Monday, January 16, 2006

Why Aren't We as Wily?

The religious are just so crafty. Maybe God does exist after all, because He really seems to be giving His people some quality guidance these days.

There's that whole "prosperity gospel" thing, with rich-as-a-rap-star evangelists promising wealth and wisdom and heaven, if you just a tithe a little more than ususal--because God will provide for you, if you provide for him. I mean, duh. Who's gonna choose sackcloth over a view of the park in the Time Warner Center, where the Reverend Creflo Dollar (his real name!) just bought himself and the wife a little pied-a-terre in the city. Is he not the living testament, in his snakeskin shoes and Rolls Royce and custom-made double-breasted suits, to the veracity of the Word? So you can either sit at home and not get rich, or you can go to church and get rich. In brief, God or squalor: you choose, silly.

And then there's the soothing caress of the pro-life people. There's this place in Kentucky called The Woman's Choice Resource Center. It looks like a clinic, it's got a doctor and a nurse and lots of nice counselors. They're real warm and friendly: when a woman calls up and asks how much the center charges for an abortion, they tell her that the price varies, but why doesn't she come in and they'll talk about it? They don't tell her that they don't perform abortions there. The Center is an offshoot of the biggest church in Kentucky, an evangelical congregation with a budget of $25 million. This little center in Louisville has a budget of nearly $1 million just for itself and its support groups, groups where women can learn about the harmful effects of abortion, including increased risk of breast cancer and a psychological condition called postabortion syndrome. Both are considered scientifically unsupportable by the National Cancer Institute and the American Psychological Association.

But that's okay, because these people all realize it's not about fact or fiction: it's about what you believe, and their God-given mandate is to tell people just what they want to believe. Like one woman, Missy, who had an abortion and went to a secular therapist afterwards, but that meanie had ascribed her problems to her alcoholism--not her abortion. Missy said she didn't feel healed until she went to the Center and they gave her a "certificate of life" for her unborn baby. I wonder what God did to help Missy with her alcoholism?

So all you stodgy, stiff, pedantic, over-principled liberals, here's a little something we can all learn from God's soldiers. Be crafty. Promise everything. Be real nice. Be deceptive. Be a great fundraiser. Be aware that you are dealing with vulnerable people. Be ruthless.


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