Frank Bruni of the NY Times wrote a piece entitled, “The Divine Miss M,” a scathing dissection of Michele Bachmann’s life, a life which is the antithesis of the “Christianity” she espouses. Wrote Bruni, “. . . [S]he presents herself as a godly woman, humbly devoted to her Christian faith. I’d like to meet that god, and I’d like to understand that Christianity.” Bruni noted Bachmann’s vendetta against Hillary Clinton’s aide, Muslim-born Huma Abedin, and Bachmann’s vengeful mission to spread dissension, lies and hatred toward Muslim Americans. He noted Bachmann’s misinformation campaign against the vaccine for the human papillomavirus. He noted Bachmann’s homophobia and xenophobia and the ” deep satchel of stones” she routinely throws.
Even as an atheist, I have no beef with religion. But what I see out of the “Christian right” is no form of religion I’ve ever heard of. As a kid in church, with my loosely religious parents, I never remember being taught to use “God” as a club to foment hatred; I never remember being taught that we should laugh at suffering and work hard to make suffering worse; I never remember being taught that we should despise and condemn anyone unlike us. What I remember is collecting cans, door to door, for the poor, and visiting low-income families at the holidays with food boxes. The “Christian right” either never learned or callously disregarded that age-old lesson, that it’s not how you worship, but how you live, that counts in the end. That concept is gone, apparently, along with right-wing sanity. And a lot of false-flagging, dogmatic “Christians” will be going to the dark, hot place.
Bruni highlighted Bachmann’s “hate disguised as Christian” dogma. But there are others – many others – on the right who splash around in the holy water while plotting against, and outright hating, others. American Spectator editor and right-wing religious guru, R. Emmett Tyrrell, blamed “brain dead” liberals for the Aurora, Colorado shootings, while theologist Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association blamed godless liberals. (Ever notice how the more hate is being spewed, the more likely it is that “family” will be lurking somewhere in their headline?) Tyrrell: Roman Catholic. Fischer: Baptist or something Bible’ish. Bill O’Reilly, due to his relentless and vicious name-calling and finger-pointing campaign, had at least a hand in engineering the murder of abortion doctor, Dr. George Tiller. Good old Bill: Roman Catholic. Mike Huckabee, staunch supporter of homophobic company, Chick-fil-A, is, of course, an ordained Baptist minister, preaching hatred to the flocks.
Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio – a man so filled with venom and racism and spittle-spewing cruelty that he’s being sued by his victims in a class action lawsuit, assisted by the ACLU and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) for racial profiling – has become an icon to the “religious” based Tea Party, a hero to the “religious right.” Sheriff Joe: Catholic. And the Tea Barty base which rallies for this pus-filled vermin: All forms of bible-thumpers.
Glenn Beck, conspiracy theory king, surpassed only by the conspiracy theory queen, Michele Bachmann (who’s some crazy Evangelical thing), has long been a race-baiter and hate-monger-extraordinaire. He’s cruel and heartless. He’s a Mormon. Rush Limbaugh, with his loose tongue that tosses around “slut” and creates conspiracy theories out of hit movies, who rages against the lefties (who, in his mind, are waging war on religion), is an ostensibly god-loving (though non-churchgoing) Methodist.
Republican Representative Paul Ryan’s budget – filled with tax cuts for the rich and deep, brutal cuts to programs for the poor, including food stamps, school lunches, and more rich-people pot-sweeteners – has so horrified a group of nuns that they’ve set out on a road trip to derail it. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have given Ryan a knuckle-rapping, calling his budget cuts “unjustified and wrong.” Ryan thinks it’s A-okay with Jesus to let poor people starve, and searches high and low for more cuts to Medicare while he fills his own gullet with $350 bottles of wine. Ayn Rand versus Jesus; Ayn Rand won. Ryan: Just another good little Catholic boy.
Fox News’ contributor Laura Ingraham is a woman of the purest false-flagging virtues: She’s got the bling-bling gold cross going, along with the “christian” standard fare race-baiting, and – along with her sidekick, Tammy Bruce – enjoys launching mean-spirited attacks on First Lady Michelle Obama in her spare time. She accused the President of buying votes by dangling welfare on a stick, mainly because she obviously can’t imagine anyone actually believing in that old atheist’s saw, “good for goodness’ sake.” Did I mention Ingraham’s a staunch Roman Catholic? Michelle Malkin, another vicious little vixen with the scent of lefty blood in her nostrils, someone who was highly critical of President Obama’s compassionate and reassuring trip to Aurora, Colorado, somehow – in the right-wing “christian” land that integrity and compassion forgot – can square cuddling up to a swastika for a photo op with being a Roman Catholic.
John Boehner, spooning with Paul Ryan’s death knell budget: Catholic. Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, lover of the death penalty and torture and not too tolerant of undocumented immigrants, is “pretty darn Catholic” (and he’s got the breeding to prove it). Republican Representative Steve King thinks gays should stay in the closet and rubs his little hands with glee over the amendment he’s sponsoring allowing animal torture, but he calls himself some kind of “Christian.” Mitt Romney, who doesn’t give a fig about the very poor and lies like he invented it: Mormon. Mitt Romney’s foreign policy advisor (and happy Islamophobe), John Bolton – a supporter of Michele Bachmann’s Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory/witch hunt – is a nice, friendly Lutheran.
The Religious Right, so named back in the day, now known as the new and shiny-bright right-wing Tea Party crowd, has given Christianity a bad name. The Tea Party should take a sip from the flask of the National Tequila Party Movement, a group who’s protesting Joe Arpaio, or a page from the book of a group of religious leaders who toured Arpaio’s tent cities and found them appalling, not praise-worthy.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”