Monday, November 9, 2009

Cross them off

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Not long ago, someone on a radio talk show suggested that the current gaggle of Republicans in Washington who vote NO on every proposal, yet have nothing to show as an alternative bill, should get out of their elephant suits and call themselves what they really are: The Christian Party.

The logic appears to hold up at first: if the rabid anti-abortionists, school prayer zealots, and homophobes who now make up the Republican Party were to break off and start their own club, there'd be maybe five or six politicians left behind to rebuild a party with a conservative platform based on low taxes, limited government, and a thriving business base. Nothing else, no bullshit — all of the other smokescreens could be taken up by the defectors. To go along with the current elephant and the donkey political party symbols, the new party could add a crucifix.

But there's a problem with that. While "Christian" became synonymous with lunatic thanks to two terms of Bush and eight years of tyranny in the Name of Our Lord, that definition is neither fair nor reasonable. As we've mentioned before, it's just lazy thinking, an easy sweep-'em-all-into-the-same-dustbin lack of mental effort.

Here's why:

Blessed are the poor, the meek, the broken-hearted, the hungry, the homeless. And blessed are the merciful, the pure at heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for any of these blessings. Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the poor, comfort the sick, and befriend the imprisoned.

Those are directions straight out of the New Testament, the field manual for Christianity, words spoken by the Christ who the belief system is named for. And they sure as hell don't sound anything like traumatize the pregnant, persecute the gay, pontificate and proselytize in the name of God until you make unbelievers of those who currently believe. And while you're at it, make a fat, deaf, drug-addicted failed sportscaster, a squinting egomaniacal liar, and an anorexic stick-legged Hitler wannabe your holy trinity — not Father Son and Holy Ghost, but Rush and Sean and Ann.** Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter.

No, those aren't in the Christian playbook. If anything, they're orders of the anti-Christ:

Exploit the poor, ridicule the meek, mock the broken-hearted, banish the hungry and the homeless — but care for the wealthy. And blessed are the merciless, the corrupt at heart, the warmongers, and those who are rewarded for being morally bankrupt. Ignore the hungry, evict the homeless, tax the poor, kill the sick, and increase the imprisoned.

So okay, no; not the Christian Party. The vermin who recite this creed are as far removed from Christianity as Anton LaVay and his Church of Satan. Call them the Anti-Abortion Party, sure. Or the No Gays Party. Or the School Prayer Party. Any of these will do — hell, split 'em up into separate camps, and help the millions of single-cause voters in Amurca line up with the one topic that lets them ignore the other one hundred problems going on during any election.

It might even allow the five or six Republicans left behind to propose some ways to enhance the... you know, the Republic... without ever mentioning religious beliefs at all. There could be actual, spirited, intelligent debate about real issues! Instead of just voting NO, and instead of feeding their followers bullshit like "the people don't want health care" as their rationale for doing their corporate masters' bidding while offering no viable alternative, the newly liberated elephant people would be free to propose genuine plans and join the process of leading and shaping a nation, rather than just keep collecting corporate donations and building stone walls in the middle of every road to the nation's progress.

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