Let's meet my Scary Fundie Mark II: Dr. Rev. Sam Gipp of Samuel Gipp Ministries. All I can say about the site as a whole is that I hope to God, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Bokrug the Peachy-Keen, and anyone else who's listening that someone's having us on. If this is a parody, it's brilliantly executed. Nevertheless, I can't bring myself to believe it's satire—no parody could possibly be this outrageous. I hope that peace-loving Christians will be appalled by this as I.
Right away you'll discover that Dr. Rev. Gipp really doesn't like Muslims. And you'll find that his tirades sound eerily familiar. But for sheer looniness, nothing beats the following quote from his Call for a New Crusade:
If they say, “I am a Muslim.” then say, But have you emigrated to this country?” “Yes.” “Then, according to the House Judiciary Committee you are supposed to abandon your old faith and come to Jesus Christ and become a Christian." Make no apology for this because...it’s the truth!Luckily for the rest of us Americans, the First Amendment to the Constitution trumps any half-baked idea of a few US Representatives 150 years ago1.
About fifteen groups are tied for second on the list of America's mortal enemies, but I have to give gays an honorable mention for inciting Rev. Gipp to boycott Wal*Mart. So many good reasons to shun that soul-sucking mega-corporation, and he has to go and pick a stupid one. Amazingly, he adds Ford Motor Co. to his extensive shit list for the same reason! Talk about doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
It gets better: the posters on the site offer considerably more hilarity per square inch than the essays. Exhibit A seems at first like an innocent pro-reading PSA, but on closer inspection several disturbing details emerge. Check out the kid's eye. Apparently reading is more an obsession than a hobby with him. Also, the connection to Christianity is not obvious. Does the prominently displayed 4:33 on the alarm clock refer to a specific verse of the Bible? Maybe it's Fundie code for "The only thing worth reading is the King James Version (KJV) Bible." What's up with the huge pictures of predators—do they represent sports teams or personal philosophy? The jury is still out on whether this kid owns enough models of high-tech killing machines. Overall, the overwhelming militarism on display here chills me to the bone. So, Reverend: Would you say that Jesus drives an Abrams M1A1, or an F-16?
Our second example is the inevitable call for abstinence. Note in the top panel that the two youngest sons are toting automatic rifles like the good little future cannon fodder they are. (Again with the militaristic imagery. The weaponry in these posters is drawn with far more detail, and far more realistically, than anything else. I get the idea that Dr. Rev. Gipp feels insecure about something. His cowardice? The size of his "gun"?)
Proceeding to the blissful ceremony below: Golly gee, Rev. Gipp's America sure is whiter than most people's. Wait—there are not one, but two token African-Americans, and sho' 'nuff, they're sitting at the back of the bus! And does that fellow next to them look Asian? It must be an optical illusion. Yet we know from the wide-eyed, mindless grins that the swarthy folks are good fundamentalist Christians, too.
(The honeymoon turned tragic when the newlywed couple barricaded themselves in their hotel suite for 96 hours, pausing in their frantic, marathon consummation only to order meals and new bedsheets from room service. The National Guard, called in to evict the young couple, finally had to enlist the Jaws of Life to disentangle their profusely sweating bodies.)
Given how eager he seems to sacrifice young American men2 in the sausage grinder of Iraq, he obviously must have served his country, himself, and most likely saw action. Well? [crickets chirping...]
Take a look at that poster again. Is the soldier in the top panel leading a charge or rushing for 30 yards? Now there's a guy who enjoys his work! And don't the vacuous, lobotomized stares of all the well-wishers creep you out? Yep, This Is Your Mind on Fundamentalism. Even the dog has eyes like saucers. And poor Sgt. Joe's brain has atrophied so much from underuse that the top of his skull has flopped forward. Oh, well—the best thing about dementia is that you aren't even aware of your condition.
And what part does Jesus play in this salute to flag-waving hubris? I can't see him either.
Next, we turn to Dr. Rev. Gipp's area of scholarly expertise: the divine origin and absolute infallibility of the KJV. Here's an example of the meticulous scholarship backing Rev. Gipp's statements. Well, I'm convinced: just look at the car-crushing tires on that thing.
To be fair, that poster is clearly propaganda aimed at teenage boys. Let's look at some of his serious research. He has published a book defending the King James Version of the Bible as the one, true, inerrant edition of that work. It comprises snappy answers to some threescore "trick" questions often posed by the True Believer's "educated" foe. But we won't let others' "knowledge" of "facts" shake our faith, will we? Fortunately, we have Rev. Gipp's impeccable logic to stand as a bulwark of our faith. Peep Question 32:
Question: If the King James is really perfect, how can so many preachers and scholars be wrong about it?Well, then. I guess that settles that. Curiously, the only time the Reverend cites his sources is when referring to the Bible. Sloppy, sloppy!
Answer: The majority is ALWAYS wrong.
Explanation: ...The majority of people rejected Noah's preaching and died in the flood.
The majority of people perished in Sodom and Gomorrah.
The majority of Israel worshipped Aaron's calf in Exodus 32.
