That sounds like it could be a book, doesn’t it? But it need only serve as the title of a brief blog post.
Some television personalities are too feeble-minded to be truly annoying, and Glenn Beck is one of them. I’m sure his tripe carries weight with a discouraging number of his viewers, but what little footage I’ve seen of him reveals nothing more than a fat-faced guy with a crewcut and a loud voice who has even less wit and integrity than Rush Limbaugh.
Then there’s Focus on the Family head James Dobson, who is a genuine waste of one or more relatively sophisticated intracranial ganglia linked only to hypertrophic vocal cords, a set-up that affords “Doctor” Dobson no discernible afferent CNS input besides that from his shit- and acid-choked guts.
Both of these men are lying, outwardly religious idiots, which explains one hundred percent of their appeal to American viewers. But they differ in one respect that is both meaningless and critical: Beck is a Mormon, while Dobson is an evangelical Christian.
Dobson recently appeared on Beck’s show on Fox News to participate in one of the more unsophisticated atheist bashings (and remember, the intellectual midpoint of such things is somewhere between poo- and poo-gobbling) I’ve had the pleasure of chuckling at, with “points” such as America is One Nation Under God, atheists’ being in the minority implying that their ideas are wrong, and the shoving down others’ throats of atheism all given strident mention. If they were not so obviously engaging in conscious hyperbole and deceit, it would be difficult to find a whinier pair of people, athough Gregg Easterbrook by himself comes close to outdoing both.
But the funny–and telling–aspect of this artless and scripted exchange is the fact that recently, Citizen Link, the online “news” arm of Focus on the Family pulled an interview it had posted with Beck after protests about Beck’s Mormon status erupted from the howling masses. After all, Mormons aren’t real Christians, because their mythology is stolen from legends that are thousands of years older, whereas true Christianity is mythology pimped from the faery tales of cultures pre-dating Jesus by thousands of years. (Mormons, however, are most likely fitter.) But these sectarian squabbles suddenly disappear when an opportunity to saber-rattle the dullard arm of cable-addicted Jesusland into uncomprehending states of agitation arises.
As a god-free individual, I regard the beliefs of bellowing, homophobic swamp pastors and happy-go-lucky Christians whose views are functionally non-biblical as equally irrational. But the unsavory personalities of the former are scarcely reflected in the much more common orientations of the latter, and I feel a little sorry for religious people for whom assholes like Beck and Dobson effectively speak. However, it says something about 21st-century Western religion that its foremost proponents are nothing more than salespeople who will always sell out their own supposed principles and feign ecumenism whenever propping up the god-myth in general is at issue. Differing world views centered on the same essential fictions can always be falsely reconciled in the name of political pandering.