Friday, October 14, 2011

Idiots’ Delight

This is fast becoming my favorite monthly piece.  You could say it’s where I let what’s left of my hair down.  Trying to act like the adult in the room, like our president, is an exacting and demanding job, so every once in a while I let my alter ego out of his cage and let him have at it, as it were. 

With politics dominating the stage – and rightfully so I might add – I thought I would shift gears a bit and go Biblical on your butts this month.  Below are two “fine” examples of idiocy. So deserving of the spotlight of shame, they could easily share first prize.  But, alas, someone had to edge out in front, if only by a nose, which, after reading this, you will have to hold for quite some time.

Without further ado, the envelope please:

Robert Jeffress: This “evangelical” pastor calls himself a devout Christian.  In reality he represents no faith that I am aware of.  His remarks about Republican candidate Mitt Romney belonging to a cult religion and Catholicism being a counterfeit “Babylonian mystery religion” that represents “the genius of Satan” reveals a mind so depraved and bigoted as to suggest a total absence of the very qualities Christ possessed and sought from his followers.  Those qualities include mercy, compassion, empathy and, above all, love.

That Texas Governor Rick Perry distanced himself from the remarks and later condemned them was reassuring, but the real scab behind this flap wasn’t just this pastor’s ignorance, but how prevalent his views appear to be within the Church.  Religious bigotry doesn’t get a lot of press these days – what with all the racial prejudice that has risen once more to the surface – but it is alive and well and running rampant throughout the Christian faith.  Jeffress merely gave voice to what many – particularly in the evangelical community – have been feeling all along.

In fact, a look at his bio suggests that, far from being a fringe player among evangelicals, Jeffress is highly regarded and respected by many of the “faithful.”  He leads a 10,000-member congregation in downtown Dallas and has few equals among his ilk.  Many of Jeffress’ contemporaries not only share his views but have publicly stated like-minded opinions. 

This superiority complex and contempt for other faiths is nothing new.   Ironically Jesus had to deal with it during his own ministry.  He often referred to the Pharisees of his time as a “brood of vipers.”  Two thousand years later, that very same brood is, once more, exposing its heart and making a royal ass of itself for all to see.  And, for the moment at least, Jeffress is its crowned prince.  He will not be the last.  Trust me.

Harold Camping: File this under dumb and dumber.  Captain Rapture is at it again. It wasn’t bad enough this used-car salesman of a preacher duped potentially millions of gullible boobs into believing the world was coming to an end last May 21st.  Now he’s back for another bite at the same apple.  The new date for Armageddon?  October 21st.  Exactly five months to the day of his last “bold” prediction.

How does he explain his gaffe?  Let’s let old Harold put it in his own “humble” words.

“What really happened this past May 21st ? What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen. That was to warn the whole world that on May 21 God’s salvation program would be finished on that day. For the next five months, except for the elect (the true believers), the whole world is under God’s final judgment. To accomplish this goal God withheld from the true believers the way in which two phrases were to be understood. Had He not done so, the world would never have been shaken in fear as it was.

“I do believe we are getting very near the very end. We’ve learned that there is a lot of things we didn’t have quite right and that’s God’s good provision. If he had not kept us from knowing everything that we didn’t know, we would not have been able to be used of him to bring about the tremendous event that occurred on May 21 of this year, which will probably be finished out on Oct. 21. That’s coming very shortly. That looks like at this point, it looks like it will be the final end of everything.”

If there is any justice in the world this snake oil salesman will be beamed off the face of the planet on October 21st and the lives of millions of tortured souls will be spared from having to contend with and fall for any more of his false doctrine.  Every Christian who doesn’t have his head up his butt knows full well that predicting the end of the world is not only a fool’s errand, but those who actually attempt it are contradicting the very scripture they purport to represent and adhere to in the first place.

Camping isn’t the first to peddle this drivel; in fact, you could say he follows a “grand tradition” of other nefarious preachers who thought they could catch lightning in a bottle, only to be disappointed by the reality that the planet they were predicting would soon end had been around for millions of years and was, no doubt, going to outlast their wretched and hypocritical lives.  Brother Harold is merely more famous and, apparently, more adept at shoveling shit than his predecessors.

In the unlikely event, however, that Camping is right, and the Rapture does in deed take place on October 21st, I am asking my fellow colleagues to preserve my writings for how ever long their miserable, condemned, pusillanimous lives are permitted to exist.  No sense in wasting a perfectly good judgment day, right?

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