It’s time to sweep the cockroaches off the public stage and back into the cracks where they belong.
Coral Ridge Ministries hosted the Reclaiming America for Christ conference in March of this year. The conference didn’t gain the media scrutiny it should – after all, there was no angry black man ranting from the pulpit. It’s stocked to overflowing with rich white fuckers spewing venom, hate and ignorance, and we all know the media has bags full of free passes they hand out for rich white fuckers who spew venom et al, at least until an outraged blogging community forces so much attention on matters that a few of them end up treated sarcastically on ABC so that the media can claim its independence from… well, you know.
Cute illusion, that, and useful as far as it goes, but an illusion only. When the right-wing fucktards can get a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial pulled over the terrorist-idolizing properties of a black-and-white paisley scarf, but no attention is paid to the terrorist-idolizing speeches of far right evangelicals, you know something’s rotten and the media’s refusing to admit it can smell.
“I am not here to call the church to partisan action,” Perkins explained. “I am not here advocating for a political party. I am here advocating for Christian citizenship.”
Lest any of the assembled miss the point, Perkins offered up the story of Phineas, grandson of Moses’ brother Aaron, from Numbers 25. Phineas was rewarded by God with an “everlasting priesthood” for killing an Israelite and his Midian lover because God had forbidden the mixing of the men of Israel with the women of that tribe.
The story is, essentially, the vindication of the criminalization of “miscegenation” — a sentiment consistent with Perkins’ past courting of such racist groups as the Ku Klux Klan and the Council of Conservative Citizens, America’s largest white supremacist organization, according to journalist Max Blumenthal. (Perkins bought, on behalf of political client Senator Woody Jenkins, a phone-bank list from former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.)
“We read that Phineas arose and he took action…,” Perkins said.
“Not only is prayer required…I warn you that if you begin to pray for our nation that, at some point in time, you’re gonna be prayin’ and you’re gonna feel a tap on your shoulder and hear, ‘Son, daughter, I’ve heard your prayer; now I want you to do something about it.’”
Just in case his message should be misconstrued, however, Perkins offered this caveat: “Now, let me be clear, in case the media’s here,” he said, “I’m not advocating you go home and get a pitchfork out of your storage shed and run into your neighbor’s house.” Phineas, the Bible tells us, used a javelin.
Stop. Let’s take note of several things here.
1. Tony Perkins believes that one day, God will literally tap these frothing haters on the shoulder and direct them to do something about their prayers. We know what the prayers of the theocons are, don’t we? Rid the world of non-believers, homosexuals, abortion providers, Muslims, and sundry other undesirables; bring about Armageddon; bring America back to their narrow brand of noxious Christianity. Can we guess what the “do something about their prayers” might be?
2. In case not, consider carefully the story he tells. A man murders two people for no greater crime than some intertribal nookie in the Tabernacle, and is granted “everlasting priesthood.” Seems like this “Thou shalt not kill” thing comes with a fuckload of exceptions.
3. Take especial note of that “in case the media’s here” line. What might he have said if there was no possibility of somewhat sane people with recording devices being present, I wonder?
Prup at The Reality-Based Community calls Perkins’ speech a “dog-whistle shout-out to Christian Identity terrorists.” And he has some nervous-making detail on the subtext of that speech that should have you feeling very thoughtful indeed after reading it.
Anne Coulter, another august speaker at the conference, has no such sense of subtlety:
In her remarks to those who pledged to reclaim the nation for Christ, Ann Coulter equated the lives of aborted fetuses with those of the doctors and abortion clinic workers who were murdered by anti-abortion
“Those few abortionists were shot or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure with a rifle performed on them,” Coulter told her audience, which responded with laughter.
Ah, yes, those perfect Christians. They do so lurves them a good, clean joke about murdering doctors.
And what does the media do with people who surreptitiously celebrate and encourage such acts of domestic terrorism? They invite them on to speak – over and over and over and over again. While a Dunkin’ Donuts gets booted for having Rachael Ray dressed in the wrong sort of scarf.
Let me be crystal clear: these fuckwits aren’t Christians. I know it, and you know it. They wallow in the darkest, filthiest verses of the Bible. To them, Christian love is something you administer with a rifle. They lambast divorce, but they happily divorced reality long ago. And they’re taken seriously in our political and spiritual arenas.
They want nothing less than a theocracy, dictated by them, with only their views aired and practiced. They’ll advocate any means to get there, up to and including violence and terrorism. Those things, they say, are righteous as long as they are the ones doing them.
They’re making Christianity look less like a religion and more like a dangerous pathology that must be quarantined every day.
So, moderate Christians: if you want to rescue a shred of your faith intact, I’d suggest you get busy now. Get up, get loud, and sweep these fuckers out of power before they pick up their javelins and their rifles and murder your faith.