Monday, May 5, 2008

Flaming Gasbags

Carl Hiaasen joins Frank Rich in noting that the white preachers are able to get away with what Rev. Wright is demonized for.

If he were white, Rev. Wright could stand up before the cameras and make his nuttiest statements — that the U.S. government deliberately spread AIDS in the inner cities, for example — and most white Americans wouldn’t be so shocked.

That’s because white folks have a long history of gasbags in the pulpit. We fully expect some of them to be outrageous and narrow-minded and even a little paranoid.

Often our loudest, most hypocritical preachers become political gurus, instructing their wide-eyed followers whom to support. To a candidate trolling for fundamentalist votes, it’s the next best thing to a personal endorsement from Jesus.

Old joke: what’s the difference between Pat Robertson (or John Hagee or Rush Limbaugh) and the Hindenburg? One’s a flaming Nazi gasbag; the other is was a zeppelin. Oh, the humanity.