THE "CHRISTIAN" VOTE
By John O.
This is the year 2000 A.D. It's also election year in the USA.
In a recent TV debate among the Republican Presidential wanna-bees, each man was asked by the moderator as to which individual in history had impacted them the most. There were a couple of notables initially mentioned, but when George W. Bush was asked, he answered: "Christ." Note, George W. didn't say "Jesus" but only said "Christ." Since the latter title literally applies to any who are supposedly "anointed," then the title of Christ can be applied to anyone of moral virtue and character. It would appear that the Governor of Texas had little idea of what he said. But it proved a point.
All the following candidates were then asked the same question and all parroted the same "Christ" answer. After all, it would look bad - in this country that's estimated to be over 85% Christian with over 9,000 Christian websites - for candidates not to acknowledge the one who is supposedly at the core of the majority belief. But when each candidate (including George W.) stated his conviction, the diatribe that followed each man's elucidation sounded so trite. They all joined the band wagon to support the 2000 year old legends of the purported leader that most believe is their spiritual founder, and as such, all these politicians tried to cash in on the "Christian" vote.
Let's make no mistake. The Christian vote is crucial if anyone is to win the White House. No politician can ignore this many people. We saw what happened in 1979 when "Christian" groups, including Worldwide Church of God, were supposedly threatened by the State of California, and when many of their questionable antics were under investigation. Charges were finally dropped by the State and the DA, and the voting "Christian" majority were most grateful when it came to the gubernatorial election time.
Although there is technically supposed to be a separation of Church and State in the U.S. Constitution (Bill of Rights - Amendment 1), there are two factors that are common to both which makes these agencies mutually great bed partners. Those two factors are money and power.
"He who has the gold makes the rules," chants the man with the gold. And religion has the gold. As such, it can makes the rules, but in this case, it buys people and politicians who can make those rules very comfortable.
We are probably all aware of the lobbies that pollute the halls of Congress. We're all aware of these lobbying salesmen who will do anything to bring a Congressperson or Senator over to their camp. Guess what? Religion has its lobbies too. And the rules of the game are no different simply because "God" is stamped on the product. Religious lobbies are not as powerful as the tobacco or alcohol lobbies, but the product that religion peddles is just as addictive.
Like it or not, politics and religion are in bed together, and each needs the other if their survival and continued profit are to continue. Politics needs religion for its continued votes and support, and religion needs politics to pass legislation to continue its fraudulent, business practices of making money through ignorance and fear, and offering no viable product. It's obvious as to what Christianity can give to politics and elections, but how does politics and any new laws passed benefit Christians?
First, there's the continued separation of Church and State that guarantees any nut-case can form a religion and preach his/her own brand of insanity. E.g. Jim Jones, David Koresh, HWA, etc. Although many of these scams are obviously rip-offs (like Worldwide Church of God and its offspring), the State cannot interfere. While this originally may have been a law of great intent, it's obviously been abused in recent years with the advent of cults that can (and do) damage people's lives - something that would never be tolerated if the laws of the State were extant in the working of these cults.
Second, there's the tax exempt status. Many times over the last many years, it's been suggested that the government drop such deductions, but the proposals have always died in Congress. Politicians are happy to keep this law afloat for the reciprocal favor of the Christian votes that keep them in office. Christians are most happy with their deductions at tax time, but that's NOT the real reason for the law. It's NOT to benefit the giver, but it's really to benefit the church organization. While the tax deduction is indeed a blessing, the big reason for the law is so the churches can hide behind a "tax-exempt" status while spending the inordinate amount of profits on themselves. As such, they pay NO taxes, and are free to spend the money as they choose . . . provided it's categorized under the heading of "The Work of God." It's true that people do get an advantage in their deduction, but the real reason for the continuance of the law is so the church corporations can avoid taxes and audits.
Third, there's tax exemption on all "Church" properties. Several years ago, a friend of mine showed me around some of the Chicago suburbs while I was on business there. We must have passed hundreds of acres of prime north Chicago land, and he told me: "All that's owned by the Catholic Church." If that organization had to pay taxes on the land, it would be monumental. If all churches had to pay taxes on all the land they own, it might help keep them honest. But now, churches can legally purchase land, pay no taxes, wait under the land values increase, sell the land, pocket the profits, and pay no taxes. Nice racket! Please check out
Fourth, there's the friendship between church and big business money that's been tightly stamped over the years. Since many churches have been into all sorts of businesses, including racketeering, it's always wise for politicians to stay on the good side of the church and/or Christianity. In referring to the BIG Christian groups, these groups - despite what their propaganda says - didn't make it "big time" because God supposedly loved them and bestowed His/Her blessing on that group. God was not even involved. Like any business, these Christian organizations were given a huge start by investors, some of whom are not even of the Christian persuasion. It's a business - that's all. And if politics can keep business happy, then politicians get re-elected.
