Piazza examines the war-hungry, anti-gay abuses of scripture in post-9/11 Christian conservatism
Hey, a new book for Dubya’s proposed presidential library at Southern Methodist University.
The Rev. Michael S. Piazza just released “The Real antiChrist: How America Sold Its Soul” (Sources of Hope, $15). Although he doesn’t specifically label George W. Bush as the Antichrist, the Rapturous politician’s face graces the cover. So who are the misguided villains in Piazza’s book? Ever since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it’s been the Christian fundamentalists.
For those of you who haven’t been hanging around their churches, Piazza brings us up to speed about: How they influence our government; How they wield “end of the world” messages to support an unnecessary Rapture-ready war; And how the patriotic Religious Right seem eerily similar to Muslim fundamentalists.
Piazza managed to crank out this volume relatively quickly. He began writing the book on that emblematic and superstitious date: June 6, 2006 this was accomplished between his duties as the dean and national pastor of Cathedral of Hope, and the founder of Hope for Peace & Justice.
In chapter two, “Nationalism as Idolatry,” Piazza eloquently reminds us of our post-9/11 nation’s psyche. He recalls how Cathedral of Hope was packed with gays some who had been excluded by churches and the military. How the congregation prayed and mourned, and still felt the need to express flag-waving national pride.
Boy, those were the days. What happened?
With the ring of scripture, that vision was manipulated. Bush’s “Either you’re with us, or you are with the terrorists” vaguely sounds like Mark 9:40 when Jesus said, “Whoever is not against us is for us.” But the messages are practically polar opposite.
In chapter four, “Fundamentalist Sex,” Piazza traces Christianity’s sex-negative stance. Piazza discusses bringing our sexuality to the church uniting safer-sex and celebrating sex as a spiritual act.
“The Real antiChrist” is an excellent primer for gays who keep tabs on FOX News, Ann Coulter and Pat Robertson. It would be great if Piazza or any his literary followers can penetrate those conservative circles for debate.
Daniel. A. Kusner
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 19, 2007