Sunday, July 19, 2009

D.C. Gets Raptured

A long time tradition in the South in the summer is the tent revival. The itinerant preachers came to town, held rousing services, provided entertainment and gave the small towns an excuse to blow off steam without calling it an orgy. The old time religion also produced population explosions and behind-the-tent slips - famously documented in Sinclair Lewis' Elmer Gantry, later a successful film.

It seems that the revival spirit has descended on D.C. and taken a slice out of our government, and the usual revelations about over indulging in spirits of one sort or another is making its mark.

The falls of self-proclaimed public representatives Ensign, Sanford, and Pickering all chose a location in common, the C Street 'church' home where they communed and kept each others' secrets - while they indulged in an excess of their favorite spiriting. This has all the ribald character of the classic evangelistic masquerade, and Gov. Sanford has added a new touch today by declaring that God is going to cure him so he gets to keep his salary.

"It's in the spirit of making good from bad that I am committing to you and the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience to both trust God in his larger work of changing me, and from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader," he wrote.

The promise comes as the term-limited governor approaches his final legislative session. Even before the scandal, he admitted the session would offer him little chance of success in pushing a small-government agenda that sought to give his office more authority. The possibility of a White House run in 2012 has all but disappeared.

He's known for slamming fellow Republicans who control state government — once by carrying two piglets to the door of the House chamber to protest spending. More recently, a court order forced Sanford to seek federal stimulus money he refused to accept because of his libertarian principles, despite warnings from education officials of massive teacher layoffs.

Legislators said the governor's previous pledges to work together always quickly disintegrated.

The major point in common of the latest round of scandal producers seems to be their pretension to a faith that sets them apart and gives them special dispensation to do their own thing. Not surprisingly, their halos are their golden ring on the public fund carousel, as well.

The oldtime South's town's regular preachers didn't appreciate the revivalists either. That partly was the result of the loss of revenue, and partly because of the mass loss of decorum that usually came with the tent.

For those who have been experiencing a main leader of the revivalist character in Iran, there is more to that self-proclaimed halo than just the the cartoon quality.

...30 years of experience living under the “Islamic Regime”, has taught us that theocratic, authoritarian regimes are much worse and more brutal than other forms of government. In the past 30 years, despite using all of the media, the schools, the mosques, etc. to enforce religion into the minds of people, the new generation of Iranians are more distant from religion than the previous generations. Moreover, the worst thing that has happened to our culture is the domination of hypocrisy, which has become the norm in daily life, probably as a tool for survival in a religious dictatorship.

The usual result of mistaking a religious claim for actual holiness has always been disaster for the deluded. For those of us who grew up in an era when the halo was stripped from the tent revivalists, this has sad familiarity.

Instead of the C Street Christian Fellowship, perhaps the locus for the rightwing philandering should be called The Last Refuge of Scoundrels, a more fitting title.

That remnant that will always follow the tent preachers really doesn't like to see it fall, time and time again. It's best when it does fall, though, for all of us.

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Anonymous PeasantParty said...

I'd like to share this article with your permission.
Sanford does not need to do any more praying. He needs to do his job. The people of SC have lost jobs, homes, healthcare, and their entire lives since Bush was swooshed into office! Sanford has told the people of his state over and over that they don't need industry or places to work. He has told them the schools are fine. They just need vouchers. He has told them they don't need to worry about healthcare or other insignificant daily life things. The entire time he was soaping up that box to the people of his state, he was stimulating himself in another country! Myself and many others are demanding impeachment or recall. He has ruined any change of a quick recovery for this state!

10:02 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Of course, Peasant Party, you are always free to use anything I blog, it's basic internet practice and there for your use. No one deserves to be robbed of their hard earned salaries and savings by these fraudulent freaks.

11:27 AM  

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