Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Of Falwell, Dobson and Gay Penguins

by William Prendergast

Jerry Falwell has been taken from us. The death of a clergyman is especially sad, and the loss is more grievous when the departed man of God had been rewarded in this life with so much political and economic success. The spiritual and financial assets of Falwell’s extensive ministry/empire will no doubt be diminished, now that he has gone.

I believe in God. But I am not a Christian believer. I do not share the late reverend’s belief in the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the inerrancy of the Scripture, etc. But I respected the right of the reverend and his millions of fans to believe otherwise. And both believers and unbelievers will take comfort in the knowledge that if Falwell’s beliefs about the afterlife were correct, we can all be sure of where he is right now. His theology of mixing the sacred name of God with Mammon, political power, and partisanship has earned him this reward.

And Falwell has cast a long political shadow. Now, three decades after Rev. Falwell somehow managed to reconcile Christianity with the Republican conservative agenda and partisan political activism, his evangelical media successors are commonly admitted to and even welcomed in the GOP corridors of power. Witnesseth:

Bush met with Dobson and conservative Christian leaders to rally support for Iran policy

By Max Blumenthal

Published: Monday May 14, 2007

President George W. Bush met privately with Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman James Dobson and approximately a dozen Christian right leaders last week to rally support for his policies on Iraq, Iran and the so-called "war on terror."

“I was invited to go to Washington DC to meet with President Bush in the White House along with 12 or 13 other leaders of the pro-family movement," Dobson disclosed on his radio program Monday. “And the topic of the discussion that day was Iraq, Iran and international terrorism."

Should we find this disturbing? Why are unelected evangelical political activists being briefed by the President of the United States on matters affecting vital foreign policy and national security issues; matters of war and peace? Will Roman Catholic bishops, Buddhist monks, rabbis, etc. get similar briefings? By denomination?

Why is the President of the United States inviting the counsel of Dr. Dobson? Dobson does not claim to be an expert in foreign affairs. Indeed, his public statements would lead many citizens to question his native powers of judgment. Witnesseth, from December 2006:

James Dobson interviews syndicated conservative radio host Michael Medved about the penguin cartoon movie, "Happy Feet":

DOBSON: There is a movie that's out now, called Happy Feet. It's about penguins. It's obviously designed to pull children in and yet, you don't like it. I've read some of the things you've said about it. I haven't seen it and don't plan to see it but from what I've heard, I don't like it either…

…MEDVED: And then there's this whole subtext, as there so often is, about homosexuality. Not that the penguins are gay -- they're not gay -- but the one penguin hero doesn't fit in and the religious authorities -- the so-called religious right in the penguin world -- are very judgmental. They say, "You are not a penguin. You're not a real penguin." And then he makes this heartfelt plea, he says, "Dad, you have to accept me as I am. I can't change." And --
DOBSON: Are they getting at the idea that homosexuality is genetic? Is that what the subtle implication is?

The PENGUIN RELIGIOUS RIGHT? He thinks this CARTOON penguin’s queer because he wants to dance? And THIS is the man who is receiving a confidential briefing by the President of the United States himself--on whether we will “stay the course” in Iraq—or make war on Iran?

RIP, Reverend Falwell, RIP. This is your legacy to America...



Post a Comment

<< Home