Wednesday, March 29, 2006

paranoid ... like foxes

Somehow I wasn't invited, but there was apparently a conference about the war on Christians in Washington yesterday. Yes, that's right -- "war on Christians." If you hadn't noticed, we apparently live in a country where our tolerance for abortion and other things equates to anti-Christian hatred. Who better to quote than holier-than-thou Texan exterminator Tom DeLay:
We are after all a society that abides abortion on demand, that has killed millions of innocent children, that degrades the institution of marriage and often treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition. Seen from this perspective, of course there is a war on Christianity.
Wowzie. Hey, DeLay, we are also a society that tolerates eating beef, observes Christian religious holidays but no others, and treats Buddhism like some second-rate superstition. Seen from this perspective, of course there is a war on Buddhism. Right?

Another absurd statement by Michael Horowitz of the rightist Hudson Institute -- he said Christians are "the Jews of the 21st century." What the bejeezus is he smoking? I haven't seen any pogroms against Christians in America, no mass executions, no political or economic disenfranchisement, no guys wearing brown with stupid little brush mustaches going around and accusing Christians of having lost the last war for us. What an absurd, insulting comparison.

And another interesting little tidbit -- the organizer, right-wing radiomeister Rick Scarborough said Tom DeLay's current legal woes aren't because he's corrupt or evil or created enemies by his political strongarming, but because he's CHRISTIAN.

Now, not all Christians are buying this line. Robert Franklin, a Church of God in Christ minister called the "...inclination to see it as a war against Christianity strikes me as a spoiled-brat response by Christians who have always enjoyed the privileges of a majority position." Well said.

Are these people just plain paranoid? The rank and file may well be, especially since they keep telling each other they are under siege, and their religious bosses repeat the charge. But I doubt their LEADERS are. For them, it's just a crass political ploy to lay claim to the mantle of victimhood and deflect attention from Republican corruption, venality, wealth-worship, and incompetence to the alleged ungodliness of the so-called enemies of Christianity.

Wrapping himself in the red, white, and blue cross, DeLay said "Sides are being chosen, and the future of man hangs in the balance! The enemies of virtue may be on the march, but they have not won, and if we put our trust in Christ, they never will. . . . It is for us then to do as our heroes have always done and put our faith in the perfect redeeming love of Jesus Christ."

Cries of victimhood and equating political or religious differences with warfare are always handy when trying to increase power and influence. And if you say it enough, you'll believe it -- reportedly 3/4 of evangelicals think they're under siege, and half feel they are looked down upon by others because of their beliefs. Paranoia, in the service of a far-right theocratic political agenda.

It is easy to make fun of these people. But I fear them.