If only real pro-life leaders were cute as on `Bush!’

Tim Paluch

Like more than 3 million others, I tuned in to the premier of “That’s My Bush!” last Wednesday on Comedy Central.

A parody of the Dubya White House, this episode of “Bush!” featured a loud and raucous 30-year-old abortion survivor who was still an undeveloped fetus as the leader of the pro-life movement.

Crude? Yes. Disgusting and inappropriate? Oh, you better believe it.

Side-splittingly hilarious? Indubitably.

As I watched this 16-inch bundle of joy ride around on Dubya’s dog shouting obscenities at the rather mannish pro-choice leader, I thought to myself how much more pleasant this aborted fetus would be as a pro-life leader than, say, Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson.

There are a lot of things better about having an aborted fetus spearheading the pro-life campaign than the extreme Christian right that currently holds that position.

For one, a 30-year-old aborted fetus is a lot cuter than Falwell or Fred Phelps. Second, an aborted fetus can actually make the case that they know what it means to be involved in an abortion.

All of the current leaders of the pro-life movement seem to be radical Christian white men who will never be in the position to make a personal choice regarding abortion.

At least the little guy can be a credible pro-life advocate. Pompous religious fanatics who selectively regurgitate unclear Bible rhetoric are not going to get me to pay attention every time they’re on the 700 Club.

A 30-year-old aborted fetus with a mouth like Richard Pryor? I’m gonna watch.

This, though, is all a pipe dream. Current pro-life leaders are here to stay, and their ugly opinions and hateful messages put shame on a lot of level-headed Christians out there.

Far right Christian fanaticism is polluting the political pool, creating stereotypes against Christians and religious people. Who’s to blame? The liberal media?

No, the Christian right.

The politicization of Christianity is nothing more than bigotry, hatred, discrimination and intimidation, masquerading under the banner of conservative Christian values.

I am not going to say that all Christians are fanatical bigots; that would be irresponsible and wrong.

What I am going to say is those that are fanatics are the ones getting the television time, the ones opinion columnists like me recognize and the ones who are recruiting confused, unstable and gullible Christians to hop on board.

If the Christian belief is correct, there is only one all-powerful God. I grew up a Christian and believe that there is a higher being, but not the one that Fred Phelps and Jerry Falwell pray to at night.

One of us has to be wrong, right?

Well, in the words of Bob Dylan, “It ain’t me, babe.”

I grew up believing how God was a loving, caring and accepting God. I did not fear God’s wrath or vindictiveness.

Some religious leaders, though, would make you believe God is like a wicked executioner, waiting for you to slip up so he can satisfy his blood-thirsty urges to take you out.

Take, for example, Georgia “minister” Neal Horsley, the founder of the Creator’s Rights Party.

Horsley, a computer programmer, is a member of “The Army of God” and condones the killing of physicians who perform abortions.

Explaining that “Western civilization” has always used lethal force to stop “mass murder,” Horsley had a Web site titled “The Nuremberg Files.”

The Web site, named after the Nuremberg trials that took place after the Nazi slaughter of innocent Jews in the 1940s, lists the names, photos, phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers and medical license numbers of physicians who perform, or have performed, abortions.

Physicians that had been murdered had a line through their names on the list, those wounded were grayed out, and those still providing services were listed in black.

“We want to … catalog the people who go out and kill God’s little babies,” Horsley has explained.

In reality, though, this exploitation of free speech is nothing more than an incitement to murder.

Sure, you’d have to be a nutjob yourself to go out and commit murder in the name of God, but it is happening, and abortion doctors are in fear for their lives and the lives of their families.

Now, I’m no prophet, and I don’t have regular one-on-one conversations with the big guy upstairs, but I am pretty confident Neal Horsley’s name is not on the “going to heaven” list.

Another fine “Christian” is the “Reverend” Fred Phelps, a 65-year-old former lawyer and convicted criminal who runs a “church,” a compound surrounded by a 12-foot high privacy fence and closed to the public.

Phelps, disbarred from state and federal courts, has this fun habit of picketing funerals of gays, AIDS victims and just about anyone else that will ensure media coverage.

Phelps picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the gay man who was brutally murdered in Wyoming, as well as the funeral of President Clinton’s mother.

Armed with “God hates fags” signs and “Gays go to hell” posters, Phelps prostitutes himself and his unstable allies (mostly Phelps family members) for publicity and a picture on the evening news.

Again, all in the name of God.

Far-right conservatives are always quick to drop a God reference, if it can somehow justify their perverted agenda.

Even Dubya, who has replaced the alcohol and drug addictions of his youth (mid 30s) with a Jesus-freak complex, never misses the opportunity to tell America how much ol’ J.C. has been a driving force in his life.

Until recently, I thought Dubya and Jesus had nothing at all in common.

Then it hit me, the two are mirror images of each other.

Jesus: Walked on water.

Dubya: Raised the legal arsenic limits in our water.

Jesus: Turned water into wine.

Dubya: Recovering alcoholic.

Jesus: Gave his life by dying on a cross to save our souls, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God.

Dubya: Threw out the first pitch at a Brewers game.

All right, maybe that argument lost some steam, but there are plenty of religious fanatics to the right of Dubya who lay claim to monopolizing Christian views.

Whether it be homosexuality, AIDS or especially abortion rights, the far right is always willing to brandish its style of hate to round up a couple of radical believers.

The inflammatory rhetoric of old, rich, white guys calling pro-choice believers “baby-killers” does nothing but give a bad name to rational Christians everywhere.

Why don’t you see many young, intelligent women on the radical end of the pro-life soapbox?

It is just easier for old white guys to tell a women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. I guess, for some reason, old white guys act as better conduits of the Lord.

The Christian right will fight for the right to life of the unborn fetus, but once that inner-city baby gets here, that’s a different story.

Slum? Tough. Parents addicted to crack? Not my fault. No welfare, no health care, no food? You play the cards you’re dealt.

Surprisingly, there aren’t many “Missionaries to the Born” organizations who are out there fighting for living children.

Instead, far right Christian conservatives come out against teaching safe sex in schools.

Encouraging abstinence is fine, if you live in a magical utopia with adoption clinics on every corner and where teenagers don’t kiss with their tongues.

But no. Condoms are evil, masturbation is the work of Satan, and premarital sex? Damn, you might as well book your ticket to hell.

We live in a society where we blame “Jackass” when a stupid kid lights himself on fire, Marilyn Manson when stupid kids shoot each other and Matthew Shepard when he gets brutally murdered for being gay.

Sometimes people need to turn their fingers around on themselves. Christian fanaticism didn’t stop slavery. Christian fanaticism didn’t stop the Holocaust. Christian fanaticism isn’t helping the AIDS crisis in Africa.

What Christian fanaticism is doing is making it harder for a woman to get a safe and legal abortion. It is making it harder for a young person to learn about safe sex and how to deal with mistakes if they do happen.

It is my personal belief that Jesus would turn his back on the un-Christian and counterproductive Fred Phelps and Neal Horsleys of the world.

And if he wouldn’t, he doesn’t deserve to have that long of a book written about him.

Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is wire editor of the Daily.