Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: The United Caliphate of Cruz

The gathering outside the Lahore church. PHOTO, MALIK SHAFIQ

Gathering outside the Lahore church. Image credit: Malik Shafiq.

Pentecostal Pastor Jamie Coots of Middlesboro, Kentucky, sure handles copperheads better than House Speaker John Boehner manages Tea Party asps. Of course, Coots would seem to have the advantage of semi-starving his hapless herpetons into non-violent states of ennui. (Kind of removes the spring in one’s step from “leap of faith.”) That said, perhaps Speaker Boehner might consider cutting off calories to congresspersons in the congressional cafeteria when our nation finds itself at the next debt ceiling crisis in February 2014.

Yes, brothers and sisters, February.  As in four months away.

Fainting spell, Pew 11.  Down goes Sister Martha.  Someone quick fan her!

I’m pretty sure Martha’s vapors weren’t caused by the Holy Spirit calling her to protest publicly against Freemason Founding Fathers.  She’s been through a lot lately.  Pardon my Koine Greek, but we’ve all been through a skata thuella, of late. 

So as vicar of this joint, I exempt Sister Martha from our next hymn, “God Will Make This Trial a Blessing.”  Hell, everyone can take off the next hymn.  Uncap the Cutty Sark and unwind.

To think that soon we might go through this political shit storm all over again during the sacred feast of Super Bowl Week is almost enough to make a fellow go Dietrich Bonhoeffer on fundamentalists and dictator wannabes.

That’s why it’s time to shake up things a bit this Sunday morning.  Hold on to your Easter Bonnets!  Let’s all hop in the DeLorean and catch a sobering view of the fundie future.

Pastor Pillow here.

Indeed, where we’re going we don’t need roads.  Given their druthers, the Christian Taliban will have destroyed them all.

If you follow this column regularly, you know that normally we perform textual criticism (and oftentimes critical-thinking exorcisms) of articles from Radical Right news websites associated with the National Religious Broadcasters or the Evangelical Press Association.

However, given the fact that last week 162 members of Congress did everything they could to push the nation to become the United Caliphate of Cruz [seriously, watch this laying-on-of-hands video!], we thought it might be a good idea to examine what this country might look like if Judicial Watch, Liberty University, CBN and the rest of the religious nut-bags actually got their way and established the Biblical United States.

As you spend your Sunday recovering from yesterday’s devastating Top Ten losses in college pigskin before heading to this evening’s 5:30 p.m. service—then rush home to watch Peyton “Papa John’s Messiah” Manning return to Indianapolis—take a few minutes to consider what life would be like under the penumbra of theocratic insanity.

I can’t think of any other way to scare the flock into pledging to vote in November 2013 and especially November 2014.

As ever, honest to God, I am not making up any of this stuff.

5.  You Say “Allah,” I Say—Well, Damn, I’m not Allowed to Say Anything, via The Guardian“Christian Newspaper must not use ‘Allah’, Malaysian Court Rules”

Malaysia is a nation in Southeast Asia with a population roughly that of Texas.  Its government is a federal constitutional elective monarchy.  (Please don’t ask me to explain that.)  The country also has two court systems:  a secular court system, plus a Shariah Law court system to accommodate its 60%-plus Muslims.  The Malaysian constitution declares Islam the national religion yet also guarantees the freedom of religion for its citizens.

Freedom of press and freedom of speech, on the other hand, seem less critical.  Three Islamic Malaysian judges ruled this past week (overturning a lower court’s ruling) that the word “Allah” may not be used by a Roman Catholic newspaper.

Permit me to repeat this.  There is a country on our Little Blue Planet called Malaysia.  In that country, there are newspapers.  And some of the newspapers in that country are forbidden to arrange letters of the Malay language to spell the name of God in the religion of Islam.

Here is the chief judge’s explanation of the matter:  “The usage of the word Allah is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity … The usage of the word will cause confusion in the community.”

Folks, this is just prep for our pending future if the Radical Right gets its way.  In the United Caliphate of Cruz, calling out the name of the deity during orgasm shall be punishable by death.  Actually, orgasm itself will also be punishable by death—which should more or less take care of the whole abortion problem altogether.

4.  Spare the Rod, Spoil the Rape Victim, via The Independent:  “Maldives Rape Victim Spared the Lash After Global Anger”

Yes, I know.  You’re looking forward to life under Pentateuchal law almost as much as I am.  Ah, the future, when soon Americans will be able to engage in polygamy with their deceased brothers’ wives, where sex with menstruating women will be expressly forbidden, and where the rape of unsuspecting virgins will be punishable by…marriage.

I realize that a number of readers will be surprised to learn that the Maldives is not a principal ingredient in a muffuletta sandwich.  But odds are you actually have heard of this island nation, some 400 miles southwest of Sri Lanka, in recent months.

As you may recall, earlier this summer a young woman was sentenced to 100 lashes for being raped by her stepfather.  A global petition signed by 2 million people helped to overthrow her sentence.

How barbaric!  My Allah!  (Thank God this is not a Malaysian newspaper.)  We would never stoop to such levels in the United Caliphate of Cruz!

I mean, just imagine this happening to some beautiful, innocent teenager in, oh, I don’t know, Steubenville, Ohio, or perhaps Maryville, Missouri.  Impossible!

