Don’t worry about my mojo, Osama
Though their president’s poll numbers are plunging toward Nixonian realms, the forces of backwardness remain on the offensive. While the pastor-in-chief’s initiatives, foreign and domestic, crumble under the frustrations of a public that feels betrayed, the country’s religious tyrants continue their crusade to take away rights and stifle the progress women and homosexuals – among other people who aren’t white, conservative Christian men – have made during the last several decades. They’re assaulting same-sex benefits in Alaska and abortion in South Dakota. They’ve already succeeded in making homosexuals second-class citizens in dozens of states and seem to want women to join them. The religious right tries to outlaw abortion, gay marriage, same-sex benefits, sex education, evolution, contraception, rap music, SpongeBob SquarePants, pop music, the Sopranos, liquor, bad words, Harry Potter, offensive T-shirts, “The Da Vinci Code” and countless other things the rest of us enjoy.Their battle cry is that their pious ways are under siege. Meanwhile, W., the president who would be the Protestant pope, talks about how much he cherishes freedom. Well, the church-driven life is not under attack – it’s doing the attacking. Nobody wants to force religious fundamentalists to spend their Saturday nights reading Darwin, watching “South Park,” doing the lambada and having gay sex. The rest of us just don’t care how abstinent or pure of thought they are. But the fundamentalists want us all to cancel our subscriptions to HBO, throw away our Eminem CDs and stop practicing witchcraft. They want to take our mojos away even though we want to leave their Passion alone. If the devout are so moral, how come so many of them have been getting into trouble or saying ungodly things lately? Let’s start with the most devout of all – Osama bin Laden. He’s considered very holy. He also thought of as the worst person on the planet. The nuke-daffy ayatollahs of Iran, seething to conquer the Middle East and wipe Israel off the map, also consider themselves quite the holy men. And Pat Robertson, he’s admirably devout – so devout he thinks we can easily whack the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, without disrupting the flow of oil from that country. In pushing for an gangland-style hit, the reverend’s main concern seemed not to be the commandment that instructs “Thou shalt not kill,” but how much premium unleaded will cost him next time he fills up whatever humble monstrosity of a car in which he gets driven around? Luckily for America, batty old Pat’s just divinely compassionate enough to beat a brain-damaged Israeli prime minister when he’s down. Pat knows heavenly recriminations when he sees them. But somehow, he hasn’t been able to find any of God’s anger acting against Americans in Iraq. Next there’s Jack Abramoff. Accused of a vast conspiracy of brazen fraud and dishonesty, it’s said Abramoff spends his time writing commentary on Jewish scripture. I wonder where in the Torah it commands Jews to set an example of greed and power-lust for the gentiles. Hey – money-grubbing? – that’s a stereotype. Thanks, Jack, for reminding Americans how avaricious us Jews are supposed to be. But I don’t remember my rabbi encouraging me to scam Indians or bribe congressman. Of course, I only went to a Reformed temple. Just this week, there’s Claude Allen, a born-again Christian and formerly W.’s top domestic adviser. Allen, however, aimed much lower than Osama or Rabbi Jack – he’s only accused of stealing $5,000 worth of merchandise from Target and other stores, the L.A. Times reported Sunday.All this holiness is just overwhelming. And how arrogant of these neo-fascist right-wing groups to pretend they’re trying to protect the rest of us from ourselves. It’s ironic that a group called “Focus on the Family” would be so violently opposed to same-sex benefits. Don’t same-sex benefits help families? Letting gay couples adopt children creates new families. And abortion can prevent destructive families. I have a family and I think it’s good for my family to be exposed to different kinds of lifestyle, different rituals and different ideas, even if they sometimes make my family uncomfortable. But I guess those aren’t kind of families on which this group of narrow-minded zealots if focusing. Focus is funny word too, considering they don’t seem able to see anybody who doesn’t look just like them.City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14620, or firstname.lastname@example.org Vail, Colorado
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