And I'm most definitely going to hell

Today the top spot on my shit list is not occupied by the President, greedy CEOs, or corrupt legislators. Today I place wrong with the (self) righteous, apathy with the (dis)compassionate, selfishness with the public relations facade of charity. For a limited time only, I take aim at the Moral Cult of Religion, as popularized by the nasty strain of fundamental Christianity that has infected American government, and in a more personal way, I target the exclusionary tactics of the Mormons, otherwise known as God's Chosen People.

I may not be Mormon, but as the sister of one of God's Chosen People, I respect religion's power over the individual—to heaven and hell, saviors and prophets, from wars to humanitarian efforts, gospel and chanting, middle way, all day, every day until your next life. Don't tell McCarthy, but the Marxist in me is always aware of institutions of social control. But Marx is not the only Karl. Rove is Marx's worst futuristic nightmare come true, the powerful mastermind in the evangelical thrust in social control. America is a country of immense and diverse faith, where the political separation of Church and State was never taken seriously. Now it's as laughable as gay marriage and medicinal marijuana. Since Bush took the White House, a faith-based seed of social judgment has grown into one big power-hungry weed. Terri Schiavo was just vegetable in rather disturbing salad of upcoming faith-based initiatives. Unless God strikes down upon us with great vengeance and furious anger, America's priorities will be so corrupted by relgion, I'll have to get down on my knees and start praying.

Praying may not be so easy, as I've never been the type. Without digressing into the very personal subject of faith, the only thing I can say about God is that He's possible. But according to anyone at a Pat Robertson sermon, in this Monopoly game I won't pass Go and the $200 will not be collected but burnt to crisp because I'm bound to suffer everlasting torment in hell. But I've asked myself before, and I can’t help but ask myself again - how Christian is the evangelical invasion if its leaders put the enforcement of morality standards before such virtues as compassion and charity? If President Bush calls himself a born again Christian, he might need a third birth after his casual indifference to Tony Blair's G-8 Africa Debt Relief plan. He also may need a couple dozen additional births for Iraq-related offenses, but just writing about Bush being born again is kind of freaking me out, as if he's being cloned using embryonic stem cell research. What would Jesus think??

If some of these religious leaders have the delusion that they are living their lives as Christ would have lived his, they need to stop what they’re doing, hire the local clergy to follow them around with a camera, watch the footage, and pass the same condescending judgment on themselves that they pass on others. Like many heathens who have yet to be born for the first time, I admire the way Jesus lived his life and how he treated others, particularly the whores, the lepers, and the downtrodden. I may not be a Christian, but I know that if the Bible is right and Jesus is alive and all around us, I’m pretty sure he’s cringing at the sight of politicians using morality as justification to gain political power and wield it like the theo- has replaced demo- in front of the -ocracy. Maybe he’s shuddering at the prospect of my sister deliberately excluding her own parents from her wedding ceremony, opting not to share supposedly the happiest day of her life with the two people who brought her into this world and raised her to be the woman she is today. If religion comes before everything else, we are what we believe. But if those who control religions can make us believe anything, who will we be? I suppose it's ultimately up to the individual to decide, but for the sake of an upcoming conclusion I'd like to bring the King James Bible into the discussion:

"And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." -Matthew 12:25

JC was a bit of a pessimistic political guru mind-reader, wasn't he? In evoking this passage, I'm not saying all sides of this morality - liberal/conservative debate should all get along. It's about respect. Harmony. Accepting differences and trying to understand them for the good of the kingdom. Faith is a beautiful thing. But when it mobilizes and tries to control people, it can get powerful. With power comes dissent, and with dissent comes a kingdom divided against itself. But times have changed since before the Common Era. Sometimes, like in the Martin Luther King-led Civil Rights Movement, political mobilization with slight religious undertones can bring about positive change. But the Bush-Rove evangelical plan is such a disturbing prospect of social control because, like so many other things this administration does with its mandate, it doesn't have the best interests of the America - with all of its hookers, lepers, athiests and Muslims - at heart. If religion comes before everything else, we are what we believe. The Mormons are God's Chosen People. George Bush is President. And I'm most definitely going to hell.


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