If your religion turns a blind eye to rape and refuses to protect rape victims, your religion is evil.

Religious fundamentalists of the world:  Flog you.

3.  Fundamentalists Hate to Boogie, According to BBC Africa:  “World Stars of Africa Express Seek to Revive Mali’s Music Industry”

The West African nation of Mali was recently taken over by Islamic militants, who, in addition to engaging in the usual acts of desecration of ancient monuments and installing fundamentalist legalism, also banned secular music throughout the country.

Actually, I’m kind of surprised that Caliph Cruz hasn’t yet managed to suspend Austin City Limits within his home state.  But I’m sure the day will come where everything from Gershwin to Gaga will be verboten from C-note to shining C-note.

Taste and see, Americans, what your fundie future might look like.  A future where the closest thing to a VMA twerk-fest will be Gaither Family renditions of “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

2.  Gay Ain’t Quite Yet Global for Happy, at The Guardian:  “State-Sponsored Homophobia:  Mapping Gay Rights Internationally”

Just in case you’ve forgotten, according to The Guardian:  “In five countries, legislation remains in place that punishes homosexuality with the death penalty:  Mauritania, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.  In parts of Nigeria and Somalia too, the murder of gay and lesbian individuals is practised and not prohibited in state legislation.”

In many of these countries, religion is the driving force behind such idiotic laws; case in point Mauritania:  “Any adult Muslim man who commits an indecent act or an act against nature with an individual of his sex will face the penalty of death by public stoning.”

There are so many articles to choose from about bloviating U.S. politicians and their deluded concept of the biblical definition of marriage, but this week’s United Caliphate of Cruz Award surely must go to Mayor Linda Oliver of West Union, South Carolina, who on behalf of her town felt authorized to publicly air her anti-gay dirty laundry:

“What’s it gonna take to get these queers to realize they don’t need a piece of paper.  God will not bless their union because he plainly speaks against queers in the Bible.  Want to cover your queer with insurance?  Buy a policy.  Want your queer to get your stuff when you die?  Make a will.”

Don’t worry, Mayor Oliver, hang in there.  The Tea Party biblical state will soon give you the freedom to execute any homosexual who comes near your town of 292 righteous residents.

1.  “One Nation, One Blood” Human Shield in Pakistan Provides Glimmer of Hope for Humanity, at CNN:  “Pakistan Group Protects Churches”

We always like to end on a positive note if we can.  And this one provides a little hope that civilization might just have what it takes to outlast religious fundamentalism.

As you may recall, earlier this year in September, Islamic fundamentalists killed nearly 100 worshipers at a Christian Church in Peshawar, Pakistan.  The terrorists claimed to be Muslims.  But they aren’t Muslims; they are fundamentalists.

And fundamentalists aren’t really adherents of any religion.  They are first and foremost assholes who can’t stand the fact that someone thinks about the world differently than they do.  And they wear the guise of religion to suggest that God has commanded them to control their fellow human beings.

But 300 heroes from a number of different religions formed a human shield around Our Lady of Fatima Church to protect the Christian worshipers within from further slaughter.

Here’s another article about this wonderful act of ecumenical solidarity.

A quote by one member of the group Pakistan for All seems particularly worth considering:

“We want to give a message … that [the] people of Pakistan are united against [the] Taliban.  I suggest that the government should start action against the Taliban rather than holding dialogue with them.”

Damn, Sister Martha, did you hear that?  I sure hope President Obama and Harry Reid heard it.

 

That’s a wrap!

And just why do we present the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up each week?

According to Forbes, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) alone brings in nearly $300 million per year in revenue. CBN isn’t alone in the 9-figure Radical Right Revenue Game. According to the website Ministry Watch, CBN is dwarfed in comparison to the nearly $900 million raked in annually by the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

But TBN and CBN are mere bright stars in a galactic empire of hundreds of Christian news and media organizations. If you have a few minutes to spare, review the membership lists of the National Religious Broadcasters and the Evangelical Press Association.

Each and every one of these Christian media organizations have one thing in common: they report news to members of the Christian Right across the Fruited Plain.  And the Christian Right account for nearly one-third of America’s voters.

Not only that, but here’s a list of what’s on the line in November 2014:

—All 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives

—33 seats in the U.S. Senate

—46 State Legislatures

—And 38 State and Territorial Governorships.

Sorry to preach politics from the pulpit, but if that doesn’t scare the shit out of you enough to submit an early 2014 ballot, I don’t know what will.

See you next week.

And a final message for people everywhere, don’t forget:  the November 2014 election is this many days away.

Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!

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  • lindylou

    Woohoo! Thank you!

  • Stephen Barlow

    This is some great writing, but I semi agree with Mayor Oliver. BUY insurance, WRITE a will and file it with a court clerk. The ‘blessing of the Government’ means NOTHING. So have yourself a gay wedding party with your friends and forget about your enemies. They DO NOT deserve your attention.

    And that imaginary friend, the old man in the sky, is a fairy tale. BElieve what you want, suffer as you choose. Just remember, your genitals are out of your control when you die and become the property of maggots. worms and beetles. So ENJOY them as much as you can and with a special someone if your are plagued with monogamism. It’s a cruel and deceptive disease, but there IS a cure. it’s called “Friends With Benefits!”