By Ray McGovern
Dec. 28, 2007
Faith and Politics:
Rules of the Game
By Ira Chernus
Dec. 24, 2007
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Jeremiah’s Satanic Beatitudes
(from Chapter 45)
Irving Wesley Hall†
Copyright © 2007
Tuesday, October 24, 2000
“How could you be hungry?” Jeremiah taunted. “You’re as fat as a whale!”
Jonah defended his weight as the result of eating cheap food in a poor household.
“That sounds like the story of the fish that got away,” Jeremiah jibed. “According to Deuteronomy 21:20, we should stone you for gluttony.”
“Don’t throw Leviticus and Deuteronomy at me!” Jonah said, brandishing a crowbar. “If we’re going to ban homosexuality and stone gluttons and fornicators, let’s enforce all Old Testament rules!”
He quoted Reverend Godley that the Bible was no “buffet” from which one could pick and choose. According to Leviticus 19:13, an employer had to pay a worker his wages at the end of each day. Leviticus 25:37 banned charging interest on loans of money or goods.
“Why didn’t you demand that Karl Rove put those Biblical prohibitions on the ballot instead of abortion and gay marriage? In one mighty blow, that would do away with weekly paychecks, withholding taxes, credit card fees, and home mortgages,” Jonah grumbled. “That would have really benefited millions of working Christians instead of just making them feel self-righteous!”
Jonah was on a roll. “How about Leviticus 19:10: ĎAnd you shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and stranger’? Why didn’t Frito-Lay leave a few cans of Coke and bags of chips in these empty packing crates for us poor strangers?”
“Lard ass!” Jeremiah taunted, bloating his cheeks with air.
Jonah snapped. With his full weight, he shoved Jeremiah into the stack of crates. The stunned prophet sat motionless at the foot of the pile. His eyes rolled into his brain as he began to speak with a familiar voice but not his own nor one from his previous prophecies. It was an old man’s voice. Whose? Jeremiah began:
And seeing the decision of the Supreme Court, the Antichrist went up into the White House: and when he was set, his supporters came unto him. And he opened his smirking mouth, and lectured them, saying,
Cursed are the poor: for theirs is the kingdom of debt servitude to the banks because they will be denied bankruptcy;
Cursed are they who mourn: for they shall not see the coffins with their children coming home from my bloody battlefield;
Cursed are the meek: for they shall willingly swallow my falsehoods.
Cursed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be thorns in my side;
Cursed are the merciful: for they shall obtain no intelligence from captured enemy combatants;
Cursed are the pure in heart: for they shall see through my lies;
Cursed are the peacemakers: for they shall appease the terrorists who hate our freedoms and seek to destroy our way of life.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for business’s sake: for theirs is the kingdom of corruption;
Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in profits, stock options, and deferred pensions. For so persecuted they the corporate parasites who came before you.
You are the scum of the earth: but if the scum has not lost its stench, where shall it be hidden? It is thenceforth to be hidden behind closed doors and concealed by friendly accounting firms.
You are the killers of the world. A country that sits on a nuclear arsenal cannot be defeated.
Neither do men build warheads, and put them under a bushel, but on missiles to incinerate the inhabitants of the countries that I declare to be our enemies.
Let your chief executive’s illiteracy so dazzle common men, that they may not see your evil works, and may glorify your party which is in power.
Think not that I am come to defend the Constitution or the Bill of Rights: I am not come to defend, but to destroy;
For verily I say unto you: Till eight years shall pass, not one jot or one tittle of your inalienable rights shall remain, till all be as dust in the wind.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of the laws, and shall also teach men to do so, he shall be appointed attorney general in the kingdom of criminals: but whosoever shall speak against us shall be called a terrorist in the axis of evil.
For I say unto you, That unless your mendacity exceeds the deceptions of the secretary of defense and national security advisor, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of criminals.
You have heard it said by them of old time, You shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you, that whosoever kills the innocents without cause at my command shall be rewarded with promotion: and whosoever refuses to kill the innocents as I command shall be imprisoned in the stockade.
Whosoever shall say, “You fool, I will not shed innocent blood for you” and “We should impeach you” shall be in danger of hell fire.
Therefore if you bring your bribe to the altar, and there remember what you want in favorable legislation; Leave and go your way; rejoice that your gift will bear fruit a thousand-fold.
Agree with your accountant quickly, while you art consulting with him; lest at any time an honest employee deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the court, and you be cast into prison. Verily I say unto you, You shall by no means come out thence, till you have paid the minimum sentence or I have freed you with an executive pardon.
You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her will enjoy her company after drinks on a lobbyist-paid Congressional golfing junket.
And if a principled conservative offend you, pluck him out, and cast him from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole party should be cast out of office.
And if your conscience offend you, cut if out, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that all of your principles should perish, and not that your whole bank account should suffer.
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife for an improved political career shall become Speaker of the House.
Again, you have heard that it has been said by them of old time, You shall not forswear yourself, but shall perform your oaths: But I say unto you, promise your voters everything; But let your actions be, “Yea, yea corporations” and “Nay, nay public good.”
You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, kill him, and slay his family also. Then burn down his house and raze his village.
And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, put a contract out on his life.
And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, cut off his legs at the knees and watch him bleed to death.
Give to him that asks you, and turn him not away who has contributed to your campaign.
You have heard it said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, destroy your enemies, bless them that vote for you, do good to them who bribe you, and exterminate them that prosecute you; That you may be the children of your Father which is in Texas: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil, and sends acid rain on the just. For if you hate them who hate you, what reward have you? Do not even the Democrats do the same?
