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For God's Sake - Stop Talking

Friday, 15 July 2011 08:15 By Cliff Schecter, Truthout | Op-Ed

The US takes pride in its separation of church and state, but the current political scene is "strangely" religious.

Lately, there would seem to be a whole lot more people who have a direct channel to the Big Guy Upstairs than one could have humanly thought possible.

It is oft said that "God works in mysterious ways." But when Michele Bachmann hears voices telling her to run for president, am I the only who thinks the most likely explanation is a batch of bad clams or one too many nights role playing "The Book of Eli" with her equally demented husband Marcus?

Perhaps, these are the very same voices that have shared with her the important role "founding father John Quincy Adams" played in ending slavery as he battled the oncoming scourge of puberty? I don't know, just a stab in the dark.

Regardless, whether it is gay marriage or spotting the Virgin Mary in your gordita, our re-embrace of culture by theology in the United States (not unlike much of the rest of the world) has led supposedly "serious people" to say things that not so long ago would have landed them a starring role in "Girl, Interrupted."

In our current age, in fact, possessing a direct cerebral channel to Deus (or at least claiming you do) would seem to be a requirement for receiving an invitation to a GOP presidential debate.

Additionally, it equally pervades the rest of right-wing political culture in the US, as twisted scripture both provides ready justification for those who hate everything about the this country post-1930, and renders more difficult the job of the media to effectively criticize any crackpot theory - lest they lose their "objectivity" for a moment and offend some True Believers.

For example, in light of the recent law passed by the New York State Legislature providing full marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples, dingy-old-Hammerhead-Bat Pat Robertson offered his expert testimony that "there's never been a civilization ever in history that has embraced homosexuality and turned away from traditional fidelity, traditional marriage, traditional child-rearing, and has survived."

He went on to compare the United States to Sodom and pleasantly predict we'd suffer the same fate - complete annihilation.

In other words, in case you're keeping score, Jesus is apparently cool with Rev. Robertson having befriended the al-Qaeda-harboring, genocidal thug Charles Taylor, in order to fatten his wallet from a steady diet of Liberian blood diamonds. When it comes to loving couples of the same sex tying the knot, however, not so much.

Make a tax-deductible donation to Truthout this week, and your contribution will be doubled by a charitable foundation! Keep independent journalism strong - support Truthout by clicking here.

Thankfully, for the rest of us, Robertson's many past predictions of our collective demise were so inane they might as well have been announced on an aircraft carrier with a "Mission Accomplished" banner in the background.

So, to pick up the slack, Missouri GOP Congressman and apparent Mary-Shelley-creation Todd Akin also jumped into the God interpretation game last week - likely as a strategy to forward his US Senate campaign. Akin, in an obvious moment of clarity, puked out that "at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God." Because, as we all know, nothing is closer to the teachings of the Bible than Akin's record of lying about his address for voting purposes and cutting taxes for eight-figure earning CEOs, while gutting health care for impoverished children.

Sadly, however, our God Culture isn't limited to just the political game, but also allows some of those clever cats, professional athletes, to get in on the action.

I must admit to finding it rather amusing - as in completely ridiculous - whenever an overpaid ballplayer hits a three-point shot or bashes a fastball over the center field wall, only to respond by pointing up to the Heavens as if it were Divinely ordained. Because we all know any Higher Power has nothing better to do - like ending conflict in the Sudan or curing cancer - than taking in some sport and using his/her powers to ensure Arsenal wins the FA Cup.

I mean, somewhere Jacob is trying to best that bloodsucker Edward and win the affections of Bella, and God is going to worry about the Stanley Cup? How arrogant.

It is this hubris that must explain why one of the heroes of the 2007 Super-Bowl-winning New York Giants, David Tyree, thought it his place to tell us what his God would think of gay marriage in New York - much like Brother Robertson. As you can imagine, according to Tyree, it just up and freaked God out.

I guess he missed the part where he's the guy we trust to catch the ball on the field, not make public policy, according to his translation of the will of his Deity, off of it.

For, in the end, it doesn't matter if you're a Believer or not. Most of us to the north of birdbrain can agree that no matter what Bachmann, Akin, Robertson or Tyree have to say on the matter, it is in fact societies ruled by faux pious numbskulls that, to quote the elegant and articulate Robertson, have "never, ever survived."

Perhaps, he and his Republican buddies can ponder the words of the founder of their party, Abraham Lincoln, who once counseled that it is "better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt."

This article was originally published at Al-Jazeera English.

Cliff Schecter

Cliff Schecter is the president of Libertas, LLC, a progressive public relations firm. He is the author of the 2008 bestseller "The Real McCain" and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Follow Cliff on Twitter: @Cliffschecter.


