One of the interesting things about getting on Christian mailing lists is that one learns so much about the structure and thinking processes of the right. For reasons not entirely clear, I receive Imprimis
, the magazine of that notorious school for scandal, Hillsdale College. Today I received Crossings, The Book Club for Today's Christian Family
There's plenty of predictable stuff in Crossings
. Franklin Graham (evangelical fundamentalism), Tim LaHaye (apocalypse), Charles Stanley (basic fundamentalism), tons of Joyce Meyer (representing strident women everywhere), T.D. Jakes (minority outreach), Betty Crocker's Baking for Today, Dr. Laura, C.S. Lewis, oceans of Christian chicklit (Gothic romance without any Goths). Some names I am not familiar with, like Max Lucado, Juanita Bynum, Stormy Omartian (now there's
But interestingly, the most heavily-promoted book is Condi
, appearing three times in the brochure.
Who even knew she was pretending to be Christian?
is a whole 'nother story, not to mention century. The March issue is devoted to that most Christian of topics, money. Walter Williams (an African American at the what is to me a little creepy George Mason College) in which we learn that dollars are "certificates of performance": the more you have, the better a person you are.
You know, like Paris Hilton.
We also learn that the sole social responsibility of corporations is to operate without deception or fraud. Their use of the highways, products of the educational system, the protections of an established legal and regulatory system, not to mention the US Army comes free. And if your products happen to cause lingering death, like tobacco or asbestos, just cash in a few of those certificates of performance with a Congressman or President, and it will all go away.
The June issue brings us the almost pathologically weird Frank Gaffney Jr., alerting us to another high Christian virtue, war. Ignoring an important bit of basic physics having to do with the exponent associated with the magnetic field, Gaffney claims that the electromagnetic pulse from a single nuclear weapon could disable every bit of electronic gear in North America. If this were true, of course, the age of electronics would have ended after the first lightning storm. He warns us of Al Qaeda cruisers steaming off American coasts to deliver the deadly atomic Scuds (which are fairly short-range missiles barely able to reach Israel from Iraq). The one sane piece here is the point that the electrical grid is vulnerable to any sort of screwup. But for that, we don't need Al Qaeda when we have Allegheny Energy
If I were as creative in making stuff up as Gaffney is, I'd be making money the way Tim LaHaye does, which is to say, hand over fist.
The March and June issues also advertise a two-week Cruise for Freedom, from Barcelona to Lisbon (chosen, I suppose, because of fond memories of the Inquisition). At a starting price of $6100 a couple, it's actually a pretty good deal if it weren't for the company. Robert Conquest of the Hoover Institute, author of a significant fraction of the fiction posing as history written about the Cold War teams up with David Pryce-Jones. And guess who's coming to dinner? Jose Maria Aznar, the former Duce of Spain, until he told a lie so enormous, claiming ETA responsibility for an attack committed by Al Qaeda, that the Spanish people decided he could no longer serve.
Who better to represent Hillsdale?
Hillsdale College, a tax-exempt institution. Your tax dollars at work, building a less complicated society through the destruction of reason.