29 October, 2008

In Which I Reply to Victoria Jackson's Unintentional Self-Parody

I think someone needs to sit Victoria Jackson down and 'splain to her what "uneducated" means:
I don't want a political label, but Obama bears traits that resemble the anti-Christ and I'm scared to death that uneducated people will ignorantly vote him into office.
Apparently, Victoria was too busy standing on her head reciting poetry to get Tim LaHaye's memo informing her that Barack Obama, in fact, is not the antichrist. What was that about "uneducated people" who "will ignorantly vote" again?

This is what an upbringing by fundamentalist parents and a few years at Florida Bible College will do to a person. Her critical thinking skills are non-existent. That doesn't prevent her from misusing words like "cynic." From the bio on her website:

Well, I'd feel like we didn't really connect if I didn't tell you about what I really feel is important. I am a genuine true blue believer...not in Kaballah...not in Scientology...not in the New Age movement...not in Mormonism...not in Buddism...not in Hinduism...not in Catholicism...not in Protestantism...but in Jesus Christ. I've studied all those other religions...and as a cynic, and a free spirit...I personally decided to put my faith in Jesus. I've read the Bible all the way through....and I believe it is the Truth...the Word of God. Read John 3:l6, Ephesians 2:8,9, Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23 and tell me what you think. What do you think? Jesus claimed to be "the Lord"...He was either the "Lord", a liar, or a lunatic. Tell me what you think and why. After all, none of us has died and come back to tell....so we all have our faith in something. What is your faith in? I'm eager to listen and discuss.

Something tells me Victoria wouldn't be all that eager to "listen and discuss" with the likes o' me. Because I'd say something like this:

Here's what I think, Victoria. If you want to bring up the Lord, liar or lunatic talking point to "prove" the divinity of Jesus, my money's on options two and three. You see, growing up with a bipolar mother and studying forensic psychology led me to draw certain conclusions about Jesus. And this, mind you, is back when I was still nominally still Christian. The parallels between Jesus's behavior as described in the Bible and the behavior of mentally ill people today were too striking to ignore. So I think that Jesus was either batshit insane, or his biographers added a few embellishments that make him look like a megalomaniacal cult leader.

I think anyone who claims to have read the entire Bible and still proclaims it to be the literal Word of God has dramatic reading comprehension issues.

I think you're exactly like those people who cleared out of my Comparative Religions class when our Jewish Buddhist professor explained that if you were there to learn about other religions so you can debunk them in favor of Christianity, you needed to drop the class, because we were going to treat all faith traditions with utmost respect. Half the class vanished between one day and the next. I seriously doubt that Florida Bible College taught Comparative Religion as anything other than a sermon on why everybody else is wrong and Christianity is right.

I think you sound precisely like all the other ignoramuses who attend Palin rallies and shout "terrorist," "kill him!" and "communist." I excerpted the ridiculous from your statement on Obama, but I refuse to let you spew the rest of that poisonous crap in my cantina. To have someone like you call someone like me "uneducated" would be massively insulting if it wasn't so pathetically funny.

I think that blind believers like you give faith a bad name. Someone who runs around screaming that Obama is the antichrist has very little separating them from the Islamic fanatics who want to impose Sharia law on the world. Both sets want to force their literal interpretation of their scriptures on the entirety of humanity, and Christian extremeists are no less dangerous than Islamic ones.

I think your invitation to discuss what I believe is a lure meant to proselytize. I've known many like you, and what you mean by "I want to listen" is "I want to tell you why you're wrong, and you'd better listen to me or you'll burn in Hell." There is no discussion here. There is no common ground to work from. When you gave up reason in favor of blind faith, you gave up any chance at useful dialogue.

And frankly, the idea of "really connecting" with someone who is so far gone that they believe every bit of right-wing bullshit that hits their email inbox nauseates me. So, Victoria: thanks for the offer, but I think I'll pass.
I rather meant this post to be light-hearted and funny, but there's nothing funny about people like this. People like this are a threat. And the most frightening thing is, one of them is the current Republicon vice presidential candidate. People like her are fighting for control of the remnants of the Republicon party. People like her, if they get into power, will see no problem with imposing their appalling version of Christianity on every single one of us, believer and non-believer alike. Because they think they have the Truth of God, they'll have no compunctions about establishing a theocracy every bit as horrifying as the Taliban.

And they live in a fantasy world that could get us all killed. What do you think true believers like her are going to do if they believe the antichrist's been elected President of the United States?

Obama's going to win, barring unforseen catastrophe. Electing him is going to be one of the best things we've ever done. But we're going to have to watch out for the frothing fundies who think he's a sign of the end times. They're going to be doing their best to ensure their prophecies are self-fulfilling.

1 comment:

Efrique said...

Lunatic, Liar, or Lord is a false trilemma - there are other obvious possibilities, such as
- the distinct possibility that there was in fact no such person - contemporary reference is extra-ordinarily thin (if the bible is even vaguely true, this is pretty surprising that nobody around at the time seems to have noticed he was there). Many details about Jesus given in the bible are at odds with clearly established historical fact, which lends some credence to the "progressively made up over time, several generations after he was supposed to have lived" historians

- there was such a person, but he was simply mistaken, not actually insane or deliberately misleading people (perhaps with a bit of an overactive imagination, hopeful misreading of certain signs and so on)

- there was such a person, but most of the stuff described in the four gospels never happened (actually, looking at all the contradictions, a lot of it can't have), and in fact the historical Jesus never actually thought he was god (and his own son and so on).

Personally, I think that it's fairly likely that an only very slightly loony person with a flair for pareidolia and a evangelical-preacher-style sense of the dramatic became a minor cult leader. After he died, people made a whole lot of crap up about him (not just the obviously made up stuff, but lots of it).

But maybe he was just a pastiche.