Christ Weary, Part 1 (Personal History):
The Rude Pundit has been battling the religious right in one form or another for virtually his entire life:
When he was 10, his next-door neighbor was a little red-headed girl named Sarah who kept trying to get the Rude Pundit to go to church with her and get saved. Once, while jumping rope, Sarah said, "Don't you wanna feel holy?" To which the Rude Pundit replied, "The only thing 'holy' means to me is 'full of holes.'" Then Sarah took her jump rope and, oh, sweet purging pain, started to whip the Rude Pundit with it.

When he was in high school, one of the Rude Pundit's best friends was Paul, a football player, heavy metal lover, and dopester, rebelling against his fundamentalist parents. A year or so after high school, Paul was married with a kid, and he decided to give up the dope and get born again. "Isn't it great? I used to get high on pot, but Jesus fills that spot in my life," he said. To which the Rude Pundit replied, "What's the difference?" Paul was non-plussed. He talked about how he had thrown out all his Led Zep and Metallica and other music because it had led him down a demonic path. "Throw them out? Fuck, why didn't you give 'em to me?" asked the Rude Pundit. "Because they wrecked me and I didn't want them to wreck you," Paul said.

This list of stories could go on and on. From the groups who tried to block his entrance to seeing The Last Temptation of Christ to the Operation Rescue nuts who screamed in his face to other friends who tried to get the Rude Pundit to see the light, the Rude Pundit's been there, man. He's been prayed for, spit on, and told he's going to hell (as one ex-lover wept - she couldn't be with the Rude Pundit because he's gonna end up in hell 'cause he won't let Jesus save him). He's looked into their spinning eyes and seen the blind hate they mistake for love.

Oh, sure, as every good pundit needs to say who dares criticize Christians, there's been lots of positive experiences, like the gospel choir in Tennessee he was invited to see, like the Methodist wedding he attended in a forest chapel. But this is bullshit. It's the religious equivalent of "I Have Gay Friends" or "I Have Black Friends." Still, we're not talkin' about all religion here: we're talkin' evangelicals who have appropriated the word "Christian" to mean them and only them.

The Rude Pundit has seen them all their manifestations, all over the nation, from Eureka, California to Wichita, Kansas to Birmingham, Alabama to Boston, Massachusetts, and there's one thing he can tell you about the godly fundamentalists who have nothing but Jesus in their "hearts": they don't stop. Ever. And they won't until they're disbanded or win.

They are deluded motherfuckers, man, who would smile reading this because all they would think is that they know best because Jesus tells them so and then they'd feel sad that the Rude Pundit refuses to let Christ into his heart. But then they'd feel happy because Jesus is in their hearts. It's so fuckin' sweet.

They are plague rats, they are vile, they are poison. And when this ship of a nation finally goes down into the drink, they will be the first to abandon it while the rest of us stay and try to salvage the wreck.

Tomorrow: Tim Russert and his polarized "panel" on "moral values" on Meet the Press this past Sunday, and the need to sodomize Jerry Falwell. Repeatedly. (For early reading, check out the two parts on the Meet the Press confrontation over at BlondeSense.)

And feel free to send in your own story of your battles with the righteous. We'll throw them up here on Friday. E-mail your tale to rudepundit@yahoo.com.

A Couple of Things Noted Briefly:
On Voter Fraud in Ohio and Elsewhere (U.S. Version) -- As we watch the legal wrangling over Ohio's suspicious voting irregularities, as well as debates about statistics and e-voting, and on and on, the Rude Pundit has one question: can anyone give an example cited in "mainstream" press sources of an electronic voting machine overtallying in John Kerry's favor? Or a statistical anomaly in Kerry's favor? Or something that would show the problem is the system itself and not just a bias in Bush's favor? And, statisticians, what's the likelihood that every "error" would result in more votes for Bush?

On Voter Fraud (International Version) -- The comparisons between the Bush administration's insistence on the need for clean, open elections in Ukraine and their dismissal of any allegations of irregularities in the U.S. are bizarro and interesting. Perhaps more relevant is the comparison of the Bush administration's positive reaction to the Kiev demonstrations and the support for what will inevitably be tainted elections in Iraq. So let's get this straight: many in the Iraqi political spectrum want to postpone elections to assure a fair vote, but, fuck fairness and legitimacy, let's just vote and let Allah sort it out. Damn, some abiding principles we live by in the U.S.A., huh?