Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Gospel Of Thomas

Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."

-- The Gospel Of Thomas, Logion 6

Rep. Tom DeLay vowed today that although he will quit Congress, he has no plans to leave national politics. Instead, he plans to fashion a role for himself as a grass-roots leader of social conservatives.

The former House majority leader's plans met with mixed reaction from other Republicans, including some social conservatives.

Some said DeLay, a formidable fundraiser and self-described born-again Christian who still enjoys broad support within the religious right community, could quickly become a force to be reckoned with.

-- Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2006

While I have certainly never been shy about taking shots at the publicly pious, I have generally taken pains to differentiate between spiritual individuals (even though I may disagree with the specifics of their belief system) and the predations of the politically-organized bands of holy soldiers that lay waste to the country's political landscape. It is their cynical manipulation of religion as much as their sheer mendacity that is so off-putting. Even more so is that suckers continue to line up for an endless supply of the nonsense these hucksters generate.

Needless to say, Tom DeLay has been the poster boy for these wicked political machinations since the day he decided he was tired of killing his fellow cockroaches, and wanted instead to infest the government of the United States.

Paul Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Foundation, a grass-roots conservative organization, scoffed at the notion that DeLay would become a leader of social conservatives. "As an elected official, when he called conservatives together, he was in a position to do so," Weyrich said. "On what basis does he operate from the outside?"

Leaders of the movement may be nervous about DeLay's plans, said a political analyst who asked not to be named because of a close relationship to DeLay, "because there is a new big guy on the block who knows how to do this better than anybody. They might be thinking about their own existence…. I think the way Jack Kemp tapped into the libertarian side of Republicans, he can do the same with evangelicals and fundamental conservatives."

DeLay, along with being a primary source of the corruption in the House -- and what was once the conservative movement, for that matter -- is a symptom of a much larger problem, that of the unholy confluence between movementarians and professional evangelicals. The neocons, many of whom are merely disaffected Trotskyites from the sixties, have capitalized on this alliance in a spectacularly destructive fashion. Not only will it take decades to undo the policy damage they've wrought on the country as a whole, but the dumbing down of their followers may take generations to counter, if it can be countered at all.

Kristen Marz, 36, a DeLay supporter, spoke with a reporter in Sugar Land's Town Center while loading groceries into her SUV on Tuesday.

She would have voted for DeLay this fall despite his legal troubles, Marz said.

"I think he's a good guy," she said. "I don't think he did anything wrong, but it seems like he did, so he's suffering the consequences. I think he decided to stop now rather than drag his name and his family through another election. Wouldn't you? … I guess it all caught up with him."

Seriously, I'm just not sure how somebody gets through life being that fucking stupid. You'd think that even involuntary functions, like breathing or hydration, might be a bit much for such a gastropod. And yet, this idiot no doubt votes every other year for Bugchaser, and worse yet, she's proud of that shit.

It's not as if she's the only moron, obviously. Who else but committed evangelicals could hold sway over all three branches of American government, make trouble for television networks who dare to show something that offends their delicate sensitivities, pollute the political climate so badly that any candidate for office higher than dog-catcher must genuflect to them, and still whine like the little bitches they are about how much they're persecuted?

This week, radio commentator Rick Scarborough convened a two-day conference in Washington on the "War on Christians and the Values Voters in 2006." The opening session was devoted to "reports from the frontlines" on "persecution" of Christians in the United States and Canada, including an artist whose paintings were barred from a municipal art show in Deltona, Fla., because they contained religious themes.

"It doesn't rise to the level of persecution that we would see in China or North Korea," said Tristan Emmanuel, a Canadian activist. "But let's not pretend that it's okay."

Wow. Being barred from a municipal art show. Gosh, these poor buggers are just getting tossed to the lions right and left, aren't they? Hey, at least that schmuck made the brave acknowledgement that it doesn't rise to the level of China or North Korea. That took real guts, man. Hope the atheist Nazis who run the country don't toss your rebel ass into the gulag for daring to speak Truth To Power.

Among the conference's speakers were former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) as well as conservative Christian leaders Phyllis Schlafly, Rod Parsley, Gary Bauer, Janet Parshall and Alan Keyes.

Good Lord. Just reading those names gives me a fuckin' headache. These people have done more damage to this country, just by holding people back literally for generations with a ginned-up mix of superstition and fear, than they will ever know.

Anyway. So where did these brave souls of heartless persecution hold their secretive meeting, far away from the ever-watchful eye of the godless Big Brother? Was there some sort of Underground Railroad that facilitated their discussion? Is Phyllis Schlafly really an evangelical Harriet Tubman in a Bozo wig?

