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statue of Jesus with hand to face
Someday someone will perhaps be able to adequately explain to me why it is that religious conservatives (esp.  southern religious conservatives, cough) see Barack Obama as such an existential threat to them and their particular version of Christianity.
[Rev. Franklin] Graham [(yes, that one)] equated the Obama years with a national rejection of God. "In the last four years, we have begun to turn our backs on God," he said. "We have taken God out of our education system. We have taken him out of government. You have lawyers that sue you every time you mention the name of Jesus Christ in any kind of a public forum."
As far as I know, President Barack Obama has done exactly jack-all in any of these areas. Graham and the other mega-evangelicals are quite certain that there is a war taking place on all these fronts; they are equally certain that it started four years ago, when President Scary Black Man took the reins from President Unmentionable. The only serious religious war I can recall taking place in those years was, of course, the new premise that if employers can't pick-and-choose employees' medical care it would be an abomination unto the pope, but that one was tenuous from day one, and isn't what the popeless Graham is talking about here. He's talking about "taking God out" of education, and government, and people getting sued for saying Jesus in public, and it almost makes you wonder if the junior Graham's visions of what's been going on the last four years is perhaps more linked with all these pro-marijuana laws that keep passing.

That aside, haven't we done very well at doing all the good and proper Christian things, in the last decade? We've gone to extra effort to make sure poor people get as little as damn possible, even in times of severe hardship, which is pretty much what Jesus said if I understand these things right. We've continually won the battle to make sure rich people are just plain recognized as our betters, and are treated as such. And the false witnessing alone—hoo boy, don't get me started.

Yes, I suppose we may be on the path to giving some people marginally better health insurance, and that probably counts as the work of the devil for some reason (God prefers his people to die young and easily preventable deaths, so as to keep heaven stocked with fresh faces), but that seems a thin reed on which to base such an apocalyptic vision of America's future. And it is pretty apocalyptic, as Graham explained:

"Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse. And maybe at that point, maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God."
There's no way around it—religious conservatives are a sadistic lot. Everything's all smiting and hellfire. If a hurricane happens, it's because God was ticked off that you were treating gay people as if they were normal humans. If you lose your pension to a group of thieving banksters, it's because you didn't sing loud enough in church last week, you jerk. And if God has to wreck the whole country—just take his Holy Economic Pruning Shears and lop the whole thing off at about ankle-height—in order to get a little positive press from you people, then by Him that's what he's going to do.

The meanness of these people never ceases to surprise. The bitterness, the persecution, and the absolute insistence that if America doesn't run exactly according to their way, and to hell with every other sect and sub-sect and sub-sub-sect of Christianity because the only true way to do it is according to the guy on channel three hundred something,  then 'Merika As We Noh Iht is well and truly boned. I don't know who it is religious conservatives think they're praying to, but if it's all about chanting and damning people and about constant magical vengeance being brought down on anyone who doesn't chant enough or damn people enough, that sounds positively morbid. A good grift, though.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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