Over the last few days, I've been engaged in a bit of Facebook brouhaha on my mom's page. Because both mom and I grew up in West-by-God-Virginia, we have more than a few people on our "friend" list with whom we probably couldn't have a civil, verbal conversation over politics. Cushioned by the space of the internet, we are emboldened to engage on occasion.
To that end, Mom posted this op-ed about the bankrolling of the Tea Party on her page. I loved the piece, as it exposed what every intelligent person already knew: the Tea Party is far from a populist movement but, rather, is financed by extremely wealthy, old, white men. (Yawn.) These sugar daddies are, in my opinion, exploiting stupid people for financial gain. I mean, seriously, does anyone actually think that any of Fox's so-called "news" is real? Rupert Murdoch gives a soapbox to the most confrontational, bigoted idiots he can find in order to do one and only one thing: line his pockets. He doesn't give a flying fig if you actually want to "be the change you wish to see in the world" (sorry Gandhi!) -- and he knows his demographics. Get some people to scream about "God" and "taking our nation back" and lo! Viewers! And then, if you're lucky, you'll get people like mom's friend Bert repeating it, telling people "it's the gospel truth! I heard it on Fox News!" They call it a media "empire" for a reason, and Murdoch is definitely its soulless bastard of an emperor.
Anyway [end rant], with regard to Mom's friend Bert: In response to the NYT piece, Bert writes crap like this: "As a Christian I think the first or at
least one of the first tenets is that man is made in the image of God.
Abortion then, ranks as an abomination along with homosexuality and some
other stuff; it is a demonic mocking of God's order and I think the day
will come when America will be required to pay for this sin; perhaps
Obama has ushered in that day."
I know, WTF does this have to do with billionaires backing the Tea Party? It's Obfuscation 101. In later rants, Bert adds: "Democracy always leads to the dictatorship." Now, that's a gem. He goes on and on about homosexuals who can gain access to heaven only if they're celibate and adds: "you progressives are trying to destroy Christianity in much the same way you're determined to destroy the country."
That's me, right there, in a nutshell. I'm determined to bring down both Jesus Christ himself and the entire U.S. of A. Like I said, DUCK!
So here's my problem; here's why I'm blogging while angry: there are a lot of Berts. Too many. They are products of a public education system that has failed to teach them good citizenship, and they are products of churches that have bastardized the teaching of Jesus himself. To Bert, I can't be both a Christian and a Democrat. (I am both.) To me, I believe that Jesus himself would be a Democrat, and here's my evidence: he loved lepers, prostitutes, the most downtrodden, but also the tax collectors (c'mon, you know how Democrats LOVE their taxes!) ... He exalted the humble and humbled the exalted. He didn't say "you won't get into heaven IF" like Glenn Beck's followers do. He said "love thy neighbor as thyself" (not specifying which neighbors to leave out, like those abortionists and gays that Bert denies) -- and He also said "follow me." Unlike what I perceive to be a fairly straightforward, open-door invitation from Jesus to join him on faith alone, Bert claims to have a bead on who's going to live in eternity with Christ and who's not. Frankly, in his book, I'm fairly sure that you can put a stamp on my forehead and mail me straight to hell, because I associate with so many sinners, and Muslims too! God help me!
How do we stem this tide of know-nothings who are seeking increased political power? What do they do when they get some? (And they will. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.)
The fact of the matter is that democracy is run by those who show up, and there are more and more Berts showing up. I'm not afraid of the Tea Partiers in general (I actually think they have some validity -- at least the ones who aren't wearing t-shirts decrying abortion and Islam) -- but I am afraid that people are listening to Glenn Beck, who, IMHO, may actually be the spawn of Satan himself. How can people not see through his self-aggrandizement, false prophecies, and lies?
It just makes me so angry, angry that our public schools generally suck (unless you live in a wealthy town like mine where the schools are supported by private foundations -- yet they STILL don't teach basic citizenship!) and angrier yet that so many so-called Christian churches are turning their back on those whom Christ loved as his brothers and sisters. It'd be easy to take a deep breath and find some comfort that I live in California, the land of Pelosi and Boxer et al. But we may be about to elect Meg Whitman as Governor, and I'm pretty sure she watches Fox News.
God help us all, indeed.