I know. Judge not lest you be judged (Matthew 7:1-3). Despite what the Bible says, I’m going to take a gamble and cast a few stones (John 8:7) at the alleged Christians who pledge their allegiance to the Tea Party and other right-wing extremist groups.
I have no idea what Bible these folks read. But it sure as hell ain’t the one I’m familiar with. And “Yes,” I’ve read the Good Book—three times from Genesis through Revelations, not that I’m especially knowledgeable. In fact I wish my Presbyterian preacher would list the pew bible page number in the bulletin of the Scriptures he is using as a basis for each Sunday sermon. Half the time, I need to ask my wife, “Where is that Chapter in the Bible?” She then makes me envious by reciting every book in order.
The so-called Values Voter Conference this week has motivated me to rant about the hypocrisy of extreme conservative politicians and many of their cheerleaders. The conference is sponsored by the Family Research Council, a “Christian think tank” headed by Tony Perkins. I know Tony and we have been on friendly terms for years. A mutual friend has assured me that Tony is sincere in his Christian faith. That doesn’t mean he is right—an exception being his politics. And like most politically ambitious people, Tony is an opportunist. But aren’t we all? To what extent is the real question.
Anyway, back to the Tea Party, a fringe group composed mainly of a lot of malcontents, some of whom once belonged to Jerry Falwell’s Christian Coalition. Remember Jerry? He keeled over of a heart attack six years ago. But he left behind a legacy of bearing false witness that has been passed down to the Tea Party and other far-right conservative groups that will say anything to advance their selfish agendas.
I may be wrong, but is my understanding that when Jerry arrived at the Pearly Gates, Jesus summoned his disciples and instructed them to kick the shit out of the preacher for slandering His name. Since I don’t believe in Hell, except for the bed we make here on earth, I guess Falwell was banished to some faraway corner of Heaven and allowed to indulge in all the fat food that killed him in the first place.
Although Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is not a preacher, he has in the tradition of Falwell taken up the leadership of the Tea Party and ”Christians” who have never bothered to read the New Testament and absorb a modicum of Jesus’ message about helping the poor, loving neighbors and doing unto others rather sticking it to them. For all I know, Cruz could be the antichrist. After all, he came from the strange and mysterious country of Canada, a place that has affordable health care. I guess he learn to hate it while growing up in Texas.
On the other hand, Cruz could be a secret operative of the Democrats, assigned the task of destroying the Republican party. That almost happened in 1995 when serial adulterer and then House Speaker Newt Gingrich had a hissy fit and inadvertently facilitated the eventual takeover of the House by Democrats. That was the same year that pill-popping failed disc jockey Rush Limbaugh was celebrated as a GOP guru. He has since been joined by other failed disc jockey-gurus like self-described rodeo clown Glenn Beck and child-like pundit Sean Hannity.
In the wake of the 1995 shutdown, October 7, 1996 to be precise, the Republican Propaganda Network, aka Fox “News,” made its debut. And seventeen years later, Fox has become the top-rated cable news network by giving the nations malcontents the kind of partisan spin they want—even if it’s inaccurate and distorted. But what the heck? These people are just out to make a buck. And as long as they don’t pull a gun on viewers, they are and should be protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34.
However in the case of Ted Cruz and other leaders on the fringe, ignorance is not the case. These characters exploit gullible people for the sole purpose of political gain. And in my opinion, their sins are unforgivable. At least by me.
That concludes John Camp’s Bible lesson for this week.
Odyssey of a Derelict Gunslinger: A Saga of Exposing TV Preachers, Corrupt Politicians, Right-Wing Lunatics…and Me. My memoir is available at amazon.com, book or Kindle, and at independent bookstores. It offers plenty of laughs, inside secrets of TV “journalism” and much more. It is an account of my illustrious (I choose the adjectives) prize-winning investigative reporting career and the characters I encountered during 30 years of muckraking.