Monday, September 29, 2008

Fundies Gone Wild!

GOPers are getting desperate. We’re now seeing outright defiance of “the rule of law” as per the constitution by none other than mainstream evangelical churches, and their libel Email campaign of painting yet another Democrat as “the antichrist” is working up the food chain, with even a South Carolina mayor passing along the slime! It’s true – I can’t make this stuff up!

In South Carolina, Fort Mill Mayor Danny (Fundie) Funderburk says he was “just curious” when he forwarded a chain e-mail suggesting Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is the biblical antichrist. “I was just curious if there was any validity to it,” Funderburk said in a telephone interview. “I was trying to get documentation if there was any scripture to back it up.”

Apparently he’s never heard of search engines on the internet (even though he’s obviously got access to Email). But even lacking that net knowledge, has he never heard of opening and actually reading the scripture himself?

In the wake of McCain’s TV ad months ago slamming Obama as “The One,” letters and Emails started pouring in to evangelists around the country wondering about the advertisement’s coded wording to evangelicals. Since then, it’s fanned the flames of fanatical urban legend from folks too uneducated, too lazy or too titillated by the salacious gossip to seek facts. Score one for Rovian political marketing.

The Email, which has circulated in the last six months, claims the biblical book of Revelations says the antichrist will be in his 40’s and of Muslim ancestry. Not only is Obama not Muslim, but there is absolutely no such scripture in Revelations. Unless they were quoting from a version of the Bible which took enormous liberties with their revisions, it is impossible for that “urban passage” to be scripture as the Muslim faith wouldn’t even exist for another 600 years after Christ!

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” — 9th commandment, Exodus 20:16, King James version

It’s allowed a number of evangelists to additionally debunk the claim in their own snidely, backhanded way.

“I can see by the language he uses why people think he could be the antichrist,” said Tim LaHaye, co-founder of Concerned Women For America and the Left Behind movie series. Other than an opportunity for getting free political digs in there, I wonder if LaHaye can point to specific “language he uses” that confuse his with antichrist’s speech? “But from my reading of scripture, he doesn’t meet the criteria. There is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American,” LaHaye added. That sounds positive, huh?

Even Glenn Beck from CNN had John McCain’s former endorser, John Hagee, on his show to give him a chance to repeat the question: what are the odds that Obama is the antichrist? Hagee answered “not a chance,” and ended it with a quick plug for McCain.

If I were Hagee, I wouldn’t be so quick now. Religiopoliticos and neo-conservatives alike all know that if you repeat something long enough and loudly enough that it becomes fact! Haven’t they ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecy? Maybe they’re just giving up too quickly, hmm? What happened to faith?

Seriously though, this type of fear-mongering hyperbole is childish. Worse, it paints all people of faith as well as political TV pundits with the same “wacko” brush that the crackpots alone deserve. Not a boon for building credibility in these crazy times.

It’s not the first time this has happened. Media people, like Don Imus and Glenn Beck have previously proffered that Hillary Clinton was the Anti-Christ. On his June 6, 2006 show Beck remarked: "I think we may have found our antichrist and our next president."

Even before Hillary, Bill Clinton was also being called the antichrist by conservative pundits during his presidency.

If you’re detecting a pattern, you’re correct. Indeed it’s long been a fact that if you are Republican, you can steal, lie, commit adultery, do drugs, dodge the draft or go AWOL, defy the Constitution, declare an elective war under false pretenses resulting in the murder of thousands of innocents and even cause the next Great Depression, and still be a man of God! You’ve got the crucial “R” designation next to your name – that’s all that’s needed.

If you’re a Democrat, regardless of what you do short of repenting your sins and supporting Republican ideals and candidates a la Zell Miller, you will always be the antichrist.

Amazing how many antichrists we’ve got running around here, isn’t it? Here’s a comforting thought: by the time the real antichrist shows up, anyone’s warning to point him out will meet with a great yawn of apathy because we’ve become deafened to our religiopolitical Chicken Littles thanks to all the false alarms.

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” — Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:39, King James version

And finally, the last sign of true religiopolitical desperation is decision on the churches’ part (at least the conservative Christian aka: Republican ones) to defy the I.R.S. and the government’s constitutional laws on not mixing church and state. They’re going out of their way to openly urge voters not to vote for Obama, with many offering McCain as a good choice.

On Sunday, the Rev. Wiley Drake, pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, California was one of many to openly defy the law, and preach from the pulpit for the flock not to vote for “Barack Husein Obama,” in defiance of the law. “Well I'm doing what I'm doing because I'm angry, I'm mad,” said Drake about his actions, knowing the I.R.S. was in the audience noting everything.

According to Fox News (, some 32 other pastors decided to do likewise, and challenge that last barrier between church and state, and between their tax-exempt and taxable status as well. They say “the 2008 presidential election is too important to remain publicly impartial, and they are openly breaking the ban.”

An interesting concept: if the issue is important enough to you, even churches subscribe to openly breaking the rule of law (something their current GOP president Bush-baby would likely be surprised to learn, considering his frequent reminder that America is a nation of laws!)

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” — Hebrews 13:17, King James version

"Pastors have a right to speak about Biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment. No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights," said Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. ADF has been urging these maverick churches to challenge this law, based upon the Constitution’s freedom of religion.

If they win their challenge, I’m sure these same folks might have some qualms down the road about other religions using their same precedent to do likewise. What if America were to take in enough Iraqi refugees who helped America during the war who were Islamic, and what if they someday outnumbered these same evangelicals? Would they be willing to support this “majority rules” domination of politics then? Or majority Catholic, or majority Mormon, or majority Hindi?

Nevertheless, they’re pressing forwarding to ensure they don’t elect a Christian who doesn’t look like them, who they insist is Muslim (even though that’s bearing false witness in defiance of a commandment) and will stop at nothing, even defying the laws of the land (there’s scripture about that too) if that’s what it takes to win.

It’s crazy days. And rather than helping stabilize the already jangled nerves of an edgy nation, our religiopolitical folks think it better to instead help rattle the cages even more. I don’t think they realize what we’ve got waiting for us on the other side.

And today, we see the stock market dropped in its largest point drop ever after Congress defeated the Bailout bill. Hey! More fuel for the bonfire for our opportunist brethren!

All I can say is “Maranatha to ya, good buddy! And don’t pay attention to me … I’m just moving a safe distance away ….”

“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.” — Romans 14:12 & 13, King James version

No comments: