The comparisons between right wing Christians and those who like to play out fantasies in costume are uncanny
Tis’ the season. Season of what depends on where you live. It seems that each year Christmas arrives earlier and earlier. I’m pretty sure I just saw a Santa Clause ring my door for a Trick or Treat. This is also the season where Fox News and certain GOP members use a “strike first” policy on the holiday season by claiming there is a “War on Christmas.” It is with this in mind that I give the GOP what they want for Christmas. Yes, I will actually fire the first shot. I’m going M.A.D. on this thing. That’s right, right wing Christianity is the target and I would like to thank John Weaver, a dear friend, for providing me with this bulls-eye.
Even though the Tea Party sees their hell-fire brand of right wing Christianity as the truest form of Christianity, it’s nothing more than a form of religious cosplay that has gotten out of hand. Let’s face it, cosplay and right wing Christianity both have people dressing up to pretend they are something they aren’t and they both are centered around an imaginary world that people will ruin their lives over.
Cosplay, or costume play if you prefer, is where adults dress up as fantasy or comic book characters and lead fantasy lives based upon those characters. The main component of cosplay is the costuming. The constant can be anything from a Trekies’ costume of Captain Kirk from episode 17 of season 1 (frames 15-29 only) to a My Little Pony outfit for Bronies (grown men, some of whom get sexual pleasure from My Little Pony).
The bigger and better the costume for play, the more important the person seems to be. If a person walks in with an original costume where he may have spent over $2,000 in making, then he is usually deemed a success at cosplay conventions or gatherings. Whereas the person who puts together a costume for $50 usually won’t make center stage. So, for cosplay, it seems that the more expensive the dress is, the more successful you are in that world.
Likewise, the more expensive dress, the more successful a Christian leader appears to be. For example, according to church attire seller Murphy Robes, a priest’s outfit costs $23 for Collar; $30 for cuff-links; $90 for the stole; $150 for the smock; and $37 for the regular black shirt (for a total of $330); while a bishop’s outfit usually hits $450 for the robe; $500 for the cope; $350 for the hat; $30 for cuff-links; and $800 for the cane (for a total of $2130 for full attire).
These are the costs on sale and generic. If a clergyman wanted to buy something that was custom fit, then the prices nearly double. These prices do not reflect the suits, dress shoes, or jewelry that some bishops or preachers wear.
Cosplay and right wing Christianity are both centered around an imaginary world that people will ruin their lives over. Face it, if you are 30 years old and dress as an imaginary person walking around in an imaginary world because the real world you live in is not what you want to be, then you need help. Sadly, I’m not sure if I’m directing this statement toward the cosplay people or the right wing Christians, but I think the statement applies to both.
The imaginary world of the cosplay people usually does not include bigotry as it does in the imaginary world of right wing Christians. For example, I’ve heard people say that Comic-Con should just be for comics, but I’ve yet to hear a story where the Trekie booths were violated or abused by the Marvel fanatics. However, I have seen that sort of behavior from right wing Christians.
It doesn’t take a “God hates fags” protest to see that right wing Christians can have their lives ruined. Take for example, the Jesus Camp preacher Ted Haggard. If you haven’t seen the movie, Haggard is a preacher who wanted to cleanse the world of gay people. Well, aside from the horrors of brainwashing the kids at “camp” about the evils and mortal sin of being homosexual, he also advocates “exorcising the gay” out of people.
If anyone isn’t familiar with such charlatanry, I direct you to a place that specializes in “gay exorcising” in Alabama featuring preacher Damon Thompson. How about North Carolina’s Charles Worley who says “queers” should be rounded up, placed in camps with electrified fencing, and left to die. Worley believes that placing gays in camps will ensure homosexuality dies out since gays “don’t reproduce.”
You can see the results are often damaging, if not life ending like it was for Eric James Borges, the teen who killed himself after his parents attempted an exorcism to rid him of the ‘gay demon’ and then promptly kicked him out of the house after the exorcism “failed”.
Why is Ted Haggard important to my story of right wing Christians ruining their lives over something imaginary? It isn’t just because of his stance against homosexuals, but rather because he was caught, after the Jesus Camp movie, in a hotel room with a young homosexual prostitute. There may have been some laying on hands there, but I doubt it was to exorcise anything except the demon of lust from Ted Haggard’s body.
The most important reason right wing Christianity is a form of religious cosplay because cosplay and Right Wing Christianity both have people dressing up to pretend they are something they aren’t. It might be obvious from a cosplay point of view—the pirate isn’t really a pirate, but it is less obvious from a Christian point of view. The preacher of Christ is sometimes anything but a messenger of Peace.
It can be seen in some reactions to the Pope’s message of forgiveness; to love the Person, but not the sin. I don’t think being gay is a sin, but I do think the Pope is taking a small step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it has been criticized as a misstep by some right wing Christian leaders. For example, the spew led forth by Bill Donahue (who is also the man that blamed molestation by Catholic priests on homosexuality and not pedophilia) stating that the Pope’s actions were akin to making the Church dangerously close to “falling like a house of cards.”
In the end, I think that maybe John and I were wrong. We could only hope that right wing Christianity is cosplay gone too far. At least in cosplay the participants keep closer to the original story; the objective is to have fun and not discriminate or hurt anyone. It seems the objectives for right wing Christians is to forget about the original Message and to spin off poorly done fan fiction to suit their own purposes.