Friday, May 23, 2008

The Longing for Caves

A poll conducted by Dr. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries asked the flock "how dangerous are the following to the spiritual health of America?" and they dutifully bleated this sterling list of answers:

Spiritually Dangerous Thing - % indicating Very Dangerous

  • The ACLU and similar groups - 96
  • Pro-homosexual indoctrination - 95
  • Abortion - 93
  • Islamic terrorism - 91
  • Hollywood - 89
  • News Media - 87
  • Darwinism/evolution - 85
  • Cults and false religion - 82
  • Atheism - 82
  • Courts - 81
  • Apathetic/uninformed Christians - 79
  • Colleges and Universities - 78
  • Public education (K-12) - 69
  • Congress - 63
With the caveat that a spiritual danger is to an actual danger what a unicorn's horn is to a horse, this list says quite a bit about the priorities and predilections of America's Christianist yahoos.

"Spiritual health" appears to wither in the presence of contrary ideas and their sources, and these sources are varied and legion: schools, colleges, the wrong churches, the wrong church-goers, thought-criminals (atheistic and religious alike), movies, newspapers, the two branches of government not controlled by the Bush-Cheney junta. To open one's Christianist eyes and ears is to be assailed by danger after danger. In that case, aren't we agreed that the Christianists should all go huddle in a cave far, far away and leave the modern world to those of us who don't fear it?

No, we're not agreed: they want the quiet assurances of the cave, and they hope to remake this society until it is that cave.

A few of the entries -- abortion, terrorism, the ACLU, pro-gay indoctrination (Will & Grace re-runs?) -- invite a slightly different interpretation from the cave-longing sketched above. In these we see, I think, the sort of Biblical thinking recently made famous by John Hagee and Jeremiah Wright: these are instances and agencies of runaway moral lassitude, which gives god no choice but to send hurricanes, floods, plagues, suicidal attacks, horrible TV shows, and assorted other collective damnations.

(H/T Thoughts from Kansas)

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