“In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1) “. . . and soon there more words” (Jim 3:23) “. . . and most of these words were bullshit.” (Sebastian 6:19).
I have long had it with people who think they know what (their) God wants to do with the world. They are arrogant, stupid, and dangerous and, if there is a god, they are at best his bad joke, and at worst his instrument for ending creation like some Rambo movie. The latest of these Armagiddiots is Rev. John Hagee, a tub of blathering evangelical guts who claims to know how that ending is written. And his instrument, his “chosen people” are the Jews.
So what else is new, you say. The Jews called themselves “the chosen people.” They did. That’s OK. It’s when other people start choosing you when the trouble begins: the Babylonianschose them, the Egyptians chose them, the Romans chose to splatter them all over the diaspora so that Russians and Germans and Poles could choose them, . . . well you get the idea. [This, by the way, has nothing to do with Matthew 22:14 “Many are called, but few are chosen,” which is a mis-reading of “Many are cold, but few are frozen.” Frigidians 5:28]
Hagee would argue that the Jews had it coming. Like the Holocaust. He claims that Hitler was foretold in a verse in Jeremiah and that Hitler and the Holocaust were part of God’s plan to force the Jewish people back to Israel, not Florida. [This matter of just where the Jews belong is much mooted. [See DCJ Archives, 4:7, “The Cornhusker Solution”]. Hagee, you will recognize, is the guy who endorsed John McCain (“And he shall cast aside his first wife, and take unto him a bimbo with much manna.” (Revelations of the Hanoi Hilton 27:17). McCain liked that; it was a “two-fer,” Jews and Evangelicals in one swoop. But the holocaust thing soon caused McCain to recant, he having calculated that Rev. Tub-of-Guts would cost him some votes.
This left McCain almost without metaphysical counsel except for the endorsement of another ranting evangelical, Rev. Rod Parsley, who wants to wipe Muslims off the face of the earth because Islam is an “anti-Christ religion that intends through violence to conquer the world.” (Parsley, like Hagee, is a man of peace.) This proved to McCain that one should never choose a garnish for and baked potato with sour cream as “my spiritual guide.”
Senator McCain received a “free pass” on most of this stuff because his opponent, Senator McAble(?) was having a helluva time because his “pastor,” Rev. Wright, a whacked-out fire-and-brimstoner, couldn’t get over the exposure one of his congregation was giving his church. Channeling some spirit that was like Martin Luther King on meth and steroids, he did his best to tank Obama’s candidacy by trying to frighten the honkies into getting their pointy white hoods out of he closet.
Now, if you no longer think there is a good case for the separation of church and state I would like to “smite thee with the jawbone of a ass” or “hang a millstone about thy neck and cast thee into the sea” or “set upon thy seed plagues of locusts, and endless speeches of George W. Bush” . . . well you get he idea. The sheer officiousness of religion in secular affairs clouds, confounds and complicates reasoned discourse.
Interestingly, it appears that Hagee’s support for the State of Israel puts some American Jews in a bit of a bind. They welcome any support for the perpetually beleaguered state; he raises a lot of money, but am not sure that they do no realize he only seems to want the Jews around is to fulfill some prophecy about how they will get a chance to convert to Christianity at the “end times.” But, since his mystical machinations also involve a considerable amount of intolerance of other religions to go along with his weird notions about Hitler being an agent of God’s plans for the Jews, he violates Jewish repulsion for such prejudices. So writes Rabbi David Sapperstein in the Washington Post (5.25.08).
As if international relations aren’t complicated enough with the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” being the principal operative policy and resulting in relationships that look like three-dimensional chess being played by Condi Rice and Kim Il Jung in a dark room. Much of that darkness comes from the way in which religion, the great trumper of reason inn so much of he world through history, obscures facts and frustrates rationality. It is both insidious and remarkably resilient.
Christopher Hitchens wrote recently in Free Inquiry April/May 2008, Vol. 28, No.3) about how religion has made a comeback, in its manifestation in the Russian Orthodox church, in a sort of concordat with the also resilient tendency of the Russians toward autocracy. Those stove-pipe-hatted bozos had it great under the Czars, blessing an aristocracy that kept almost everyone else in serfdom. How can we forget Rasputin. And let’s not forget the Fiddler on the Roof. Then under Stalin, who also enjoyed persecuting the people and the Jews, they laid low under the radar of the putatively “godless communism.” Putin, too, has a use for them, and they for him.
The Hagee-Parsley business is further proof that religion, that insidious stateless state of permanent fear, remains, ironically, both the cause of so much of the evil doings in the world, and its ostensible cure. Perhaps when you are a tiny state with a religious symbol on your flag, a history with much sadness, and enemies that are legion, you might be tempted to gather to you allies of opportunity. But Hagee and his ilk are as dangerous politically as they are theopathically insane [See, DCJ Archives, 10. 2: “The Theopaths”]. Look what they have put two presidential candidates through. O Israel, O Israel, in the beginning was the word, and the word was beware, with enemies like you already have, you don’t need friends like this!
© 2008, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 5.26.2008)