The Moment of Truth — February 3, 2001

Jesus In Exile

Hi, I’m mejeffdorchen and this is the Moment of Truth, the electromagnetic rhetorical fluid that splashes like icewater onto the obscene sweltering nakedness of the ruling elite lounging luxuriously in their ivory shvitz.

What would you say is the most popular religion in the USA? If you said Christianity, you’re only partly right. According to a study conducted by the American Courage Institute, more than two thirds of the Americans whom previous studies have catagorized as Christian are only Christian in the sense that Satan and the Antichrist are both characters within the Christian universe. 68% of Americans worship either Satan, the Antichrist, or a deity they believe is Jesus but is actually the Antichrist. Personally, I think it’s a bit of a scandal that worshipers of the Great Deceiver should have been foisted on the public as some variant of Christian. According to the American Courage Institute’s findings, many worshipers of the Dark Lord themselves are shocked to discover that they’ve been lumped in with the sheep-like followers of Jesus. They are often unaware that they’ve been appropriated by pollsters and researchers into an image of a Christian America. The study suggests that the artificial beefing-up the number of Christians in the US is an attempt by the Christian-dominated media/political system to manufacture a kind of moral consensus, or at least a mythological majority.

The fact that we, the public, have been so quick to swallow the image of the US as a mainly Christian nation is testament to the disjuncture between the values our society holds up as “ideal” and the values it fosters through its actual day-to-day operation. The disconnection between the society “ideal” and the society “real” is as wide as the gulf between the lives of characters on TV and those of oneself and one’s neighbors. What’s disheartening is the number of people who believe that Martin Sheen is the president and that Jesus is still the most popular numinous being in the land.

Part of the reason for our gullibility is undoubtedly the fact that, at one time, Christianity was in fact a very widespread and even useful value system in the day-to-day lives of average US citizens. Supporting the reality of that faith, as any conservative politician could tell you, was the cohering forces of community and family. Unfortunately, the former stability of both these institutions has been increasingly undermined by the growing power of transnational capitalism.

What could be more destructive to a community than to have its own home-grown businesses snuffed out by huge corporate chain stores, and then to have those corporations shut down those stores when the market takes a dip and streamlining is required to boost the corporation’s stock price? What could cause more instability in a family than to have its income-earners fired in favor of low-wage workers in poorer countries, again to boost the price of the stock? Homosexuality? No, because you can have a gay son or daughter and still love them in a Christian and familial manner. And sometimes they’ll even pretend to be straight if you’ve raised them Christianly enought. Equal rights for women? No, because in a Christian environment even a strong woman will understand that her husband is the master of the house, and even if she doesn’t, if she’s Christian enough she’ll pretend he is and even put aside her feelings of revulsion for the sake of the family. What is it, TV, video games, drugs? All of these so-called problems can be solved by true Christian faith when it’s nurtured in a stable community that supports the thriving of families.

No, I ask you, what is more antagonistic to family values than a corporation taking a giant bite out of a region, chewing it up and spitting out the people it deems useless? Thousands upon thousands of people fired because of a lousy quarter in the market. Where is the ground on which to stand, on which to build a home where one can raise a family, even a dysfunctional one? How can families and communities in which good old-fashioned Christian values make any sense at all be built when human beings feel themselves on unsteady ground in a turbulent landscape of capricious rewards and equally capricious deprivation? When they’re treated as more worthless than the machines they operate? When their loyalty is demanded by companies who reciprocate with betrayal? When the practical model for operating in society is the ravenous pursuit of wealth as the highest good? Is there any word less compatible with Christianity than wealth? Didn’t Jesus say that a camel could pass through the eye of a needle easier than a rich man could get into heaven? And yet hasn’t it become the great life lesson of extreme capitalism that anyone who allows himself to fall into poverty is not just a fool but immoral? That our wealthiest citizens are our most important, most trustworthy, wisest?

No wonder so many Americans have turned to the Evil One. The American Courage Institute found that, when asked to choose the greatest moral lesson illustrated by the life of Jesus, most people chose, not God sent his only son to die for our sins, not There is a truth higher than that of earthly rulers, no, the great moral lesson Americans have taken to heart from the story of Jesus is “Nice guy’s finish last.”

And so conservative politicians harken back unrealistically to the traditional family that never was. They construct this fantasy realm to avoid facing the truth: that the same corporations that put them in office and run the government and the military, the same corporations that run the world, the same corporations that, if pushed too far, and possibly even if not, wouldn’t hesitate to attempt to overthrow any government, as their past record shows, and are more and more likely to succeed, these same corporations are the very entities who have exiled Jesus from practical American existence. Better, easier, more thinkable for Bush and Ashcroft and Hatch to fantasize about one day banning all that they deem non-Christian behavior than to confront the true antichrist, which is the very system that feeds them and their democratic counterparts, and finally, in the end, is no one but themselves.

I’m mejeffdorchen and this has been the Moment of Truth.