Sunday, March 3, 2013


A noisy man is always in the right.
- William Cowper (1782)
The  world in which fundamentalist Christians live must be a very scary place. Not only do they think, in accordance with the dictum of poet William Cowper, that being noisy makes them right, but they think they have to be noisy to drive off the demons that surround every aspect of their earthly existences.
It is not only demonic possession of people and gay animal demons they say you have to worry about, or the long arm of Satan himself, but demons in your underpants.
Pat Robertson says so. A viewer called to ask if she should do what her mother said and bitch-slap the demons out of some secondhand sweaters (I’m paraphrasing). Robertson said yes.Watch what he had to say on 700 Club, courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
“Can demonic spirits attach themselves to inanimate objects,” Robertson said. “The answer is yes.”
Great. And this belief isn’t unusual. If you’re familiar with the fundamentalist lifestyle you probably used to think your clothes could be demonically possessed, or you know somebody who used to think so.  One woman who was formerly a member of the Assembly of God, when asked, told me “Sure! If it was secondhand clothes, absolutely!”
Robertson claims that not every item of clothing is going to be possessed but said, “Hey, it ain’t going to hurt anything to rebuke any spirits that happened to have attached themselves to those clothes.”
Demonically possessed underpants might explain a lot of peculiarities on the Religious Right, including Robertson himself.
If you ask why any of this is relevant to current politics, you haven’t been paying attention. These people control the Republican Party. Their bizarre worldview explains the ongoing war on women, the war on marriage equality, the war on science, the war on global warming and the environment, and so much else.
You have to remember (or realize if you did not already know it) that the Republican platform in 2012 was written by fundamentalist Christians, including Tony Perkins of the FRC and David Barton of Wallbuilders.
People like Pat Robertson are literally preaching to the choir. They all nod their heads and run home to pray away the demons that surround every aspect of their lives.
It is not a big stretch to understand how they can delegitimize, on religious grounds, anything they don’t like or approve of, like who you sleep with, what god you pray to or if you pray to any god at all, and including especially our first black president.
Religion can be a crutch, and you can hit people with that crutch. It doesn’t have to be and I don’t think religion itself is the enemy. It is the people who use religion to achieve their own ends. It’s easy to say, “this is what God wants” but that’s a cheap cop-out.
Rick Wiles of TruNews, whom we met here the other day, said just this past Tuesday that Obama is “emulating” the antichrist, asking, “Is he the Antichrist who changes times and law? Only time will tell” (unless, presumably, he really CAN change time). “Mr. Obama may simply be the latest incarnation of Satan’s spirit inside a human being in high public office” (and here I thought it was Justice Scalia).
This is a theme that has been harped on before. A week ago, Buster Wilson of the AFA took time away from his meat to say, “I do believe that there are some Antichrist spirit about both the Obama administration and a lot of what is going on in America today.”
Buster finally conceded that, “no, I’m not ready to call the president the Antichrist,” but if Buster has doubts, Wiles throws caution to the wind.
“Now here’s a crazy thought,” Wiles went on (he said it, I didn’t). “I’m not suggesting that it’s going to happen (of course not, which is why you then proceed to rhapsodize on the possibility). “I’m just saying it’s kind of a crazy thought (we get that). Suppose that Mr. Obama enters the Temple (what temple, Mr. Wiles?) and declares himself as God. Now I don’t even want to go there today (you just did). I think it is too early for that to happen, but this is starting to get a little spooky, isn’t it?”
Cue Twilight Zone theme. Those demons in Wiles’ underpants must be tickling his testicles something fierce.
This is rather like Glenn Beck wondering why we’re not all outraged by something that exists only in his own warped imagination.
Right now, as you go about your life in a reality we all share, there are people, lots of people, operating in a reality most can barely imagine, and it is very real to them. Call it a worldview, call it a schema. Their operating system is not ours. Our programs do not run on their systems. And no, it’s not a feature; it’s a bug.
They cannot oppose Barack Obama on his merits. They can only oppose our president by falling back on Old Testament Fire and Brimstone.  Jesus is an inconvenience, which is why you never hear them quoting Jesus, who would tell ask the one of them without sin to throw the first stone, or ask them to turn the other cheek, or tell them to love their enemies.
That isn’t what they want. As Bryan Fischer said the other day, people do not have a right to sin. And that simple statement betrays the Right’s incompatibility with the United States Constitution, which is not a list of rights we do NOT have (that would be the Ten Commandments) but a statement of what rights we DO enjoy.
Janet Mefferd, who thinks Pagans are plotting to wipe out Christianity (if only…) and who is as bat-shit crazy as they come, asks,  “Why should the rights of the [gay] activists trump the rights of Christians?”
Mefferd is living proof that the truth hurts, and she got pretty angry at Right Wing Watch for quoting her verbatim. RWW reported a few days later that Mefferd’s lawyers wanted them to remove the quote. Mefferd gave the game away, after all, the truth hidden at the heart of fundamentalist deceit: that only bat-shit crazy aberrochristians like her have any rights at all in this country. RWW, of course, refused. Not like they misquoted her, or took her out of context.
All of which makes you wonder about the demons in Mefferd’s underpants as well. I realize this is a disturbing image at any time of the day or night, so I will leave you with an insight by someone who did have his wits about him, the inestimable Will Rogers, who must have anticipated these underpants-possessed Republicans when he said in 1924, “We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.” And, I suspect, we won’t get rid of the demons in our underwear either.

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