Friday, June 18, 2004

From the Alternative Press: Bush and the Religious Right's Holy Crusade

Neal Pollack. Where do I recognize that name? I'm not at all sure where. This bad boy of the body modifications and outspoken sexuality really skewers the Bushies and their ties to the whacked out religious right (as opposed to the sane religious right). He does so today at It's a good read, though it is pretty much over the top for my taste. Still, I'll give a couple excerpts from this very long article.

Writers for alternative newspapers on the West Coast generally aren't prone to making hyperbolic, paranoid statements, but I'll smash the mold: Our country is being run by a lunatic Christian cult. The evidence grows tumescent. Example one is General Jerry Boykin, a deputy undersecretary of defense who, after September 11, started making the rounds of evangelical churches preaching that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would "only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus." The U.S. is in a "holy war," he preached, against Satan, who wants to destroy our "Christian army." Guess what work Boykin was engaged in while making those speeches on the weekend? That's right. He was helping Donald Rumsfeld craft the specifics of Operation Copper Green, that top-secret Christian program that got us into so much trouble at Camp Redemption. At one of his preaching sessions, Boykin established the pecking order of moral authority. "George Bush was not elected by a majority of voters in the U.S.," he said. "He was appointed by God." Yes, sir! God approves of making prisoners masturbate each other, sir!

Hah-hah, you say. This is just one crazy general, an aberrational escapee from the lost reel of Dr. Strangelove. I mean, a guy who throws a retreat at Fort Bragg for Baptist preachers, like Boykin did in April 2003, must be one of a kind. One reverend wrote in an invitation letter, "It is believed by you, me, and others that we must find a group of men who are warriors of FAITH, pastors who have the guts to lead this nation to Christ and revival!" But still, this isn't the kind of country where preachers go to military bases to watch a demonstration of "today's war-fighting weapons" with a high-ranking federal military officer.

Actually, it is. This is also the kind of country where the president meets with the members of a radical, far-right millennialist Christian sect three weeks before he counteracts all known international law and opinion regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation. That sect, known as the Apostolic Congress, opposes any deal with the Palestinians because it believes that Christ won't return to Earth until all of Israel belongs to the Jews and Solomon's temple is rebuilt. To those of us who like a dose of sanity in our morning coffee, such ideas are anathema, but to President Bush, they're a daily briefing. Even Ronald Reagan, that holy-rollerist of presidents, didn't give apocalyptic Christians weekly telephone briefings on White House policy. It's almost impossible for Kofi Annan to get a meeting with the president, but Robert G. Upton, of the United Pentecostal Church, can say, as he did a couple of weeks ago in that house organ of fundamentalism, the Village Voice, "We're in constant contact with the White House."
This article makes just oodles of connections of how Bush is beholden to the religious right, yes, that section of it that believes in creation science and also that the End Days are upon us. Let us pray, as does Pollack, fervently and constantly, that the Bushies are only in there for a few more months.