While there are indeed many smaller religious groups around the world, and many who do a fine work, what's written here is NOT generally applicable to them. There are always dedicated men and women in all church organizations who can and do help others. But, the smaller organizations carry no sizeable clout with politicians, as they are neither rich or corrupt enough to be molded by the pressure of big political promises or business interests that could eventually benefit them.
This brings us to another religious and "Christian" group, that the politicians vigorously court during the time of elections. And that group is organized crime. It's well known that if Mayor Richard Daley hadn't the mob connections he had in 1960, and swayed the Chicago vote, then Jack Kennedy would not have been elected. Supposedly, Jack and Bobby - once they got into office - didn't honor their payback commitments to the syndicate, and the rest is history.
Organized crime has always been "religious." Most of the time it's been Catholic, but there have been other breeds of religiosity thrown in, at times, for good measure. Organized crime and organized religion have always been inseparable. As one nephew of a Mafia boss once told me when I worked in New York: "See," he told me, "we're not such bad people. We're really religious people. Go and look around the country for yourself. Don't you see all those churches and cathedrals that we've built?"
So, politics again seeks the "Christian" vote from the likes of organized crime.
Since bedfellows of the same ilk like to prance together in the same playground, the next logical question is: What does organized "Christianity" have in common with organized crime?
Since the time honored statement "By their fruits you shall know them," still holds true, we can look at the fruits of each and see if the same low-life spirit empowers each. So . . . let's look at the fruits of both.
MONEY: Both organized crime and organized Christianity seek the accumulation of wealth. If they don't get it from their standard sources, then both - in the extreme cases - have ways of punishing the unwilling giver. Organized crime breaks many bones, and organized Christianity breaks many psychologically. In both cases, you must conform with contributions or suffer the consequences.
POWER: The leadership in both cases crave the power of being the ones in charge. Fear and intimidation are the weapons, and the one who gives the orders must receive unswerving loyalty. While organized crime seeks to destroy any "rebel's" property, organized Christianity can seek to destroy a person's reputation and their lives.
AUTHORITY: This is something that's never questioned in either group. There's no room for argument once the decision is made, be that decision right or wrong. There's no challenging of party policy nor the leadership's right to hold sway over all the sub-ordinates. Pontiff=Apostle=Godfather.
LUXURY: The leaders of both groups live in luxury. While others in the organization can be struggling to survive, the leaders will have every luxurious convenience available, and at any cost. No money is spared to pamper the leadership. Wasn't it one corrupt cult leader that once said: "God loves quality?"
TAXES: Both factions work hard at avoiding taxes, by divesting themselves of cash into more "legit" enterprises. Ostensibly, they're both thieves of the highest order. Each one tries to show that there is NO profits, and filters the money into other areas which can be rolled over time and time again to lose the identity of the original money source. Land is always a big thing that's purchased, and smaller businesses acquired through which money is "laundered" and taxes dodged.
And so, politics woos both the Christian groups and organized crime. Remember, that many of the top unions have ties with organized crime, and - like the nation's statistics show - most union members would also be church going "Christians." So . . . let's watch this year, and let's see the antics of the greasy politicians, as the months progress, and as they prostitute themselves to religion for the "Christian" vote. They will pursue both the organized "Christianity," and all areas of organized crime.
History has shown that politics courts religion, and when the opportunity arises, religion tries to get into politics. Some years ago, Pat Robertson (of CBN shame) made a run for President - running against George Bush as the Republican candidate.
"If God wants me to run for President," boasted Pat, "then I'll run." He ran, but bombed out after the New Hampshire primary. So, since he DID run, then either God is screwed up or Pat's deaf. Didn't anyone quote him the scripture:
"Love not the world nor the things that are in the world . . . . ?"
No man will take the White House without the Christian vote, and no party can gain power without it. To be successful in politics in this country, you MUST have that Christian vote. To gain that, the two main voting sources which are courted are: (1) Organized Christianity, and (2) Organized Crime. And many people will ask: "What's the difference?"
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