Sean Hannity, Evildoer


 

You may have noticed that right-wing Christians like Sean Hannity go out of their way to call themselves "compassionate conservatives," and claim that they are the ones who are truly interested in, and able to, help the poor.

 

It's not an unfair characterization to liken Sean Hannity and his brethren and sistren to false prophets in the literal Biblical sense. Why?  Let's look at what the Old and New Testaments have to say about false prophets.

 

False prophets are condemned in general over and over again:

 

Jeremiah 29:8-9

8. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream, 9. for it is a lie which they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord. [other translations]

 

2 Peter 2:1-3

1. But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. 3. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep. [other translations] [111]

 

Beyond such general condemnations, however, many Biblical passages about false prophets seem particularly addressed to the circumstances surrounding today's right-wing pseudo-Christians:

 

People love to hear false prophets,

 

Jeremiah 5:30-31

30. An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: 31. the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes? [other translations]

 

so much so that they literally even request false prophecy:

 

Isaiah 30:9-11

9. For they are a rebellious people, lying sons, sons who will not hear the instruction of the Lord; 10. who say to the seers, "See not"; and to the prophets, "Prophesy not to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, 11. leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more of the Holy One of Israel." [other translations]

 

This is especially so when the false prophets tell people that the evil they are doing is wonderful:

 

Jeremiah 23:17

17. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, 'It shall be well with you'; and to every one who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, 'No evil shall come upon you.'" [other translations] [112]

 

And Sean Hannity certainly does that, and his audience just eats it up.  Keep telling your listeners, Sean, that our earth-destroying SUV's are wonderful, and that the poor are just a bunch of lazy bums who made bad choices in life and now must live with the consequences. [113] 

 

Keep telling them, because they love to hear such false prophecy, that our nation is so wonderful and perfect that any criticism of it can be summarily dismissed as "blame America first" rubbish.  This type of false prophecy was most famously expressed as crying "Peace, peace" when there is no peace:

 

Jeremiah 6:13-14

13. "For from the least to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, every one deals falsely. 14. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace.  [other translations] [114]

 

False prophets like Hannity literally "strengthen the hands of evildoers," to use an appellation much in vogue of late:

 

Jeremiah 23:14

But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah." [other translations]

 

It's appropriate that these false prophets aid the evildoers, since these false prophets are really speaking the evil in their own heart:

 

Jeremiah 23:26

26. How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart… [other translations]

 

In other words, a false prophet is one who turns people away from God's commandments (like Sean Hannity does from the Matthew 25 injunctions), even if such prophet otherwise produces signs or wonders that come true (e.g., huge Nielsen ratings?):


Deuteronomy 12:32-13:5

32. "Everything that I command you you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to it or take from it. Deuteronomy 13:1. "If a prophet arises among you, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2. and the sign or wonder which he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, 'Let us go after other gods,' which you have not known, 'and let us serve them,' 3. you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him, and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and cleave to him. 5. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from the midst of you. [other translations]

Indeed, false prophets often appear to be the exact opposite: Sean Hannity oozes pious declarations of religiosity, but his words are – as the Sermon on the Mount puts it – akin to a ravenous wolf in sheep's clothing; Hannity does not just strengthen the hand of evildoers, he is an "evildoer."

 

Matthew 7:15-23

15. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17. So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. 18. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20. Thus you will know them by their fruits. 21. "Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23. And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' [other translations]
 [115]

 

As it is elsewhere put in starkest terms, "even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light":

 

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

13. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. [other translations]

 

Indeed, if Satan were going to appear on earth, he would speak sweet, beguiling words which on the surface express the intention of helping people, but whose real effect would be preventing the amelioration of – indeed actually increasing the amount of -- human suffering.  Is not this a description of right-wing pseudo-Christians to a tee?

 

Right-wing pseudo-Christians are, in essence, not practicing Christianity.  They are practicing their own wolf-in-barely-disguised-sheep's clothing brand of Satanism. [116]

 

To all those who listen favorably to these false prophets walking  among (or more accurately broadcasting to) us, the Bible warns you:

 

Lamentations 2:14,17

14. Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles false and misleading. 17. The Lord has done what he purposed, has carried out his threat; as he ordained long ago, he has demolished without pity; he has made the enemy rejoice over you, and exalted the might of your foes. [other translations] [117]

 

Others Who Decieve

 

In addition to false prophets, there are others described in the Bible who mislead, who speak and teach falsely. Indeed, at times the Bible almost seems to be explicitly describing Sean Hannity.

