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How the Religious Right Hijacked Jesus in Broad Daylight

By       Message Richard Mathis       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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The Devil's Diary

Dear Diary:

Damn Dan Wakefield. He knows too much and writes far too well. Worst of all, although he's diligently concerned with what's happening, he's not a fear-monger or rabble rouser. He rattles no sabers and leaves his sword sheathed. He accurately assesses the situation without condemnation and judgment. All the sorry son of heaven does is tell the truth of how the religious right twists the Bible to advance their political agenda. An agenda which ignorantly boosts my profits and power.

In the despicable vein of liberal objectivity which holds the truth sets you free, Wakefield shows in "The Hijacking of Jesus" how the religious right has appropriated Jesus and American politics. Like Kevin Phillips in "American Theocracy," Wakefield correctly pinpoints a southern origin in the current epidemic of religious war. The south might have lost the civil war but damn if it's not winning the great American cultural war.

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The overwhelming wave of current conservatism might as well be called the crimson tide. Wakefield quotes the Reverend Jim Wallis as saying "You wonder what happened to George Wallace and his racist followers? They put on perfume and called themselves 'the Religious Right." Put on the perfume of sanctimony and started putting on airs, I say. Then again, that's what they did when their spiritual forefathers championed slavery as a God-given right of free enterprise which needed defending against government regulation and those do-gooding Yankee apostates. Indeed, the biggest denomination in America, the Southern Baptist Convention, was formed primarily in support of the inerrancy of Biblical support for slavery.

Not that all northerners were for fighting a war to end slavery. Hell, not even Abraham Lincoln wanted a war to end slavery. When Abe issued the Emancipation Proclamation, he only freed slaves in the Confederate states. Among the worst riots in American history happened because New Yorkers didn't want to be drafted to fight a war simply to free slaves. Granted, many were far more willing to go south after the war, as witnessed by Atlanta literally having been mainly reconstructed by NewYorkers who saw and took the opportunity to make big bucks. That was the first reconstruction of the south.

Rebels see the second reconstruction taking place with the civil rights movement. Like many others at the time, the Reverend Jerry Falwell saw Martin Luther King, Jr. as communist inspired. Falwell said that "civil rights" are "civil wrongs." In condemning King, Falwell said that "Preachers are not called to be politicians, but soul winners." Wakefield shows how winning souls came to be the same as winning elections.

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At the heart of the matter is that a line has been drawn and it will not be crossed. Liberals might have forced integration upon the good God-fearing people who have suffered for so long at the hands of the wicked, secular, liberal government but damn if the Godly are going to accept any more pluralism. Liberal theologians might have preached that God is dead and Jesus is a hoax but the chosen are going to preach the inerrant word of God and show that science and evolution are liberal lies. Atheists might have got liberal judges to outlaw prayer in school and legalize the killing of unborn children but the mandataries are going to enthrone judges who are going to rule under God's law and execute anyone who aborts. Pinko pacifists and the liberal media might have lost the war in Vietnam but the Christian soldiers are not going to turn tail and run in Iraq because a few bleeding heart mommies have lost their sons. And hellfire and damnation will come down before liberals cram homosexuals down their holy throats.

Such is the emotional state to which I have been able to arouse among conservatives. Naturally, I manipulate similar emotions among the liberals. It's a game that I've played since the beginning. Forget the hijacking of Christianity being a modern event. To varying degrees I've been stealing from Jesus since his disciples wanted to know who would be number one following his death.

But damn Wakefield, he doesn't play along with my little game of an eye for an eye and an insult for an insult. Why couldn't Wakefield nastily and snottily assail the religious right in the grande literary tradition of haute liberal culture? Wakefield is certainly well qualified and surely has ample justification, personally and intellectually. And so many on the religious right make convenient, contemptible and contemptuous targets. Enumerating their vile flaws is about as easy as spotting cockroaches at a garbage dump in Florida. Surely if Wakefield beat up on the religious right, they would be the only complainants. Everybody knows the religious right's approach is to readily cast the preemptive first stone upon the enemy. Nobody would give a hoot in hell if they got a dose of their own poison.

Yet Wakefield doesn't repay their hate with hate. He doesn't demonize the demonizers. He doesn't spew the orthodox liberal dogma that religion is some type of mental illness which breeds widespread social diseases. While he certainly points out their many inconsistencies and hypocrisy, Wakefield refuses to condemn or hate those of the religious right who hate and condemn him. Like other bleeding hearts such as Jesus, Gandhi and King, he has to try to understand his opponents and to appeal to their highest values to help achieve a higher good.

What fears this provokes, dear diary. Yes, I'm so close to finally winning my bet with God and securing the world as my trophy. But if people were to catch onto what Wakefield is saying then my plans could easily be thwarted. Just Jesus is the only way to appeal to those who have stolen his name. They must be told that it is not enough to believe in Jesus - as James said, even I do that - but one must believe Jesus enough to actually do what Jesus taught. Anyone who says that they know God and Jesus but who does not love is a lying hypocrite worthy of my highest praise.

What I have accomplished is to have many, many Christians believe that they are exempt from having to follow the teachings of Jesus. What I used was a variation of the fallacy of killing the messenger. Certainly, I did use kill the messenger with Jesus but when that failed to stop the movement of peace and love he had started, my brilliance once again shone through and I realized that if killing the messenger didn't work then idolizing the messenger would. I was thus able to have many to become so enthralled and captivated by an Apollonian image of perfection that they would never desecrate such an idol by attempting to be like it their dirty little wicked selves.

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At the same time, I was able to move Christianity from being about the practice of love and mercy to being an intellectual pursuit. Theological correctness was the original political correctness. Once having made much of Christianity into a worship of conceptualizations, it was only a matter of time before I had them doing the exact opposite of his teachings in the very name of Jesus himself. And still do, as I have all rights to proudly proclaim. For many people today a working definition of Christian would be someone willing to do anything in the name of Jesus but be loving, merciful and tolerant.

For now, dear diary, all I can hope is that anger, fear and hate will continue to thrive and that calm, rational voices of reason and compassion like Wakefield's will continue to be tainted as evil liberals. I got them to do in Jesus, and I will get them to wipe out all peacemakers in the name of God. Armageddon will be my shining moment, my piece de resistance, my ultimate mockery.

Hatefully yours,

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B. 1952, GA, USA. D. To Be Determined. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, lover, confidant and friend of many from bikers to Zen masters; American writer and speaker, known for his criticism of Mammon's unholy trinity of big business, big (more...)
 

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