It is another election cycle, and once again we're all being treated to the phenomenon we go through during every election cycle, a phenomenon I call "pimping God." You know what it is: it's when all the candidates talk about their deep faith in God and about what good Christians they are, while cherry-picking biblical texts to support whatever platform or program the want to push down our throats. True to form, President and would-be Messiah Hope-and-Change Obama used the occasion of speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast to shove his version of Churchianity down our throats. Speaking before the assembly of the religious and powerful, the President stated:
"I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense. But for me, as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that 'for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.'"(National Prayer Blasphemy)
Well, as Lew Rockwell points out, it is God that does the requiring, not the state....or is it? It was the contention of my co-author, Dr. Scott D. de Hart, and I in Yahweh the Two-Faced God that the morally ambiguous character of the Yahwist religions is tailor made for manipulation by elites, and that would include political elites. The positive, revealed religions were tailor-made for social engineering by elites.
We need only look at the National Prayer Breakfast themselves. This institution is a product of the 1930s Norwegian preacher Abraham Vereide, who founded a movement to convert the rich and powerful to a form of "Christianity" for the rich and powerful, a form endorsing basically conservative views, in reaction to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal liberalism. Over time, however, the movement morphed into a group merely recruiting the powerful and politically connected class to "work for Jesus' kingdom". It is, in its own twisted way, a form of dominionism, a movement willing to pray with Muslims by invoking the Muslim belief that Christ was a true prophet, and creating even a kind of "Chrislam". It is a movement that inspired Uganda's death penalty laws against homosexuals and other transgressors of "God's law." It is a movement that has recruited Senators Jim Inhoff (R-OK) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), and on and on we could go. The only requirement for the movement, which reaches across the political party spectrum, is that one be politically powerful. (For a full history of this movement, called "the Family," see the two studies of Jeff Sharlett, The Family and C Street).
We shouldn't be surprised that, once again, this ambiguous Yahwist tradition is being invoked, yet again, by the powerful in the name of promoting another social program enforced by the coercive arm of the state. What remains to be seen is how long it will take us to wake up, and allow the individual person the sovereign freedoms constitutionally recognized. It remains to be seen how long we will tolerate invocations of tyranny in the name of religion. The pimping of God, in my opinion, is just another example of how sick America really is, sick with a sick and twisted evangelical religion and an apocalyptic culture. But, as Dr. de Hart and I pointed out in Yahweh the Two-Faced God, that should come as no surprise, for it is inherent in the system itself.