 

There is the fool, who "speaks folly, and his mind plots iniquity… to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink."  Note the "deprive the thirsty of drink" condemnation – it eerily predicts Hannity's opposition to providing emergency water stations in the desert to avoid the continuing tragedy of undocumented aliens dying of thirst in such border desert regions:

 

Isaiah 32:1,5-8

1. Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. 5. The fool will no more be called noble, nor the knave said to be honorable. 6. For the fool speaks folly, and his mind plots iniquity: to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink. 7. The knaveries of the knave are evil; he devises wicked devices to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. 8. But he who is noble devises noble things, and by noble things he stands. [other translations]

 

And there is also, as described in the passage directly above, the knave, who "devises wicked devices to ruin the poor with lying words":

 

Isaiah 32:7-8

7. The knaveries of the knave are evil; he devises wicked devices to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. 8. But he who is noble devises noble things, and by noble things he stands. [118] [other translations]

 

Such "lying words" are the endless false excuses of right-wing pseudo-Christians about why we don't need to help the suffering, or better yet, the claims of these cut-and-kill conservatives that their policies which kill the poor actually will help them. [119]

 

Political leaders can also mislead the people:

 

Isaiah 3:12-15

12. My people -- children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you, and confuse the course of your paths. 13. The Lord has taken his place to contend, he stands to judge his people. 14. The Lord enters into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: "It is you who have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses. 15. What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?" says the Lord God of hosts. [other translations].

 

Does not a mental image of that famous right-wing pseudo-Christian George W. Bush immediately come to mind?  Can you not hear an echo of his fractured syntax as he claims to be a "compassionate conservative" helping the poor, while in deed he continually shreds the safety net and directs tax cuts to the wealthy? [120]

 

Finally, there are yet unnamed others who preach falsely:

 

Romans 16:17-18

17. I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them. 18. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded. [other translations]

 

Note that these persons "serve" "their own appetites" – could that be a fair description of those who insist on their right to waste all the oil they want to in their beloved SUV's, who insist on their right to aggrandize unto themselves ever-more-obscene proportions of the nation's – and world's – income and wealth?

Could the "fair and flattering words" be the beguiling lies of Limbaugh and Hannity?


And as for "the simple-minded" whose hearts are deceived – are they not the audiences of 8th grade social studies class-level understanding-of-the-world worshippers of these talk show devils?

 

Sean Hannity et al can take comfort in one thing, however: unlike the Old Testament, the New Testament does not seem to require that we kill these false prophets, but merely that we "avoid" them.

 

So Sean Hannity and other right-wing pseudo-Christians should be shunned by true Christians.

You seem to single out Sean Hannity quite a bit.

 

Yes I do, and he well deserves it.  To be quite honest, I've tried to keep invective against Hannity to a minimum in this essay, but now that it's been brought up as a separate subject, I'm going to let 'er rip a little.  Please allow me to bluntly lay out some of the thoughts that have occurred to me as I've witnessed and contemplated Hannity's most un-Matthew-25-like behavior over the years.

 

At the very least, Hannity is a moral illiterate.  He's shrill, shallow, repetitive and, above all, cruel.  Think Sean "Heart of Stone" Hannity.

 

Hannity coarsens the public dialogue, lowers the bar of acceptable cruelty, by widely broadcast example makes it perfectly acceptable to say we shouldn't provide water for people dying of thirst in the desert.

 

Isaiah 41:17

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. [other translations]

 

God will not forsake them, but Sean Hannity will!  Hannitian cruelty –and Biblical violation -- obviously know no bounds.

 

Did you ever see Sean Hannity get excited and happy when suffering people are helped?  No, he lights up only when an aid program is defeated or the government is demonized.  He worships the Golden Calf of anti-governmentalism and marketism.

 

Oh yes, he also lights up when discussing the need to execute criminals or go to war against tiny, impoverished Third World nations.

 

Hannity complains that Democrats accuse him and other right-wing pseudo-Christians of wanting to kill the sick, hurt children and the elderly, and so on.  Well, YES!!  Killing the sick and hurting children and the elderly are the very effects of the policies of Hannity and his ilk. 

 

It all goes back to the Equivalent Alternative Solution standard.  To avoid a Matthew 25  violation, you must offer an Equivalent Alternative Solution, which helps at least the same number of people the same amount, as soon and as certainly.  The right-wing pseudo-Christians virtually never do so.  When an effort is being mounted to save lives – food aid, medical care, drug rehab, etc. – and the right-wing pseudo-Christian "solution" will help fewer people or not as much or will take longer to take effect, then the results of such right-wing pseudo-Christian non-EAS measures are more death and suffering.

 

Hannity often states that he is a devout Catholic.  As I've suggested elsewhere, someone – perhaps Hannity's priest -- needs to ask him whether his copy of the Bible has Matthew 25 torn out of it.

 

Perhaps Hannity's Bible did not have these pages torn out. Maybe Hannity has a special unabridged version of the Bible which contains heretofore unknown modifications to Matthew 25.

 

What we can call the "Hannity exception clauses" perhaps provide that the sick must be ministered to "but only when such sick person is at a level of distress requiring emergency room care;" that the stranger must be welcomed "except when said stranger lacks proper immigration papers;" and of course, the catch-all Hannity exception clause: "and all such requirements to minister to those in need shall not apply when the neediness of said individuals is the result of their choices in life, including their failure to secure a more advanced level of education."