And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the Democrats do so? Appear strong and the Democrats will caress your hindquarters with their lips, hoping that they may steal your throne and lead your sheep in your place.
Be ye therefore evil, even as your president which is in the White House, your humble servant. Amen.
When Jeremiah finished, he stood up and dusted off his overalls.
”What kind of a divine prophecy was that?” Joshua exclaimed. Jeremiah had acted more like a character possessed of a demon in a Hollywood exorcism movie than the righteous prophet whom the boys had learned to respect during his previous prophecies.
“I get it!” Jonah declared. “That was Dick Cheney’s voice! You even snarled and curled your lips like Cheney.”
“That was Satan speaking!” exclaimed Joshua, shuddering and barfing bile.
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Cheney’s Butt Hole Bomber
(from Chapter 63)
Irving Wesley Hall
Copyright © 2007
Wednesday, October 25, 2000
“I have a question, Mr. Cheney,” said Jonah, taking to his feet.
“The big fellow in the first row,” Cheney said, eager to inject some humor into the tense atmosphere created by his earlier horror story. “Now I know why Shepherd’s Vale has a championship football team,” he quipped. “You a tackle or a guard?”
“Neither, sir,” Jonah said. Cheney’s lame attempt at humor produced groans instead of laughs.
“My question is, if you know so many details about the enemy’s plans, why didn’t you tell us straight who the enemy is?”
Eight and Nine were the first children to notice Jesus of Nazareth jump onto the stage and stand within inches of the vice-presidential candidate. He was wearing sneakers, stonewashed jeans, and a T-shirt that read:
READ THE RED PRINT, STUPID!
Cheney narrowed his naturally squinty eyes and replied, “I’m sorry, but I can’t divulge that information without compromising intelligence sources vital to our national security.”
Jesus pinched the end of Cheney’s nose and yanked on it. It stretched as if it were taffy. When it was a foot long and the shape of Pinocchio’s nose, the Nazarene released it quickly. It snapped back in place and Cheney banged his face as if swatting a fly. Tears filled his eyes.
“Ouch! Goddamn, that hurt!”
Nine whooped a laugh so loud that kids across the chapel rose to their feet to look at him to see what had happened. Eight laughed so hard that tears rolled down her cheeks. The eleven-year-old disciple nudged Six and Seven. That enabled them to see Jesus as well. At first they were frightened.
“Don’t worry,” she whispered. “Jesus is really c-c-cool!”
Cheney’s nose burned, and the strange outburst from the sixth graders unnerved him. Suspiciously, he cased everything around him, including Tom DeLay’s laptop under the podium. Beginning to feel spooked, he decided to lighten up.
“Okay, kids,” he proposed, with the crooked smile that was his hallmark, “I invite you to play a let’s pretend game. Then you’ll understand how sneaky the enemy is. Imagine you’re a passenger on an airliner. Five bad guys subdue all of the passengers and the flight crew and take over the cockpit.”
“How’d they smuggle guns on board?” young goatherd Six asked. Suddenly Jesus winked at him. He nudged Five. “Did you see that? Jesus winked at me!”
Cheney replied, “The bad guys did it with box cutters and fingernail clippers. And not just on one airliner but on four of them all at the same time.”
“With just box cutters and fingernail files?” Six scoffed. “Nobody rushed ’em on any plane? None of the pilots locked ’em out?”
“Nope,” said Cheney.
“You’re shittin’ me!” Six retorted. Dozens of kids guffawed. Their mirth also opened their eyes to Jesus laughing with them. The Lord knew that there was nothing more human or more holy than wholesome laughter.
“Nope,” said Cheney, “then the hijackers flew the four planes around ten states for more than an hour.”
“Why didn’t the air force scramble and shoot them down,” Jonah asked. Then he too saw Jesus wearing a T-shirt that he had inspired! Jesus stuck two fingers behind Cheney’s head to resemble horns. When Jesus removed his hand the horns reddened, grew to the size of a goat’s, and remained glowing. The number of witnesses in the audience increased and the laughter multiplied.
Cheney was losing his legendary cool.
“What’s so funny?” he demanded with growing irritation. “How would you kids like to be 30,000 feet in the air and discover the passenger next to you has a bomb in his shoe with a wire sticking out of his sole.”
More witnesses produced more laughter as Jesus reached for Cheney’s ears, turned them devil red, and pulled them into points. The speaker batted both ears at the same time. Even those who couldn’t see Jesus or his handiwork cracked up.
The vice presidential candidate’s eyes bugged from the shock to his eardrums.
Cheney shouted, “This is serious, goddamn it! When the terrorists hear about you kids, they’ll come to Florida to train! You won’t think it’s funny when you can’t fly in an American airplane unless you remove your shoes to be X-rayed! You won’t think it’s funny when you can’t carry on board fingernail files, household disinfectants, aftershave, or hand lotion!”
By now, everyone was close to tears. For those who could see Him, Jesus reached dramatically behind Cheney’s back and extracted from his pants a long red, stiff, forked tail. The speaker paddled his own behind as if his pants were on fire.
“You think that’s intrusive?” Cheney yelled, shaking from head to toe. “According to our best intelligence, terrorists have devised a deadly bomb that can be inserted in the human rectum with a trigger no larger than a body hair.”
The end seats of the pews emptied as kids fell out and rolled in the aisles.
Cheney’s face was as red as his nose, ears, and tail.
“Then I’ll be able legally to crawl up you little buggers’ asses! That will scare the shit out you! You won’t be laughing at me then!”
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