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Monday: Oh, Brother!

A couple of years ago, when my brother and his family were at the peak of their mystical, charismatic, magical, super awe inspiring evangelical experience where they attended church every moment they weren’t working or sleeping, I had to meet him at his church one afternoon to bring him something or pick something up or something like that.  That weekend, his church was doing some kind of membership drive, like an open house.  They had set up a huge tent on their parking lot and had a portable stage and risers and a baptismal font and two big screens for a multimedia production.  Oh, yeah, it was that kind of church.

My brother plays the bass.  He’s played it since he was Brook’s age.  So, he found a place for him in the church gospel rock band while his wife, the former cabaret dancer with the extension that first caught my brother’s eye, sang back-up vocals.  I came to the performance a little late.  The band wasn’t playing yet.  Instead, there were some of those swelling hymns playing over the PA system while children of about 9 or 10 walked up to the baptismal font to be baptised by full immersion.  Then the band started jamming and the solo singer with a beautiful voice sang some uplifting Christian rock song while baptism images flashed on the screens.  It was overkill.  And incredibly effective.  It was hard for even the rational christian such as myself to not be moved.  Even Brook, the committed atheist from the age of nine, looked at me and said, “How do I pray?”  I had to get us out of there quickly.

Because no matter how seductive they were, they still think that homosexuality is a sin, premarital sex is a disgrace to women, Charles Darwin was possessed and there is nothing better in the whole wide world than getting in other people’s business and telling them how to live.

That’s how we have to look at Obama.  The election was exhilerating and stirring.  But he’s still a corrupt politician and we must still be on our guard for the people who were sucked into his cult of personality through training camps that differ little from the big tent evangelism, with appeals to emotion and well rehearsed mind-f^&king,

Then there are the people who are starting to realize what we tried to tell them all along.  Obama is not nor never has been a progressive.  He’s a political opportunist who made a deal with the status quo.  But he still has his own evangelical movement, though this group looks much bigger than its actual numbers.  The next two months are going to be one big revival.  It’s going to look bright and promising but there is  a dark and troubled side to it.  But let’s stay together and remember to duck outside the tent periodically for some mind cleansing fresh air.

Stay vigilant.