Thanks, can’t claim credit though. It’s been a thing for a few years.
Ah, yes, the ol’ Jackhammer Jesus. Forgot all about that since it made headlines back in 2000…
You know more than I do, I was just being Facetious for Jesus.
In principle taking an hour out of the week discussing morality instead of consumption and popular culture is probably a good thing. It is the repugnant view of morality that many evangelicals seem to have that I object to.
Whenever a self-appointed moral guardian goes on a rant about whatever, it always makes me wonder “what is he* hiding?” I long ago stopped being surprised when one of these creeps gets caught out.
* More often than not they’re men. Hmmm.
Sure, but this isn’t a discussion by any definition of the word, and it’s being delivered in a shouty, berating way.
The hierarchy of evils among White American evangelicals used to be something like this:
- Racial integration (tie for first place)
- Rock and Roll, dancing, fun in general (remember, music inspired by Negro music is the Devil’s music, so Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, etc are all horribly evil)
- Evolutionists, Papists, and others striking at the foundation of good morals and right thinking.
- All other sinners, including sexual sinners.
As rock and roll took over the music landscape of White America in the 50’s and 60’s, this led to the creation of a White evangelical subculture, with its own record companies, its own book stores, and its own very carefully sanitized music. People living inside the subculture quickly learned that they had to keep the rest of the world at arm’s length if they wanted their children to grow up to be good little evangelicals just like their parents. Being evangelical meant you were against fun and good music and did not approve of sciencey things, but it didn’t have much relevance to your politics, and evangelicals did not look to their pastor to tell them how to vote.
Enter the late 60’s- early 70’s and the sea change where the Democratic party (formerly the party of the White South as well as of labour unions and the less well off) decided to tie its fate to civil rights and legal equality for all Americans regardless of race. Suddenly it became very relevant to a lot of evangelicals what party you voted for. And around the same time, a small group of popular evangelical preachers and opinion influencers started telling their flocks all about all the evil things in the world they should be scared of. A list of evil things that started looking rather like anything and everything the Democratic party stood for.
The new list of sinners started to look like:
- Baby Murderers
Womenselfish sluts who use birth control, work outside the home, and/or don’t act like doormats to the men in their lives.
- Commies, leftists, and liberals in general
As immortalized in the following quote spoken by Pat Robertson:
“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
(Being against integration and being OK with racism was still in there and still fairly high on the list, but nobody talked about them anymore except in dog whistle form.)
Things did not go quite as planned - the world supply of commies suddenly imploded, and the satanic cults that were supposed to be everywhere, busily murdering babies and having perverted sex with children in day care centres, failed to have any credible evidence for their existence. Which left the sinners list with, basically, liberals, feminist baby murderers, and queers (and, written in invisible ink, integration and equality for non whites).
Note that the new sinner list is defined in terms of people or groups that White evangelicals are supposed to hate and fear. It’s first and foremost about getting your TV viewing or newsletter reading flock upset and angry and riled up, then telling them that their financial and political support will help fight against these evils, provided they stay inside the bubble, listen to the right sermons, and donate to the correct (and always Right) preachers and causes and politicians. Gays have kindly continued to have parades every year, which the televangelists and the newsletter money raisers turn into an annual Two Minutes Hate, guaranteed to bring in lots of donations. Women continue to wear shoes (and hold down jobs!) and abortion clinics continue to provide services to women who don’t want to be pregnant, and that again gets turned into a Two Minutes Hate. Muslims in America tend to not be out, loud, and proud, especially not in the areas that are the backbone of the white evangelical community, so while evangelicals definitely hate them, they don’t hate them with a Two Minutes Hate level of insanity.
Today, after decades of being told that God wanted them to vote Republican because Democrats are in favour of all kinds of Horrible Evil, we have the current state of affairs. As long as you toe the party line vis a vis abortion and the horrid threat posed to all good things by the existence of Teh Gay, you get a pass on all kinds of other illegal, unethical, and immoral behaviour (poster child: Trump himself). Even the horrors of Islam pales in comparison to the evils of Baby Murder and teh Gay. Fail to condemn both of those thoroughly enough and you can get booted out of the subcultural bubble in jig time. Normally, nothing else will get you expelled, although failing to be right wing enough (say, by actually ministering to the poor) might cause your anti-gay and anti-baby killing membership cards to be scrutinized very carefully.
I can delete three words from that sentence and get a movement I want to sign up for.
I was actually struggling with this phrase. I think married women with kids who are looking to kill someone and then become anti-capitalist lesbian witches would be about a million times more likely to kill their husbands than their children. Right?
But it occurred to me as I was replying that “kill their children” is a reference to abortion.
Maybe I’m on board with the entire sentence, then.
An assumption that ‘Baptism’ is to ‘Baptist’ as ‘Catholicism’ is to ‘Catholic’?
‘Baptistdom’ might be a better fit.
I get it. Just as Judaism is the worship of Judy. Religion is hard!
(Y’all Qaeda and the Talibangelicals is also available as a band name.)
And some differences.
Hmm…IIRC, he was ousted from the presidency for not being fundamentalist enough?
This is the one part of your comment I’ve (anecdotally) found to be untrue. The Catholics, Evangelical Protestants and Mormons I know consider ministering to the poor to be a serious priority and are critical of their religions’ embrace of Mammonism. The problem is that that’s almost all the only part they’re critical of, and they’re still willing to support Mammonists like Trump as long as he caters to all their other fears and hatreds. I’m as critical of Xtians as the next atheist, but even they are complex human beings. Manichean narratives of the lot of them as the sort of anti-human demons they tend to caricature others as doesn’t track for me, even though a sizeable fraction of them like this minister come very close to fitting that bill.
The following portion of my reply is in conversation but not contention with your comment. It’s an argument not against you, but against even playing Robertson’s rhetorical game.
The problem for me with even seriously engaging characterizations such as Robertson’s is that it’s a strawman from start to finish.
He and most of his followers have a farcically distorted understanding of socialism viewed through the lens of their own utopian mythologies about capitalism.
The left isn’t anti-family. It’s anti-patriarchy, but that doesn’t scare his followers as much as fever dreams of Huxleyan breeding programs and softly-tyrannical state creches.
Women aren’t all out to leave their husbands (they had reasons for making the emotional commitment and temporal investment in a spouse and that reason isn’t always needs-based). They’re after autonomy including the right to leave their husbands and the right to workforce equality so they aren’t second-class citizens because, again, patriarchy is oppressive by design.
They don’t want to kill their children. They want the sovereignty over their bodies and reproductive rights the patriarchy seeks to deprive them of and exercise itself to maintain them as broodmares.
Wiccans, other neo-pagans and even most types of soi-dissant Satanists bare little to no resemblance to the panicked lies promulgated by Robertson, et al, which are nothing more than banal repeats of the delusional moral panics Christendom has relied on to drum up fear since the Roman Empire.
The form of capitalism they worship is destroying itself and people are trying to survive its immolation, but blaming the poor is Mammonism 101.
While whether people discover or decide they no longer want to be heterosexual or cisgendered is immaterial to the immorality of opposing their right to do so, most people report their orientation not as a choice they make, but something they learn about themselves necessarily in opposition to the patriarchy if their personal truth doesn’t happen to coincide with the pigeonholing it uses to enforce its dominion. Here once again Robertson’s statement is just about inducing fear of straight Evangelical men that women will have leverage and may choose not to, as you so succinctly put it, be their doormats.
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