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For God's Sake - Stop Talking

Friday, 15 July 2011 08:15 By Cliff Schecter, Truthout | Op-Ed

The US takes pride in its separation of church and state, but the current political scene is "strangely" religious.

Lately, there would seem to be a whole lot more people who have a direct channel to the Big Guy Upstairs than one could have humanly thought possible.

It is oft said that "God works in mysterious ways." But when Michele Bachmann hears voices telling her to run for president, am I the only who thinks the most likely explanation is a batch of bad clams or one too many nights role playing "The Book of Eli" with her equally demented husband Marcus?

Perhaps, these are the very same voices that have shared with her the important role "founding father John Quincy Adams" played in ending slavery as he battled the oncoming scourge of puberty? I don't know, just a stab in the dark.

Regardless, whether it is gay marriage or spotting the Virgin Mary in your gordita, our re-embrace of culture by theology in the United States (not unlike much of the rest of the world) has led supposedly "serious people" to say things that not so long ago would have landed them a starring role in "Girl, Interrupted."

In our current age, in fact, possessing a direct cerebral channel to Deus (or at least claiming you do) would seem to be a requirement for receiving an invitation to a GOP presidential debate.

Additionally, it equally pervades the rest of right-wing political culture in the US, as twisted scripture both provides ready justification for those who hate everything about the this country post-1930, and renders more difficult the job of the media to effectively criticize any crackpot theory - lest they lose their "objectivity" for a moment and offend some True Believers.

For example, in light of the recent law passed by the New York State Legislature providing full marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples, dingy-old-Hammerhead-Bat Pat Robertson offered his expert testimony that "there's never been a civilization ever in history that has embraced homosexuality and turned away from traditional fidelity, traditional marriage, traditional child-rearing, and has survived."

He went on to compare the United States to Sodom and pleasantly predict we'd suffer the same fate - complete annihilation.

In other words, in case you're keeping score, Jesus is apparently cool with Rev. Robertson having befriended the al-Qaeda-harboring, genocidal thug Charles Taylor, in order to fatten his wallet from a steady diet of Liberian blood diamonds. When it comes to loving couples of the same sex tying the knot, however, not so much.

Make a tax-deductible donation to Truthout this week, and your contribution will be doubled by a charitable foundation! Keep independent journalism strong - support Truthout by clicking here.

Thankfully, for the rest of us, Robertson's many past predictions of our collective demise were so inane they might as well have been announced on an aircraft carrier with a "Mission Accomplished" banner in the background.

So, to pick up the slack, Missouri GOP Congressman and apparent Mary-Shelley-creation Todd Akin also jumped into the God interpretation game last week - likely as a strategy to forward his US Senate campaign. Akin, in an obvious moment of clarity, puked out that "at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God." Because, as we all know, nothing is closer to the teachings of the Bible than Akin's record of lying about his address for voting purposes and cutting taxes for eight-figure earning CEOs, while gutting health care for impoverished children.

Sadly, however, our God Culture isn't limited to just the political game, but also allows some of those clever cats, professional athletes, to get in on the action.

I must admit to finding it rather amusing - as in completely ridiculous - whenever an overpaid ballplayer hits a three-point shot or bashes a fastball over the center field wall, only to respond by pointing up to the Heavens as if it were Divinely ordained. Because we all know any Higher Power has nothing better to do - like ending conflict in the Sudan or curing cancer - than taking in some sport and using his/her powers to ensure Arsenal wins the FA Cup.

I mean, somewhere Jacob is trying to best that bloodsucker Edward and win the affections of Bella, and God is going to worry about the Stanley Cup? How arrogant.

It is this hubris that must explain why one of the heroes of the 2007 Super-Bowl-winning New York Giants, David Tyree, thought it his place to tell us what his God would think of gay marriage in New York - much like Brother Robertson. As you can imagine, according to Tyree, it just up and freaked God out.

I guess he missed the part where he's the guy we trust to catch the ball on the field, not make public policy, according to his translation of the will of his Deity, off of it.

For, in the end, it doesn't matter if you're a Believer or not. Most of us to the north of birdbrain can agree that no matter what Bachmann, Akin, Robertson or Tyree have to say on the matter, it is in fact societies ruled by faux pious numbskulls that, to quote the elegant and articulate Robertson, have "never, ever survived."

Perhaps, he and his Republican buddies can ponder the words of the founder of their party, Abraham Lincoln, who once counseled that it is "better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt."

This article was originally published at Al-Jazeera English.

Cliff Schecter

Cliff Schecter is the president of Libertas, LLC, a progressive public relations firm. He is the author of the 2008 bestseller "The Real McCain" and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Follow Cliff on Twitter: @Cliffschecter.


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