Thursday, July 23, 2009

Christian Right and The Guardian…Mind If We Have a Little Pow-Wow Right Over Here?

I love reading The Guardian. Their arts and music coverage is unparalleled. Their articles on matters both international and Stateside are always well-informed, well-written and thought provoking. Also, when I am in London, The Guardian is usually the best place to find out what to do on any given night out. I remember hearing David Cross mention something during last year’s election about how sad it was that he had to read newspapers from other countries, such as The Guardian, to get a more accurate portrait of what was happening in his own country. That, sadly, is too often the case. But reading this article from The Guardian made my blood rise to a nice, simmering boil.

I really thought that The Guardian would be above this kind of sensationalist cage rattling. If you’re too lazy to read the link, the premise is: Oh here go those crazy conservative nutty Texans again! Would you believe what they are doing this time? They want to change all the history and science textbooks in the state to include “intelligent design” and God and the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers of the country. Texas is a theocracy and all your liberal hatred can be easily focused with laser precision at the state.

There’s a foundation of truth there. Yes, there are nutty people in Texas (some of whom are in the State Legislature) who want to God up all the textbooks and tattoo the Ten Commandments on the buttocks of all schoolchildren or whatever they want to do. But no more so in Texas than say…



or if you like your facts in scroll-overable picture form, check this out.

Believe it or not, it’s not just Texas or even exclusively Southern states. There are ridiculous people all over this great nation of ours.

But The Guardian must have written this because of some recent development in Texas that, living in Texas, we MUST have heard about. Because every few months, you get a new little wave of poorly-spelled forwards from misguided coworkers or relatives about how you should refuse to use dollar coins because they no longer carry the phrase “In God We Trust”. You sigh and laugh a little and hit delete and go on with your life, knowing that everything is going to be alright. When you read the Guardian piece, it turns out that is all this is. Maybe The Guardian caught onto this late and think that this is some kind of news or that the empty threats of forced religious public education are real. Don’t worry Guardian, come over here and let me give you a hug and little pat on the head. These people are what you would call “nutters” and this is a big state so we’ve got plenty of them.

In fact, hold on. The one you featured, whose name and existence was so mysterious to me that I had to Google him to find out who/what/why he was, is someone named Reverend Peter Marshall. So you’re implying that he’s got something to do with a pro-religion education movement here in Texas? Well, I Googled him and found his (excuse the lack of a better term here) crazy-ass website. Yeah, he’s a nutter. You said in your article that he blames Hurricane Katrina and the US losing in Vietnam on sexual promiscuity and homosexuality. Wow. Yeah, I wish people would have stopped sodomizing each other long enough to make Hurricane Katrina turn and hit Cuba like Baby Jesus wanted to happen. But you just HAD to do your sodomy, you sodomites!

Anyways, yeah, the guy is batshit crazy. And hang on…what’s this? He’s also based out of Massachusetts. In case you aren’t too familiar with US geography, Massachusetts is a) not in Texas and b) largely considered a very liberal state in the big scary liberal Northeast. So you’re telling me that the guy who The Guardian tells us is in some way related to a campaign to force references to God into the textbooks of Texas schoolchildren is not, as you are lead to believe in the article, from Texas, based in Texas or has any kind of connection with the state?

Because if the goal of the article was to find nutters in America who stand in the proverbial town square with a sandwich board, a cowbell and hastily scrawled flyers about the end of times or a conspiracy that Quizno’s and Subway are actually the same thing, you can really throw a dart at the internet and find something good and crazy. And speaking of throwing darts, I liked the last little kick to the junk you gave Texans at the end of your article. You know, the part about “There's no doubt that history education needs a boost in Texas. According to test results, one-third of students think the Magna Carta was signed by the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and 40% believe Lincoln's 1863 emancipation proclamation was made nearly 90 years earlier at the constitutional convention.” That’s right, we’re all a bunch of Jaywalkers who should not be allowed to use scissors that are not of the safety, rounded tip variety. Oh wait, that happens on your side of the ocean too!

And now a note to Peter Marshall. You see, when you do things like spew hatred and generally just exist, you give them ammunition. I know you can’t hear any of this over the sound of Money Jesus telling you to go out and spread more of the Good Word at crazy, discount prices. But let’s be honest for a second. You’re a snake oil salesman. You’re no different from

this guy who wants to help me have a pure colon


these people who want to help me cleanse the toxins out of my body with their Swiffer pad foot stickers

or even

the awesomely named Clint Stonebraker who has all kinds of personal motivation he can offer me if I just keep him on a $300 monthly retainer.

The only difference between these people and you, Peter Marshall, is that they surely don’t receive tax-exempt status or abuse people’s religious faith or fear for their own profit. They just want to get all the booze and cheeseburgers I have eaten in my life out of my body through my feet. But you offer visitors to your website the answer to “Restoring America” with the Restoring America Deluxe Package (a $170 value) is available for $149 with FREE shipping)! Maybe they are instead interested in “America’s Christian Heritage”? Well, there’s good news for them as long as they have a credit card, debit card, checking account or access to obtaining a money order. Per your website: >"America's Christian Heritage Package (a $60 value) is available for $50 with FREE shipping.”

I assume the free shipping is Ground and I can pay extra for expedited, pre-Rapture delivery?

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