To many of the 400 evangelicals packed into a small ballroom at the Omni Shoreham Hotel [emphasis mine], it was a hard but necessary look at moral relativism, hedonism and Christophobia, or fear of Christ, to pick just a few terms offered by various speakers referring to the enemy.

Here's the website for the DC Omni Shoreham Hotel. On the one hand, it is somewhat conforting to know that only 400 people attended (though at $2K per head, no doubt). On the other hand, this bespeaks either profound levels of cynicism, or an astonishing display of delusion. (Or, as always, both.) Either way, enough is quite enough. These people are simply either too dangerous or too stupid to be entrusted with responsibility over the lives of 300 million Americans. Not Christians, not Jews. Not religiously or ethnically hyphenated hybrids. Americans. This is a team, and our success or failure as a team depends on having qualified personnel, people who are smart, knowledgeable, and have an understanding of the world and our role in it. These idiots are none of those things, obviously.

So here's the deal. It's going to take a two-pronged approach, I think. The first prong is completely political, and thus requires a serious, coordinated, consistent effort by the Democratic Party. DeLay's post-Congress career takes one of two directions, depending on whether he does time or not. If he does time, he resurfaces as a Chuck Colson type, schmoozing the political evangelicals. After all, that's where the real money is. If he somehow avoids time, then he goes into lobbying.

Either way, every Democrat worth their salt must resolve to make the rest of Tom DeLay's life hell. That will be the only way to to prevent him and his kind from infesting this nation's policy-making apparatus ever again. Make an example of him. Lay down the facts again and again and again, until the very word "DeLay" makes people nauseous and irritable, like an episode of The View. Literally make it impossible for him to ever even operate on the margins of public life again without constant scrutiny. Put it this way -- even if DeLay does ten years of hard time in the state pen, and comes out deciding just to run for dog-catcher in Sugar Land, make an issue out of it. DeLay wanted strong-arm tactics and scorched-earth campaigns, give it to him. Impale him on the sword he used with such glee for so many years.

The second prong is much trickier, and cultural rather than political in nature. It will require care and tact, and the participation of much more than merely politicians. There are reasons that religion and politics do not mix well, and these reasons must be clearly and calmly explained to people of faith. It is to protect them just as much as the rest of us. This is where religious moderates and leftists will be instrumental.

This would not be a cynical attempt to encourage religious people to completely divest themselves from the political arena. Quite the opposite. But there is a sizable minority of people out there, however well-intentioned they believe themselves to be, who have subsisted on this destructive, artificial culture war they keep initiating every time some piece of shit like DeLay sucks up to them for votes.

To be sure, it's impossible to take the piss out of all the true believers, which is why they need to be seriously marginalized, along with their sideshow carny spokesmen. It's hard to believe, but there was a time when these third-rate Elmer Gantrys were not even close to being real political players. "Pat" Robertson, Tony Perkins, Sun Myung Moon, all of them, need to go back to church and stay there. The question needs to be posed to the people, however diplomatically it can be posed: Do you want to continue down the destructive path of mindless dogmatism and self-righteous sectarianism, or do you want to run a serious, efficient, pluralistic society that respects and protects everyone's rights -- Christian, Jew, Hindu, Wiccan, atheist?

This does not mean that people should or should not believe in whatever they feel they need to believe in. It means that it's none of the government's business, nor is it in the national interest to promote and protect one belief system over all others. It is high time that these demagogues were held accountable for their words, deeds, and strategies, and that their congregations were also held responsible for shirking their civic duty over manufactured culture pushbacks.

And the downfall of one of the most corrupt members of Congress in recent memory provides the perfect impetus to get that wedge issue going. Hang DeLay around the neck of every Republican that refuses to denounce his actions, and around necks of the self-styled pseudo-Christians who are far more obsessed with telling everybody how holy they are than with showing us by actually following the teachings of Christ. You know, loving your neighbor, helping the poor, blessed are the peacemakers, all that.

DeLay is their pig. It's time to make them live with him and his shit.


Aunty Ism said...

Well put! In these insecure times, some people grasp at any straw that floats by. Follow the leader invoking the Power of God, and one no longer has to worry about thinking. Mommy, save me. Be prepared for emotional and spiritual fallout when the truth about the extent of corruption in our "Christian" government becomes apparant.

vonKreedon said...

Either way, every Democrat worth their salt...

You really think that under a half dozen or so people can make that much of a difference?