Goodbye Bing Crosby, Hello George Bush, part 5
Yep, we lost our Cool. Way back there, about the time we lost Bing. Just a coincidence, or was there some connection? What have we here? More than metaphor? I've already suggested that there was a change in mood, a shift in the consciousness of the evolving American Experiment. The war behind us, television aerials on every rooftop, new money floating around—it all brought about a new vision. We got serious. Too serious, perhaps. It was time to get rich, to kick some ass, to make it happen, baby. The smile vanished from our faces; we were singing a new song, raucous now, rocking and rolling, dragging Jesus along for the ride. Money=Power=Politics=A New Kind of Religion. Megachurches moved into every town, moving to the Right, married now to the Republican Party. This was the symbolism: we were leaving Bing behind, moving toward Bush, the ultimate antidote. But were there some actual personages who helped bring all this about? It's the old question, all over again: does History make Great Men, or do Great Men appear and move History? Were there some special men, some forgotten movers and shakers who made all this happen?
There were, and you deserve to meet them. They changed your world, your very life, your Jesus in fact, you angry “conservatives”--and you've never heard of them. Also you lazy “liberals,” who've never bothered to take a serious look at what the Religious Right has done to your country. Pull up a chair and listen—get serious yourself for a change, though it's likely too late. Crooning won't help anymore...
Here then is my list, the Donald Trumps we've already had, fascists all, fountainheads, famous (or infamous) to those few who know what's going on. Read, educate yourself.
1.) R.J. Rushdoony. He started it all, really. And just like George W. Bush—his spiritual progeny---he got away with all of it, walked. Nobody even remembers. God's Government—title of the first chapter of Max Blumenthal's highly recommended book Republican Gomorrah---says it all. It was originally RJ's idea, the Christian attack on America, with us still. He had a heritage: John Calvin, Geneva, yes but even farther back there was Jeremiah, in our good old Christian Bible… Yes, march against Babylon, the land of rebels, a land that I will judge! Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you, says the Lord. Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a sound of great destruction… (Jeremiah 50: 21, 22). (No, that's not the Koran, it's your precious Bible). The young Rushdoony was raised on this kind of stuff—as the scion of an immigrant family with an ancient Christian heritage in the idyllic town of Van, in the shadow of Mt Ararat (!) dating back 2000 years, he came to America (California no less) and fell into the Pacific School of Religion at Berkeley, where he learned anew to love John Calvin, but now there was Abraham Kuyper, Cornelius Van Til, and the John Birch Society, which he was coming to admire, as it germinated in 1958. RJ, though, let no liberalism rub off on him. From the start he had set his eye on kicking serious butt, starting with the government and working out to the whole culture of modern America, his “Babylon.” He was mightily impressed with the John Birch Society and obsessed with what he called “the humanistic spectrum.” He became involved with issues concerning home schooling and Christian schools—and now you know the genesis of the continuing Republican attack on our school system. He took part in seminars on “creationism” at evangelical convocations—he began to urge such to drop their isolated obscurity and begin to “take dominion” over the land as the Bible commanded them to do. “Rushdoony's concept of cleansing the land of sin by seizing the reins of government was genuinely revolutionary,” writes Blumenthal… The conservative counterculture was emerging now, a plague that is, again, with us still…The true terrorism of our time, in my opinion. Yes, what a great irony, for these poor Bible-saturated simplistic souls mean well, think they're “serving the Lord.” This new philosophy of Rushdoony's, based on a revival of John Calvin's pattern of theocracy, came to be known as Christian Reconstructionism. Just for the record, it's worth noting that, like Calvin or even the Old Testament in general, he didn't favor messing around with leniency for sinners—no no, not in God's Government. “Either men and women obey His Laws, or God invokes the death penalty against them.” Those eligible for execution? Read the list, chillun, and weep for Babylon: disobedient children, unchaste women, apostates, blasphemers, witches, astrologers, adulterers, and of course, anyone thought to be even remotely homosexual.
But there's more: moving on with our Christian Rogue's Gallery, let's hear it for
2.) Francis Schaeffer. We're talking major movers and shakers here---the ones you may not know about. But first, before we move on, let's not forget Jerry Falwell, by way of parenthesis. A man who was practically RJ's creation, Falwell, along with a cadre of fellow southern pastors, rankled by the government's new policy of forced integration of public schools, actually read Rushdoony's Institutes. You know the rest. They had begun with the issue of race, but now it was broadened into a larger moral crusade. And guess what Schaeffer came down on: yep, you guessed it: ABORTION. The big boogie man of the rest of the century, the inexplicably biggest of them all. I mean it's not like there were not myriad other (and frankly much bigger) boogie men around, but this one issue became their solitary obsession. Pornography for instance got largely ignored—more on this below… Schaeffer was the first to get excited about this abortion stuff though, proclaiming the new Republican God equally furious about the subject. He managed to sell it to the rest of the Bible-thumpers, newly baptized into the Republican Party. This was what they had to do, and pronto: stop abortion, whatever it might take. The GOP perennially it seems seeks an enemy with whom to pick fights, drum up new wars to generate new revenues, so they came to need—now that they had bought into Rushdoony's Old Testament world of “God's Government” ---a crusade like that against ABORTION… The caps are justified, folks. Here was a major moral march under whose flag they could rally the new gun-toting Jesus freaks.
