Saturday, April 03, 2010

Theocracy, Day 2

I just finished watching "The People vs. Larry Flynt." I have never had a deep interest in pornography. I have seen my share. And yeah, I even enjoyed it for awhile. But vicarious sexual gratification has never really done it for me. Apparently it does it for others and that's fine. To each his own. Pornography exists and will always exist.

I had never seen this movie. I had a passing knowledge of the case Larry and Jerry Falwell became embroiled in because of the news reports during the time the case was being heard at the Supreme Court. Larry won that case. And I was glad he did. First Amendment upheld and another theocratic assault rebuffed. Say what you will about Larry and his obnoxious lifestyle, but he is and was the only real defender of the First Amendment back in the 1980s when the "Moral Majority" was on the rise.

The "Moral Majority". As interesting a group as to ever come down the religious pike. Religious Zealotry packaged American style. These were the salad days of the 700 Club, the rise and fall of the PTL Club as Tammy and Jim Bakker bilked thousands of America's faithful out of money in the name of the Lord. Theocracy, meet US Capitalism. Great times I tell ya. Tammy and Jim started a 24/7 Christian TV network, created an American theme park dedicated to Jesus that clocked in as the number 3 theme park in America. Religion had always brought in big bucks. During the 1980s, it brought in even more.

Of course there were excesses. After all, humans with serious weaknesses were running things. Jim Bakker was caught with his pants down and his hands in the cookie jar. The secular government sent him to prison. Tammy continued to paste more makeup on. I am sure there were those folks who thought she should be arrested just for looking so awful, but she broke no laws other than unwritten ones about taste and class. Along came Jerry Falwell who was supposed to save Jim and Tammy Faye. Instead he took over and threw them to the wolves.

All this power mongering and loose money floating around was like stink on shit, so intertwined in all of this were the bankers and high finance gurus. Charles Keating, the mastermind of the Keating Five swindle was deeply involved with Jerry Falwell, particularly when Jerry sued Larry Flynt.

I only bring up this almost recent slice of our past to illustrate why theocrats should not be able to make secular rules. Let them run their religions as they see fit. Let them suck whatever they can from the folks who put them on pedestals. But zealotry tends to allow rationalization to replace common sense. Excessive behaviour is excused as being done for their own good. Zealots become blind to their own actions and their effect on those they have influence over. Let them write the law book and the next thing you know women are being buried in holes while the village throws rocks at their head.

It's almost 6:00 AM - Gotta go to the bike shop. See Ya...................


Randal Graves said...

Ah, the good ole days. How many of those preachers were on the tube each day? Seventy-five?

Jimmy Swaggert: I have *sniff* sinned against you *sob* my lord.

Fun times. Wankers.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

I agree with your post, a good one! I have to say, I think that zealots tend to be catalysts in overall larger change, socially, nationally, when you take a deep look, historically. They tend to be agents of change, good or bad. Happy holiday weekend, Mr. MRMacrum. :-)

Utah Savage said...

Very nicely done. In the late 70s and early 80s I was married to a man who had three "maiden" aunts who spent all their disposable income on the PTL Club. We spent part of the time in Fayetteville, Arkansas and Springfield, Missouri. If I'd been a cultural anthropologist I had have written a book about the strange ways of the "faithful" in the Bible Belt. It was very much like living in Sodom and Gomorrah before the fall.

The Blog Fodder said...

The only one of the popular Evangelists I ever cared about was Billy Graham. I think he was an honest and sincere Man of God if ever there was one. And he had NO interest in establishing a theocracy.

Crybbe666 said...

Now I know the reason I live in Oz...we would never - and I mean NEVER - allow theocracy to play a part in our democracy.

We have a growing "moral majority" here, but it doesn't have a theocratic bent...just a bunch of loony do-gooders (read: Fun Police) who have seemingly lost their sense of humour.

Think we may have to punch it back into 'em...kidding, of course!

Kulkuri said...

Interesting, I didn't know that Keating was involved with Falwell. What an incestous relationship there is between Big Money, Politics, and Religion. Something should be done to break up that Trinity of Evil.

Falwell is one of the reasons that at times I really wish there was a hell for him and his kind to spend eternity!!

Beach Bum said...

What puzzles me is that the evangelical Christians are the people that helped put liberal Jimmy Carter in the White House back in 1976. Many people these day would be very surprised at how "lefty" the Southern preachers could sound at times.

It was the 1980's that I first started hearing the first notes of the capitalistic/militaristic Jesus is on our side shit that marks most of the Southern preachers I know about. To be fair I have heard some rumbles recently that there is a small group in the Southern Baptists that hold mankind has a responsibility to take care of the environment and not destroy the planet God made.

AS expected the rank and file about burned these people at the stake but at least there is the appearance of some change in ideology back to the middle.

Anonymous said...

I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this?