Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When the Dark Ages Show Up On Your Front Porch

The Crusades - Firing Up the Base

Around 1100 AD a rather sophisticated contemporary super power, The Ottoman Empire, had, very predictably, taken moves to consolidate the area of its hegemony.  Empires are like that.  The "neighborhood" which captured the eye of the Empire very naturally included Jerusalem and its immediate surrounding.

Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade with an impassioned speech at the Council of Clermont in 1095. (image source)

All of this would have, in almost any other geography, been little more than a foot note in an historical period where "adding territory" was simply the "order of the day."  However, as we know now, this particular patch of medieval real estate had the misfortune of having been mentioned in both of the holy books of the day.

Noting the "AD" at the beginning of this post, we understand that the early form of the "Christian Religion" was roughly 1100 years old at the time, and a quick Google reveals that the early form of the "Islamic Religion" was around 500 years old at the time.

Aside from the obvious "real estate" issues, both religions enjoyed the full "blessing" of having inherited the exact same first few chapters in their respective holy books.  The "real estate" issues arose from this very source -- those same first few chapters suggested to each of the early forms of these religions that owning this particular patch of contested real estate had everything to do with "getting into heaven."

Naturally, the next logical step was, of course, to declare all out war.

The preparation of the illiterate masses who would comprise the combat soldiers for these wars is the precise point of this posting.  Further, since we wish to discuss specifically the lingering impact of these "preparations for war" as they manifests in our contemporary American politics, we shall focus on the "preparations" orchestrated by what are called the European "Christian Kings" with the close cooperation of what we may consider the European "Christian Religious Authorities."

We can begin our investigation of the lingering effects of these "preparations" with a "pregnant question:"  

The "Pregnant Question"

"Why exactly, hundreds of years later in 2011, does a reasonably successful, church going, Texas cattle rancher who has never even studied contemporary geography much less comparative religions, hate Islam?"

Not only has the military "real estate" question been somewhat, at least temporarily,  settled, the European "Christian Kings" long ago vaporized into medieval history and the once fierce  Ottoman Empire conveniently divided into far less threatening, artificial "little pieces," but even the previously "heavy hand" of the "Christian Religious Authorities" has been reduced to essentially a struggling, "self-soiled" tribe of irrelevant hypocrites with serious credibility problems.

Still, just as a modern "trailer park" version of the famous Kundabuffer, the very "talking points" employed to "energize" the masses in those old Crusades seem to have a "life of their own," annually resurrecting themselves as "timeless truths" which must not ever be questioned -- especially in our contemporary American politics.

Old Testament Politics

In the recent weeks the discouraging depth of the phenomenon has been revealed -- in spades.

Further, we see this 2011 "revelation" not so much in the freaky Republican Straw Poll in Iowa but rather in the lead up carefully crafted by the latest, "most exciting," self-aggrandizing addition to the GOPCon herd.  Stepping aside quickly from the unavoidable shade of George W., Texas Governor Rick Perry introduced himself to all of us sinners in his prayer extravaganza.

At this juncture, MeanMesa could dive directly into the hilarious politics of the matter, but this posting is all about "old time religion," and that "old time religion" has some very interesting "old time origins" which must not slip away before the Perry launches his next publicity move.  Let's take a quick look at some of the "stuff" which emerged in the Perry's "Piety Fest." (See the video here. )

1. The Japanese economy was wrecked because the Emperor, who, by the way, already has a lovely Empress, started having sex with the Sun Goddess.
2. The Statue of Liberty is actually a demonic idol created by the Illuminati and French Free Masons.

3. The main pastor of the Harlot of Babylon movement is Oprah.

4. The Catholic Church is the Great Whore. God sent Hitler to move the Jews back to Israel.

5. Hitler had to use homosexual soldiers to do brutal savage things that straight soldiers wouldn't do.  

6. Muslims have no 1st Amendment rights to practice their religion in America.

7. President Obama is not an authentic, true blooded Negro.

8. Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" resulted in God killing masses of birds in Arkansas.

9. The Affordable Care Act is a Free Masonry weapon to kill off all but 500 million of the people of the Earth.

9. The Republican debt plaguing America must be met with prayer.  There is no other solution.

Now come the questions.

