Is there any other culture in the world that has exploited their
religious icons like America�s Christians have exploited God and Jesus?
It�s old news that George W Bush and Karl Rove created a coalition
rooted in Christian support to win their elections. It�s newer news that a Bush
insider has exposed the gimmickry and exploitation of Christians by the
Republican power brokers.
Liberals had this puzzle pieced together years ago when Republican
masterminds invented the �We Vote Pro-Life� movement. How frustrating it was to
quarrel with someone who votes �pro-life� based on the single issue of abortion
while ignoring monumental environmental problems, the proliferation of guns,
rampant corruption and neglect of the mentally ill and impoverished.
It seemed amazing that Republican strategists were able to get millions
of Christians to vote for candidates because they supposedly wore the Christian
label while blatantly representing the antithesis of everything that Jesus
cared about. But then again could Jesus have ever envisioned Hemi-powered
pick-up trucks adorned with metallic �ixous fish� and glowing bumper stickers
proclaiming what his legacy means to swarms of Americans?
�Real Men Love Jesus�
�His Pain Is Your Gain�
�Honk If You Love Jesus!�
�This Car is �Prayer Conditioned��
�In Case of Rapture, This Car is Yours�
�T.G.I.F.: Thank God I�m Forgiven�
�Would You Follow Jesus This Close?�
�For All You Do, His Blood�s For You�
I persistently hear the voice of Fredrick from Woody Allan�s �Hannah and
Her Sisters� in my head: �If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in his
name, he'd never stop throwing up.�
Republican puppet masters aren�t the only ones benefiting from the
manipulation of the simple-minded that would adorn their cars with this
twaddle. Obviously, the televangelists are the most direct beneficiaries
followed by the rest of the ministers that pass the collection basket and then
enjoy all the luxuries of life.
Less talked about are the immensely lucrative industries that have been
spawned by giving the faithful what they want and need. All the aforementioned
slogans are also available on coffee mugs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, bookmarks,
banners and wall plaques.
If you are so inclined, capitalistic Christians have the ideal item just
for you and they haven�t missed a single heaven-sent gimmick. Scented candles
promise to fill your home with the biblical odors of frankincense and myrrh,
while various other aromas are designed to quiet your mind and lead you to more
picture-perfect devotion. And who would dream of burning their candles without
a candleholder inscribed with the words, �I Am the Light of the World�?
Your wall clock ticks away the seconds while the hands of time sweep
past inspirational messages like �As for me and my house, we will serve the
Lord.� And just to keep you mindful of your piety while in the kitchen, why not
invest in some Christian kitchenware including scripture-inscribed pottery,
potholders, serving ware, pie plates, cutting boards, napkin rings, coasters
and aprons. And don�t forget when it�s time to dry the dishes you�ll need your
Thessalonians dish towels.
Whose bathroom would be complete without some �Fruit of the Spirit� bath
towels? That�s right, you can even dry your work-worn hands on luxuriant
terrycloth embossed with inspirational quotes from some of your favorite
biblical action heroes.
And when it�s time to eat, serve up the biscuits in a beautiful basket
ornamented with a Bible verse that makes mealtime more inspirational than ever.
Made of solid maple, each basket is lasered with "Give us this day our
daily bread� -- an extraordinary addition to any table. How about a lazy Susan
painted with a verse or two from Corinthians? It�s the ultimate complement to
your white linen napkins that are lovingly embroidered with �Come, Lord Jesus,
Be Our Guest and Let These Gifts to Us Be Blessed.�
Why stop with the d�cor when you can eat an array of foods from a most
ingenious company called �Food for Life.� They offer breads, buns, muffins,
pocket breads, cereals, tortillas and pastas. Their Ezekiel line of foodstuff
is inspired by a Bible verse that actually gives the recipe for whole grain
products (Ezekiel 4:9). Their whole-grain breads are made from the seed-bearing
trees as mentioned in Genesis 1:29. Packaged with colorful artwork of doves and
Bible quotes, these fine foods are available in your grocer�s freezer and they
are sure to fill you up in more ways than one.
Don�t overlook the kids. Just in case they�re not already embarrassed or
slightly frightened by your fanatical lifestyle, you just might want to turn
off the TV and set them to play with some wonderful Bible-based wooden building
blocks. Who needs Barney when your offspring can amuse themselves and build a
fort from bricks engraved with Bible verses? It all stacks up for hours of fun.
Joy is the name of the game for the whole family with incredible Bible
memory matching games. Goodbye Candyland; hello Holy Land. And the teens in the
family will have a genuine hoot with uproarious boxed competitive games,
including �Bible Mad Gab,� �Bible Outburst,� and �The Life of Christ� board
game. Put away Monopoly, Clue and Taboo and have some fun with the Holy Book.
Don�t pass heaven; don�t forget to tithe $200.
Now let�s go to the office where your business card holder bears witness
to your devotion. And when you�re signing those pink slips, contracts and
imperative memos, use your lovely Christian rosewood pen -- the perfect tool
for the very special executive. It�s laser-engraved with "Jesus Christ is
Lord" and it can be used for years because you can refill it with standard
And when it�s time for bed, isn�t it a comfort to know that your greasy
hair and runny drool are soiling a pillow that reminds you that �I Can Do
Everything Through Him Who Gives Me Strength.� Just be careful not to put your
face in the pillow to read as you�re dozing off; suffocation can be
products are just a few of thousands. If there�s money to be made, America�s
Christians haven�t missed an angle. It�s a jamboree of gimmicks, ploys and
dollars. How appropriate that the unfailing slogan on all U.S. currency boldly
claims �In God We Trust.� It�s hard to argue with the relevance of that one.