Having witnessed my Appalachian granny get suckered and disappointed by an endless stream of two-bit-Jesus-babblers growing rich and fat on alms from the poor, I developed a burning disgust for religious con artists at a pretty early age. As far as I’m concerned, these phony baloneys are nothing but false prophets who ought to roast in the fires they so gleefully wish on others. I include in this group our current batch of “God-fearing politicians,” especially those two federal money loving hypocrites happy secessionists Rick Perry and Sarah Palin.
Hell, Virgil-like, I’d brave the Eighth Circle of Poodlee’s Boschian Inferno just to bring the marshmallows if I knew I would see Pat Robertson roasting on a spit, Jerry Falwell poked with pitchforks, Jim Baker forced to drink molten lead, and Perry and Palin driven by demons to listen to their own bullshit and eternally grab for cash that combusts every time they acquire a handful whilst the once gullible and credulous laugh at them from Poodlee’s Paradise.
Perry issued an official proclamation drawing on his constitutional authority designating three days as Days of Prayer for Rain:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal and robust way of life.
MsInformed, a commenter at ThinkProgress had this to say:
Perry calls for prayer over the Easter weekend and the forecast actually has a chance of rain. He’s a flim-flam man.
Prompted by MsInformed’s comment, I checked to see what’s on the radar for Easter weekend, and it seems that Fort Davis isn’t looking so good with 0% chance of precipitation forecast through Tuesday. The capitol Austin and the city of Houston are looking better with partly or mostly cloudy skies over the weekend, with a chance of thunderstorms and 20% change of precipitation on Monday and Tuesday. Fort Worth is doing even better with a chance of thunderstorms all the way into Tuesday, with at least a 20% chance of precipitation over the next five days, with that chance increasing to 40% on Monday. Dallas is the same as Forth Worth, with the exception of Saturday showing no chance of rain.
So, maybe the governor is trying his hand at Bill Starbuck’s game of Rainmaker. (I’m having one of my film-filking fits with governor Perry in the role played by Burt Lancaster and Sarah Palin as Lizzie Curry right now, but I can’t figure how to work it into this little rant legitimately so I’ve got to shake it off.) If the heavens open, then Hallelujah, God has heard the prayers of the people of Texas. If it doesn’t, well folks are either wicked or just not praying or believing hard enough, or it’s the gays’ or the feminists’ or Planned Parenthood’s fault … or some combination. (Maybe while he’s praying, the governor should ask for some divine revelation on climate change.) It does seem that Mr. States’ Rights is covering all his bases. Not only is he beseeching the Lord for help in fighting the wildfires currently whipping down the plains, but is also requesting aid from the monstrous federal government and our socialist President.
Now maybe Governor Texas Two-Step checked the weather forecast and figured now’s as good a time as any to call on the faithful. Or maybe he’s having a bad hair day with curls and cowlicks popping up despite an abundant use of “product,” so he’s got the inside track on the prospect of pending precipitation. I did wonder, since he’s calling on all faiths and traditions, how he’ll sort out whose God gets the credit if the heavens open and the rain pours down. Certain Native American tribes have a tradition of beseeching rain through ceremonial dance, but Native Americans make up only .8% of the entire population of Texas. Jews make up only .6%, Muslims only .7% and as for Buddhists and practitioners of other religions, I was unsuccessful in finding any data so their numbers must be miniscule. So I think it’s safe to quit wondering whose God is going to get the credit if the forces of high and low pressure and cold and warm fronts moisten things up at The Alamo, El Paso or Laredo this Easter weekend.
In his recent book The Rise and Fall of the Bible, author Timothy Beal states: “More than 80 percent of born-again or evangelical Christians believe that ‘God helps those who help themselves’ is a Bible verse.” It is not. The saying “was first coined by Benjamin Franklin, a Deist.” I’m fine with Benjamin Franklin. He’s just not in the Bible. Or he wasn’t until the Religious Right and the Tea Party started monkeying around with history and the Founding Fathers and the Constitution and the Bible and God only knows what else. Those hyperactive simians probably have Ben Franklin, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton at the Adoration at this point. Or maybe it’s George Mason, Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams. The Tea Party (social conservatives in revolutionary-period clothing) can’t quite figure out if they’re Federalists or Anti-Federalists, but they do know with certainty that this is a Christian nation, Jesus loves capitalism and the Bill of Rights are the only amendments to the U.S. Constitution of which the Founding Fathers (and God) approve. Of these three things they have no doubt. It’s their Holy Trinity.
Looking at the current batch of fundamentalist Jesus-talkers — including the likes of televangelist Pat Robertson, Prosperity Gospelers like Bennie Hinn and Credo Dollar (really, I’m surprised there’s not one named Gimme Bucks) and those who subscribe to Dominionist theologies – all of whom have grafted the atheist, greed-whore of Babylon Ayn Rand’s Objectivist claptrap onto the Jesus tree, I suggest their dictum is more accurately: “God helps those who help themselves to whatever they can sucker or steal from the gullible, the sentimental, the poor, the powerless, the searching, the lonely and the downtrodden.” It’s all “screw the Sermon on the Mount, tickets to heaven are limited and pricey” with that crowd.
On this Good Friday, I remind you that it was Jesus’ kicking some money-grubbing, apostate butts out of the Temple that set the whole crucifixion business in motion. So, whenever I see an opportunity to hoist heretics by their own petards, or toss around a few tables and free some sacrificial doves, I ask myself WWB-KJD (what would butt-kicking Jesus do)? My answer to that question is this: he would take every opportunity possible to call out the God-talkers and the Wall Street Robber Barons and the polluting Industrialists who value profits over the care of the Soul, the care of our brothers and sisters across this lonely planet, and the care of the Earth. He would cleanse the Temple of the abominations that parade before us daily in his name. He would kick some butt.
So I charge you, like Felix the Cat, lets reach into our bag of tricks and use every resource we have to turn our world into Heaven on Earth, for that was truly Jesus’ message.
P.S. If you are offended by this post, please don’t tell me. If Harold Camping is correct, I’ll be scheduled for toast within a month’s time anyway. If he’s wrong, again, whenever (if ever) your Rapture does arrive, I’ve already figured I’m getting left behind. And I’m cool with that.
P.P.S. I changed the ending of this post on Easter Sunday as I felt the old one was a bit vague and easily misunderstood. With this change, I think I have made myself perfectly clear.