Friday, May 20, 2005

What WILL Jesus Do?

The republican psychosis terrifies me for lots of reasons. First, the fact that suddenly, apocalyptic religious zealots have seized almost spontaneous control of every branch of the United States government and the major media. This is far more dire than the ordinary direness of having the nation siphoned dry by the fortune 500, which is what I’m used to complaining about. No, this is immeasurably worse and more alarming; these people want to end the world.

Bumper stickers catch my eye now friends. One is a fairly common though particularly unctuous one, seen for many years:

“in case of rapture, this vehicle will be unmanned.”

This puts me in mind if something James Watt reportedly said once when asked how he planned to increase efforts at environmental conservation. He responded, in paraphrase, “The Rapture is coming. Why bother conserving anything?” Was Watt suggesting that conservationists are actually wicked sinners since they imply through their work that they don’t believe in the imminent end of days? Isn’t the correct way to show our obedience to God to pollute the air and water, guzzle gas, cut down forests, waste everything and anything, so as to make the end That Much Nearer? How’s that for a Secretary of the Interior?

Any sane moral grown-up would find such a man and such a plan for stewardship of the State insane and dangerous. Under Reagan, the radical Christian right made inroads and tapped into some of the power sources in politics. We remember the James Wattses of the eighties as cartoonish figures with crazy-sounding, funnny and harmless ideas pulled from the pages of Today’s Bible comics.

Today those ideas control the most powerful decision makers world. The tap root has wormed itself completely into the root system of democracy and threatens the host organism – the Country – with catastrophe.

I really think these people imagine war, particularly an End Times Nuclear War, as some kind of biblical-type pageant where the world is engulfed in gore, non-believers fry in vats of oil, and good clean white subdivided suburban well-connected Christians are rescued at the last possible moment by their fair-haired Boy Savior, who wipes away whatever fear or guilt they may have picked up somewhere and takes them away to paradise. Who in their right mind would want to prevent Armageddon, they ask. We want our Jesus NOW.

And besides, something in our leaders’ good Christian hearts wants to see that “unmanned vehicle” go careening out of control. The I-told-you-so moment, replete with a punchline, a clear victor, a lesson, a moral, a parable to be lovingly re-told… “the wicked were destroyed… the good were taken to paradise…”

When the button is pressed I’m not sure the Nuclear Option will be blowing up the Senate after all. It may be blowing up truth, or perhaps even reality.

I guess you could say I’m afraid of the Mass Suicide of our culture, the lot of us falling on the sword of today’s diseased ideology, engineered by the CEO’s of the New Industrial ChurchState.

I hope against hope that it cannot blow up hope.

1 comment:

exgrad said...

Hey, at least their warning us that the car will be unmanned. basically it's saying "don't trust my driving, I'm a Christian."

can do!