[David Lane photo from RightWingWatch]
Once again, we've been warned. The Christians are coming, the Christians are coming! The battle is about to be joined. Whose side will the mythical Jesus be on?
When I use the word, "Christian", in this essay, I'm speaking of a religious/political animal that bears almost no resemblance to the mythical Jesus of the Gospels. These so-called Christians have a cross to bear and they're looking for a fight. The "cross" is that the United States is a secular country and they believe it should be a theocracy of sorts, based upon their fundamentalist Christian notions of what is good and right and lawful.
Lest you think they are an empty threat, please read on. There are literally thousands of religious leaders engaged in this project and millions of "believers" who are bamboozled every Sunday by the religious/political rhetoric of these religious leaders. It's an army and it's ready to march.
The only good thing is that there are a lot of prima donnas involved and it is difficult to get them all to agree on any given subject.
Not long ago, a guy by name of David Lane, a 59-year old fundamentalist Christian political operative, spent about $1 million buckaroos to take 110 Christian pastors and evangelical leaders on a week-and-a-half-long wingding through Europe during which, according to an article at Real Clear Politics, they were "to celebrate the legacies of Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher and Reagan." Actually they ended up celebrating Ronnie's "legacy" back in the states at the Reagan Presidential Library.
Lane is a maverick with money, and operates an outfit called the American Renewal Project. He's got some heavy financial backing to help him carry out his mission which is to "reestablish a Christian culture" in the United States.
In one interview, he whined, "It's evident we've lost the culture, and we've lost our heritage now. I mean, with Obama, you've got red ink as far as the eye can see, homosexuals praying at the inauguration, 55 million babies dead."
Wow. That damn Kenyan nogoodnik! He's ruining the country! He must be a Muslim disguised as a "liberal" Christian!
Mike Huckabee, the Baptist preacher who clowns his way through a FAUX News show, was at the final meeting of this group and led the closing prayer, which went like this:
"God, you opened the opportunity for us to let this be a time for renewal, for healing, for rebirth in our own spirits and what it really means to be called to leadership ...", blah, blah, blah. And then he said, "We pray that America can see again."
With this group it would be the blind leading the blind. What culture did they lose? When was America able to see? What does any of that mean? I wonder if they know or would agree? I'm guessing they want to go back to some "golden" age, maybe the 1950s, when blacks knew their place and wouldn't dare aspire to the presidency; hell, it was like God intended when the Jim Crow laws worked. And women stayed home, more or less, and gays hid deep in the closet, and we fought valiantly the Cold War against the godless Commies, when Christmas creches were in the town square, and schools started with the Lord's Prayer, and you could post the Ten Commandments on any damn courthouse you wanted to!
But maybe a lot of us don't think those were the good ol' days. Maybe most Americans don't want any part of that crap again. Maybe the less religion we have in the government the better.
But Lane and his friends don't believe in separation of church and state. "There's no truth to that," says Lane. "The Constitution says the state is to keep out of the church, it doesn't say the church is to keep out of the state." And "secularism, whatever that means, is being imposed upon all the poor hapless Christians against their will!
Values, Lane believes, is what it's all about. Right now, a small minority are running roughshod over the population and real values, the right values are ignored or fought. "It's ... a spiritual battle," claims Lane, "If we are going to survive as a nation, we have to have a spiritual resurrection."
So, what is Lane doing to "reestablish a Christian culture" in the United States? He's working to get 1,000 pastors to run for political office in 2016. To this end, he's set up a meeting in January in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Louisiana, is, or course, one of our most backward states and riddled with right-wing, anti-American Christians who believe it is their mission to walk all over our Constitution. Governor Bobby Jindal is leading the charge in that sappy state.
Don't say you weren't warned: Lane says, "Government is not going to save America. Wall Street is not going to save America. The Republican Party is not going to save America. If America is going to be saved it will be done by Christian men and women restoring a Judeo-Christian culture to the country." (The Washington Times)
Lane and others like him seldom, if ever, define what they mean by Judeo-Christian culture, but you can be sure they're not including the Judeo part - Jews or Jewish beliefs or Jewish practices in their definition! You won't see Hanukkah displays next to Christmas creches in the public squares in their America!
These are theocrats who wish to impose their own fundamentalist Christian version of things on the rest of the nation. In order to "save" the nation. Save the nation from what? Kenyan presidents? Liberals? Atheists? Humanists? People who believe in evolution? Gays? Poor people? Sick people? Old people?
It's all a bunch of crap but as Lane notes, correctly, there are 65 million to 85 million fundy Christians in this country who are as ignorant as a stump about the Bible and who believe everything their wacko pastors tell them, and will vote for Christian "values" and for "saving America," and "reclaiming our Christian culture," even though they have no clue as to what any of that means.
Don't be fooled, though. This is a Republican movement. You won't find many, if any, Democrats in Lane's camp. And it's not about religion, it's about power and money. It's about control of financial resources. It's about the power to mpose their vapid and stupid religion on the rest of us! Lane and the rest of these pastors, including Huckabee, are thoroughly corrupted by power and money and they dream at night of increasing both.
Consider the name "Megachurch," from which many of these pastors lead. Doesn't that stink of wealth and power.
Finally, compare all of Mr. Lane's efforts, the pastors who will crawl through the slime all the way to 2016, and those religious politicos who screech about "saving" America, with the lowly figure of Jesus, whose life was the absolute opposite of everything these people stand for.
According to the Gospel stories, this Jesus person came as a humble servant who rejected money, power and the trappings of government to show his Jewish brothers and sisters a better way; a way which involved giving up such things in order to find peace and joy and fulfillment through serving one's fellowman.