Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Frist Fuck

Thank god the White House and the Senate Republicans have their priorities in order. The nation is bogged down in a foreign Civil War that resulted from America's invasion of the nation because the President does not like their leader. The national debt is at an all time high. The budget is completely out of balance and it has significant cuts in almost every major domestic program. America's prestige has plummeted throughout the world and we have a national disaster still happening on the Gulf Coast. The world may be facing a deadly pandemic. Millions are diseased and hungry in many parts of the world. Medicare and Social Security are headed toward disaster.

But, Frist, the Senate Maqjority leader announced yesterday that the FIRST item on his domestic agenda is to propose a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage! He has already scheduled the committee meetings to address this vital concern. He also has been told by other Senate Republicans that the measure is sure to fail. So why is he wasting the Senate's and the nation's time? Well, gee, if you were a part of this administration and were facing all manner of ethics probes, hearings, trials and a pre-fall election public assessment of the quality of job you were performing, wouldn't you prefer to get several million red-necks and fundamentalists all upset about gay marriage? If they can get people all worked up about two men fucking, the fools may not realize that they are the ones really getting fucked. God, what a nation.


Blogger Wild Reeds said...

Really sad, the rise in fundamentalism in the USA. Hopefully the 2008 elections will bring about a change. Nice blog! Found it by clicking on my favourite book "Heaven's Coast" by Mark Doty. It's been my ambition to meet him for many years... am a big fan.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Professor M said...

Your comment brought to light the fact that definitions have gotten mighty blurred in terms of the culture wars in the USA. I contribute to that confusion with my loose use of the term "fundamentalist." Most of the time when I use the word I am actually referring to the politicized Christian Right in this country. The Right claims the title of "fundamentalist" and employ the jargon of that group. But, true fundamnetalists have a history in this country apart from the antics and actions of the Right Wing supporters of Bush.

Fundamentalism is a relatively new phenomenon in the US. It arose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in response to at least three cultural/intellectual developments. Of course, they reacted strongly against Darwin's explanation for the mechanisms employed by evolution in its ongoing creation of species. One of their primary tenets was that the bible was not only inerrant but that it was also literally true---including its history and "science." So Darwin conflicted with the creation myths in Genesis. (They rarely would deal with the fact that Genesis has two accounts of creation which contradict each other's chronolgies. God knows how they figured both chronologies could be literally true!)

Concurrent with the rise of Darwin's work was a new approach to the exegesis of scripture. Scholars began to use the same techniques in analyzing the bible that they would use on any other "primary" source or artifact. This new academic approach terrified the people who initiated the fundamentalist movement.

Finally, the fundamentalists were reacting to a new practical approach to scripture and living a Christian life. Many churches and theologians were beginning to emphasize the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels more than the rules and strictures of the Old Testament and the letters commonly attributed to St. Paul. They argued that being a Christian meant living one's life as Jesus had actually taught--feed the hu ngry, take care of the poor and sick, love your enemy, turn the other cheek and all those other LIBERAL things Jesus told us to do. The fundamentaluists thought that all this Sermon on the Mount emphasis missed the more important biblical "truth" that belabored the extremely sinful nature of humans and their need for salvation. The fundamentalists obsessed about their personal salvation, the Social Gospelers emphasized living a Christ-like life.

So, fundamentalism was in large part a front in the battle against modernism. They tended to see all things "modern," whether in art, music, scholarship, theology or science as threats to the old time religion. But one of their characteristics was to view politics as anathema to their mission.

The modern Religious Right puts on the face of fundamentalist Christianity--which millions of Americans benightedly subscribe to--but that is actually a rather cynical facade to cover their raw poltical ambition as social and fiscal conservatives who eschew all social programs--except corporate welfare--all government intrusion into our lives (meaning taxes and environmental laws) except when it comes to government regulation of a woman's use of her body and except in saying who can marry whom. They care more about gay marriage than a lying and/or ignorant president whose mistakes have cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. They believe some of the same things as fundamentalists but with little of the sincerely religious underpinnings.

The Christian Right exploits the gullibility of millions of people whose cosmology was determined by a bunch of nomadic sheep herders 5 or 6 thousand years ago. The Religious Right is not about being religious and it is not right.

In my future ramblings I will attempt to be more exacting with my terminology and use Religious Right when I am addressing the current reign of "religious" demogoguery in America and will use "fundamentalists" when I am speaking about a sincere, albeit wrong-headed, interpretation of Christianity with a valid cultural history.

1:34 PM  

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