Schaeffer was a gnarly little guy with a Mephistophelian goatee and moustache—a man of passion, many unquenchable appetites. His son Franky reveals in his book Sex, Mom and God how as a child his mother Edith confided in him that Francis Schaeffer senior had every single night of their marriage demanded sex from her… Funny (not ha-ha) how these new Dominionist Evangelicals managed to marry Jesus to red-hot sex. Like the Mormons (another gung-ho fascist crowd, by the way, hankering also to own the world) sex somehow gets to be the center of their theology. It's what the cosmos is all about! Does anyone remember Marabel Morgan, prototype of the new sexy Jesus folk, who back there in 1973 came up with The Total Woman, the book in which she advised good Christian wives to greet their husbands at the door wearing see-through cowboy negligees, dragging him into bed for a before-dinner quickie?
Ever notice how these guys live in the Old Testament? I mean that's where all the fascism is, there with the Levitical Law and the Big Bad Jehovah, back there where Rushdoony found his Jeremiah, where adulterers and homos got the death penalty. Back there where David was so horny, where Solomon had his thousand girl harem... I mean that's the world where GUNS would have been welcome--better believe it, bro. Are you beginning to connect the dots? Even racism is implicitly endorsed in that world, an attitude that, along with polygamy, was not missed by the afore-mentioned Mormons and is still subliminally omnipresent among today's evangelicals… recall if you will God's curse put upon Noah's son Ham, alleged father of the Negros of Africa, from whom our persecuted sissy of a president descends. But he's another Enemy, yet to come but also to be destroyed, come what may, even if it means bringing down Babylon.
I suppose I digress. All I wanted to do was to name for you a few of the forgotten villains who changed our country for the worse, and walked free---having corrupted (even further) the Christian religion, changed our culture irrevocably, destroyed our already shredded democracy, brought the demons onto our evening news…
There's space for just one more.
3.) Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. Springing forth from a mental institution as the seventies were dawning, this trust fund baby was a deeply troubled soul, diagnosed in fact as schizophrenic. Howard's father (“Emperor Ahmanson”) had been the founder of what became Home Savings and Loan and then Washington Mutual. He dumped a ton of money on his shaky son and all hell broke loose. Shortly after his father died, Howard looked around and discovered evangelical Christianity, via Rushdoony, who became his new father figure. Howard loved the idea of “political Christianity” and the emerging “culture war politics.” “Few Americans have heard of him, and that's the way he likes it,” writes Blumenthal, tracing back to Ahmanson such notorious enterprises as “intelligent design,” the schism in the Episcopal Church, state initiatives against gay marriage and, finally, George W. Bush's phony “compassionate conservatism.” This stuff was all his idea, folks, and his big bucks bought it for posterity, dumped it on us while we weren't looking. We've come full circle, have we not? We've met the major sugar daddy who funded it all, and nobody even noticed. Remember the attack on California? The recall of Governor Gray Davis back there at the beginning Of George W. Bush's calamitous presidency? It was funded by Howard, aided by his new pal the infamous fanatic Darrell Issa. The plan was simple: Texas companies (remember Enron?) were to buy up all of California's energy resources, then sell it back to the beleaguered state, plagued now by widespread power blackouts, at enormously inflated prices. Circulate in every Safeway parking lot from Eureka to Mexicali petitions to recall Governor Gray Davis, replacing that “girlie man” with the real thing, Arnold Schwarzenegger … It's still painful to picture Californians in Washington begging our newly elected Dominionist president George W cotton-picking Bush for help, only to be told by his head henchman Big Dick Cheney sorry boys, no dice—guess you just failed to build enough new power plants .
Ahmanson's wife and partner in crime Roberta tells how that Howard kept a vigil at Rushdoony's bedside when he died in 2002, relates how he then identified with Frodo, the Hobbit protagonist of Tolkien's novels who must destroy a magical ring in order to save the world. But I weary of all this. I'll cut it short, leave you with a list or two. Stuff to google (you owe it to yourself, you know). Some names: in addition to those few I've mentioned above, you need to look up Marvin Olasky, James Dobson, Chalcedon, Bruce Chapman, Fred Barnes, Charles Colson. And here's another list, just for laughs… you say where are all these so-called Dominionists, or Christian Reconstructionists as you call them? Who needs to take these obscure nobodies seriously? Well folks, here are just a few of them, Dominionists all, names you might recognize. They want to hurt you, in the name of "Jesus", for in the theology of these poor deluded wretches, you liberals are by definition subhuman... Did you know that?
Sarah Palin (check out YouTube video of her being anointed at pentecostal church in Alaska).
Ted Cruz (look up his father, Rafael Cruz...).
Dr. Ben Carson
Michelle Bachmann (BIG time!)
Ann Coulter (notice that cross around her neck as she spiels her bile).
Mike Huckabee (this guy knows what he's doing, even if he is a Baptist)).
Rev Franklin Graham (NOT as apolitical as his father Billy).
GEORGE W. BUSH … and now we've come full circle.
But enough. Trust me: About two thirds of the U.S. Congress is in on this, at one level or another. Most will not admit it---that's part of the strategy. In the new Dominionist project, lying is OK, as long as one is lying for the Lord. It's what we do, as politicians. But google them, google them. Most do not believe in “evolution” or acknowledge modern science, especially re climate change. They are not committed to the idea of "democracy!" All are distinctly and aggressively un-cool. Some questions linger: Was Bing Crosby's America the real America… ? Or at least a better America? Maybe the best? What is the relationship between “liberal” and “cool?” What is it with this Christian religion of ours? Is it possible that we've missed the boat on Jesus for instance, misunderstood him for 2000 years? How deep is our darkness? There's a war on folks, a War on Terror, and it ain't what you think. It's the Culture War---and we lost it a long time ago, back there with Bing.