Christ Weary, Part 3 (Southern Baptists Are Just Soooo Cute):
The news just keeps comin', fast and furious, about the myriad ways in which the Christian right is capitalizing on the nation's queasiness about hot ass-fucking, looking to outlaw faggotry wherever it can, stopping just short of concentration camps, because, you know, that'd make 'em like Nazis. Via Americablog, Alabama Representative Gerald Allen wants to ban books that have gay characters from all libraries. So he's introduced a bill to the legislature that "would prohibit the use of public funds for 'the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle.' Allen said he filed the bill to protect children from the 'homosexual agenda.'" Now, as near as the Rude Pundit can tell, the homosexual agenda generally consists of shopping, dancing, and fucking people of the same sex. Not so much of an "agenda" as it is a "desire to live life without stupid fundamentalist assholes isolating and condemning them."

God, how giddy the Christian right press was when the Wyoming killers of Matthew Shepard said the motivation for beating Shepard to death was money for drugs, and not Shepard's homosexuality. The Southern Baptist Convention's news bureau practically wet itself at the thought that a "hate crime" was not committed, giving the 20/20 story big play on its website. Why, you might ask, would whether or not Shepard's murder was a "hate crime" would matter to Southern Baptists? Let's be simple and not ironic or glib at all, in case any of them are reading: because they hate homosexuals and any sympathy for homosexuals. And if the gay rights movement loses the ability to use one of its martyrs, well, then, so much the better.

To paraphrase Tip O'Neill, all worship is local. Sure, sure, back in the day, when televangelism was polluting our TV screens, everyone associated faith with Falwell, Swaggart, Bakker, and the like. But here's the deal: the people across the country who watched were, for the most part, good, godly citizens who already attended churches. Televangelism was a supplement, not a replacement (except for the elderly and shut-ins who were bilked out of millions of dollars). If we on the left wanna understand, with our jaws dropped open, what the fuck is going on, we need to look locally, at the preachers and congregations that do the heavy lifting for the larger evangelical movement. And not just at the wacko "God Hates Fags" set. We're talkin' mainstream holy hatred.

Take, please, the aforementioned Southern Baptists, who claim 16 million members at 42,000 churches across the country, all of whom are at least paying lip service to the Baptist Faith and Message negotiated out by the conservative group. Like under "Family" and the strange contortions of logic therein: "The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation." So, like, whuh? The wife and husband are of "equal worth," but the wife must "submit herself" to the leadership of the husband. So, it's like if you have a pair of whores, and you call them "equal," but there's only one that you'll shit on after you have her fuck you with the nine-inch strap-on. But, really, they're equal. (Ahh, you might answer, but what if the one hooker likes being shat upon? Then that whore is ready to become a Southern Baptist wife.)

Across the country, Southern Baptist pastors suck down this shit and spew it back at their flock. So Pastor Mac Williams of the Two Rivers Community Church of Dayton, OH will look at the Evangelism tenet of the church and its admonition to "make disciples of all nations." And then he'll pass on to the congregation that "We are not to try to make disciples of all nations, we are to actually do it!" Now, translate that into the Jesus-addled mind of a man in the audience who sees Islamic terrorism on TV, and what do you think that man is going to believe about the solution to the current war? And do you think that man has any chance of voting for, say, John Kerry?

Or maybe look at the website of the First Southern Baptist Church of San Diego, which in its "About Us" section states plainly, "America is in a state of moral decline and we believe that the message of Jesus Christ can change lives and bring hope and healing to all who will receive that message."

It's often been said that the problem with liberals is that they see doubt, nuance, grays, even in their own beliefs. How can that face off against such ironclad faith, like in the words of Keith Cook of the traveling "On the Go" Ministries: "Never before in the history of the world has mankind been faced with such a godless society. Terrorism and materialism rule side by side. Morals and decency have been thrown aside for prosperity and pleasures. Young people and adults go from one fad to the next looking for happiness. The mood is set for a tremendous spiritual awakening."

And that's the Southern Baptist Convention's mission right now, a spiritual awakening in America. They've even got a three-year plan, and we're about to head into the final stage of it in 2005, with a "What Now?" campaign on TV and radio (One wonders if ABC, CBS, and NBC will broadcast those ads). For the love of fuck, they're training people in some kind of bizarro SWAT team of faith: the Evangelical Response Center. Oh, yes, the past election has emboldened the entire religious right. Hell, fuckin' Falwell has even brought back the Moral Majority (the 80s are sooo retro-cool).

You have to know the enemy before you can defeat it. You have to know just how huge it is. The Rude Pundit has consciously avoided making this just about Southern states, because the evangelicals are not stoppin' at the edge of the red areas. As he said on Tuesday, these fuckers are not going to give up. They've tasted blood in 2004. As far as they're concern, they're really only five Senate seats away from complete domination. And as they continue to fuck up this country, sinking it under the strain of their lies about Christ's love when all they want to do is codify hate, we who are Christ weary, so goddamn sick of having our faces shoved into the piles of Jesus shit stinking up the streets of the nation, have to figure out what we do about it.

Tomorrow: your stories of Christ weariness. Next week: How we fight.

Keep sending them - your tales of confrontation with the saved, the born again, and your parents. Dozens and dozens have come in so far. E-mail to rudepundit@yahoo.com.