During Arkansas Senator Stanley “Jason” Rapert’s eight years in the state’s legislature, the 46-year-old Republican has authored an anti-abortion bill that was repeatedly deemed unconstitutional, argued against marriage equality, and suggested that the United States should’ve just nuked the shit out of ISIS (to paraphrase). He also sponsored the bill that put a tablet engraved with the Ten Commandments in front of the Arkansas State Capitol.
At the end of January, Rapert expressed excitement at the possibility that the US Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade, and proposed legislation dictating that, in the event that the landmark decision is reversed, would essentially make abortion illegal in the state of Arkansas. SB149—which has already been passed by the state Senate—would ban all abortions except those deemed “medical emergencies.”
So yeah, Rapert leans pretty damn far right, and one Little Rock pizza joint has no problem telling him to his face that they *ahem* do not agree. Or, more accurately, telling him with his face. To promote an upcoming gig for sludge metal band EyeHateGod, Vino’s copied-and-pasted a photo of Rapert onto the band’s flyer. They also covered his graying goatee by sharpening his incisors and poorly Photoshopping a baby into his mouth.
That got Rapert’s attention, so he did what any grown adult man in 2019 would do: He bitched about it on Facebook.
“Friends, I rarely share with you the hateful posts and pictures that extreme liberals make about me to torment my stand for better moral values,” he wrote. “But this time I want you to see what they have done. They use my image on an event without my permission and they depict me ‘biting a baby’ in my mouth [...] I call on Vinos in Little Rock to cancel this event and apologize for such a disrespectful image that shows the dehumanization of babies lives. It is disrespectful of all who value babies lives and people of faith.”
He is also asking Vino’s apologize for depicting him devouring an innocent human infant with his sharp, already bloodstained teeth. In a further attempt to discredit Vino’s, he shared a screenshot of one of the restaurant’s Facebook posts that thanked VICE for stopping in for a slice. (VICE previously covered the Satanic Temple’s efforts to place a statue of winged goat god Baphomet on the capitol grounds, beside the Ten Commandments)
“Ultimately it was my personal decision to create the flyer,” Chris “CT” Terry, the events coordinator at Vino’s, told MUNCHIES. “As a promoter, I’m trying to create buzz and draw a crowd to my events, and I knew Senator Rapert doesn’t like people who oppose him, so I sort of knew it was a way to prod him. I also play in Deadbird, one of the bands on the bill, so I had a personal tie, I guess. I do apologize for speaking on the behalf of Vino’s, but I am not sorry for my stance against Rapert and his bigoted views.”
Unsurprisingly, Rapert’s Facebook post didn’t help his cause—and it only led to a bigger onslaught of jokes that he keeps his rosy anti-choice glow thanks to regular consumption of babies.
“Senator, why do you claim to have a pro life stance but this photo clearly depicts you eating a live baby?” one commenter asked. “I used to party with Jason and I can tell you eating one baby is nothing for him,” another wrote. “One night we had to hold him back from charging into the neonatal unit in a hospital to keep him away from the baby buffet.” (Yeah, this is going great, Jason.)
“The positive reactions outweigh the negative 10-1,” Terry said. “In fact, they had people just calling up there just to say they supported them and to give words of encouragement to the business. People have been coming in to eat left and right, the restaurant employees tell me.”
As reported by Metal Sucks, Mike IX Williams, the frontman and lead vocalist for EyeHateGod, responded to Rapert on Friday on his own Facebook page.
“Thank you for all the attention you’ve given the EyeHateGod show in Little Rock, Arkansas,” he wrote. “Any image that was used of you is protected under the First Amendment, which supposedly protects us ‘Americans.’ Please stick to destroying peoples lives by trying to ban same sex marriage, opposing medical marijuana legalization, threatening minorities, and absolutely attacking women’s right to choose. Your moral crusade against basic human rights will be fought at every turn.”
Vino’s has since edited the poster, swapping the baby-eating Rapert for a baby-eating Gene Simmons, but the original flyers will be on sale at the show. “They weren’t really ready for all the spotlight and they kindly asked me to change the event image,” Terry explained. “I see why from a business standpoint, for sure. No legal action, as there wasn’t any basis for it.”
Terry says the show will go on as planned, although the venue has pledged to have “extra safety measures” in place that night.
As a reminder to fans of sludge metal, Vino’s has top-shelf pizza and its own beers on tap, but it’s still BYOBaby.