Saturday, September 1, 2012

Onward Skank Christian Soldiers...

So that good old right wing evangelical Christian activist Ralph Reed says, "There is bigotry against Mormons. It’s on the left". Boy, these scum Christian flim flam men and plagiarists never fade away unlike old generals do they?

Ralph Reed, the man dismissed from the student newspaper at the University of Georgia for plagiarism. Ralph Reed, one of the "three amigos" who emerged from the college Republicans becoming major players in the Republican Party beginning in the Reagan era of the 1980s along with the disgraced and partisan super lobbyist Jack Abramoff and no new taxes uberlobbyist and Republican activist Grover Norquist. Ralph Reed, hired by the conservative charismatic Christian televangelist, media mogul and Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson to run the day to day operations of the Christian Coalition in 1989 until he resigned amidst a financial scandal that shook the organisation. Ralph Reed, the guy who helped Abramoff cynically fleece the Choushatta Indians out of millions of dollars to do something they knew they could not do, get them a casino on their reservation-this at the same time that Reed was hypocritically preaching about the ungodliness of gambling to the conservative Christian flock he was fleecing money from in order to support his lobbying efforts on behalf on no new taxes on Indian casinos and a casino for the Choushatta. Ralph Reed, the man who know now appears to have resurrected himself out of this muck, the muck of his, Abramoff's, and Norquist's thuggish lust for mammon and power, the muck of his own creation. Ralph Reed, the man who, just like those slimy Elmer Gantry televangelists caught with their fingers in the till or their body parts in the beds of those they probably shouldn't be with, just won't seem to go away with his tail between his legs despite his less than stellar past moral record. But then he is a charismatic Christian a group notorious for its serial born agains.

Not only has Reed resurrected himself out of his dark matter past to once again sit at the right hand of mammon and a savage partisanship that almost amounts to war-Reed claims to be fighting a guerrilla war against evil godless Democrats-but he also seems to have recently pulled yet another Sgt Schultz. He knows nothing about good old evangelical and fundamentalist Christian anti-Mormonism. But he does, in what has become a cliche, know something about bad old left ant-Mormonism. But then the skank Reed's mission in life seems to be to demonise the left and liberalism who he and other similarly ahistorical illiterates bizarrely equate with socialism, communism, and nazism in much the same way that Mormons wrongly equate criticism of Mormonism with anti-Mormonism. All of this, of course, is yet another example of good old time orwellian foucauldian categorising "evil" fascism.

When you have people, like Reed, who claim to be Christians while simultaneously pursing cynical Machiavellian political strategies, who believe in the distinction between "legitimate" and "illegitimate rape, who believe contraception is a sin, who believe that the poor are poor because of their sins, who demand abstinence only sex education despite its repeated failures, who think they are the chosen people of god and the nation they live in is the chosen of god, you know we are doomed. Emory you should be ashamed.

On another related issue I always get a laugh when groups like Christian Republicans on Facebook urge a return to good old Christian America and good old American Christian values. I have to laugh the laugh of recognition because such a partial understanding of American history is so common among so many in this country particularly on the Republican Dixiecrat side of the political ledger.

When looking at the history of the US it is clear that officially the US has had since its inception disestablishment, i.e., no state religion, no theocracy. Before that, of course, there were, on the official level, theocracies in New England, and theocracies on the official level in the South. However, on the popular or unofficial level not only in New England and in the South and particularly in the Middle Colonies, Colonial America and later the United States has been religiously diverse at least since the seventeenth century. Jews have been in the what became the US since 1654. Santeria has been in what became the US for some time thanks to good old Christians enslaving of Africans who were brought to the Colonies and the US to do the labouring dirty work particularly of America's Southern plantation elite.

Unofficially, of course, some varieties of Christianity did come to dominate America, thanks to the tyranny of the majority (ethnocentric religion does like to foist its morality on everyone else), in the wake of the American Revolution and the American Constitution, the constitution which established disestablishment, and there was religious, read Protestant, establishment in some American states like Massachusetts until 1833. But there have always been Christian countercultures in the American Colonies and the United States, Christian countercultures like the pacifist Quakers, the pacifist Mennonites, and Enlightenment Deists like Thomas Jefferson who famously eliminated anything supernatural from the gospels in his so-called Jefferson Bible including miracles and virgin births.

Eventually, of course, and thanks, in part, to American humanists like Robert Ingersol, the US courts became what they were and should have been in the first place, legal systems free of majoritarian Protestant religious tyranny in the 19th century. And to that I say, Hallelujah and Amen.

Moyers and Company, "The Resurrection of Ralph Reed", 31 August 2012, PBS
Jim Galloway, "Ralph Reed: There's Bigotry Against Mormons. It's on the Left", 30 August 2012, Political Insider, Atlanta Journal Constitution
Thomas Jefferson, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (the Jefferson Bible)

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