Rise of Holy Agitators (in USA)

In the early 1950’s in the USA television was a new craze.  Quick to note the craze some enterprising guys still clutching their freshly printed Bible studies diplomas sought to serve the Lord by preaching their revealed word using that promising medium.  The Lord seems to have been well pleased.  For example, by May of 1985 the evangelical marketer Pat Robertson was even being featured in a cable magazine called On Cable.  Filled with boundless self-righteousness and vanity Robertson declared that he sought to remake America into a “biblically based Nation”  .His fiery right-wing politics was characterized by him as “conservative, religious, and a biblical point of view.”  He did’t mention that the authors of those biblical views had written their point of view in the Bronze Age.  Blissfully unconcerned, Robertson latched onto their point of view and it was so slickly packaged that by 1985 his organizational effort was siphoning in more that $70 million a year from bedazzled followers.

The long-standing Constitutional ideals and values placed upon diversity, variety and plurality by the American people were regarded by Robertson as being “extreme dangers” to a secular state.  Respecting the rights of minorities was being threatened in his lofty view of how a “biblically based nation” was supposed to be run.  Robertson pontificated that children in public schools were being taught “a collective philosophy that would lead citizens away from God toward Marxism, socialism, or a communistic type of ideology.”  Oh he was talented at scaring  the be-Jesus out of the gullible.  In his humble opinion, therefore, he found it logical to denounce the Department of Education as being “unconstitutional.

Not shy about telling the nation what God wanted for it, Robertson asserted that the United States Supreme Court had departed from history and the constitution.  He reasoned and worried publicly about the “encroachment” of the judiciary.  they just didn’t seem favorable to the idea of a  theocracy.  Thus Robertson charted course to “engage” in what he termed “advocacy journalism,” and his Christian Broadcast Network news teams began spewing out reams of propagandist mini-documentaries with heavy “conservative” (read theocratic) messages.  (He must have been delighted some years later when the Supreme Court became composed with five of the nine Justices being Republican and staunch Catholics. And it was a Republican dominated Supreme Court that would later tell the nation that our redeeming leader was to be the Born Again George W. Bush.  Hallelujah!)

Robertson’s Christian Broadcast Network news teams were headed by a man who was once editor of The Washington Times, which just happened at that time to be owned by the “Reverend” Sun Myung.  This strange bedfellow happened to be loaded down with questionable North Korean connections.  Not to fear.  The “born again” population, Robertson averred, was seriously under-represented in our national government.  Posing as a caring messenger, he declared, “The basic thing people do not understand is that evangelicals in America are not plotting to take away the rights of everyone else.”  (Trying to eliminate the Department  of Education would therfore simply be a god-inspired money saving move.)

Robertson worked hard at presenting himself as the modern age version of a biblical prophet.  For sure the biblical prophets had dared to mix it up with politics–which was always in regard to a very select group of people.  True to form, Robertson declared, “God is going to thrust his people (meaning fundamentalists) into positions they never dreamed they were capable of taking on.”  (George W. Bush & Company certainly did seem to fulfill that prediction.)  If the heavy tilt of religiously obsessed persons in governmental positions today is any indication, and if their corruption of true democratic principles is an example of a “biblical based nation”, can we  truthfully say that their sly take over of the Republican Party in 1996 was “fairly benign”?

Well, today, several decades later, Robertson’s Christian Broadcast Network and Regent University is pulling in over $400 million a year peddling the same old far-right political propaganda and implications of heaven’s special favoritism.  But his empire is upstaged now by an old rival from the same earlier era which is now marketed as the Jerry Falwell Ministries/Liberty Counsel/Liberty University.  That deceptive use of the word “liberty” is to sabotage the US Constitutional safeguard of church-state separation–the guarantee of religious freedom (liberty) for everyone.  Peddling this anti-democratic baloney the Falwell empire today rakes in over $600 million a year.

Amazingly there are other claimers of God’s especial favors who wage war on every person’s freedom to worship as they choose–all of which rakes in multimillions a year for being staunchly un-American and pro theocratic.  Take the so-called Focus on the Family that has the gall to endorse.Right Wing political candidates; it is lucrative and nets the Dobson “family” over $92 million a year.  And there is the so-called Family Research Council (an off-shoot of Focus on the Family) that holds an annual “Value Voter Summit” and draws in over $14 million for their un-American stance.  And there is the American Family Association that is against about everything that grants civil freedoms.  The Reverend Donald Wildman who heads this “Association” boldly proclaims that separation of church and state was invented by Hitler, no less.  Duh!  For that heavenly enlightenment his anti-Constitution bias nets over $17 million.

Other grandiose named outfits include American Center of Law and Justice/Christian Advocated Serving Evangelism.  That imposing mouthful defines the purpose, which is to force–force–fundamentalist beliefs into all public schools.  Allied with the Pat Robertson empire in spirit and money-love it pulls in over $57 million a year.  Justice is again implied with the so-called Alliance Defending Freedom, but the only Council for National Policy aimed for is to allow them to axe the federal law which bars tax-exempt churches from actively intervening in partisan elections.  God, it seems favors that antidemocratic stance to the tune of over $47 million a year.

Ahh, but there are even more would-be religious oppressors out there.  It is all strictly spiritual guidance, of course.  Take the bewildering Concerned Women for America (affiliated with the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee) which indulges in heavy prejudices against the Creator’s intentionally wide-ranged diversities of life.  This anti-feminist lobby was founded by Beverly (!) and Tim LaHaye, who (in 2015) raked in over $14 million for their discriminatory activities.  Not content with that, Tim LaHaye also headed up the Council for National Policy which presumes to evaluate prospective GOP candidates.  This membership-only outfit drew only a little more than $2 million.  Still another agitator operation is Ralph Reed’s Foundation and Freedom Coalition whose primary purpose for existence is to attract more fundamentalists to vote.  Their holy reward—over $3 million per year.

Oddly, these material obsessed, self-appointed faith merchants seem to have little appreciation for what Jesus is alleged to have preached.  .For example, in Matthew 6;5 (King James version–among the many translations): “And when you pray do not be like the hypocrites for they pray standing…so that they may be seen of men.  They (in that manner) have their reward.”   And in Matthew 7:1-3 (KJ): “Judge not, that ye be judged.  For with what judgment ye judged and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.”

Perhaps those faith merchants of fundamentalism should get their greedy noses out of their elaborately constructed feeding troughs and actually follow the teachings they claim to epitomize.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: