‘I want to follow a leader … I want to follow …’

I apologize for showing you this, but I do not have the words to describe it, to capture the experience of seeing and hearing it for yourself, or to convey the many levels and layers and meaning going on here.

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Again, I apologize for showing you that.

I wanted to say something more about that song’s insistence on religious tests for public office and its expression of an earnest desire for an authoritarian power to tell us what to do, and to talk about how those aren’t really compatible with being a citizen in a pluralistic democracy with the rule of law, but I’m afraid watching that has left me a little dizzy and nauseous and I’m finding it hard to concentrate.

But just remember: There’s no such thing as dominionism; it’s a tiny fringe with no influence on public figures like Rick Perry; and it’s people who voted for Obama who are motivated by messianic delusions about political figures.

The following video is offered as compensation for making you watch the one above, and to allow Sister Rosetta to remind us all that when you’re singing about Jesus it shouldn’t, and doesn’t have to, suck.

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  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    MOAR APOLOGEES PLS.

  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    (Ideally, one apology for every use of the word “follow” or its conjugations in the first video.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Pelikan/100000903137143 Jonathan Pelikan

    I didn’t think it was too bad for approximately thirty seconds. Then I heard the snippet from MLK. Fuck Republicans. Fuck every single person that would think to support that morally and intellectually dead movement.

    Let’s unpack a few of the reasons why having MLK say “I just want to do God’s will!” and nothing else is wrong. First of all, we’ve got the conservatives once again trying to hijack a beloved and legendary figure and pretend that somehow they aren’t that figure’s antithesis. (I’m referring to MLK here, not Jesus, but that would also be a true statement.) I thought Glen Beck trying to dance around in a suit of MLK’s bones was offensive, but when this Texas executioner who has advocated for treason against the federal government is insinuated into the picture… it’s wrong.

    Conservatives don’t even grasp what MLK was talking about when he said that he wanted to do ‘God’s will’. Without even needing context for that snippet, I’ll bet MLK was talking about working for Christian values such as justice, equality, and peace, and not just because that’s what he’s famous for. I know that the people who would make such a video about Perry wouldn’t agree with that. MLK sure as fuck wasn’t talking about the sort of ‘work for the Lord’ that shit conservatives do passes for nowadays.

    I stopped the video there. Right there. Not even a third of the way through. I’m done with conservatives. They have become anathema to me, and I can’t even bear to listen to their wretched lies in the little isolated snippets they have on the news and Maddow and whatnot. I will not acknowledge a single word that Rick Perry or Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachmann or Herman Cain or even Ron Paul say.

    I know my mortal sin is wrath and I can’t help it anymore. These bastards and monsters have been steadily ruining this country around us, burning it down, selling it off to the rich, and blaming liberals for the whole mess since far before I was even born.

    Fuck them.

  • Lori

     I didn’t think it was too bad for approximately thirty seconds. Then I heard the snippet from MLK. Fuck Republicans.
    …I stopped the video there. Right there. Not even a third of the way through. 

    I stopped in the same place, for the same reason. I thought it was awful, both musically & lyrically, but survivable until I heard MLK and then I was out. 

    IMO, crap like this video is proof that the RTC’s version of god is not real. If their pro-smiting god was out there they’d have been zapped long ago because this is an abomination. 

  • http://twitter.com/Chaltab Andy English

    Even if it weren’t for the horrible dominionist message and the insulting use of Martin Luther King Jr’s voice, this would be terrible simply by the virtue of that man’s singing voice.

  • Out-cast

    I apologise for being off topic, but I do not see this in any of the comments. 
    Has this been seen? 
    Oakland Police fire Tear Gas at peaceful protesters 
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15458163
    At least one person was shot in the head with rubber bullets
    http://youtu.be/9lbbWAgBy7E

    Sorry. Here’s a video of a kitten on a slide http://youtu.be/MeCs2s7Oezc

  • Uncle Max

    Good grief – did you see the length of those batons?  You could kill someone with one of those very easily.  Bye Bye First Amendment

  • Chunky Style

    200 proof tribal thinking.  Damn evolutionary social instincts finding ill-suited expression in our modern age.

  • http://sophia8.livejournal.com/ sophia8

    That MLK quote is from his I’ve Been To The Mountaintop speech.  It’s well worth reading in full. Something I doubt Perry has ever done – it’s full of wishy-washy librul stuff about fighting for justice and helping the poor. (And nothing whatsoever about following any earthly leaders.) here’s the extract:

    Well, I don’t know what will happen now; we’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t
    mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life – longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight , that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

    This was the night before his assassination.

    And, Fred, thanks for that great Rosetta Tharpe video.

  • Mr. Heartland

    Well, let’s get the obligatory out of the way…

    “Slavery is freedom. Alone — free — the human being is always defeated.
    It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the
    greatest of all failures. But if he can make complete, utter
    submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself
    in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all-powerful and
    immortal.” 

  • Chunky Style

    More soothing balm after that crappy video …

    Sam Cooke singing about Jesus:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjtcOh4hmyE

    Sam Cooke then singing the same song about his girl:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqkG41QeyzA

    Finally, Sam Cooke singing about trying always to do the right thing:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acnvPtdS-5Y

  • Holden Pattern

    This is the party of rugged individualism, no?  

    American Conservatives ricochet faster than a Warner Brothers cartoon character among “Brave Captain of Industry”, “Pearl-clutching Society Lady”, “Rugged Individualist” and “Devoted Follower of Dear Leader”.

  • Anonymous

    Well I guess I’m never getting those brain cells back.

  • Anonymous

    I imagine God sitting on his throne VERY calm.

  • Anonymous

    This calm to be exactly: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TranquilFury

  • Will Hennessy

    Mmm! PLAY that guitar, Sister Rosetta!

  • Will Hennessy

    Oh, and uh, as a response to that first video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V9kSz7OfJQ

  • muteKi

    Why go through a middle man in the first place? Why not just…follow Jesus?

    Unless Mr-singer-person is saying that Rick Perry, George Bush, etc. etc. are more important to follow than Jesus. Is that it, Mr-singer-person? Jesus isn’t good enough for you? You have to dress him up in a white guy with a fancy suit, is that it?

    But, you know what? I think I see what you’re saying, Mr-singer-person. YOU JUST DON’T LOVE JESUS ENOUGH. 

    YOU JESUS-HATER.

    Ahem…sorry, that sort of demagoguery was going to come out sooner or later, and Twitter has that 140 character limit. But yeah, even if the lyrics were good, the musicianship in that song is not good, and the overdubbed recordings of speeches…doesn’t work so well when they’re singing under it.

  • WingedBeast

    Every so often, I wish there was a Hell.  I wish Hell existed literally as a place where I could meet these people, introduce them around, then put them together with the founding fathers who would tell them “You know nothing of my country.  How you became President of anything is beyond me.”

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Every so often, I wish there was a Hell.  I wish Hell existed literally as a place where I could meet these people, introduce them around, then put them together with the founding fathers who would tell them “You know nothing of my country.  How you became President of anything is beyond me.”

    And these people would tell the Founding Fathers that the Founding Fathers clearly did not understand what the Founding Fathers intended.  

    Such is their backfire dissonance.  

  • Amaryllis

    And these people would tell the Founding Fathers that the Founding
    Fathers clearly did not understand what the Founding Fathers intended. 

    And so apparently Herman Cain has been going around declaiming that “The Founding Fathers got it right. We have to be the Defending Fathers.”

    And what the Fathers have to defend is abortion restrictions, mostly.

    Also, I guess Mothers need not apply, in a Cain administration.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Didn’t you hear? Herman Cain might be pro-life, but he thinks that abortion is a woman’s decision to make — the government shouldn’t have a hand in regulating it.

  • Amaryllis

    Until he changed his mind.

    In his remarks here, Cain reaffirmed his opposition to abortion, saying
    he thought the procedure should be declared “illegal across this
    country” and pledging not to sign any legislation granting government
    funds for abortions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Oh, well. I can’t find a Republican to vote for anyway. I look up guys like Buddy Roehmer or Gary Johnson. The first couple of things I see I approve of… then all of a sudden they come out with something stupid as hell like “Abolish department of education” or “gay marriage should be left up to the states” and I just shake my head and remember why I don’t vote for Republicans any more (at least for national elections!)

  • P J Evans

    Oh, well. I can’t find a Republican to vote for anyway.

    The last Republican I voted for turned Democrat some years back. I’d have been surprised, except he was closer to the Democrats, even forty years ago.

  • Donalbain

    Didn’t you hear? Herman Cain might be pro-life, but he thinks that
    abortion is a woman’s decision to make — the government shouldn’t have a
    hand in regulating it.

    No. He thinks that the woman’s family should decide. The state has no right to interfere with the rights of a husband to decide what to do with his property.

  • cjmr

    Okay, I could take about 45 seconds of that…

  • http://profiles.google.com/anoncollie Anon Collie

    This sort of idiocy, of following a leader almost without thought or regard for your own intellect coupled with severe jingoism is what I can’t stand anymore.

    To be Christian, to follow in the example of the character of Christ means to devout yourself to justice and peace, to ignore national borders, demographic qualities, anything that could divide us and help people in need because they’re human beings. Patriotism should never, ever outrank compassion.

  • Anonymous

    It’s videos like the first that ironically enough keep me firm in my lack of belief in a benevolent god, bleh. 

    And if we’re offering palate cleansers he’s a lovely cover of some filthy socialist song about some literally crybaby upset about the Job Creators enjoying the fruits of their labors, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ0ZTkCiYTg

  • LL

    If the Republicans didn’t actually have any power, they’d just be sad. Their lineup (so far) is like the slow kids class, including a few paste eaters. 

  • Anonymous

    Wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross, I’m telling you.

  • Anonymous

    They lost me at “not afraid to pray out loud.”

    The reason most people don’t pray loudly in public places isn’t fear.  It’s that whole “pray in secret, man, don’t make a big deal of it, God sees secrets too” thing that Jesus said.

    I want to tattoo that verse on the arm of every single person who defends forced public prayer.

  • WingedBeast

    Judging by the people I know, I’d say it’s less about keeping in line with the purity of faith without rewards of society and more about simply acknowledging that other people exist.  Other people that, whether or not they’re Christians themselves, are made uncomfortable by being put on the spot to either do similar or announce their difference.

    That leads into the mindset that’s so offputting to us.  The previously-noted-in-this-blog fantasy of oppression.  You know the examples.  “War on Christmas” “Keeping our kids from praying in school” etc.

    I don’t think we’re looking at a case of people who don’t understand that the “fear” keeping some people from praying in public moments where prayer isn’t explicitly contextualized is a fear from making other people uncomfortable.  We’re looking at a case of a people who want to be free not to care who’s made uncomfortable, so long as they’re the ones who are comfortable.

  • Tonio

    These are the same people who claim that gay people who live openly are “forcing their lifestyle” on everyone else. I’ve mentioned before that this worldview doesn’t allow for a religiously pluralistic society. My cruel and sadistic side wonders if these people are simply frightened children who want Mommy and Daddy to protect them from anything foreign or different.

  • ako

    My cruel and sadistic side wonders if these people are simply frightened
    children who want Mommy and Daddy to protect them from anything foreign
    or different.

    That’s your cruel and sadistic side?  Believe me, what my nasty side is wondering about people who push this kind of shit is a lot less sympathetic than “frightened children”. 

  • Tonio

    And I sympathize strongly with your “nasty side.” I was assuming that these people would be less offended by being labeled mean and hateful than by being labeled childish and immature. Using the latter set of labels would feel to me like fighting dirty, like insulting someone’s mother, even if the labels were accurate.

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t even click on the first one.  The Sister Rosetta, however, was awesome.  I can also recommend any version of “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning,” “Til The Storm Passes By,” and “Peace in the Valley.”  Ruthie Foster’s “Up Above My Head” is sweet, too.

  • Joshua

    I got more than a minute in before I had to turn it off. Now I’m listening to Eurythmics, but my mood is more for blasting Korn on headphones.

  • Matri

    It’s quite difficult to look at the republicans and not think that their entire religion is composed of hate, fear, loathing and greed.

    I mean, it’s pretty clear that they despise all that Loving Your Enemy and Understanding Your Neighbor crap that some ancient brown-skinned hippie-boy kept talking about in some two-thousand-year-old ancient book that they claim to worship.

  • Anonymous

    “I would rather have a compentant Turk as prince than an incompentant Christian” Martin Luther. 

    (The Reformer, not the Civil Rights leader). Btw, when he said Turk, he was referring to MUSLIMS!!!!!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Back then, he actually had cause to compare. There were lots of European countries/provinces run by Muslim rulers. Some of whom allied with Christian rulers. Against Muslim rulers. 

  • Dan W

     Why Fred? Why? My brain hurts now. I need to go listen to some decent music now.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with some “leaders” is that, if you’re not careful, they’ll lead you right off of a cliff. (And Rick Perry strikes me as the type to do *exactly* that.)

    P.S. Sister Rosetta rocks! She’d give Jimi Hendrix a run for his money! (I’m not actually a fan of Gospel [I’ve heard way too many one-note renditions by big-haired, more-ambition/connections-than-talent White Southern groups], but she actually makes it sound alive.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    *Boggles at American politics.* Even a hint of something like that would pretty much destroy an Australian politician’s chance at higher office, ever.

    I want to follow a leader who follows Jesus

    That’s all well and good but why do pictures of a right wing murderer keep popping up?

    Also, asking as a citizen of a nation whose flag is used as a towel and a cape more often than a sacred object–is allegiance to the flag supposed to come before or after allegiance to Jesus? Like if Jesus was about to walk across a bit of grass strewn with dog poo, is it OK to put the flag down for him to walk on? Or if Jesus was bleeding to death and the only material on hand to stem the flow was the flag, is it OK to use it as a tourniquet or should you let Jesus die?

