It is the desperate attempt to gain secondary strength where genuine strength is lacking.
And I imagine Bach's deep Christian faith must be an irrelevance if not an outright outrage to the crap Christian worshippers of macho Jesus. Indeed, having come this far with Max, we need to continue on at least one more paragraph: The movement's macho Jesus provided purpose to Tom DeLay, a dallying, alcoholic Texas legislator transformed through evangelical religion from "Hot Tub Tommy" into a dictatorial House majority leader known as "The Hammer.
And he was the god of Howard F. Ahmanson Jr. Macho Jesus even transformed the serial killer Ted Bundy, murderer and rapist of dozens of women, who became a poster child for anti-pornography activists with his nationally televised death row confessional.
Although we now have a number of excellent books exploring the seamy world of Crap Christianity, Republican Gomorrah remains an excellent basic source, with its frighteningly consistent accounts of the twisted histories of the men yes, they're all men who made Crap Christianity such a commanding force in American politics. Not surprisingly, Howie has also devoted quite a lot of attention to this cancer on our body politic, and has also used Republican Gomorrah as a basic resource. Crap Christians don't believe in Jesus or his teachings, on which they basically defecate.
Not only have they manufactured their own Jesus, in all essential respects their "macho" Jesus is an Antichrist, clearly intended to undercut the actual teachings of Jesus. Now, in fact, the Crap Christians have undertaken to actually rewrite the Bible to conform to their fundamentally fascist vision, as Noah reported in awarding his " Why Do You Hate the Bible? No question about it, and Howie in particular has written about that a lot. Has Joe Lieberman engaged in activities designed to control the minds of Americans?
Well, actually, yes, most notably in his efforts to impose censorship on American music -- in league, of course, with the Crap Christians. I don't doubt that his heart is with them, but he hasn't personally done much to advance the cause. Whereas the Crap Christians have converted, at conservative estimate, tens of millions of Americans into zombielike tools of their authoritarian religious-political vision, creating an electoral force beyond the reach of truth, reason, or even reality, thereby rendering the country increasingly ungovernable, unless perhaps by some eventual mind-controlling authority that's consistent with theirs.
Widespread human gullibility is the Crap Christians' marching weapon.
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Just this past Saturday Glenn Greenwald wrote a post called " Religious faith in government accusations ," in which he noted: [I]f one hears only the Government's unchallenged, untested accusations about detainees and others whom it labels Terrorists and Enemy Combatants, it semes clear and obvious that the person is an Evil, Dangerous and Bad Man.
But when those accusations are actually subjected to scrutiny by courts, it turns out that -- in the overwhelming majority of cases -- there is virtually no reliable evidence to support them. Even beyond those cases, Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, had access to detainee files and revealed that a huge number of Guantanamo detainees -- constantly accused of being the Worst of the Worst -- were, in fact, completely innocent, as even the Bush administration came to acknowledge.
Glenn went on to point out: " Despite those facts, a religious-like faith in government pronouncements continues to dominate debates over Terrorism and civil liberties. I used to feel a lot more anger than I do now toward the "good" Christians who look the other way.
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What's changed is that I've come to understand how under siege many of them feel in the face of the onslaught of Crap Christianity, which has the show-biz pizzazz and a savvy combination of the right mix of rewards and punishments to lure their people away. But when so-called good Christians deny the existence of or danger from the Crap Christian movement in this country, I have a real problem. I still go to Mass on Christmas Eve or when visiting my oldest daughter, she has a nearby church who support peace. Odd,Christian church supporting peace huh?
Rest of the time, I pray on my own and try to lead a good life. I have faith in Him but not in these assholes here supporting the war, supporting hate. Ken, "Schlummert ein Not only had I never heard Mattias Goerne's rendition, I'd never been able to understand that song, or that cantata on the level you explained it in the linked article that I had missed last September. When Max Blumenthal stayed with me back in September , we were both way too busy to just sit down and talk. I'm glad you've brought this aspect of his book out. His understanding of Christianity is certainly deeper than mine.
