Rise of Holy Agitators (in USA)

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

The long-standing Constitutional ideals and values the nation’s founders placed upon diversity, variety and plurality for 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 opinion of how a “biblical based nation” was 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 good 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 his 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.  Later, he must have been delighted when the Supreme Court became composed with five of the nine Justices being Republican and staunch Roman Catholics. And it was a later Republican dominated Supreme Court that would step in and 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, for 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 therefore simply be a 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 just happened to always be in regard to a very select bunch of people.  True to form, Robertson declared, “God is going to thrust his people (the fundamentalists) into positions they never dreamed they were capable of taking on.”  (George W. Bush & Company certainly did seem to fill 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 Broadcasting Network and Regent University pulls 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 today upstaged 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” in their promotional marketing disguises the fact that the aim of their “liberty” is to sabotage the U.S. Constitutional safeguard of church-state separation–the nation’s father’s guarantee of religious freedom (liberty) for everyone.  Peddling this anti-democratic baloney the family Falwell empire today rakes in over $600 million a year.

Amazingly there are other claimers of God’s especial favoritism who wage war on every person’s freedom  to worship only as they choose.–all of which rake in multi-millions 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’s their Family research Council (an off-shoot of Focus on the Family) that holds an annual “Value Voter Summit” which draws in over $14 million against anti-Constitutional protections.

Still another self-declared biblical representative is the American Family Association that is against about everything that grants American’s civil freedoms. The Reverend Donald Wildman who heads this “Association” boldly proclaims that separation of church and state was invented by Hitler!  Duh!  For that type of heavenly enlightenment his anti-Constitutional bias nets over $17 a year.

Other grandiose named outfits include American Center for law and Justice/Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism.  That imposing mouthful defined 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 by them is to allow them to ax the federal law which guards 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’s 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 intentional wide-ranged diversities and variety 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 presumed to evaluate prospective GOP presidential 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 about such conduct.  For example, in Matthew 6:5 (King James version–among the many other 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 “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 teaching they claim to epitomize.

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