Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Vote Democrat or Abstain, Part II (Be Careful What You Wish For)

When all is said and done, I truly believe in religious freedom (I just stop short of endorsing anyone's claim that religious freedom includes coercive proselytizing). Further, I will defend anyone's right to worship as they see fit without intervention or derision so long as that worship respects the human rights of individuals. But as this concerns my own sectarian corner of crazy (I was raised a Pentecostal, and we had regularly scheduled speaking in tongues and a firm believe in the imminence of the Second Coming), I feel well qualified to mock quite mercilessly (I've earned that right through countless hours of mind-numbing indoctrination). Via the always excellent hilzoy on Obsidian Wings comes this nugget of nuttiness:

Voters should oust congressional Republican leaders because U.S. foreign policy is delaying the second coming of Jesus Christ, according to a evangelical preacher trying to influence closely contested political races.

K.A. Paul railed against the war in Iraq on Sunday before a crowd of 1,000 at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, his first stop on what he hopes is a 30-city campaign.

The Houston-based preacher said he believes that the Bush administration has delayed the second coming because U.S. foreign policy has blocked Christian missionaries from working in Iraq, Iran and Syria.

"Somebody needs to say enough is enough," he said to worshippers who stood, waved and called out in support.
This story is beautifully insane on so many levels. First, of course, is the notion that the Republicans have more power than God. If the time is right for the Second Coming, I highly doubt Karl Rove can stop it. Secondly is how the GOP's exploitation of far Right religious voters is now coming back to haunt them. It's as if the GOP spinmeisters failed to read the fine print when they got their candidates to cozy up next to the Fundies. "Oh, you mean you actually believe in the Second Coming...hmmm, didn't see that one coming. Could you stay behind that yellow line, please?" Third is the more theological idiocy that suggests converting the Middle East non-Christians follows a script more or less like this: "You see, if you don't become a Christian, then Christ can't come back, and the anti-Christ can't come to power, and the world can't spin into total bloody chaos, and you won't have to leave your loved ones behind and...wait...where you going?"

Honestly, in the end, I don't care why the Fundagelicals vote for the Democrats. Just so long as they do. And it doesn't hurt if they continue to entertain me so brilliantly.


Anonymous Henry said...

P.J. O'Rourke once wrote that mocking born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with high-powered rifles and scopes. I don't think this is the best use of your intellect.

What's worse, K.A. Paul is a nobody. He's probably more popular in Sri Lanka and India than in the US, and more like the Bhagwan Rajneeshes and Deepak Choprahs of the world than the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons (or Jesse Jacksons, for that matter).

The GOP is winning because as stupid as they may be, the Dems are a verifiable intellectual embarrassment (John Kerry, RIP). They're also winning because they have supreme power over the Dems, and since the rise of Limbaugh, have learned to harness it. All they need to do is say boo [Ten Commandments! Halliburton! Karl Rove!], and a third of the country starts speaking in tongues, as it were.

Back to O'Rourke: As long as you keep focusing on the Christian Right, and fail to focus on things of importance (like, say, contemporary art :-), then you run the risk of having the GOP eat your lunch again and again.

And if you think the upcoming election will be a victory for the Dems, you didn't read the article in the NY Times the other day that said the Dems are winning because they're fielding more conservative candidates.

11/01/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

P.J. O'Rourke once wrote that mocking born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with high-powered rifles and scopes. I don't think this is the best use of your intellect.

Dairy Cows with control of the government at the moment, you mean, Henry.

The problem with the Dems since 2000 has been their constant insistence on underestimating the GOP. I don't intend to do that any more. Believing that there's no cause in mocking someone of no consequence or someone who's an easy target is how Bush got elected in the first place.

Mock away, I say. Mock mercilessly. Mock constantly. If fools are running around uttering nonsense like this, highlight it. Silence is acceptance.

11/01/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger John Morris said...

Be carefull what you wish for ED. This is no way a shocking development-- religous conservatives have much more in common with the democratic than with the historic Republican party. This is the return of the dixiecrats that we knew and loved in the mid 1960's.

Democrats in swing races have learned to discard the last remnants of liberalism and support for personal liberty. This isn't that hard since the collectivist roots of the party were never about that.

11/01/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous ml said...

People change, parties change. The Republican party isn't the party of Lincoln any more. Evolution is not always a movement toward enlightenment.

The one nice thing about the Second Coming happening soon, we won't have to do the hard work to clear up global warminge, the terrorist threat and the deficit. I suspect not having to clean up appeals to many folks.

11/01/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

For me the most important aspect of religious freedom is freedom from religion.

11/01/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous jec said...

Ed, I had forgotten about your background. I come from an evangelical family--not pentecostal, though my grandmother is said to have spoken in toungues. I have relatives who are missionaries living in foreign lands, trying to bring "the Word" to the "heathens." This kind of upbringing does give one a unique perspective on the rise of religious right.

I doubt that many fundies will end up voting Democratic. I think most still believe that their best chance of bringing on the Rapture is with Republicans.

11/01/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

The way I see how we manage the world I think it is way more likely that a god would send 7 plagues before a second coming, and you know, maybe that is just what is happening.

If I was a god, I would certainly be angry at all the killings we have indulged in (from both muslim or catholic people, deciding in the place of god who is worth of punishing). I would probably let lands dry a little, what is exactly what is happening.

So, religious people, be aware
or beware of the logics of God, because you've probably been sent here for a test that you are ridiculously failing.


Cedric Caspesyan

11/01/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voters should oust congressional Republican leaders because U.S. foreign policy is delaying the second coming of Jesus Christ...

So that's the holdup. I've been waiting around here all afternoon. You'd think he could have called...

11/01/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we get back to the politics of art?

All this talk about Zeus gives me the creeeeeeps.


11/01/2006 11:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

God says art is bad, do you hear me???

Art is BAD !!! Art is EVIL !! And all of you damned artists shall be....

Ooops, errr.....

Think I got entangled in this thread a little too much...;-P

Cedric I say god say

11/02/2006 01:03:00 AM  
Blogger painterdog said...

"My anger is born out of a system that is entirely influenced by corporate America. And there is no counterveiling influence." Lou Dobbs

It's the corporate interest and lobbies that run the country.

Wake up, the SOB's are wrtiing the laws now.

It does not matter if the Dems win they will still be tied to the special interest that run the WHOLE SHOW.

Yes get back to our little art cubes and let the country be run into the ground by greed and indifference.

Half of the people who go bankrupt in this country do so because of a serious illness, think about this because most of us will most likley have one or have a family memeber who gets sick.

11/02/2006 03:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

K.A Paul isn't even known in India. I was on a flight with him into Mumbai and no one knew him when we got there. He assured the crew (on his 747SP) that visa's were not needed since all of India worshipped him! Bull! We got held in immigration for hours while he walked right through and left us there. It was not until one of the flight attendants asked for immigration to call the American Embassy that we all got through. KA Paul truly is a noboedy..and an ass.

11/07/2006 11:49:00 PM  

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