In God (and Bush)
Daily Message From God
"For George Bush: Nice work, kid! Now let's get those prayers back
in classrooms pronto and those Darwin-free text books distributed. And,
Dubya, will you tell Falwell to go on a diet! He's embarrassing us up here."
Us 'fringe folk' will huddle
together in 'Kerry Nation'
By MURRY FRYMER
Im not religious. So very likely most Americans would not want to hear from me. I think they did not want to hear from John Kerry, either.
He did not thump the Good Book or speak loudly of his faith. The poor schnook did try moving in that direction at times, just as he went goose-hunting to assuage another big American constituency.
But by then, the lanky senator was on a wild goose chase. He had learned that it was no longer the economy, stupid. And he had learned, as did Bill Clinton, that health care was not on the top 10 of voter concerns. Courage in battle, he found, could be attacked by those who had sidestepped the battle. As long as they praised the Lord, they were trusted to pass the ammunition.
Kerry should have damned the gays who wanted to get in on the family values ethic. That, the religious crowd deemed immoral. Morality! That was the big need that Kerry failed to express. And though it may seem like pandering to the churchgoers, Bush was good at it. He could thump the Good Book, point out evil in the world, urge a constitutional amendment to make gay marriage illegal, rail against abortion, stuff like that. With his good wife glistening beside him, wearing an American flag pin on his lapel and Christianity on his sleeve, Bush was the man in the right place at the right time.
America is moving toward the same fundamentalism that our Arab enemies have long embraced. Of course, ours is the true religion while they are infidels. Over there they reverse the sentence.
We killed 100,000 Iraqi civilians so far in our search for the weapons of mass destruction. That didnt make page one. The terrorists killed lots of civilians, too. That got better play. Our killing, we believe, was more moral than theirs. It will continue.
Anyway, in trying to look ahead to America's Future, I fear that people like me are becoming irrelevant. The issues that concern us and which we think should concern everyone do not concern the people in charge.
In this election, the governments lack of planning for flu shots seemed to mean nothing. The high cost of gasoline was not an issue. Mr. Bush is getting set to make permanent his tax cuts for the wealthy. He will cut social spending to make up for it. Americas poor Christians are not going to look up from their good books.
The environment is not an issue. The huge unmanageable deficit is not an issue. The Abu Ghraib atrocities are not an issue. The eradication of legal rights in Guantanemo is not an issue. The struggling Medicare and Social Security problems do not seem to evoke much indignation.
Its the Bible, stupid. In future elections, our candidates will hold it aloft in front of the multitudes and tell them that God is their salvation, not more jobs. Its the faith, stupid. Either youve got it and are willing to shout it from the pulpit, or you better get out of politics.
Fully 40 per cent of Americans are Evangelicals. You know something, I didnt really know what Evangelicals were and now I find they are the prime movers of American politics. Hallelujah. This is something new. Or maybe it is not new but has just been revealed in gothic type for us all to see.
So, in this new holy world, the people like me will huddle together in Kerry Nation: the West Coast, New England and a piece of the upper Midwest. We will make our jokes, watch Jon Stewart, try to take care of our own needs and never, never, never watch a George Bush speech. He is pre-eminent, anointed by the religious to do pretty much whatever he wants. Pre-emptive wars, no matter how they turn out, are OK when the commander in chief is a Christian.
You may note some anger in all this. Bet your ass. (Cursing has become a sign that you are not a Bush moralist, though Dick Cheney somehow can swear and be moral at the same time.)
George Bush is to the fringe folk like me the worst president in American history. He is also the single largest vote-getter in American history. So you can see how irrelevant is this rant.
One day things might get really bad out there, like they did in 1929. The Democrats will win again. But until the reality of this government is judged by more than its Christianity, me and my secular brethren will hide in immoral cells, watch football games where the players huddle in prayer, maybe secretly talk to a gay man and worry about our health bills. We will grumble a lot, but Michael Moore will not save us. (This election just cost him an Academy Award.)
Theres another election in four years. We will have to search out a Democratic fundamentalist or just abandon the party. In the meantime, the Religious States of America might begin to seem a wee bit un-American while we wait.
©2004 by Murry Frymer. The Murry Frymer caricature is ©2000 by Jim Hummel. The cartoon is from IMSI's Master Clips Collection, 1895 Francisco Blvd. E., San Rafael, CA, 94901-5506, USA.
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