What if we ride the Sam Gipp Logic Train roughshod over the subject of evolution? It is well known that only a minority of Americans accept evolution as well established by scientific evidence. Ergo, evolution is irrefutable fact. Guess that one kind of came around and bit you on the ass, huh, Reverend?
I expect that when rational, thinking folks of different backgrounds read Sam Gipp's rantings, they see the most egregious fallacies in their particular area of expertise. A Bible scholar, for instance, would get the biggest belly laughs from the KJV material. With me, it's his incoherent raving about science, and especially ecology. His writing suggests that he imagines "the environment" as some place to take the kids on a long weekend. Here's a late-breaking news item: our environment keeps us alive. It is no coincidence that the eco- in ecology means "house." Yet it seemingly doesn't occur to him that only through the efforts of environmentalists fighting corporate America are we safe from living in a toxic bath of industrial sewage. But I guess real Americans don't mind a little arsenic in their water or mercury in their fish. They say it builds character and softens the brain, all the better to sweep out all those evil self-deterministic impulses.
But at the heart of the environmental movement is the destruction of America by: (1) Stopping productivity; (2) Financially crippling industry; (3) Terrorizing the citizenry into submission; (4) Misdirecting the efforts of both industry and private citizens.Wow, he sure covered all the bases, didn't he? By an odd coincidence, the Allied strategic bombing campaigns in World War II had precisely the same goals. Despite the obvious urgency of the threat to our nation, environmentalists are merely one of dozens of treasonous groups that, according to Rev. Gipp, work single-mindedly toward the destruction of everything America stands for. Read this and watch your Paranoia Meter explode: "Meters & kilometers are not 'American.' If they can make us think in that way, we will lose our American identity." Uh, Reverend, our units of measurement are called the English System for a reason. And the UK long since converted to the metric system, which is far easier to use and understand; miles and feet have been relegated to informal conversation. But maybe that's why the right Reverend despises it so: he must realize that knowledge and understanding are his Achilles' heel.
Can we do even better than the Metric Conspiracy? Oh, yes: read his utter refutation of global warming. This kind of foaming at the mouth transcends self-parody. If this were the first thing I read on the side, I'd conclude he was just baiting tree-huggers with the most outrageous, patently ridiculous assertions; but the absolute certainty coupled with total lack of understanding is perfectly consistent with the rest of his work.
There's a certain purity of innocence in the words of a man who hasn't the slightest clue about what he's spewing nonsense about. Unfettered by facts or understanding, his bizarre opinions, freshly extracted from the depths of his polyp-ridden sigmoid colon, blaze through his disjointed prose like a beacon of ignorance to scream out, "I AM A BLITHERING IDIOT." I could do a few thousand words just on the misconceptions and factual errors in this passage, and certainly a real ecologist could do far more than that. Just for starters: when the snows recede from the tundra of Northern Canada and Siberia, does he expect the bedrock to just secrete fertile topsoil? His visions of "vast cornfields" betray his Midwest upbringing; I'm pretty sure that the near inability to grow winter wheat in the United States by 2050 will impact us far more, and far sooner, than the cultivation of vast tracts of farmland where polar bears once roamed. But then again, I'm just a "loony" who needs to watch Alaska's transformation into a tropical paradise from my "rubber room."
Complete absence of the Prince of Peace? Check.
Our status as God's Most Favored Nation is not only threatened by Muslims, gays, liberals, Hindus, minorities, environmentalists, Mexican immigrants, gun-control advocates, reporters, &c., &c. We also face opposition from within!
Our pastors have two very large adversaries living in everyone of their church members.Everyone who counts, anyway. And just what do we have to fear from ourselves? Being Americans, we have these quaint notions that All Men Are Created Equal. Pretty self-evident, eh? Yet the harsh reality is that some of us are more equal that others: namely, paranoid, goose-stepping Fundie preachers. Read on to find out his views on abusing his divine authority. Noblesse oblige. Funny, he never says from which school of divinity he earned his Th. D. But that's hardly relevant, as Dr. Gipp is ignorance personified, as I hope to have documented here.
1. We are all rebellious against God by nature.
2. We are Americans.
I think the most revealing statement in Sam Gipp's labyrinth of mindless hatred and jingoism is this one praising his writing: "He has the unique ability to digest large amounts of information and then present it in an analytical, understandable format." Having hiked many a trail in the wild ranching country of the Rocky Mountains, I'm intimately familiar with the analytical, understandable format in question, and thanks to a real postgraduate education, I can tell you with confidence that it ain't Shinola.
1This bizarre claim refers to a declaration of the House Judiciary Committee back in 1854. Certainly, more powerful Americans have said sillier things at many times in US history—just look at the last six years. But few off-the-cuff statements by minor American politicians have been promoted as justification of an American theocracy today as often as this one. Google "House Judiciary Committee 1854" and you'll have a laundry list of every "Christian Nation" kook in the country.
2Needless to say, in the Reverend's world we won't find women in battlefield situations. After all, every branch of the American military has strict rules about bare feet and pregnancy in combat.