1.  Do Governor Perry's co-complicitors in the Prayer Fest actually believe these things?  

2. Or, are these "ministers" only religionist opportunists who have simply found an audience who believes these things?

3. Is this audience consumed only with an appetite to "appear" to believe these things?  Perhaps, "afraid" not to at least appear to believe them, even if, deep in their thoughts, they still find it impossible?

4. For whose consumption does this an audience want to "appear" to believe them?  God?  Other people?

5. Exactly what do the religious innuendos embedded in these impossible propositions target?

6. What, precisely, is the "end goal" of encouraging large numbers of people to  believe or appear to believe these things?

Now, we have to imagine -- just a little -- that we are standing in a crowd somewhere in Europe in 1085 AD.  The noblemen and the priests are speaking to us, trying to convince us to join up with the 1st Great Crusade to recapture Jerusalem.

We can't read.  We don't even know where Jerusalem is. We have no idea what is in the Christian Bible.  All we know -- essentially about anything -- is what we have been told, primarily by the priests.  Part of what these priests have told us is the nightmarish, terrifying tale of an all powerful, out of control God who has every right to plunge us into eternal torture once we have died.

The other part of what the priests have told us that, should we join the Crusade under the command of the local nobleman, we will avoid the eternal torture -- even if we die on the battlefield.

What do we think the message to our crowd would be?

How important would it have been for us to believe the message or, at least, appear to believe it?

What similarities will that medieval message have to the messages being presented and promoted at Perry's Texas Prayer Fest?

Old Testament Money

Of course, the Texas Prayer Fest is all about money.  For a candidate such as Rick Perry, everything is about money.

Crusading knights charge into battle, in Kingdom of Heaven. Photo: Twentieth Century Fox (image source)

The possibilities of the Texas Prayer Fest are about the possibilities of raising money for the Perry Crusade.  Being fairly well designed -- as far as Presidential Campaign Scams go, at least -- the identity of the targeted "money sources" is not hidden too far below the gaseous fog of the spoken salvation.

Let's look at it by the numbers.

1. Some of the smaller potential campaign donors will be thinking of heaven when they write those checks.  The size of their checks will provide testament to their comparative righteousness, both in the eye of God and in the eyes of their fellow congregants.

With respect to the politics involved, refer to any Biblical Concordance as it describes the "good kings" and "bad kings" of ancient Israel.  One thing the "good kings" all had in common was that they were not black.

2.  At the next tier of donors, we find the "uber rich," and we can anticipate that their "donations" to the campaign will be much larger.  Some of these 6 digit checks will be written while thinking of heaven, but many of them will be written while thinking of influence, that is, the value of the influence with the next President these donations might bring.

3. However, most of the Texas "uber rich" have wealth with pales when compared to the wealth of true modern oligarchs, that is the "ultra rich."  These campaign supporters are not writing checks while thinking about heaven, at least not while thinking of any sort of heaven which is not "heaven on Earth."

The "ultra rich" are also not thinking of "good kings" versus "bad kings."  They are thinking of "stupid kings" similar to the autocrat they elected last time because "stupid kings" who can be manipulated are the ones who hold the heavenly promise of even more "ultra" for the "ultra rich," just like last time.

4. The fourth and final group may have the most confounding description of all.  The denizens of this particular collection of donors represent an unexpected hybrid form combining both the mindlessness of the publicly righteous and the avarice of the thoroughly cynical with a special narcotic infatuation with raw theocratic power.

The "influence appetite" of this fourth group is slightly less bold than those in the third group, although they know that a very vocal President who is espousing their general claims to piety will also accompany an "oh, by the way" sort of "unavoidable prosperity" which will fall onto their churches and off shoot political cults.

Perry's Texas Prayer Fest was well populated with this fourth type -- and, not by coincidence.

MeanMesa and The Religionists

MeanMesa's general estimate of religionists is no mystery to those who routinely visit this little blog.  There is no dreamy, hyper optimistic speculation that any possible calls to consideration or effect of other revelation will materially change the amount of commitment or determination such folks will express every day right up to their death.

This is, after all, the nature of religionists, regardless of the brand.

Further, none of us should anticipate any rational adjustment to their penchant of applying ancient mythologies to current events and issues.  However, "noticing" the nature of what is presently "happening" may hold the promise of some mitigation.

MeanMesa hopes that the arguments here will prove unsettling to more rational participants in our democracy -- unsettling enough to host an energetic role in the 2012 election.  This post is a description of the alternative.

MeanMesa's compliments to the President.

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