  • Anonymous

    U.S. Flag code:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Flag_Code

    So that’s a no to the flag on the dog poop ground. No mention of using it as a tourniquet, but I’m pretty sure those who carp on loudest about Ol’ Glory are breaking the code repeatedly anyways.

    The reverence demanded for a material item, while strongly symbolic and definitely can be moving, does upset me. And my parents were both military so they did follow the flag code.

  • Hawker40

    As a US Navy Signalman, I had to memorize the flag code.  And I’ll tell you right now, if I need a tourniquet, that’s going to be a bloody flag.
    I’ll dispose of it later, properly, but priorities!
    (As for poop, well JC better watch his step.  It’s easier to clean feet than a flag.)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Also, asking as a citizen of a nation whose flag is used as a towel and a cape more often than a sacred object–is allegiance to the flag supposed to come before or after allegiance to Jesus? Like if Jesus was about to walk across a bit of grass strewn with dog poo, is it OK to put the flag down for him to walk on? Or if Jesus was bleeding to death and the only material on hand to stem the flow was the flag, is it OK to use it as a tourniquet or should you let Jesus die?

    I suspect that cognitive dissonance caused by these’s people’s perceived conflicts between their loyalty to their faith and their loyalty to their country is a major source of their political craziness.  Their assertions that the United States is a “Christian nation” (what does that even mean?) founded on “Christian values” (when the ones they preach are nothing of the sort) when the U.S. is constitutionally forbidden from showing preferential treatment to any particular religious sect over another, is an attempt by them to reduce that sense of dissonance.  After all, if their country is explicitly Christian, then their values should theoretically never conflict.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    Does anyone else feel some Cognitive Dissonance between the lines about the Pledge of Allegiance, and the lines about following Jesus?

  • Anonymous

    A core problem we have is illustrated very effectively in the flag dripping vid.  Almost all the comments here are focused on the intellectual content of the message whereas the video demonstrates that these people are almost completely constrained by emotion.  It illustrates the loose aphorism that you can’t reason people out of what they weren’t reasoned into. 

    Political science has progressed in it’s understanding of what motivates people to the point that modern political discourse has mostly reduced to sound bites messaged through very heavy use of body language, emotional and tribal cuing with a calculated reduction in discourse.  We need to learn how to effectively move political strategies beyond this current phase or we may not survive.

  • Tonio

    the video demonstrates that these people are almost completely constrained by emotion

    I’ve noticed that phenomenon elsewhere as well. Why do you think they are like that?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I’m actually wondering if it’s something that isn’t quite emotion — it’s certainly not intellectual or rational in any way, but this… This does not actually seem designed to evoke emotion. If it were meant to evoke emotion, the music wouldn’t be so terrible and preachy — the point of this video is the *message*, not for you to feel something. It’s not trying to bypass your rational brain and evoke a “MUST LOVE JESUS”, because the music and the imagery is so joyless, so perfunctory. 

    No, it’s got more the characteristics of a kind of rational appeal: “You like jesus? Perry likes Jesus. Therefore you should like Perry,” but without any actual logic (Hence the broken syllogism). I think it may be trying to appeal to something that is neither reason nor emotion — something more lizard-brain-y. It’s like it’s trying to evoke a *conditioned* response, not an emotional one. 

  • Tonio

    Dumb question – how do you see the lizard brain as different from regular emotion? If we’re hard-wired or conditioned to feel certain emotions, that sounds to me very much like the lizard brain.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Dumb question – how do you see the lizard brain as different from regular emotion? If we’re hard-wired or conditioned to feel certain emotions, that sounds to me very much like the lizard brain.

    I think that the word for the effect Ross is describing is “Pavlovian“.  Much as Pavlov trained a dog to salivate with the thought of food every time he rung a bell, the churches these constituents attend have trained their congregations to associate certain sets of with “good”.  All this video does is just try to ring those “bells” as hard as they can in association with Rick Perry, so that people watching it make the connection of “Perry” and “good” without even realizing that they have been conditioned to make that connection.  

    Incidentally, they have also been conditioned to associate certain words with “bad”, such as evolution, global warming, abortion, liberals, socialism, Muslims, etc.  You see that kind of thing happening with them all the time.

  • ako

    Before I quit the video in disgust, I picked up on the endless repetitions of “One nation, under God” and “In God we trust” as if they were both anything other than mid-twentieth century territorialism made official through dubious constitutional interpretation.  (Apparently, it’s considered only “ceremonial deism”, and no one is supposed to worry about “In God we trust” being used in any real threat to freedom of religion.)


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