Saturday, January 23, 2010

St. Ann Coulter: The Alternate Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes

And what more hopeless a cause than
the image of George W. Bush.

"To force poor ex-President Bush -- like he hasn't suffered enough -- to be hanging around with Bill Clinton, who's leaving his essence on Kleenex in the White House..." she said to a chorus of groans from the rest of the panel.


Saint Jude's attribute is a CLUB. He is also often shown in icons with a flame around his head. This represents his presence at Pentecost, when he received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles. Occasionally he is represented holding an axe or halberd, as he was brought to death by one of these weapons. In some instances he may be shown with a scroll or a book (the Epistle of Jude) or holding a carpenter's rule.

Dear Saint Ann:

Thank you for the way you came to the defense of our dear, dear former maybe-President George Bush. You answered our prayers so swiftly, too! Why, it was only eight years ago that we saw him suffering the indignities of cartoonists and stand-up comedians around the country who seemed fiendishly to enjoy the hateful things they said about him: "Diplomatic dimwit" "Turd Blossom's boy toy" "Dan Quayle in disguise" We prayed to you for him then with such earnestness! Those of us who rallied around him at the start tried to be as courageous as possible, but some drifted away. Now there are just a few of us stalwarts who believed and still believe his story of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Dear St. Ann, please, please give him the courage and strength to last out his days in peace despite the rancor of nations worldwide! Please let his beautiful legacy come forth in his lifetime!

Your ever obedient and humble petitioner,

Ima Filindiblank

The Dollar-Driven Church: How Will De-regulation Of Campaign Money Affect The Christian Right?

Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – A bitterly divided Supreme Court vastly increased the power of big business and unions to influence government decisions Thursday by freeing them to spend their millions directly to sway elections for president and Congress.

In its sweeping 5-4 ruling, the court set the stage for a wave of likely repercussions — from new pressures on lawmakers to heed special interest demands to increasingly boisterous campaigns featuring highly charged ads that drown out candidate voices.

While the full consequences of the decision were hard to measure, politicians made clear whom they believed benefited. Democrats, led by President Barack Obama, condemned the decision while Republicans cheered it.

Strongly dissenting, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation."

The AP article is much like many other articles to come out about the momentous Supreme Court decision to allow big special interests (with big lobbies and big money) to spend how much they want to on campaigns. But none of them mentioned the role organized religion will play in all of this. In the past, the power of The Church (i.e., the Christian Right) lay in using public relations as a sword more than a plowshare: there's not much quid pro quo when it comes to dealing with the local (or national, for that matter) church. Most big businesses shrink at the possibility of a boycott, but beyond that the only thought is staying on the good side of The Church and avoid social issues altogether.

The Supreme Court decision, however, has not shifted the balance of power as much as tossed it in the air and we're now waiting to see who grabs the most of it.

Several scenarios come to mind:

1. The Church will remain neutral, letting capitalism run its "natural" course.

2. A purpose-driven Church will develop a strategy of quid pro quo: giving support to politicians sponsored by corporations in exchange for donations and "in kind" benefits plus an exchange of commercial advertising or, more probable, a melding of agendas given over to the media.

3. The Church will see a schism based upon the rift between labor and management: locals churches might opt for support of unions to keep their small congregations in the black while megachurches (and some denominations) will side with corporate interests to keep their large congregations (as well as tentacled ministries) afloat.

In any case, churches all over the country will be going where the money is, with social issues coming in second. The political candidate will be wise, therefore, to cut a figure similar to that of a (don't laugh) "compassionate conservative" (I told you not to LAUGH!).

In an effort to counteract a merging of big business and big religion, however, some start-up companies have chosen to be aggressive in their progressive stance. For example, the mobile phone company, Credo (subsidiary of Working Assets) wants potential customers to know that they are committed to progressive candidates:

Does your phone company...




support politicians opposed to real healthcare reform, like a single-payer system or public option?




fund pro-war politicians?




fund anti-environment politicians?




fund politicians who oppose a woman's right to choose?




So with the deregulation of corporate contributions to politicians, which way will America's religious community go?