Thursday, November 29, 2007

WWJD? WTF?


I'll make this quick.

Last night, CNN held another of its über-hyped YouTube debates -- this one involving the mostly pathetic pack of Republican contenders for the highest office in the land.

During the proceedings, at least two of the viewer-submitted video questions focused on the subject of religion.

One man wanted to know if seemingly lifelike automaton Mitt Romney believed that every word of the Bible represented a clear mandate from God; another asked elfen dweeb Mike Huckabee the ubiquitous question, "What Would Jesus Do?"

Whether either or both questions were meant to be sincere or utterly facetious is anyone's guess; needless to say though both candidates wasted no time ascending their respective pulpits in as pronounced a manner as possible -- declaring their eternal allegiance to our Lord and Savior.

Back in June, I wrote a pointed little column in which I expressed a whole buttload of indignation over the staggering number of times that religion had already reared its ridiculous head in this race. (Faith No More/6.8.07) At the time, I put it this way:

"The question being posed to those who may be charged with the awesome responsibility of leading us out of this dark time in our history is not 'What will you do to assure some measure of success in Iraq?' or 'How will you repair the damage done to our nation's reputation worldwide?' or even 'What will you do to protect us from all the enemies we've made over the past six years?'

It's 'How does your faith guide you?'

For the record, faith is defined as an unshakable belief that isn't based on proof.

One thing it is not, is a plan.

At this fragile point in our country's history, the fact that our presidential candidates feel that they have the luxury, even for a moment, of being able to mouth metaphysical politics-as-usual platitudes is simply terrifying. Discussing something as abstract and ineffectual as faith at this moment is akin to extolling one's own favorite lottery numbers. Neither offers a concrete method of action.

Faith won't defend this country from our growing list of enemies. God won't save us from the mess we're currently in.

We need something more than wishful thinking, and we don't have the time to talk about anything less. We've all seen where it's gotten us lately."


These comments were in reference to a series of ratings-baiting news reports on so-called "Faith in Politics," but last night, listening to two grown men -- men who, in the early years of the 21st century, wish to take the reins of the most powerful country on earth during a period of unprecedented turmoil -- not only invoke asinine, 2000-year-old superstition but actually lend it such an extraordinary level of significance made my blood boil.

Considering the state of things right now, any creedence at all given to the tenets of an ancient book of magical stories, almost none of which can be proven true, isn't simply stupid -- it's fucking dangerous.

The next time Romney, Huckabee or any other political figure begins reverently heralding God or his son Jesus Christ, replace those names with, oh say, Zeus or Apollo. Imagine our leaders invoking these spirits in the year 2007 and you begin to realize how frighteningly absurd the whole thing is.

What would Jesus do?

Who gives a crap.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Eric said...

Damn Im glad you addressed this. I could not stop thinking about the ridiculous nature of that debate. I'm glad you choose to use your gift of eloquence on the dark side of goodness.

My first question after the "do you believe in every word in this book, until death do you part Amen", is this: Does this mean we cant have a Jewish president, or a Muslim president. Or wrap your mind around this: an Atheist president.

How would the country survive?

VOTAR said...

I lay the blame at least partially at the feet of the CNN producers who hand-picked those questions, out of the reported thousands of questions that were submitted through YouTube. Was that the best we can do? Never the less, these "debates" have become the equivalent of a night at Howl at the Moon; the audience might as well be drunkenly daring the candidates to sing Freebird.

It's all just becoming a giant Mad Hatter's tea party. Why should any of this surprise us any more? After all, there's THIS.

Everyone should just drop acid. That'll at least be an excuse to just laugh hysterically at the absurdity of it all.

Dave said...

I have a huge problem with religion in goverenment on the whole. I think that politicians should have the right to believe what ever they want, but that they should keep their opinions to their selves.

I don't care who loves god more because quite frankly i don't give a shit. In the end it isn't going to put food on my plate, a roof over my head, or anything else i need to survive.

In the church they say with faithful service, you will be rewarded an eternity in heaven..... Kinda sounds like a sales pitch from the terrorists now that i think about it, minus the virgins of course.

Mika aka Xeyli said...

I could've sworn the first settlers that led to the start of this country were people who wanted to believe and practice their own religion, instead of being forced onto another one. or did someone re-write that part of history to suit their way of thinking?

Suzy said...

someone beat me to the 'amen brother' quip. so i guess the next best thing i can say is that i'm glad drugs like crystal meth, heroin, ecstacy, and coke exist. because if one of those miscreants gets elected to the presidency, i'll go euphorically to meet that jesus character.

Lauren said...

As a practicing Christian, I agree whole-heartedly. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other! While it would be nice to think that God will deliver us from... whatever, the truth is that you have a brain (and if you believe in God, He gave it to you for good reason) so people need to be using IT to choose the best candidate, not their faith. The whole thing is appaling, honestly. *Sigh* I'll just list it under the gigantic file I have now of, "Things the ridiculously over-zealous religious nuts do that makes me ashamed to believe in the same God as them".

BV said...

Here's the thing about Christians...they are scared to death that one day during church service a bunch of atheists will walk in and arrest them all for worshiping. This a very real fear they have and there are several books written on the subject with which to feed their fears. This is one of the reasons they vote for candidates that share the same religious viewpoints as them.

