Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rick Perry's Circus

Recently watched a segment on this week's Rachel Maddow Show that was jam-packed with clips from the various evangelical ministers that are slated to speak at Texas governor Rick Perry's upcoming day of prayer and fasting. The guv's holy orgasmatron will be held at the Reliant Stadium, which will be just finishing up the July run of Ringling Bros. Circus. Perry better take care not to ruin his expensive ostrich-upper cowboy boots by stepping in leftover elephant shit. But enough about the fickle governor, who has in the last year moved from subtly supporting Texas secession to hoping to nab the Republican presidential nomination- the real spectacle at the event will be the all-star lineup of evangelical firebrands that Perry hopes will pray away America's problems.

Some choice clips are here in the Maddow piece, including C. Peter Wagner explaining that Japan has suffered recent disasters because the Japanese emperor has been having naughty nightime encounters with the Sun Goddess Amaterasu Omikami. (Oops, sorry, remember that she's not really a goddess- she's a demonic creature of Satan, despite what the Japanese themselves might say about the matter. Gotta remember to reject other religion’s claims while defending one’s own indefensible notions!)



It’ll be very interesting to see what the national response to Perry’s event will be. Might be a good barometer of the extent to which the US evangelical community has been drawn even further to the right and how much more brazen they might become in publicly making their groundless theological declarations.

Unfortunately Maddow’s piece doesn’t deal much with my personal favorite member of Perry’s crew, the rotund and authoritarian John Hagee. Hagee, a staunch supporter of extreme right-wing politics in both the US and Israel, was a fixture of my life a few years ago- I would come home from work, pop on Trinity Broadcast Network just as his show was beginning, and alternate between laughing and crying as I listened to him while cooking dinner. Hagee authors a constant stream of End Times-related media intended to whip na├»ve heartland Christians into a reactionary frenzy with titles like “Financial Armageddon” and “Can America Survive? Ten prophetic signs that we are the terminal generation.”(These in addition to endless financial self-help and, humorously, diet books).

Lately, he’s glommed on to the fashionable myth of America’s "debt crisis” and has been including it as a new addition to his usual End Times death-instinct fantasies. The idea that we must “slash spending” or something bad might happen to the US is easily exposed as a longtime and very thinly disguised tactic to destroy social democratic(ish) programs like Social Security and Medicare. So, it looks like the fiscally “conservative” (read: rapacious) business class has found a new way to dupe the socially “conservative” (read: Christian) working class into serving their interests: tie the lies about the national debt crisis to End Times apocalypticism.

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