Sunday, April 17, 2005


It's rather ironic that just a short time after a crazed gunman beat a deputy brutally, then shot a court reporter and a judge, among others, and just a scant while after an angry and disturbed individual shot the family of a judge in Chicago, the leader of the Congressional majority makes a statement, his eyes welling with petulant tears, threatening judges with retaliatory action because they dared defy the wishes of some Congressional members and the president.

I'm sure that somewhere out there in this land of zealots and crazies, some dedicated nut will pick up a rifle and go after a few federal judges. If I were to advise any of these judges, it would be to wear bullet-proof garments, hire bodyguards, and send the family on a long vacation.

Never mind that this same leader of the Congressional Majority, Tom Delay, has been accused of all manner of nefarious activity. This is covered by a blanket of Born Again indignation, an appeal to the Biblical minions in this country who have formed one of the largest political blocs ever known, and who are embarked upon a moral crusade to change America. For the most part, these minions will forgive any indiscretion on the part of a fellow Born Again, be it moral or criminal, in their quest for control of America.

Now, since this blasphemy against the dignity of the courts has been accomplished, we are to be subjected to a series of television ads containing derogatory and defamatory remarks about Democratic leaders, who are to be depicted as satanic and sinful, approving such things as child pornography, and explaining the need for the removal of the filibuster.

The filibuster, which is merely a long-winded, never-ending speech intended to kill certain legislation, has been a part of Congress since the Founding Fathers got together to frame a Constitution for their new country. It is designed to give a minority one last chance to sink a piece of legislation it does not want approved. It's pretty silly, perhaps, but it has worked. And Republicans have used it throughout the years, as have Democrats.

But why, may I ask, in order to get anything approved, do the Republicans have to use religion as a political club? Why do they have to pretend that they are the Sainted Ones, the Anointed, chosen by God to lead this Crusade against evil, while Liberals are pictured as living in a "Culture of Death"? And why, if they don't like a rule, they can just change it....while the rest of us have to helplessly comply with the rules, whatever they might be?

This, in itself, would be hilarious, if not so tragic. While the liberal faction is said to promote a "Culture of Death", the Republicans have approved a War which is killing millions of people. Of course, these people are primarily Islamic, so maybe they don't count in this Republican invented war against good and evil. To be Anointed, it seems, one has to be Christian. An Islamic, being subhuman, doesn't bleed like everyone else.

These television ads are to include a message from none other than Bill Frist, that Born Again doctor who objects to the death of Terri Schiavo, but who says nothing about the deaths of thousands of Iraqi. He doesn't ask himself, obviously, how many Terri Schiavos have been created by the missiles and bombs of that invasive war. He doesn't seem to think of the bloody and mangled bodies of those Iraqi children, caught in the crossfire.

Religion, to me, used to be the words of Christ, of gentle messages of love, peace and mercy. But I'm learning a new version of religion...the hellfire, the damnation, the puritanical punishment, the threat of death and destruction, the whiplash of moral authority. I have a mental vision of an America run like a P.O.W. camp, with all indiscretions strictly punished, with religious mantras chanted five times a day and huge religious statuary adorning the hallways of every public building. The punishment for adultery or homosexuality or abortion will be death, other indiscretions will be punished by public flogging. And, if someone wants to set off bombs in public squares and kill people at abortion clinics, they can escape death. All they have to do is bury tons of dynamite in a mountainside somewhere and look smugly unrepentant.

It is amazing to me to see how many Catholics are Republicans these days. They don't seem to realize that, in the eyes of the zealots in power, Catholics are NOT among the blessed few who will be swept up in the Rapture, leaving the sinners behind. In the eyes of the rabidly religious, Catholics will go to hell, along with all other heathenish sorts like Jews, Buddhists, atheists, etc. Only the Born Agains will enjoy paradise, exulting in their superiority, bathing in the waters of their righteousness! If they had any sense, Catholics would be standing in line at the Democratic polls.

Well, far be it from me to do other than write about this stuff. I will be gone long before the populace gets its fill of this malarkey and the old, more liberal America returns, if it ever does. But I can mourn the loss of freedom, the loss of individuality, the lost of intellectual thought. I can moan about the death of science, of creativity, of artistic freedom. I can mourn the loss of university professors free to examine every facet of life. I can mourn the birth of smugly sanctimonious religious fanatics, folks I have avoided for a lifetime.

I'm just sorry I cannot live 150 years.....or perhaps as the Biblical group believes about Methuselah, some 900 years...and see the end of this tale. If the rightwingers are correct I guess I'll have to watch it unfold from the pits of Hell. But, if I accidentally make it into Heaven, and I learn that Jesus is weeping over the antics of the war-loving Republicans these days, I hope I can figure out a way to tell them, "I told you so!"!

The truth is, if Heaven is to be filled with those self-satisfied, morally indignant, hypocritically pious, intellectually hogtied Bible Thumpers, I'm not sure Hell wouldn't be preferable.