Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Crusade - right word, wrong country

A week after 9/11 W warned Americans that "this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile." Of course the word "crusade" has deep historical meaning that made Muslims and really a lot of the world cringe. It brought to mind, in those who had even a vague grasp of history, several hundred years of violence against the Muslim world by Christian knights, who launched repeated attempts to capture Jerusalem among other things. But W did have it right. There is a crusade going on, and it is going on in the Middle East, just not in the Middle East that includes Iraq. I'm talking about the Middle East as in Ohio.

In another head shaking, what country and century am I living in article in USA Today its clear a crusade is truly afoot. In Canton, Ohio, Pastor Russell Johnson preaches before crusaders decrying the "secular jihadists" who have "hijacked" America, links abortion to children who murder their parents and accuses the public schools of neglecting to teach that Hitler was "an avid evolutionist." I also heard he was a bad tipper.

Johnson is is not some lone crackpot. Which of course when he is alone you could make that argument. "Johnson leads the Ohio Restoration Project, an emergent network of nearly 1,000 'Patriot Pastors' from conservative churches across the state. Each has pledged to register 300 'values voters,' adding hundreds of thousands of like-minded citizens to the electorate." Pastor Johnson claims to have signed up more than 900 pastors in Ohio during its first 10 weeks in operation and has helped start the Texas Restoration Project. The fledging Pennsylvania Pastors' Network has signed up 81 conservative clergy so far. Similar efforts are beginning in other states.

W signs Jesus Day Proclamation, supports banning stem cell research, is opposed to abortion on religious grounds and thinks Intelligent Design a.k.a creationism should be taught in school. I'm not sure if he believes the earth has stopped twice as the Bible says since that matter along with global warming, Karl Rove's involvement with outing Valerie Plame and whether Paula Abdul had Corey Clark is the subject of ongoing investigations. Regardless, seems pretty clear there is a crusader in the Oval Office. At least he wears his suit jacket in there - that's the most important thing.

There is a clash of civilizations going on. It's between Evangelical Christians, who see themselves as victims despite their dominance in the Republican Party and everyone else. Want to get a flavor of what's going on out there? Listen to Pastor Rod Parsler, a supporter of the Ohio Restoration Project. "I like to say I'm not a Republican or a Democrat, I'm a Christ-o-crat," His ministry, includes the 12,000-member World Harvest Church and the Center for Moral Clarity and his flaming sword of justice is coming to a crusade near you.


Blogger d.K. said...

Yeah, the "crusades" are a sore spot for the Muslim world. When Congressman Tangredo (R-CO) recently suggested we might nuke Mecca in response to any further attacks on the U.S., my friend at "Desert Island Boy blog" reminded me that the crusader who recaptured Jerusalem from the Muslims in 1099 was named Tancred... He was later made Prince of Galilee. Funny things, those coincidences...

12:59 PM  
Blogger Petunia McGillicuddy said...

I gave a professor a cartoon of the last secular humanist being flushed from his spider hole in 2007. He put in on his office door.

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Daddy Warbucks said...

Don't forget that the Crusades were far more than the conquest of Jerusalem. True, the first thing they did was kill all the Jews, but they had been killing Jews all the way from Europe. They sacked Christian cities, they decimated the population of France and they led their own children to destruction because, as the Pope said: "God wills it"

Crusades are addictive and we know our President has spent his life going from one addiction to the next.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

So true daddy warbucks. Have you donated to the Save The Curmudgeon Fund lately?

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Step 1) Pastors register "Values Voters".

Step 2) Pastors' churches lose tax-free status.

Step 3) Pastors no longer have a flock to lead.

Win-win for everyone!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Perdita said...

You had me at "Curmudgeon"
Disappointed by it only be political, but only for a moment.
I really like your posts...
well the ones I've read so far

3:57 PM  

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