Hagee and 911 Truth.org
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Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:41:30 AM EST
Rolling Stone author Matt Taibbi has just published a new book called GREAT DERANGEMENT.  Since Jeremiah Wright occupied so much media attention some were shouting that people needed to look at McCain's spiritual connections. A media conspriacy was suggested.  Thus Taibbi was dispatched to San Antonio, Texas to go under cover pretending to be an interested member of John Hagee's mega church.  The cover of the book claims the author is the funniest angry writer around.  We might also ad profane.  Taibbi takes on the conpiracy theories of Left Behind writers as well as the strange theories regarding the 911 catastrophe which links up President Bush and Dick Cheney with secret plots to deceive the nation. The writer says, "The 9/11 'Truth' and Christian end timer phenomena are both basically crude parodies of the same old left/right canned media Holy War."  pg. 265  Matt believes that both these groups adhere to a beleief that a militant against-them exists and the only folks to be trusted are their own.  A view point I have often witnessed among the religious right that holds you cannot trust the media or any writer outside their own ranks. Thus they reinforce their own phobias.
     Going under cover, the author was even baptized into the church.  The writer found out some interesting things about the divorced Hagee who resides in a huge mansion overseeing a flock of blue collar conspiracy buffs. The recent confession of Pastor John about his wrong choice of words regarding Catholics has highlighted the media frenzy over Hagee.  

The Babylon Whore comments are actually a fequently used statement by end of times soothsayers for hundreds of years in Christian circles.  It is a bit of Christian self flagellation in which the church often turns on itself as its own worst enemy.  A common Protestant worry is that one of the coming horsemen in Revelation might well be an apostate church working against Christians. History confirms the fears.  The real damage Hagee can do as a spiritual advisor is dealt with by Tabatti.

Besides teaching members to barf up their demons in a brown paper bag and instructing them on how to induce speaking in tongues, Cornerstone Church indoctrinates members on a world view.  I noted that in the retreats attended and cell groups Tabatti was in there was little mention of the Bible text.  If so it usually dealt with some future prediction.  The experiential God-told-me-which-used-car-to-buy religion often is not interrupted by any connection to a Biblical reference.

The church in Texas teaches that the more drunk you are with the Holy Spirit the less you are in control. The more you act like God the less you act like yourself.pg. 101  The author wondered what separated good anointing oil from bad anointing oil?pg. 61  Hagee warned his flock that Iran's president was planning a nuclear holocaust and empty headed leaders in D. C. didn't see it as he did.  Thus a new Hitler is created and he must be stopped.  Because of the open ended support of Israel, it was found that some of Hagee's support for his work comes from Jewish groups in the nation.pg. 137  Tabatti noted that the religious and poltiical orthodoxies "were inextricable".  There was a great deal of ranting against Nancy Pelosi as an evil symbol.  On the other hand, Whitehouse aid Libby was persecuted by wicked people. pg. 176

Hagee's son is an acorn that does not fall far from the tree much like Falwell's, Robertson's and Oral Robert's.  Hagee's offspring, who looks just like dad, preaches the same stuff.   The son brought home the bacon to the crowd exposing he secret plot incased in the insane global warming myth.  This is headed by wicked Al
Gore whom the son almost spits out his name in disgust.  The son preaches that  pagan tree huggers actually are using the environment to control the world.  This statement was greeted with rousing "amens"!  Time Magazine also lied about the environmental movement and its impact, the preacher cleared up. pg. 178  The young pastor went on to claim that Congress tried to pass a recent law wanting to check for birth defects.  This was only a tool to abort children he noted pg. 179  What Hitler blamed on the Jews is now used as a tool to blame on global warming. It will be used an an exuse to terminate lives, he proclaimed. pg. 180

Matt believes many political forces in the nation are driven by conspiracy thinkng.  Nora Ephron once wrote that the most significant death in the world last century took place in 1963 in Dallas.  She wrote it was not President Kennedy, but Oswald's death that inflluenced the nation in such a manner to usher in a generation of conspiracy groups. One of Matt's dicoveries was the wrath from the crowd who believed President Bush orchestrated 9/11.  This left wing group picketed the writer's business and filled his emails with hate mail. I have recently run into a couple of acquaintances who actally believe the government was behind 9/11.  Matt's satire on the conspiracy theory on 9/11 is amusing on pages 198-202.  It is a dama based on what would have had to have taken place to organize and cover up such an act  The comic conclusion of these 911truth.org folks is that they believe that while rescue workers were searching for bodies in Washington D. C. a cargo plane drove over secretly dropping parts of a downed jet liner in South Americn strategically placing the wreckage in the sight to confuse the nation. pg. 202

Tabitti's view on the nation is interesting.  He sees the government as being basically a heart that beats but doesn't pump blood.pg. 24  He notes that mostly Congress is now set up to turn favors for campaign donatons and vice versa.  pg.3  The author notes with disdain how that elections are now operated in the nation by voting against someone and not for.  He claims elections are basically forums for organizing the hatreds of the population. pg. 17  A worthy evaluation of the religious right voter guides I've seen. The author noted the point of view by many religious right political thinkers. They beleieved their lives suffered, not from the economy, but..."because Sean Penn was a little Communist weasel who didn't beleive in God..."pg. 260  The author concludes that in our politcal movement it seems we have to have an "us" and a "them".  It is strange the way he helps us to see how much in common the "us" and them" really have."

I saw Taibbi on the Daily Show last night and he claims he did not know of the McCain-Haggee connnection before going to do this piece.  

by wilkyjr on Wed May 28, 2008 at 08:43:07 AM EST

not just skim the parts about religion because this is a religion blog.

Taibbi doesn't conclude this is an Us v. Them, but the craziness of our political state now that Us v. Them no longer works.

Taibbi doesn't just inform us about his experience with Cornerstone, but also embed's with a division in Iraq, witnesses the scumbags on the House Rules Committee (a real treat), the total non-logic of the 9/11 truth movement. His book is about the country being divided for so long we are only just beginning to see how suckered we are.

Let's not forget after the 2004 election how the religious right was heralded for being the new political powerhouse of the country.  Taibbi's experience entering this church to get answers sheds light on my own questions about who these people are.  Why would Taibbi mention Bible texts?  Is his book about arguing the Bible or finding out who these people are that are heralded to decide who holds the presidency?  I appreciate the author pointing out that his experience with members showed a group of people who would parrot what others in the church and their minister would believe and not give anything else (especially facts) a second thought.

Read the whole book.  Please.

by Yankee in exile on Wed May 28, 2008 at 09:54:50 AM EST

Thanks for the comment.  I did not comment on the whole book. You misunderstood or I did not make it clear what I meant about a Biblical text.  I was not questioning Taibbi but the Cornerstone church for holding conferences and workshops with little Biblical reference to what they were saying.  It was if they promoted more of an anti-Gore program than a Christian one. A church ought ot have a Biblical starting point and not a political one.

by wilkyjr on Thu May 29, 2008 at 09:12:16 AM EST

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