Joe Bageant

Started by Amanda_931, April 16, 2007, 06:35:52 PM

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Friend of mine has started sending me his essays.  They'd have knocked my socks off if I'd had any on.  Somewhere between funny as hell and one of the most acute observers of the world he (and I) live in.

Hmmm. the censorship program put that asterisk in.  Leave it in if the word bothers you, take it out if the asterisk does.

He reminds me of a (so called in the PBS program) renegade Baptist minister named Will Campbell (2nd link--excerpt is from Bageant).

"The best thing about the Left Behind books is the way the non-Christians get their guts pulled out by God."
-- 15-year old fundamentalist fan of the Left Behind series

By Joe Bageant

That is the sophisticated language and appeal of America's all-time best selling adult novels celebrating the ethnic cleansing of non-Christians at the hands of Christ. If a Muslim were to write an Islamic version of the last book in the Left Behind series, Glorious Appearing, and publish it across the Middle East, Americans would go beserk. Yet tens of millions of Christians eagerly await and celebrate an End Time when everyone who disagrees with them will be murdered in ways that make Islamic beheading look like a bridal shower. Jesus -- who apparently has a much nastier streak than we have been led to believe -- merely speaks and "the bodies of the enemy are ripped wide open down the middle." In the book Christians have to drive carefully to avoid "hitting splayed and filleted corpses of men and women and horses" Even as the riders' tongues are melting in their mouths and they are being wide open gutted by God's own hand, the poor damned horses are getting the same treatment. Sort of a divinely inspired version of "**** you and the horse you rode in on."


There remains one nagging problem. Despite their masochistic voting patterns, fundamentalists are very ordinary and normal Americans. People who often as not go out of their way to help others and endorse most American values. So how do we reconcile the warmth and good nature of these hardworking citizens with the repressive politics, intolerance, nationalism and warmaking they support? Why do such ordinary people do such awful things? The Germans have been wrestling with that one for 60 years, and sixty more years from now they still will have not solved the riddle in any meaningful way for the rest of the world. Barring ecological and cultural collapse, historians will say America suffered under the same sort of extraordinary delusion, a national hallucination of God and empire and exceptionalism. The thing about a hallucination -- and take it from a person who has enjoyed many fine ones on various chemicals and herbs -- is that it is a convincing reality in its time. Try talking to a fundamentalist about politics and God for an hour. You will see the spell that holds sway. Let us be thankful for pro sports or we would have nothing whatsoever to talk about on those rare occasions when a fundamentalist and a liberal ever bother to speak to one another.


Good post.

I believe that if everyone who read the "Left Behind" books just treated them as a work of fiction, a thriller novel, that would be fine. But I believe there are too many who fundamentally believe them.  ::)
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


He's pretty much on the mark - here is an article by a retired Sheriff of 48 yrs THE DANGER OF BLIND LOYALTY TO POLITICAL LEADERS by Jim R. Schwiesow

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free


No one deserves Blind Loyalty. No one. I missed that one somehow or my Spam flter took on a new life of it's own.   :(
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


I read a lot, including a lot of fiction.

Authors say all the time, and I agree with them, that sometimes it's easier to tell TRUTH with fiction than non-fiction.

Which means that even if you firmly believe that the Left Behind novels are fiction, you may still think that it's TRUTH, that end times and rapture are here and coming.

(and, by the way, I'm told there's a new one of the books coming out)