I was struck by the title to CBS reporter Chip Reid’s article, Romney’s address at Liberty University sparks controversy, and because we seem fascinated by a good food fight between ridiculous people, I scurried over to watch, only to be disappointed. It seems the “controversy” over Mitt being asked to address the good evangelicals stems from the fact that a lot of these we’re-giving-Christians-a-bad name folk think Mitt belongs to a “cult.” From Chip’s report:
During the Republican primary campaign, Romney struggled to gain the support of evangelical voters, in part because of his Mormon faith, which some evangelical leaders have called a cult.
So it was no surprise that Romney would be facing some skeptics in the Liberty University audience.
“I think there’s a lot of mixed emotions,” says Liberty University student Jamie Goss. “Some people are, like, oh, I wish we would have had, like, a Christian speaker come.”
More than 700 comments, some critical, were posted on the school’s Facebook page after the selection of Romney was announced.
Is that it? This was a week in which we got confirmation that Mitt Romney, the man who’s already shown himself to be mostly indifferent to suffering by the least of these, my brother, grew up as an intolerant bully, capable of harassing and physically assaulting humans he regarded as too meek. But never mind that; the folks at Liberty University oppose Mitt’s appearance, because his cult believes stuff their cult doesn’t, or vice versa.
It’s disturbing that these Jesus fans aren’t complaining about the bullying, but they object to anyone whose faith is premised on the divine inspiration of Joseph Smith and God’s visit to the North American continent. That makes Mitt a cultist who should be shunned by others who believe in the perfectly rational view that after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, he couldn’t have come here without being arrested in Arizona as an undocumented alien and immediately deported to . . . heaven?
My point is not to start a religious food fight over an institution of “higher learning,” whose implicit purpose is to retard critical thinking in America. After all, Mitt isn’t going there to convert the Libertines to Mormonism. He doesn’t give a fig leaf about these cultist differences, because he’s interested in selling a completely different myth.
You can believe whatever you want about Jesus or Smith’s divinity as long as you don’t kill or torture anyone over it, but Romney believes in more dangerous myths that do hurt people. The reason he’s going to Liberty University is because they believe in the same myth, so it’s a safe harbor. They’ll love his sermon.
This shared cult consists of those who think that the purpose of the Presidency is to make America safe for looting, even by people who haven’t the slightest regard for anything Jesus actually said. Mitt’s argument is that Barack Obama doesn’t understand how the economy works — a point I might frame differently — but that Mitt does. And Mitt’s right to a degree: he understands that part of the economy that allows vulture capitalists to risk other people’s money, loot companies, strip out jobs and pensions; he and his disciples got rich by extracting the rents from the tax treatment of debt.
This is, in fact, how too much of the economy works, and Mitt not only understands that as well as anyone, he worships it. He’s winning the Republican nomination, because his disciples/bundlers became enormously wealthy this way, and their campaign donations are just a form of tithing, or advance kickbacks.
That anyone would premise a run for the Presidency on this kind of “economic” expertise is appalling enough; that an entire political party would bow down to such corrupt notions is a clear sign of America’s moral collapse.
Of course, even if you’re a devout believer that what’s good for Wall Street Temples of Greed is good for America, your faith must have been shaken this week when Jamie Dimon, regarded as the most righteous of Wall Street’s prophets had to confess that he didn’t have a clue how reckless and stupid his own risk managers were or how they could have lost over $2 billion. And gosh, maybe it wasn’t even legal, so where were those regulators he bullied into backing off?
Time to haul out your Bibles: Blind leading the blind? Beware of false prophets? Money changers in the Temple? Golden calf? Rich man and the eye of a needle? Jonah in the whale? God help us all, because people are losing faith in God Bless the United States of America.