One of the more perplexing elements of this Middle East fiasco; aside from its questionable economic incentives, is the zealotry that has been mustered to carry it out. How has rural Christianity jockeyed itself for such influence in Washington D.C., and how has preaching to the choir become a substitute for authority? How is it that adult people can be told a lie and not only believe it, but go to war in behalf of it's utterance? The same people that were topics for Walker Evans and James Agee in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men are often instrumental in voting in a regime that cuts back funding for today's oppressed; and assuring the loss of whatever civil liberties our Constitution has come to guarantee. How quickly they forget and why has it been so easy for them to do so?

Today's middle class is so uncertain about where their gratitude should be that they are signing up for military service and singing sermons for 20 years of a bull market where anything you did in the past was wiped clean if you were "born again." The pastoral rhetoric of the bible worked and television ministries made it possible to live downtown with "country." The only sin from then on was to be poor.

During the Nixon administration the nation was shocked that the presidency could be so compromised. Like Enron executives, the culprits seemed to get off the hook and find themselves saved by a loving God. They were reborn and wrote about it. What was deplorable became acceptable and the method of using God to get off the hook became the faith that claimed the day.

This attitude about culpability became so all-pervasive by the Clinton administration that the whole Monica Lewinsky thing was reduced to a guy who "just needed to get laid." This popular form of "Reborn Christian Ministry", while of good intentions, took the validity of the sacrament of Baptism and turned it into an act of contrition for "often," baptized Christians who deserved to be in jail. If one was baptized, one didn't need to be born again because one was supposedly in the body of Christ by being baptized in the first place. Out of this reborn heresy came much of the distorted values that contribute to the arrogance that has become the Christianity of Washington D.C. Somehow people began to realize that the only real sin was getting caught and the mantra of the day became "so sue me!" And if you could be a practicing Christian and still not get caught then you would be less likely to need a public relations agency.

A whole generation of college grads watched this "Machiavellian" activity take place and decided to become MBAs. Admitting that you were a sinner was apparently a lot easier than being specific about it in court and from this came the professional conceits that we have now come to see as common in Enron, Global Crossing et. al, and not to forget the method the Bush administration used to acquire the presidency (see Greg Palast's The Best Democracy Money Can Buy if you have any doubts about this.) Let us never forget that this is the Lamb of God these guys are talking about.

People become amoral when they question morality. They become immoral when they are convinced that it simply doesn't matter. For those who saw the hypocrisy there was little that they could do and they became apathetic and didn't vote. The reborns were on the phone every minute during political campaigns and fund raisers as if their life depended on it, and it did. Unbelievable people, demonizing anyone who wasn't like them and calling it "making the world safe for democracy." All done for the love of Jesus. All done to show gratitude for a windfall of new technologies and a home in the suburbs. The same people who are sold an SUV because it's "safe." The same people who justify the use of a "Daisy Cutter" bomb on Afghanis and Iraqis and raise Hell about the rights of the unborn.

If a heresy was only between you and your Maker the reborn thing wouldn't be so strident and so evil, because it would be a matter of faith. But it's not about faith, it's about power and this consensus is a tyranny of the uninformed and economically opportunistic holding the rest of the world hostage to a war no one wants. And why not? We even watched our President use questionable practices and when in Rome, well, do as the Empire. After all, Pat Robertson is there to make sure that the right God will be the mouthpiece for their efforts. The days of watching Al Capone movies are over. The hoods in Washington today make yesterday's bad guys look like chump change as they tear down institutions that took centuries to create and threaten the very future of civilization, all in the name of their idea of Jesus Christ.

And as the rest of the world watches this with better information then the democracy the US is supposed to uphold, the tragedy of these vanities becomes inevitable and we, the apathetic, cry for impeachment as our boys over there learn what it means to murder for the reborn.