Tom DeLay may look as though he’s finished because he is quitting Congress, facing a trial on felony political corruption charges in Texas and being targeted by federal prosecutors in the Jack Abramoff scandal. But that would be dead wrong: DeLay recently told one of his pastors that God wanted him to leave Congress in part because He has bigger plans for DeLay. That pastor, the Rev. Rick Scarborough, introduced DeLay to a Christian conference just last week, saying, “This is a man, I believe, God has appointed … to represent righteousness in government.”
I was fortunate enough to have yesterday off, and I spent a good part of it writing about Tom DeLay and cleaning up dog crap in the back yard – two tasks that elicit disturbingly similar feelings of revulsion. Combine that feeling with Rick Scarborough, and I have to struggle to keep my granola down.
Why is it that the last refuge of a scoundrel is to wrap themselves in flag and faith? What is it about Tom DeLay and his ilk that make them feel as if they are justified in tarninshing the teachings of Jesus Christ with their hypocrisy and arrogance? If Tom DeLay and Rick Scarborough are “men of God”, I’m the Queen of England…and I don’t look good in a tiara. Shouldn’t there be a special place in Hell for hypocritical, self-absorbed trolls like this?
So mark those words. DeLay may be leaving Congress, but he will be back with a vengeance, in a new and potentially more powerful role, because he is a ferociously determined man who believes he is on a politico-religious mission from God.
Apparently, DeLay’s God is a vindictive, mean-spirited God willing to launder money, skirt the law, and violate common political ethics in order to achieve His desired end. Wow…God really IS a Republican, eh??
DeLay spoke with a passion about his goal to make us all into one “God-centered” nation. “Our entire system is built on the Judeo-Christian ethic, but it fell apart when we started denying God. If you stand up today and acknowledge God,” he said, “they will try to destroy you.” Five years later, that is also the argument DeLay is deploying to portray himself as the victim of prosecutorial persecution. He is suggesting that his legal salvation is linked to the salvation of the Republican Party, of Christianity itself.
And DeLay’s crusade will not be sidetracked by the acts of mortals such as states’ attorneys, crooked lobbyists and disgraced former staffers who are poised to testify against him. In DeLay’s world he answers only to a higher power, and his personal Armageddon has only just begun. He will artfully squeeze a load of money from the Christian Right as he makes his thunderous argument from multiple pulpits in the weeks and months ahead. The new Tom DeLay will combine aspects of the Revs. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and Lee Atwater, the late right-wing political consultant with the legendary killer instinct.
If Tom DeLay is a shining example of Christian love and charity, then Christianity is truly a farce, a narrow, judgemental ideology designed to ensure the primacy of rich, White Republicans scared of anything that threatens their dominance over public life. When ignorance, fear, and self-interest rules the American body politic…well, this is what you get – a collection of knuckle-dragging troglodytes willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how corrupt or self-interested to protect the interest of the rich, the White, and the afraid.
DeLay dates his Christian rebirth to his alcohol-hazed first year in Congress, when he saw a video by James Dobson, the Christian family guru, on the dangers of putting career ahead of family. “I started crying because I had missed my daughter’s whole childhood,” he said. “It was me, me, me, me. It was golf or my business or politics that came first. It told me what a jerk I really was.”
Was? When did this change? It’s hardly to believe that this arrogant, self-absorbed, judgemental, intolerant troll was at one point in his life EVEN WORSE. Of course, now that he has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior, it’s OK…because Tom DeLay now truly knows that God is on his side.What a load of crap….
In the next 20 years, DeLay came to develop a single-minded vision of how America should be. DeLay’s America would acknowledge that the Constitution was inspired by the Bible; it would promote prayer and worship, and would stop gun control, outlaw abortion, limit the rights of gays, curb contraception, end the constitutional separation of church and state, and adopt the Ten Commandments as guiding principles for public schools.
Yes, it seems that DeLay’s world, if it were up to him, would be a place where thieves (and Democrats) would be kept in stocks in the village square. Adulterers would be required to wear a scarlet “A”. Unbelievers, heathens, and idolators would be stoned. In short, we would all be required to think and act as DeLay and his merry band of Republican Christian zealots dictated. We would believe in peace through strength and Amerika uber Alles. Worst of all, we would have no problem projecting our military might around the world, wherever and whenever Our Way of Life (and the price of oil) was threatened.
One Sunday in Sugar Land, I knelt alongside DeLay as we prayed at the First Baptist Church, then listened to the fiery preaching of DeLay’s friend and minister, whose name was Rambo. I went to Bible study and the Sunday school class DeLay taught. Afterward, I told DeLay I was somewhat troubled by the idea that he essentially wanted to remold the government to meet his fundamentalist Christian worldview. I told him I thought a good many Americans would share my reaction.
Gee, what a shock; Americans troubled by waking up to the reality that they have participated in the creation of a narrow, judgemental, hate-based Republican theocracy? Of course, here in CD-22, most folks have reflexively voted for DeLay since 1984. After all, voting Republican sure is a hell of a lot easier than thinking, eh?
He looked me squarely in the eyes and shook his head sadly at the fate of us nonbelievers. “When faced with the truth, the truth hurts. It is human nature not to face that,” he said. “People hate the messenger. That’s why they killed Christ.”
And now, DeLay says he prayed long and hard before God made clear to him that He no longer wants DeLay to represent Texas’s 22nd Congressional District. Instead, DeLay says, his God wants him to be a messenger — on a much broader scale. And we will see DeLay constantly smiling as he delivers his message because in his heart he knows that we hopeless sinners will always hate the messenger.
It seems clear that DeLay has imputed to himself a higher degree of righteousness than seems warranted for someone so corrupt, craven, and thoroughly mean-spirited. Frankly, I hope DeLay moves to Virginia; they’ll love his sorry, ignorant, hate-based theology. Virginia is, after all, home to troglodytes like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. They’ll no doubt welcome Tom DeLay with open arms…if for no other reason than they know DeLay will raise boatloads of cash for their personal fiefdoms.
To those of you who see fit to lionize DeLay as some sort of saint-in-waiting…what have you been smoking? Or are you really that ignorant of what this man has been up to for the past 24 years?
Nice going, America; you’ve created this mess. Still glad you voted Republican? Don’t you think WE DESERVE BETTER??