Monday, July 24, 2006

Am I The Beast or The Whore?

UPDATED: Fixed the link for the main story.

Honestly, you shouldn’t be reading my blog. You should be reading the Columbus Dispatch. Yesterday’s CD runs a multi-story spread on the Governor’s race. They have a nice story juxtaposing Ted and J. Ken on how their faith guides their respective candidacies, a side-by-side Q&A on a number of issues, a recap of the latest poll showing Ted in the lead.

But the story you must read is an extensively reported multimedia piece focusing on the fundamentalist Christian allies of J. Ken Blackwell. It starts with this vignette:

    The Rev. Tommy Bates, a Pentecostal preacher from Kentucky, described the beast rising out of the sea: a horned, multi-headed creature with the body of a leopard, paws of a bear and mouth of a lion -- just like in the Book of Revelation.
    This, Bates said, was the political system of Babylon, the evil kingdom in the Bible that was opposed to God and his people.

    But there to stop the beast was the Rev. Rod Parsley -- the overseer of a worldwide ministry headquartered at World Harvest in southeastern Columbus, an outspoken critic of popular culture and a nationally known Republican ally.

    "The Lord spoke to me and said, 'I chose Rod Parsley to push this beast back for a season,' " Bates said. "He said it was Pastor Rod Parsley who I chose to alter the election, the presidential election. Not a Democrat, not a Republican situation, but the spirit of the Antichrist ... that came walking in America."

    Now, Bates said, that creature was returning, with "a great whore riding on the beast's back. ... She is identified with a city, a political city called Babylon which is going to usher in the Antichrist."
As you move through the story and meet the cast of characters, at times they appear to try to moderate their views for public consumption. But this opening reveals the true heart of those who would be in charge of Ohio’s Restoration, its Reformation and whatever else they seek to do to it. Parsley famously prayed that America would have the wisdom to make the right choice on Election Day 2004. Plug that into Bates’ story – apparently a vote for Kerry was a vote for the AntiChrist.

Elsewhere a Rabbi involved with one of the groups in the network opines that “irreconcilable differences between the right and the left [constitute] a conflict between two ‘religio-moral worldviews’ – essentially, those who believe in God and those who don't.”

"And here we have two parts of America," Lapin said, "that votes differently, that raises its children differently, that views family entirely differently, and has created two completely incompatible political visions for America.[sic]"

I hate – absolutely from the depths of my soul, hate – the way I sound like Chicken Little about this stuff, but it frankly unnerves me. History proves fairly definitively that when those in power convince the people that an Other is responsible for the trouble in the world, things rapidly go badly for the Other.

As a Liberal non-Christian I am apparently an Other.

If you are not a Fundamentalist Christian and you doubt what is at stake in this election, read the article, click through the media links. If you are still sanguine about a Blackwell victory, come back and tell me why I should be able to sleep at night. If it bothers you as well, decide what you are going to do about it and get to work.

And if you are a Fundamentalist Christian, you might start thinking about the point at which you would say “Hold, enough!” The Day of Reckoning may take a different form than you expect.

4 comments:

redhorse said...

Sorry, couldn't finish the post. When someone, anyone, starts to recall precise quotes from their conservations with God, I'm done.

judeandelise said...

Hey Pho...you didn't think I was still around, did you? Well, I am here and as you know I am a Christian - not traditional by most standards but either way - I just wanted to say not all Christian are like this guy. And I feel safe in saying that I would assume most Bible believing Christians may think this man to be a nut case. And if you are interested in my two cents on the real topic here...I don't agree with church leaders talking about politics from the pulpit. I didn't read the whole article because quite frankly it bored me to tears but it is something I have thought about before and because my politics are different that 95% of my Christian friends it will always be a fun topic of conversation at Church picnics!!!

Bob Higgins said...

Great work thanks


I have placed a link to your blog
on my site at Worldwide Sawdust
Please review my site and consider linking back to me.

Thanks

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I'm not amused by the Patch's "what role will faith play if you're elected" pieces, because I believe these are designed to work against Strickland. The paper's tactic, I'm sure, is to annoy conservative Christians, who will view Strickland as way too liberal, and at the same time to irk the anti-religion crowd (can you say "Mike Harden"), many members of which are sick of "hearing about" religion. And some members of which seriously believe there's an End-Times-based takeover of the country in progress.

Both sides, in other words, are annoyed at Strickland for being a minister, and the Patch knows it--they're playing on this prejudice. The "faith vs. politics" issue is phony, absurd, and simplistic. When the Patch came out with the first religion vs. politics survey a while back, I said to myself, "Uh, oh." I wish Ohio voters would see this ploy for what it is--diversionary. Why delve into serious issues when we have a cliche to conduct pointless debate over?

Regarding Pullins' blog being "high-toned," I submit there's nothing high-toned about the spreading of vicious and false rumors. Pullins' poor writing skills are another issue, but at least they can be forgiven. In fact, they add a nice comic touch to his page.

Besides, character is a matter of substance, not style.


Lee