The Price of Convenient Falsehood, Part 2

By Charles Redfern

Imagine yourself.  You’re a typical working-stiff alien in a cloaked vessel 400 miles above the Earth.  Your unit’s mission: Keep an eye on those niggling humans.  Your individual specialty: Raucous America.  Your conclusion:  No deep-space bonus was worth … this

It’s been your “solemn duty” (fleet commander lingo) to abandon the Obama-is-a-Muslim noise and fix on that Florida fringe church holding the Western World hostage.  The threat’s over and you want a coffee break, but the home planet’s geniuses issue the summons:  No break.  Back on the president’s religion beat, lickety-split.  They’re ticking off questions and orders are orders.  They want to know, “Where is the outrage?”

Inquiring minds …

First, does no one ask the obvious amid the paranoia? Why aren’t Barack and Michelle acting more like radical Muslims, which is the real worry (most American Muslims relish their nation’s freedom; some have died for it)?  Would a radical Muslim order more killer drones over Pakistan and increase troop levels in Afghanistan to slay … radical Muslims?  And what about Michelle and Barack’s public displays of affection?  We’re blushing ourselves.  And her sleeveless dresses?  And that crucial fact about Barack Obama’s supposedly “Muslim” middle name:  Barack Obama Senior, an atheist, was naming a junior.  Seniors give juniors their full names.  He wasn’t so much as giving his son a Muslim middle name as he was giving him his first, middle, and last name because that’s what seniors do to juniors … Right?  We want answers.  Yesterday.  Remember your solemn duty. 

And what’s with evangelical right-wingers nodding their heads when Glenn Beck, a Mormon, questions the president’s Christianity?  Walter Martin’s Kingdom of the Cults hogs their bookshelf space and devotes 60 pages to Mormonism’s unique doctrines. Anthony Hoekema gave Joseph Smith’s followers 70 pages in his more scholarly The Four Major Cults.  Both argue Mormonism is so remote from Christianity it’s not even in its solar system.  Officials in Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestant churches agree. 

No one doubts Mormon bravery; most deplore its 19th century persecution; they’re welcome to make their case; they can run for office (text our greetings to Orin Hatch and Harry Reid); and all say Beck is free as a bird to practice his faith.  But can’t the right-wing evangelicals – who mortify their moderate brothers and sisters – see the shaky ground beneath Beck’s feet (his home turf)?  He opened the door, so why not question his Christianity?  Why not reject Beck and hold a real Obama tête-à-tête?  The president’s statements probably peg him as a neo-orthodox Christian (hear us, Franklin Graham), a school with which they resonate but have significant disagreements.  Let the dialogue begin … Right?  No?  Why not?  Why even grill Obama on his faith?  He’s the nation’s president, not its pastor.  Are they asking America’s elected, secular leader to do their job?  Have they forgotten the founding fathers’ spine-tingling fear of a monarch doubling up as the Church’s head?  Do they remember their own ancestors — some of whom were executed — who argued for the separation of church and state to prevent Christianity’s dilution?  Do they not see in-creeping civil religion and their own movement’s hijacking?

And what about all the internal contradictions fouling the pool of anti-Obama accusations?  How can anyone be a socialist, communist, liberal, Marxist, Nazi radical Muslim?  Why not call him an atheistic holy roller?  A war-mongering pacifist?  A closed-minded Unitarian?  Our files burst with American intellectual power.  What happened?  Is the nation gripped in a communal brain cramp?  We want reports.  Remember your … solemn duty.

It’s all a conspiracy

Is one fifth of America’s population actually viewing this through the prism of conspiracy theory, where the lack of evidence is proof positive that the president and his spouse are the point-people of an evil “sleeper cell”?  The more they shroud, the more they show.  Every non-Muslim gesture proves they’re Muslims.  And these schemers are good.  The best.  Michelle, that sneak, wormed her way through America’s labyrinth and infiltrated a high-powered Chicago law firm, covering her tracks all the way (no substantiation only proves her diabolical power).  Barack slipped through the maze as well.  They met, married (on schedule), and landed in the oval office at the pre-determined date.  They even faked that birth certificate …

 … Wait …!

 … Duh …!

These plotters are suddenly bone heads, the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight, the thieves bungling the job!  Cut to the final scene showing them in striped suits behind bars!  Look at that brilliantly forged certificate.  They forgot the give-away middle name, Hussein!  Arrest them!

If the Obama’s were secret radical Muslims who plotted and planned and schemed and conspired, wouldn’t they have thought that one through?  How about, “Barak Michael Obama”?  Or, even better, drop “Barack.”  Christen him “Joseph Michael Jones” so everyone will call him the “all-American Joe.”

Is fringe thinking quickly becoming mainstream thinking?  If so, what bodes for America’s future? 

Getting to work 

The list of questions goes on and on.  You, the alien working stiff in the cloaked vessel 400 miles above, read them all and moan about insensitive managers.  But you’re still a conscientious alien and, deep inside, you’ve grown a little fond of your subjects.  You’re concerned yourself, so you set your measuring instruments and aim them toward the heartland.  The bosses want answers, and so you do you.  You do your solemn duty.

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About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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  1. The price of convenient falsehood « The Alternative Mainstream - September 23, 2010

    […] The Price of Convenient Falsehood, Part 2 […]

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