So there are a few more to come over the next few days, but there's also something I'd like to get off my chest to the chumps who keep people like Haggard in business.
Modern Americans have a rather selective view of the past history of their country. If you ask the average Joe or Jane about what their country was like in the 19th century, many of them will start off with World War 2, JFK, Reagan, all that. Then, after you explain to them very slowly that you mean the period of years starting with "18--", you get a few expected answers: Civil War, slavery, pioneers, and inexplicably, Ronald Reagan once again.
At that point, all you can do is sigh at the magnificent wasteland that is the American educational system -- public or private. After all, the putative leader of the country went to private prep schools, Yale, and Harvard, and to hear him tell it, his grand intellectual accomplishment of late has been to read three books about George Washington. We'll take him at his word; there's no need to ask him to prove it by telling us what he learned. It would be like asking your cat to give you a report about the Animal Planet channel.
But I digress. American life of that time period has of course been distilled down to a short list of barely-known events, dates, and names. But none of those things accurately describe the quotidian comings and goings of the new citizens of the New World. The northern coastal states had the intellectuals, the universities and thinkers, the nascent industrial bases that would soon prise the inbred southerners out of their evil stupor. The southerners, of course, had their hands full with the wolf they had by the ears, aware and yet willfully obtuse at what vile concept provided the genteel veneer to their barbaric way of life.
It was in the westward expansion that two different, yet similar, types of hucksters began to take root -- P.T. Barnum and dispensationalists. Both, in the end, operated under the same moral code -- it is morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money -- but Barnum at least had a conscience.
It is not by sheer coincidence that modern (paradoxically) dispensationalism has utilized the media and marketing techniques of the age to disperse its message, consolidate its political power, and refine its money-grubbing systemology. The players of this "movement" (as in bowel movement) have cunningly availed themselves of these things because they rightly recognize that technology has evolved much faster than the drones who use and are used by it. The mousetrap is much more efficient than it was even a generation ago; the mice themselves are still where they were in many ways.
So the dispensationalists have found myriad ways of providing the proverbial cheese, be it in the form of transforming a perfectly good American city into a mountain redoubt for apocalyptic goofballs, or infesting the school systems with their hidebound horseshit. They have recklessly infiltrated the points where government policy intersects with everything from scientific research to the making of foreign policy. And the mice have dutifully followed along, never asking, never even bothering to look up and think for themselves for one bright second. Forget that "blessed are the peacemakers" shit, what Jesus really had a problem with was fags a-gittin' hitched.
And it's not as if the lapdog media would ever get its act together and start yanking away the curtain. They'll never do anything to upset their corporate applecart. It's a pretty sweet gig -- feign objectivity, pretend both sides are equally valid when one side is spouting sheer unadulterated nonsense, strike a studied, non-partisan pose (heaven forfend one show "partisanship" for common sense), cash that fat paycheck, party with the people you "objectively" cover, lather, rinse, repeat.
So it's left to the rest of us -- you know, your fellow citizens of the United States of America, an artifical social construct employed for the express purpose of securing the common weal. This description may be at cross purposes (so to speak) with your preferred mode of understanding, which is apparently that Jesus Christ Himself pointed in the direction of Nebraska as He was resurrected to Heaven, thus sanctifying the North American continent, but only between the 49th parallel and the Rio Grande. So let it be written, so let it be done.
You would do yourselves and your country a tremendous favor by doing a few things for us sometime soon, o keepers of the holy writ, o maximum interpreters of God's Own Word, as if He had any trouble speaking for Himself:
- Travel. And I don't mean from the special school to the megachurch to the Christian bookstore. Go somewhere that you think rubs against your grain. Go to New York City, and deal with swarthy Central Asians careening cabs through the streets and selling suspect meats on a stick. Go to San Francisco and watch those awful dirty homos holding hands as they walk down the street, like they think they have the right to not be beaten for it. Notice how once you take a deep breath, none of it really has anything to do with the emotionally stunted impulses you've been using the political process to project all these years. God gave you a great big world to explore and enjoy; why the hell would you just stay holed up in Colorado Springs?
- Read a book other than the Bible or The Purpose-Driven Life. Read a newspaper other than the Moonie Times or that craven conservarag in your local market. Watch something other than Fox News for once. The Bible (at least the New Testament) is fine for seeking some sort of moral grounding in the constant tumult of life. Rush Limbaugh is great in gaining some insight into how hypocritical drug addicts think. For understanding the interdependent complexities of running a safe, secure, efficient superpower that comprises only 5% of God's most exalted creations, not so much. God gave you a brain; use it or lose it.
- Stay home next Tuesday. Seriously. Just do us all a favor and sit this one out. You have demonstrated quite clearly that you either don't know or don't care that you've been had. Your leaders are toxic loons -- Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Ted Haggard -- who know nothing about anything other than which of your emotional buttons to push to get your wallet open, yet have the ear of the White House. Your political leaders are even worse, have not gotten anything right, and have wasted tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars chasing their tails, pissing off the rest of the world, and -- wait for it -- lining their own pockets in the process. Are we starting to see a pattern here yet?
Let me drive the point home a little deeper. If you've ever given money to Pat Robertson, you've not only kept a lunatic on the air, but you've also helped a man who's made his fortune befriending some of the most vile dictators to grace the African continent. If you've ever made a donation to Ted Haggard, the principle of the fungibility of money dictates that you helped pay for his nasty habits. That "$100 or $200 supply" of meth that he supposedly threw away (sure, and maybe Clinton didn't really inhale, right?) was your $100 or $200. The money he paid for his "massage", which may or may not have had a happy ending? Your money, once again.
And how about when more ugly details emerge? That rusty trombone, that dirty Sanchez? Those were on your dime, pally. He couldn't have done any of that shit without you, without all of you. He may have gotten in on all those Monday conference calls with the Grand Deacon, but now you also have to think about what he was doing Saturday night.
It's about as nice as I can possibly put it, folks. You were wrong, the consequences have been catastrophic, and the rest of the world can't and won't take much more of this silliness, this willful ignorance. The world is not 6,000 years old; Bush is a liar and a fool; evolution is scientifically provable, except in the case of Ann Coulter.
So take a break from the muck of worldly concerns. Go back to church, not in abject regret, but in the spirit of humility and curiosity and intellectual honesty. Quit worrying about what your neighbors might be doing and mind your own business. You are not God's lawyer; if He really does have a problem with Teh Gay, then He will handle it. It's not your business, and the only way it affects your marriage is if one of you is a tempted closet case.
In the end, like the rest of us, you are on this planet to learn. At some point, you should really start.