Monday, April 25, 2005

InJustice Sunday

It shows just how out of touch I am with the Religious Right that I had absolutely no idea the Family Research Council was sponsoring a nationally televised sermon last night, called Justice Sunday. Fifteen minutes before it was scheduled to air, Electroman IM-d me, telling me all about it and giving me a webcast link. Having kept regular tabs on the filibuster issue (I have some choice words on the subject), I was curious to find out what Senator Frist would have to say for himself. I thought this was going to be some sort of speech, a debate, or some sort of political discussion as to why Frist and cohorts would want to myopically destroy the filibuster -- so, as I worked on a contract web design, I left the webcast on for a little auditory entertainment. Well, it turns out I was completely mistaken. This wasn't some sort of political speech, this was a sermon turned propaganda tool. This was a warping of the word of God to suit political gain. This was Orwellian brainwashing. This was Chairman Mao's 're-education' rallies at its finest. When one guy (forgive my not keeping track of the names -- all the sermonizing kinds of blend together) told all the congregation to get out their pens and papers and write Senators' phone numbers down to call them this morning, and the camera panned to the audience to see everyone scribbling away in little notebooks, did anyone else get Little Red images in their heads? And what terrified me about this 'rally', as CNN calls it, is how the speakers didn't even try to hide their agenda. This isn't about democracy, this isn't about respecting the great nation of America in its myriad voices and dissenting thought, this is about getting a Conservative Evangelical thought police into the government and stamp out all the sinners that are leading towards the so-called "cultural decline" of America. A good hour of the sermon featured speaker after speaker loudly condemning gays, women, liberals, atheists, and pretty much anyone that doesn't accept Jesus as their personal saviour. Really, it was sentiments like that, that lead to the transformation from the innocent and adorable Little Red Communists captured in the above photo to this: PRC president said, at one point, "what we are saying tonight is that as American citizens, we should not have to choose between believing what is in this book and serving the public", to which I would say 'yes, that is commendable, but someone who has true faith shouldn't need everyone else in their country to believe what they believe to still serve the public'. Obviously, though, it's a smokescreen; it's not that the Religious Right is persecuted in this country -- no one prevents the Religious Right from practicing their love for God. What masquerades as persecution is actually a sleight of hand redirect to cover the coup d'etat the Christian Evangelicals are attempting to perform on American government. They simply will not be happy until they wrestle the power from the non-card-carrying-JesusFreak minority and remake American society into their image of the Garden of Eden, complete with unprotected, straight-up-vanilla heterosexual sex conceiving tens of thousands of screaming children by unwilling mothers turned unwilling axlotl vats, each child without any form of healthcare, decent education, job prospects, or Social Security but nonetheless clutching a Bible made from rainforest-logged paper, an I.O.U. for a federal deficit up the wazoo and, as a form of population control, each legally able to buy a gun to shoot one another upon birth (because guns don't kill people, people kill people!), and, of course, an assault rifle handed to each squealing toddler for free if they fail a paper-bag test. Perhaps I'm indulging in a bit of hyperbole, but consider the consequences of what one speaker fantasizes as his ideal America, a place where Americans choose between (and I'm paraphrasing here... obviously, I resisted the brainwashing and didn't take out my little notebook- fight the power!) a "pro-life Republican of faith" and a "pro-life Democrat of faith". The whole affair was a disgusting mutation of political discourse, using the word of God to co-opt thousands of worshippers into a political army. While I think it's possible to be religious and be interested in politics, in my mind, religion and politics should not usually mix, because it's too easy to fall into the lull of not-thinking when you're practicing some faiths. And not-thinking is the opposite of democracy which only works when each citizen makes an educated choice, especially when your not-thinking is coupled by a righteously indignant preacher-man telling you how you should not-think and yet still participate in the political process. Unlike the Right, religious or otherwise, the Left may have made some poor choices in the past few years, but at least they recognize that America is not best served by a 'mob rule' rule and that there is at least some merit to allowing a minority voice. And you can bet that if the Left had tried a stunt like what we saw last night, the Right would be all over it with the same points I'm making tonight, and then throw in some 'Kerry's not a good Catholic' stuff for good measure, as if that horse isn't flogged enough. I watched the West Wing last night, and I think the character of Charlie summed things up nicely when he sarcastically agreed that a Republican attourney should be appointed to the White House for the sake of bipartisanship because "[Republicans] were the party of inclusion". I'm sure all the pro-choice women, feminists, gays, spiritual secularists, atheists and liberals felt very included last night.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Democrats wanted to eliminate the filibuster in the 1990s when the Republicans blocked Clinton's nominees. Neither party is right but I'm sick and tired of people like you bashing one side while holding yourselves up as the model of virtue.

4/28/2005 01:30:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

funny, I never said the dems were right... I believe I said they've made a bunch of mistakes in the past. I'm the *wrong* person to talk to if looking to put the Dems as the 'model of virtue' -- you should read more of this blog before making such wild accusations.

And I don't support the removal of the filibuster by either party. However, at the moment, it's the republicans who've lost all sense and the Dems who've retained basic understanding of democracy.

And yet, this post wasn't even about the filibuster. It was about the christian revival meets communist rally that was held on sunday. please tell me how such a blatant disregard for the separation of Church and State and such majority-sanctioned gay-bashing can or should be tolerated.

4/28/2005 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

oh, and I could be wrong, but Ted Kennedy asking Republicans not to filibuster is hardly the same thing as trying to end the right for Senators to filibuster on whatever issue (be it judges or otherwise).

As far as I can remember, Democrats have never launched anything even remotely resembling what I shall rebelliously still label as the 'nuclear' option -- they have not actually attempted to take the filibuster from the minority party in a partisan effort to force their legislation or nominees through.

I don't have a problem with the Republicans protesting the use of the filibuster to block judicial nominees. I *do* have a problem with trying to castrate the remaining power of the minority senators just because you find it inconvenient right now.

4/28/2005 01:35:00 PM  

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