Friday, October 29, 2010

Sacrilege, Sex, and the Midterm Elections

In these last few days before the midterm elections, I'm thinking there is something seriously sexy about sacrilege. If only it weren't so ancient.

After all, sacrilege dates back at least two thousand years before the birth of Christ and, surely, in some rabbi's mind what Jesus did was sacrilegious. Even sacred comes with an expiration date.

All this talk about separation of church and state got me to thinking. Christine O'Donnell is right. Any perceptible boundaries between secular and ecclesiastical have all but disappeared. Undergoing religious conversion, or epiphany, is routinely expected now from members of our military. Any questions about that, just ask Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. "Onward, Christian soldiers" has been the battle cry for U.S. troops dating back to the first time George W. Bush blinked in his presidency.

Indeed, what is the global jihad against jihad if not devout, and dedicated confusion between church and state?

But, in this campaign we raise the stakes, so to speak, to a new level. Sacrilege has now become not just de rigeur, but has taken on the affect of the most intense kind of aphrodesiac, one potent enough to lure a married man to commit the unpardonable sin of committing adultery with himself.

Palin, O'Donnell, Angle, Brewer, Bachmann, (am I forgetting anyone), the contemporary equivalents of Shakespeare's weird sisters, mostly share one common denominator. They try to package their Puritanical vision in an appeal to the erotic impulses.

What the tea partiers invest in most is the distorted sense that they are in any way, shape, or form anti-establishment. The packaging may have changed, but the product remains the same.

Make no mistake, these belles dames sans mercis are not committing sacrilege. They're not committing to anything at all except for the same misguided missiles of deregulated, free market copulation.

And, to the contrary, in a "free market" system, socialism is sacrilege. It is fair to suspect that none of these ladies of the right could define socialism any better than Ms. O'Donnell can tell you what you may expect to find in the First Amendment except, of course, that which comes before the Second Amendment.

What's needed now is an intervention by voters across party lines by those who think campaigning candidates should speak to the press, that a woman's right to choose has already been decided by the Supreme Court, and that affirmative action doesn't just mean agreeing with everything they say.

Believe it, people. This is serious stuff. Go to the polls on Tuesday if for no other reason than to prove that the clock moves in one direction only, forward.