Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Return to the Dark Ages

We have a situation here. Some very dangerous people have taken over the government of the United States of America. Many of them are religious zealots, fundamentalists who seem not all that different from the ones who fly fully loaded passenger planes into buildings full of innocent civilians. They have friends and supporters who hope to plunge the world back into the Dark Ages. Check this out:

"In your re-election, God has graciously granted America—though she doesn't deserve it—a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. You have been given a mandate.

....Don't equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you.

....Undoubtedly, you will have opportunity to appoint many conservative judges and exercise forceful leadership with the Congress in passing legislation that is defined by biblical norm regarding the family, sexuality, sanctity of life, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and limited government. You have four years—a brief time only—to leave an imprint for righteousness upon this nation that brings with it the blessings of Almighty God."

That’s not a parody of some bible-banging nut-job. It IS the nut-job. The words are from James T. Dobson, radical cleric of Bob Jones University where they give new meaning to the term creationism. Dobson was congratulating King George for stealing yet another election and, obviously, imploring him to finish the job of turning the U.S. into a full-blown theocracy. That’s bad enough, but it gets worse.

There’s a bunch of fundamentalist far-right Christians in Washington who have no problem with courting that old-time Armageddon. The Rapture being what it is, their religious zealotry meshes nicely with the end of life as we know it here on planet Earth. In other words: George W. Bush, being among the ranks of the allegedly saved, may have no problem with starting a nuclear war.

Presumably, there are several ways to bring about such biblical prophesies, (you know, where those "true believers" ascend to heaven and all us heathens burn in hell), but nuclear holocaust probably fits the bill since there’s all that fire involved. Unfortunately, this is rather do-able since the present occupant in the Whitehouse considers himself in that exclusive club of the oh-so righteous and has been dropping a disturbing number of end-time biblical phrases in his speeches. Before the invasion of Iraq he proclaimed, "the Evil One is among us". People interpreted the comment as a scriptural reference to Satan walking the Earth in the "final days". There’s also legitimate concern that Bush’s "axis of evil" speech was more about holy war than about foreign policy.

Bush’s proximity to the nuclear "football" and the button, which would release the hounds of hell in the final battle, is truly a sobering thought. If either China or Russia, (both countries currently alienated from the U.S. by the invasion of Iraq and other geo-political issues, and both countries possessing large numbers of nuclear warheads), are dragged into a confrontation, we will all be more-or-less history. Granted, a Bush burning with religious fanaticism, ready to bring on prophesized biblical doom seems a stretch to most rational minds, but who ever said these bible-bangers are rational? Quite the opposite: being totally consumed by beliefs in things no one has ever actually seen puts them squarely in the irrational column. The present U.S. policy in the Mid-east is a fitting example. It does little but perpetuate the violence, but it IS in sync with biblical prophecy: getting the Arabs out of the Holy Land. And, need we be reminded, irrational people do irrational things like destroying humans and entire landscapes in order to "save" them.

U.S. Lieutenant General William Boykin, veteran of the Delta Force assigned to hunt down Osama bin Laden, seems to represent this mindset. Speaking in Oregon last year he stated: "We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this." Apparently, for some people, the Crusades never ended. One can only wonder how such a person rose to the rank of Lieutenant General in the U.S Army when they could just as easily have been cast for the role in some dark Hollywood version of reality.

I don’t know about you, but I’m perfectly happy with planet Earth the way it was designed and with the gifts nature provides for us. Yes, the environment is a mess (much of the damage courtesy of corporate forces represented by the likes of the Bush regime), but I’d rather government go about making repairs than razing the entire house, if you catch my drift. That the Republican establishment itself and much of the brass at the Pentagon were publicly voicing trepidation about the Bush league’s adventure in Iraq prior to going in, should tell us something. Even those conservative stalwarts may fear the White house has fallen into extremist far-right hands with apocalyptic agendas. God help us!

But the lord works in mysterious ways, or so we’re told, and it seems entirely reasonable that people who may not be "saved" might be the ones to save us from the ones who allegedly are. It was the forces of rational thought, the Renaissance, which overcame the perverse realities of the Inquisition and the Dark Ages. During those medieval times the forces of darkness had insinuated themselves into the church and state and turned its doctrines to their nefarious ends, just as today’s far-right fundamentalists, Christian, Jew and Muslim alike, have equated death and violence with salvation. These are seriously disturbed people, but they can be overcome just as their predecessors were. However, fear and timidity must be overcome first; that and the store-bought blind allegiance of mainstream America where so much of the population falls in line lockstep behind the flag, leaving the thinking to the corporate media or other masters of the status quo. Quoting platitudes from Faux News or CNN pundits does not qualify as independent thinking. It’s more like quoting party line, chapter and verse. It’s one thing to believe in one’s nation and its constitutional government, but it’s quite another thing to allow just about anything to be done in its name. Ask most any elderly German about that.

So, in closing, I’d like to recommend a sort of 21st century Renaissance. We need to remove the forces of darkness from our midst. The "evil one" may indeed be among us, but it is perhaps more of a mindset than some sort of demonic individual. It feeds on the same sort of blind obedience that led good German people to do horrible things. It feeds on the religious fervor that led good churchmen in medieval Europe to do horrible things. It sheds the blood of innocents and the religious and political beliefs of the blood-letters will not shield them from their god-awful deeds. The “evil one” has a name and address: it is called religious fanaticism and presently it lives all around us. We cannot confront it by sitting at home and whining about another four years of neo-conservative extremism. We have to meet it in the streets and public places, and we have to do that now.


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3:32 PM  

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