BUT, I am so sick and tired of Christian propaganda in this country that tells me what I should do and when I should do it, so I understand your indignation. I think people should be able to make their own decisions. If they choose to follow religious doctrine that's their choice and if they feel like being heathens :) then that's their choice too. Whatever.

While leaving a hockey game the other night there were these "evangelicals" outside holding up large signs saying "Sinner" etc etc (you know the kind) and yelling things. While this gets on my ever loving last nerve I would never want to see the day when those people weren't allowed to express themselves in whatever way they wished. It's all just white noise to me.

winged unicorn said...

well i know what i would do if i were the moshiach come to visit this great land. i'd get shit faced drunk.

slouchmonkey said...

It's sad really. If one of 'em. Just one of those fuckers on either side spoke a simple truth, they'd be thrown under the bus and never heard from again. "...tell you what youtube questioner...my faith is not going to help us out of this current sorry state of affairs. God, I wish it would. I really do. But, unfortunately it's not. However, this is how I propose to steer our country to the clear..."

Al said...

Jeebus seems to have answered the question with "get nailed to a stick" which strikes me as a hell of an ineffective way to deal with foreign relations, trade, economic issues and infrastructure.

Then again, the only folks that would run for president tend to be the last ones we should elect to hold it. Pretty messed up way to determine our leadership when you think about it a bit.

Lea said...

Right fucking on. You always express the sentiment better than I can, so thank yo for that.

Juju said...

One of my good friends has a t-shirt that says "WWJD for a Klondike Bar?" I love it. I know I would do a lot for one.

Swami Dearest said...

While I agree with you about keeping personal faith PERSONAL, and keeping it the hell out of politics (yeah, like THAT'S ever gonna happen), I question this idea:

" . . . a period of unprecedented turmoil . . . "

I think two world wars and a cold war which spanned four decades is rather significant turmoil.

Manda said...

You got me thinking that maybe my church isn't putting enough emphasis on our "asinine, 2000-year-old superstitions" and "book of magical stories".

So fuck all the "Love your neighbor as yourself" stuff; I want my minister in a robe and wizard's hat, shaking a beheaded chicken over the congregation next Sunday. And maybe a rousing game of Quidditch after the next potluck.

We need to get in better touch with the superstitious, magical elements of Christianity.

And also, I think I missed the memo about being deathly afraid of the roving band of atheists waiting to barge into our sanctuary and arrest us.

Obviously, as a Christian, I suck.

Anyway, I too am tremendously frustrated that religion has been so firmly shoved up the ass of American politics that questions like the ones raised at the debate even have to come up. Blame CNN for asking the questions. Blame the religious right for all its years spent convincing Christians to vote with their Bibles and for the politicians who pander to that notion.

If anything could possible make me fear for the safety of my right to worship freely, it is that people will eventually become so weary of religious grandstanding in politics that a movement will arise to shut the Christians up and demand we go away.

I'm in agreement with swami dearest on the "unprecedented turmoil' bit, and add two other less-than-bucolic times in our nation's history to the list: The Depression and that little scuffle called the Civil War.

UneFemmePlusCourageuse said...

Chez--
Agreed. I'm not an atheist, but I firmly believe that a politician's personal faith is something which has NO place in politics. Why? Because people like Romney, Bush, and Huckabee use their faith as a justification for opposing things such legalized birth control and abortion, gay marriage, and comprehensive sex education. Without the colouring of 'faith' behind these opinions, I believe that these sorts of politicians would have a MUCH harder time being taken seriously and not perceived as being bigoted or simply crazy, but because they can ascribe their political positions to things which may or may not have been written thousands of years ago, they have a constituent base. The media should lay off these fluff pieces about faith and focus on what the presidential candidates actually think about POLITICS. Oh, and oaths of office should be taken on the Constitution.

Chez said...

For the record folks -- Unprecedented doesn't necessarily mean the worst crisis this country has ever faced; it means a set of very difficult circumstances unlike any we've faced before.

Hence, unprecedented.

little girl with a big attitude said...

Oh, Chez, you have hit the nail on the head......I couldn't give a rat's ass about religion. I saw this posted on a Queerty thread about Mitt Romney's mailing about a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage..
"Christianity/Religions… The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree… yeah, makes perfect sense."

Kind of sums it all up, doesn't it? I don't care if a candidate is male or female, purple, green or orange, goes to church or worships a tree in his/her back yard, if they have a solid plan to get this country back on track, they've got my vote.

Calitri said...

The record, according to the Christian Right that controls it, rejected your attempt to set it straight. Thus, unprecedented shall this day forth be defined as: the worst crisis one could possibly face, ever.

Sorry, Chez. The record's just not as cool and the urban dictionary.

Mike D said...

When ever one of these christians starts to tell you about how our founding fathers meant this or that...which always comes back to believe my way or no way...kindly remind them that, yes, Moses is featured on the front of our Supreme Court building...but so are all the other ancient gods. Their all there right over the entrance to the Supreme Court building. This suggest that we look at the rules and guidelines that were handed to us by all races, all people, all religions and we govern ourselves based on a very wide array of belief patterns not simply one. Myself, I tend to believe in things that can be proven or at least tested.

Chez said...

Smart man Mike.

RottweilerTOM said...

What would Jesus do?

Give you a fucking kiss on the mouth (with tongue circling your upper lip) Chez!

Chez said...

Well at least that's not creepy or anything.

Thanks Tom.