I regard the Jesus story as representative of a composite character, rather than having been directly related to the real person referred to in the Bible and elsewhere. The Romans crucified a lot of Jewish holy men. But what Bach understood was important, his belief in humanity strong, even if he did think he was underpaid for his work. There's as much Jesus for me in Bach's sacred works as there is in the Bible. I was raised as a Christian and I know something about this. I had no moral choice but to leave my church. I know through sad experience that if there were "good Christians", they would have spoken up by now.
They have had many years and many opportunities to speak up. Just as Republicans are comfortable and willing with having all those hate filled teabagger altered reality based wackjobs, KKKrs, and Fox News speak for them, Christians are in lock step agreement with their jihadists.
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Christianity is not a hijacked religion and the Republican party is not a hijacked party. They are both what they are and that is how they represent themselves. Perception is reality. I heartly salutes the Jesus story as representative of a composite character, rather than having been directly related to the real person referred to in the Bible and elsewhere. Thanks to all for a really thoughtful and stimulating batch of comments. The whole phenomenon of the Family is Crap Christianity at its most insidious and dangerous. And in the interest of space I didn't go into the whole question of alliances the Crap Christian leaders have formed with some of the older-line Christian denominations on specific issues.
Yes, of course! But they're basically a single-issue operation, and while its single issue has had a seriously corrupting effect on American foreign policy Glenn Greenwald has kept especially good watch on this , significant as this is, to me it's as nothing compared with the total control of people's lives sought and won by the lying, hypocritical leaders of the Crap Christian movement who almost without exception -- and I put in the "almost" merely to cover the possibility that there's an exception I'm not aware of -- don't believe a word of the repressive, anti-democratic bullshit they inflict on the people they've enslaved , not to mention the degree of political clout they've fought for.
The Crap Christians of course deny that separation of church and state was even espoused, let alone considered fundamental, by the American Founders, but that's because they're either historical and constitutional ignoramuses or pathological liars. Crap Christian leaders are equally comfortable with ignorance and lies. What's more, there are no Jews or Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus claiming that this is a Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu country, whereas there are, in open defiance of the Founders' insistence that the U. Talk about a travesty of what this country is supposed to be about!
Am I angry about all of this? And again, I wonder about anyone who isn't. And again, I can't recommend Max Blumenthal's Republican Gomorrah highly enough for its careful documentation of how thoroughly planned the Christian Right crossover into political power was -- and by what a deeply disturbed phalanx of humans.
As an example of an exemplary Christian, though I'm sorry to have lost track of his blogging, I offer Pastor Dan Schultz, who seems to have disappeared from streetprophets. I note, though, that the January 31 RD post by him, " Obama Missed the Hope in State of the Union Address ," is presented as "adapted excerpt from his forthcoming book. Jesus would undoubtedly forgive, because that's who he was, but I can't imagine that he would be anything but appalled by the wholesale perversion of his teachings.
Two additional points, if I may. They are it and it is them. Inflection points in a world religion cannot occur more often than every several centuries, so we may effectively treat this transformation as permanent. If Christianity had not offered itself for cooptation, they would have found some other movement to coopt. They know nothing about the tradition or content of the Christian faith; they handle it as a collection of verbal talismans.
Ken: I'm with you. I don't get it. It's not the religion my grandparents practiced--and they were stern German Methodists on the Oklahoma prairie, people who had immigrated through Ellis Island and then actually taken part in the OK land runs. They practiced to my mind a rather severe Christianity--but it wasn't this strange, brain-washed, emoto-Nazi, tears-on-the-face-of-Beck stuff I see now.
My grandmother was a Democrat--always and forever. My grandfather? A Republican. They always laughed that their votes canceled out each other. But that was it: they laughed about it. They always voted, took politics very seriously--my grandfather drove a truck for Continental Oil; my grandmother was a baker in a local elementary school--but they practiced a form of private, stern, but still open Christianity.
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