Somehow Laurel had made it through her, um, 39 years of living on this Earth plane without ever being exposed to the Fox News Channel. So yesterday I served as her Right Wing Television Pimp and hooked her up with channel 205 on the Dish network. We managed to watch Fox News for about two minutes before we started to gag on the ever-present American flag logo in the upper left corner of the screen, and the hyper Got-To-Kill-Those-Damn-Iraqis-Before-They-Destroy-America (but how?) rhetoric from the so-called "news" anchors, all of whom seem to be angry white men with deep inferiority complexes being masked by an over-compensating patriotic machoness.
However, even more irritating to me than Fox News are the God Bless the Troops (GBT) types who call in to the Lars Larson KXL talk show. A few days ago I got to hear a GBT lady who was a perfect example of how patriotism and religion have somehow gotten fused in the muddled minds of many Americans. She talked about how she wanted to do something to support the troops, so she went to her church and got the congregation to back a God Bless the Troops lawn sign campaign. Kinkos gave them a great price on copying several hundred signs, so I guess God Blesses Kinkos also.
What got me was how this woman clearly had no qualms about the theological appropriateness of using her church as a vehicle to make a patriotic political statement. For some reason I thought religion was all about the root of the Latin word religare: to bind back, or reconnect, the individual with God. How does putting up God Bless the Troops lawn signs help anyone to reconnect with God? As I've noted before in this weblog, it seems more spiritual to quietly listen for what God might have to say, rather than put words into God's mouth: "God Bless the Troops." Who knows whether God is blessing the troops? And if He is, which troops is he blessing? The American troops, or the Iraqi troops? My best guess is, both sides are being blessed. So, why put forth this sentiment, which sounds an awful lot like a demand, or even a command. God, you will bless the troops!
God, if you must bless anything, please bless America so that this country becomes a mature member of the world community, rather than the self-centered adolescent we are now. Thank you God, for attending to this plea that really makes sense, because I am the one pleading. After that, God, please do something about Fox News. Could you replace channel 205 with a free subscription to the Playboy Channel? That would be a real miracle, which I would share with the world, or at least the readers of HinesSight. (Note: God hasn't come through with my prayer for a Mini-Cooper yet, so I am dubious that this request will be fulfilled--but it never hurts to ask).