At a snake pit company a lot of years ago, one co-worker maintained his equanimity better than nearly anyone. When the number one and number two guys verbally savaged folk for imagined failings, Doug would invariably grin and say, "It's a scary world." That provided his detachment, his buffer.
Now, even when we don't have to work for them, we know that loonies are out there. They want us to agree with them, to make laws to suit them, hell, even to worship how, what, when, where, and in the words they do. Pushed back on, they can always broadcast their impotent threat that we're headed to hell if we don't heel.
That's amusing, but their trying to force their will on us, the nation and the world is not.
It's a scary world.
The scripture dunces need those simple, prescribed answers. They don't do reality or ambiguity. There's that Bush character in D.C. There's that Falwell guy in Virginia. We have our own versions in Boston, Newton and Lexington.
The unlikelihood of changing their minds refocused yesterday, catalyzed by two visuals:
For the kids, it was time for the younger boys to see the 1960 Inherit the Wind
The December Vanity Fair carried a long feature on evangelical Christians ready for some Messianic air travel
The fundies, politician and minister, in the movie are as representative today as when the real Scopes trial
The VF piece, American Rapture, (not online) tours with multimillionaire apocalyptic author Tim LaHaye. He has based a series of bestsellers (there are that many archconservatives fundies) on such as 1 Thessalonians, 4:16-17:
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
So, don't spit your coffee...yet. Wait until you combine that with a 2002 Time/CNN poll finding that 59% of Americans "believe the events in the book of Revelation will take place." Now spew.
I confess that we are not so trendy as to read VF regularly. For airplane reading recently, my wife bought and brought the current issue. By the bye, it also contains a solid profile of the re-invented uber-blogging queen Arianna Huffington.
It is discouraging, but essential to be aware of and think about the simple-minded, emotionally drive sorts out there fighting everything progressive, from educating immigrants to same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, they are not going away anytime soon. Nor are they likely to reason or compromise.
They have a deep need for surety, which they seem to be able to satisfy only with authoritative answers from authoritarian leaders. For them, we can listen and perhaps grunt, but under no circumstances should we try to agree with them or let them subjugate our nation to their needs.
We should keep our own Bible verses handy, including Proverbs 11:29, which inspired the movie title:
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.