The 1100th Movement

Let's all head to the tipping point axle and hang ten.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

While I'm On the Topic Of the American Right

While I'm on the topic of the American right from a Canadian perspective, I remember a story I've been mulling around for some time. A decade ago after my marriage fell apart ie. around 1997 I got involved with a Vineyard Church up in Collingwood, Ontario. I was in a desperate state and the people in that very small congregation, being a bunch of misfits and outsiders harmed by the fundamentalist churches they had escaped from, were very kind to me and let me cry my brains out while hiding under some tables at the Lions Club where they held their services. A long story short I got involved with Renewal Christianity for about a year, which led me down to an Intercessory Prayer Conference at the Toronto Airport Church, a former Vineyard congregation, grown huge and self-certain. One of the speakers at the conference was an American Evangelist, a woman whose name escapes me, but who was big in the 'Praying for City's' movement that was part of renewal theology.
This woman had noticed the mosques on Airport Road and she urged us to pray against them as they did in Washington, because there were mosques along the roads around the airport in that city too.
Personally, I wanted to boo her and tell her to go back to America, but since I was in a room full of 5000 religious enthusiasts I decided not to. I'm not saying that everyone in the room agreed with her, I'm just saying I didn't say anything because I think I spent too long digesting what she had said to speak out. Theologically, I'm of the opinion that when St. Paul said Christians were not given a spirit of condemnation I believe him. Therefore I took this evangelist's call to condemn Mosques as indicative of the very fundamentalism that the renewal was meant to transform.
By 2001 when 9/11 happened (not that September 11 doesn't occur every year) I was living in Guelph, near my ex-wife and son; one of the first things I thought of when my ex phoned me to tell me to turn on the TV because something terrible was happening, was that the Christian Right had reaped what they had sown by calling on God to condemn mosques around American airports.
Curiously, while helping to write and direct a satire of George W. Bush and the American War on Iraqi Television (the war ended when Iraqi TV was killed) I happened to take out a 1970's Paul Newman movie called The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. In the movie there is a brief shot of a sign on an oil derrick that reads 'Oil was Discovered in West Texas on September 11 1912'. (I could be wrong about the 1912 part. But September 11 was there.) And then there was the movie Godspell: Jesus and his Disciples are on top of one of the still unfinished World Trade Center buildings singing about the need to take the plank out of your own eye before complaining about your brother's inability to see. As far as I'm concerned the American Right has only themselves to blame for what they reaped.

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