Though many on the left are laughing over the second cancellation of the Tea Party's Las Vegas convention, this time at the Mirage Hotel and Casino (the first, at a different venue, was cancelled in June) I can't help but find it ominous and not a little disturbing. Why? Because Christians don't gamble, that's why.
I've been waiting for the Christian Right to assert itself in the ranks of the so-called "Tea Party" for awhile now and over the past few weeks my suspicions have been amply rewarded. Not so much by something as minor as an event cancellation, but by the gaggle of ultra-conservative candidates who beat out established right-wing operatives in the recent Republican primaries. The numbers are sobering, the names now household -- Angle, Paul, O'Donnell, Buck, their positions on everything from Social Security to self-abuse so far to the right you can't even see them anymore.
But where Angle and O'Donnell seem almost stereotypically ditzy and both Ken Buck and Rand Paul have already shown a penchant for shooting themselves in the foot/feet (Rand Paul so many times, in fact, that I'm surprised he can still walk) there's an actual danger out there people don't seem to have figured out yet. The Tea Party is the big Christian Dominionist power play in disguise. And we'd all better start paying attention or the future will be dark as blackest night.
One of the most disturbing of the Republican's new brats on the block is Alaska's surprise Republican senatorial candidate Joe Miller. With his butcher, baker, candlestick-maker bona-fides (army officer, divorce attorney, multi-degreed judge, Christian, etcetera) Miller squeaked past current senator Lisa Murkowski in a last minute blow-out a conspiracy theorist might drool over. And, unlike the occasional RINO Murkowski, Miller is so steeped in the Tea Party ethos he may drown in it someday -- or sit in cool waters surrounded by pool toys and nimble young women with the skimpiest of angel's wings for whom the term "porter" is but a last name at best.
He's for and against all the right stuff (against social security, for cutting taxes on the rich) and hunts, fishes and races his snowmobile around with the regularity of a flax-based diet. Indeed, like George W. Bush, he looks like the kind of guy Joe Plumber would enjoy having a beer with (paradoxically Miller, as a "hard" right Christian, isn't -- technically -- allowed to drink alcohol). But judging from Miller's actual views, Joe had better get his beers in while he can -- drinking buddies or no drinking buddies.
You see, Miller, whose wife would definitely put the kibosh on the skimpy angel's wings stuff (the one picture I've seen depicts her as a little dazed and a little mean, with a sort of "You'd be a little dazed and a little mean if you'd gone through eight child-births, too" demeanor that dominated her side of the frame) favors all of the usual 15th Century agenda of the Republican Religious Right with one codicil. Mr Miller would like to take things back to the 13th century instead. Maybe even the 12th. Hell, how about BC?
Christian Dominionism is the brainchild of one Rousas John (RJ) Rushdooney, the issue of Christian parents fleeing the Armenian Genocide. Caught up in religious fanaticism from the outset, Rushdooney (who bore a striking resemblance to fellow high priest Herbert W. Armstrong) is responsible for the tome (rather "tomb" for those of us reviled in its pages) "Institutes Of Biblical Law", a fascinating volume that posits imposing Old Testament Biblical Law upon the land (theonomy). It's unregulated Calvinism with a sharp, nasty edge boasting an extensive list of moral crimes, infractions ranging from homosexuality to masturbating in the shower to mouthing off to Mom and Dad, meriting the death penalty, be it by stoning or individual hair follicle removal or whatever else these very sick puppies might dream up. Part Islam, part National Socialism, Rushdooney's version of Christianity is so far removed from the mainstream that it's almost funny... until you realize a decent minority of your fellow citizens are all for it. One of those citizens is Joe Miller.
Though he calls himself an "Independent Christian" it's really no more than a euphemism, his church of choice the same as another Alaskan political novice long ago certified "free of witches". We can only assume Mr. Miller has a similar condition. But his so-called "Christianity" has received scant attention, certainly not to the degree of Angle or O'Donnell or another Alaskan political novice, only his abortion stance providing any kind of glimpse of his spiritual leanings. And if his beliefs mirror Rushdooney's then we're all in for a hell of a ride.
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