefit me!
- Why America's Military Must Be Strong — Encourages authoritarism and militarism, supposedly so that America could police the world and save it from itself.
- The Progressive Income Tax: A Tale of Three Brothers — Criticizes "unfair" Progressive taxation.
- The Iran Nuclear Deal — The Iran Nuclear Deal is like the Munich Agreement of 1938 with Nazi Germany
- The Middle East Problem — Boils down the complex situation in the Middle East to "Arabs want Jews dead".
- Left and Right Differences — Guide to Prager's biased conservative views. Paints Republican conservatives as the "rational ones", while making Democratic liberals look like slave-holding, no good liars.
- Are The Police Racist? — A "rational" look at the discrimination of blacks by American police.
- Was the Civil War About Slavery? — Remarkably, this about the only video of theirs that is pretty much completely correct. Because it answers in the affirmative.
- Evil Liberal Science Conspiracy
- Still the Best Hope — His awful book. It's basically an Ann Coulter book but even more smug and paranoid.
- Salem Radio Network
- Style over substance — A favorite tactic by both him and his "fan boys". If they find a "mean" liberal/leftist, it means none of their arguments are worth listening to because they're rude in how they go about it. See comments left on one blog that discredits this page entirely because it uses the "F word" (which is only considered rude in certain company anyhow) or is "liberally biased". However, they somehow have the amazing ability to rarely hear of instances where their own side is being rude.
- A for-profit anti-environmentalist think-tank that promotes "I Heart Fossil Fuels" T-Shirts!
- "Based on the Environmental Protection Agency", now there's a source.
- Which they assert, even then, is unnecessary because fossil fuels make air cleaner somehow.
- Which they don't deny is rising and high.
- Defined by deaths from storms, droughts and heat waves.
- Here you go!
- There's even more wackiness in the full article, including something about how women don't have fetishes.
- America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on by Dennis Prager (Nov 28, 2006 12:01 AM) Townhall.
- He still doesn't know why women are mad at him over the articles.
- Sound familiar?
- Worse Than Wrong: The pro-life movement must disavow Todd Akin’s comment by Dennis Prager (August 21, 2012 12:00 A.M.) National Review (archived from August 22, 2012).
- It's really disturbing. You may regret reading it.
- His evidence is a sexually confused student. Seriously.
- Hitchens also called him "glib" at some point.
- For the Left, Opponents Cannot Have Decent Motives: The Ground Zero Example by Dennis Prager (Aug 24, 2010 12:01 AM) Townhall.
- Could you get any more childish than when you're calling the other side a bunch of meanies?
- The problems with his article
- "it is atheistic dogma, not science, to dismiss design as unscientific."
- His fans seem to think that's valid logic.
- He could've taken two minutes out of his day to do a Google search, but was too lazy apparently.
- Katie Couric is part of the feminist conspiracy!
- But we're guessing the studies are just liberal lies, of course.
- Man, is he foaming from the mouth
- The American Conservative does not care for him.
- YouTube channel
- Harper Neidig, PragerU sues Google, YouTube for 'censoring' conservative videos. thehill.com, 24 October 2017.
- Harper Neidig, Judge dismisses lawsuit alleging Google censorship of conservative YouTube videos. thehill.com, 27 March 2018.
- Fossil Fuels: The Greenest Energy. PragerU (YouTube). April 21, 2016.