Or, How I Had A Good Time In Spite Of All The Bloodshed
so I didn't have a good time. Not really. I spent New Year's Day
revisiting some of my old material, my old gripes, my old passions, my
old fears. And you know what?
They're still here.
haven't changed. Oh, in the last three years the main characters have
changed somewhat: they've gone from mostly Pat Robertson and Jerry
Falwell to a variety of Christofascists: Mike Huckabee, Ann Coulter,
Glen Beck (marginal, but nonetheless a presence hard to avoid), Rod
Parsley, Rick Warren, Sarah Palin, Bill O'Reilly, Benedict XVI, etc.
But widening the field has only pumped up the volume: there are more
people bloviating over social issues and politics than ever before and
covering/reading about/expounding on them is very acidic to my brain as
well as my stomach. And their
venues for screeds and harangues have not really changed either:
separation of church and state, same-sex marriage, abortion, politics,
war, morality, etc., etc. I'm working on a particularly difficult piece
right now, - Islamophobia - and as with other subjects, this one is
going to create more muckraking (for me), more rhetorical bile (from
Christofascists) and more written displeasure (from everyone). It takes
on Anti-Semitism, death tolls,, persecution, and religious history
(which my detractors will insist is revisionist). It will definitely
get responses of "NO!" "Not True!" "Un-American!" "written by an
idiot," "inconsequential bile."
...and their point? They
want to make sure that everyone knows that they hate me. They read my
articles, spurred on by an insulting or titillating title, then spend
their time telling me as well as others how wrong I am. Oh, they've
been getting more sophisticated: they use spell check ... sometimes.
And they've referred to other articles (usually in the op-ed section of
their local paper). But they still write in generalities. I'm waiting
for the day someone writes something of substance using concrete
evidence. Apparently I'm worth the effort for general outrage but not
for researched, substantiated outrage.
looked back at one article in particular and want to share it. It was
written within several weeks of Katrina and it featured, of course,
Robertson and Falwell. Their responses to disasters and acts of
terrorism are still mimicked by Christofascists today: God's wrath
resulting in nature's destruction, economic crises, hard times.
By DAN VOJIR
just come from another "beer bust" for Katrina hurricane victims. Given
the magnitude of the charity the U.S. has shown for them, this might
become a usual pastime for more than several months. The difference
with these beer busts is that they are sponsored by gay bars.
this brings to mind is the point that true compassion knows no
"orientation" boundaries, while the doctrines of many churches lead us
to believe that food and shelter for the suffering are given a
decidedly "Christian" slant. Some fundamentalists, such as Repent
America's Michael Marcavage and Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church),
are, in fact, enjoying their role as God's Ambulance Chasers: Marcavage
offers "prayers" but no help, while Phelps' website has a headline
"Thank God For Katrina!"
Christian pleas are more indirect in their conditional compassion:
Falwell Ministries requests people to "send a special gift to support
our volunteer-driven, faith-based response to the
tragedy of Hurricane Katrina" and touts the work of Southern Baptist
Conference, the infamous fundamentalist denomination that reviles
homosexuals, feminists and (still) Jews. Pat Robertson's Operation
Blessing works in conjunction with FEMA while cloaked with an air of
righteousness. It's a sort of poor man's Salvation Army and reminiscent
of the lyric from Guys and Dolls: "Halleluiah, place a nickel on the
drum, save another drunken bum! Place a nickel on the drum and he'll be
Barbara Bush had an air of sanctimoniousness about Katrina's
devastation with her "underprivileged anyway" words of patrician moral
wisdom. At another time and place, I believe the quote was actually
"Let them eat cake!"
guess it all comes down to the irony of ironies: legions of queers are
much quicker to respond than FEMA or faith-based charities and far less
toxic to the conscience.
Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books " Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...