Tuesday, October 17, 2006


So I was staying in a hotel this weekend with the band in Tuscaloosa, AL (we played a frat gig there that night). On Sunday morning, we watched good ol’ John Hagee.

He was talking about terrorism and the correctness of the war on terror and had a giant billboard behind him that said “World War III has begun” and showed Israeli and American flags with targets over them.

He kept saying Ahmadinejad is a madman and that we can’t appease Hezbollah and that terrorists hate us because of our freedoms and what not. That last part isn’t a paraphrase, by the way–he actually said the words “they hate us because of our freedom.” It was hard to believe that he was trotting out that old canard in this day and age.

He repeatedly said that we’re at war and that the war is just and we have to fight it and so on. The congregation seemed to be very appreciative of his propaganda. The “altar call” consisted of Hagee leading the congregation in a rendition of “God Bless America.” Hagee said that the lyrics were written “as a prayer.”

The Thing Is...

As we watched this spectacle, we criticized each little Republican talking point he brought up. For example, he said that Muslims want to conquer the whole world and subjugate it under sharia law. It struck us that if that’s true (which it isn’t), we don’t really have any good options. I mean, with the signing today of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, it’s either live here under martial law without habeas corpus, or live here under sharia. Of course, that’s what we call a “false choice.”

Then our drummer had a good point–if Hagee is so concerned about the supposed threat of the “Islamists”–why doesn’t he advocate simply nuking them? Why must we fight this long and costly war when we could just take care of the “problem” right now–or as soon as Dear Leader can get “the button” under his hot little finger?

Not that I (or our drummer) am actually for that option–just the opposite is true. I’m violently opposed to nuking “the Muslims.” But the point is, if people like Hagee think that Muslims are such an existenial threat to the United States, why do they advocate fighting a more or less conventional war with them when we know we don’t have to do that?

Would the answer to that question be that if you eradicate the supposed problem with a few mushroom clouds, you suddenly lose the threat that allows a)Bush to keep taking away our liberties and/or b) people like Hagee to keep making money ($55 for a DVD set of his terror sermons)? Why yes, I think we’re on to something here.

Of course, Hagee and his ilk would say that they don't want to simply nuke our supposed antagonists because doing so would prevent the onset of the Rapture. But keep in mind, Hagee divorced his first wife and is married to a woman 12 years his junior. Don't evangelicals despise divorce, or is it just gay marriage that they don't like? Also, the Bible says that no one knows when Christ will come back and so it would seem to me to be the definiton of "a fool's errand" to try to hasten the Second Coming.

One other thing--as our drummer pointed out, there was nothing in Hagee's sermon (the part we saw, anyway) about loving God or loving your neighbor as yourself, which everyone knows is the entire point of Christianity. How 'bout them apples?

Terrorism Is A Problem Republicans Do Not Want To Solve

That is to say–terrorism is a problem Republicans do not want to solve, just like gay marriage and abortion and what they see as the general problem of “the culture.” Republicans (should I say “conservatives”?) feed off of these problems and use the promise of solving them as a way to get people like those in Hagee’s congregation to vote for them and support them. Why then would Republicans ever actually fix such problems?

It’s kind of like this crazy woman who keeps writing our local paper to say that Bush should be allowed to stay in office until the war in Iraq is over. What she doesn’t seem to understand (or thinks that other people don’t understand), is that if we tied the progress of a war to the length of time a person could stay in office, the war would never end. In other words, there’s no incentive to end wars or reduce/contain presidential power if we say to the President “You must be our leader until the war is over.” Then we’ll have a dictatorship for sure.

So this crazy lady is basically begging for a dictatorship, because she thinks Bush is such a good Christian man and by golly he’s doing the best he can to help our country. Meanwhile, Bush and company are insulting these theocons and their supporters behind theirs backs (according to “Tempting Faith”) and merely paying lip service to their causes while forging ahead with their real agenda, which is making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

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