Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Christian fanatics and Obama
The reaction of the Christian right to Obama's re-election is fascinating in its coherence despite being given voice by so many disparate groups. Catholics, Mormons and fundamentalist Protestants have come to Jesus through their confession of faith which has to do primarily with animosity toward gays and gay marriage, abortion for any reason, socialism (although that word is almost never defined), and a completely bogus charge that Obama is a threat to religious freedom, or worse, that the president wants to rid our land of any religion or religious activity.
Billy Graham, 94 years old, is still preaching the same old stuff. I went to his rallies in Los Angeles when a youngster, mostly to make money selling the Los Angeles Times to Graham's patrons and converts. But I could hear him nontheless over the loudspeakers. His message hasn't changed. He's still a stark, raving fundamentalist who shouts "The bible says" as if it matters.
You will remember that while Graham did not explicitly endorse the Mormon, Romney, he might as well have, reminding his acolytes to vote for God's will, wink, wink, meaning, of course, that God didn't want that black socialist to continue in power.
According to an article by Stoyan Zaimov at Christianpost.com, Graham now suggests we pray for the president because God wants us to do that. But we must also repent as a nation. "Only the Gospel," claims Graham, "God's Good News, has the power to change lives, heal hearts, and restore a nation." So, Billy has decided to foist another one of his evangelistic crusades upon us. Actually, it's his son, Franklin, who's going to lead this mission, "working with 'thousands of churches across every state in this country.'" Billy's hope is countenanced as a "passionate, heartfelt desire to see God change hearts and lives in every community in America." Rather mild stuff, except it's clear that Graham is saying God didn't want Obama and if we as a nation were more faithful to God's will, Romney would have won. We'd still have to pray for Romney, of course, because the Bible counsels us to do so, but the need would not be so urgent.
Franklin Graham, Billy's son, has neither the charisma nor the charm of his father. He is a Christianist pit bull. When the election dust had settled, Franklin rose to thunder his prediction that the United States is on a "path to destruction." He was mostly pissed about the fact that more and more heterosexuals are accepting gay marriage. "If we are allowed to go down tis road in the path that this president wants us to go down, I think it will be to our peril and to the destruction of this nation." In a previous statement, Franklin claimed that because Obama had spoken in favor of gay marriage he had "shaken his fist at the same God who had created and defined marriage."
When I read statements like that I can't help but laugh because they are so utterly stupid. God had nothing to say about marriage at all, even if you accept the biblical stories of Adam and Eve as mythically valid. There is nothing about Adam and Eve getting married. In fact, considering the evidence available in Genesis we would have to conclude that they lived in sin without benefit of clergy.
Furthermore, the Hebrews were great purveyors of plural marriage. The Mormons got that right. All the old patriarchs had several wives and it is reported that merry old King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines although I think those numbers, like statistics from FAUX news, are wildly inflated.
You may not have heard of Dr. Michael L. Brown, a Jew who found Jesus and founded a ministry and has written several books extolling fundamentalist values which include hostility toward homosexuality and abortion, among other things. "President Obama," says Brown in a recent column on his website, "is not a Christian because he supports gay equality and opposes the criminalization of abortion, and is 'more a disciple of Saul Alinsky that of Jesus.'" Brown also claimed, hilariously, that Obama is not like Martin Luther King, Jr., because King was a unifier and Obama is a divider.
That's hilarious because anyone who lived through the 1960s in this country knows that King, at that time, was most certainly not seen by a majority as a unifier, but just the opposite. King was despised and hated by millions of people. Many claimed he had unnecessarily set whites against blacks and was creating turmoil and racial hatred and class warfare.
In other words, Brown is full of doggie-doo!
Then there's Matt Staver of whom we have written before. This small-minded bigot, founder and and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a legal organization dedicated to tearing down the wall of separation of church and state, "is genuinely concerned about the soul of America following Tuesday's election." Christians should be grieving, he says.
Staver is most upset about the election because during this go-around, the American people knew what Obama was all about but voted for him anyway. Americans "knew what they were voting for and they looked at evil and they adopted it."
Obama, says Staver, is the embodiment of evil.
And Staver claims to be a Christian. How do people get so screwed?
Much of what follows comes from Right Wing Watch.
Tony Perkins, who heads up the right-wing hate group known as the Family Research Council told a talk show host that this election reveals "symptoms of a deeper moral and spiritual problem that we're facing in our nation." Janet Meffferd, of the talk show, is afraid America will not survive another Obama term and she is afraid that when she gets old the so-called "death panels" will kill her. Something will, but it's more likely to be cancer than any non-existent death panels!
The sleazy Baptist preacher/pundit Mike Huckabee told Focus on the Family that Christian conservatives suffered a "'humiliating defeat' and must repent. He also prayed for Christians to begin to change America and stop abortion rights and same-sex marriage."
Janet Porter, a rightwing fanatic from Faith 2 Action called the election a "pro-family ... disaster" and put the blame on the media as well as "disobedient" Christians who "have idols of race, party and entitlements.
Another kook by name of Orson Scott Card, claimed the media covered up Obama's lies and his acting like the Nazis. "Barack Obama is still a liar," said the card, Card, and to the media he said "you didn't change that, you merely hid it." The media, he explained, did everything in their power to shut down the truthful Fox News as well as conservative talk radio.
Rick Green who is connected to WallBuilders, which is dedicated to developing a conservative fantasy history of our country and pushing their fantasy onto our public schools, put the blame for Obama's victory on the educational system for the U.S. "knowingly embracing socialism." We must, says Green, "channel the spirit of the American Revolution to resist Obama."
A final example of fundamentalist perfidy, but one of the more egregious ones, has to do with a local Roman Catholic Church, located on a major roadway in my community which posted on their church sign a variety of "slogans" over the last several weeks before the election suggesting that Obama was the anti-Christ and that the faithful should vote for that other person.
There is much more of this crap, and I use that word intentionally, for it is crap. In France, they'd call it "merde." Fortunately, these are the people who got at least some of the crap beat out of them in the election. For some time they'd been operating on the conviction that the majority of the people in this country agree with their pernicious, ignorant, hateful and abominable beliefs and attitudes and it is wonderful to discover they were delusional.
I've been around religious people - mostly Christians - all of my life. I have never seen anything as dreadful and degrading as what passes for contemporary "evangelical" Christianity. Evangel refers to good news. They have no good news. They spew hatred. They tell lies with impunity. The disrespect the Bible by foisting upon it their social and political views. In their minds Jesus is a Republican capitalist who rewards his faithful with beaucoup bucks and all the "good" things this life has to offer and who, like them, see most people as "takers," not "producers," and thus unworthy of attention or assistance. Nothing could be further from the truth!
They know not their Lord! They are the vipers of which Jesus spoke. And the best thing that has happened to this country in many years is that they got clobbered and Obama got re-elected.