 

What is Hannity's worst insult? To call someone a "tax-and-spend" liberal.  This truly reveals the essence of the right-wing pseudo-Christians.  I ask you:  who is it liberals want to "tax and spend" on, themselves?  No.  They want to expend their own money and the society's collective financial resources -- allocated via a democratic process -- to, in effect, effectuate Matthew 25 goals.  They want to spend it on "the least of these." You can criticize liberal programs or methods, but the "tax-and-spend" epithet really criticizes the goal itself.  Because what do the right-wing pseudo-Christians offer instead?  At best barely half-measures, but most often, nada. Zilch. Nothing.

 

In fact, the cut-and-kill conservatives want to accomplish the opposite of Matthew 25, they want to have more money for themselves and the richest among us: the Hannity mantra is "Me, Me, Me.  I want the money.  I need a bigger house.  I need a bigger car.  The money is MINE."

 

“Tax-and spend liberals”?  How about deny-and-destroy, cut-and-kill conservatives?  Deny and destroy health, dreams, lives.  Cut funding for life-and-death programs, and surely people will die as a result.  The answer to fraud and waste isn’t to kill the program, abandon the goal and let the people die.  The answer is to FIX IT or DO IT ANOTHER WAY!

 

And please don't tell me that if only the cut-and-kill pseudo-Christians paid less taxes, they'd have more money for charity.  First, as discussed above, charity alone is not sufficient to accomplish the Matthew 25 mandate.  Second, only a small fraction of the tax savings or corporate welfare doled out to cut-and-kill pseudo-Christians and their allies will ever be put to even charitable, let alone systemic-problem-solving purposes.

 

Hannity thus leads the charge in repeatedly violating the most basic premise of Christian social doctrine: the resources of the planet were given to us to all share equitably. [121]

 

Contrary to Hannitian pseudo-Christian philosophy, the Pope reminds us that we are all (still) our brother's (and sister's!) keeper:

 

Sacred Scripture continually speaks to us of an active commitment to our neighbor and demands of us a shared responsibility for all of humanity....  No one can say that he is not responsible for the well-being of his brother or sister (cf. Gen 4:9; Lk 10:29-37; Mt 25:31-46).  Centesimus Annus

 

Unlike the Catholic Church and Pope John Paul II, who teach a "preferential option for the poor," Sean Hannity seems to think that there's  a preferential option for the rich!

 

Instead of liberation theology, Hannity's is an oppression theology. [122]

 

Sean Hannity preaches the exact opposite of the Jesus Christ of Matthew 25.  He fosters to millions a form of anti-Christianity:

 

Do not love your neighbor as yourself

 

Do not feed the hungry, clothe the naked, or heal the sick.

 

Right-wing pseudo-Christians like Sean Hannity think Christianity is defined as opposition to abortion, homosexuality and pornography – interestingly enough, three things Jesus never mentioned even once, did he?!

 

Imagine Sean Hannity interviewing Jesus Christ!

 

If Jesus Christ came back today and began walking the earth preaching as he did before, Sean Hannity would call him a bleeding heart liberal who doesn't live in the "real" world, and would then add for good measure that Jesus Christ is a homeless bum who deserves his position because he didn't bother to get a proper education.

 

Hannity and his worshippers are truly Mephistophelean wolves in Christian sheep’s clothing.

 

It's truly incredible how Hannity and his demon-possessed, pseudo-Christian brethren, his devils-in-Christian clothing sistren, all these mean-spirited, let-everyone-die-because-it’s-their-own-fault bastards, try to pass themselves off as Christians!

 

Hannity and his ilk must be a morally and spiritually retarded evolutionary offshoot from the rest of humanity. [123]  Either that, or there really must be a Devil that possesses them, because no 21st century humans could act the way these right-wing pseudo-Christians do.

 

I watch Sean Hannity the way many people are compelled to view an automobile accident scene – it’s repulsive and vile to look at, but you can’t take your eyes off it.  With automobiles, it’s physically mangled bodies.  With Sean Hannity, it’s a spiritually mangled soul – possessed by the real Evil One, Satan himself!  [124]

 

Hannity's Self-Delusion and His Path Ahead

 

Some of the things Hannity says show an incredible blindness:

 

"The Bible teaches whoever is great, the greatest among you shall be your servant," he added. "That was the example of Christ. I mean, He didn't come here to be served; He came here to serve. He came here to heal the sick, He came here to let the blind see, help the crippled, exorcise demons, preach to the world and to ultimately sacrifice His life so that we may live and be reconciled. That's the example, but you have to be an active participant."

Gee, so how does Sean Hannity choose to be an "active participant"?  By working to deny effective solutions if they involve the evil government, and offering no Equivalent Alternative Solutions of his own.  Sean Hannity must be self-delusional.

 

Jesse Helms said recently, when asked about his new-found fervor to fund overseas efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of AIDS:

 

"Some may say that this initiative is not consistent with some of my earlier positions," wrote Mr. Helms. But he continued, "in the end our conscience is answerable to God. Perhaps, in my 81st year, I am too mindful of soon meeting Him, but I know that, like the Samaritan traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, we cannot turn away when we see our fellow man in need."

 

Sean Hannity and company should heed these words, not wait until they’re old and gray before opening their eyes.  Most are far younger than Jesse Helms’ 81, but any of them could still die tomorrow, or (as may you the reader) in the very moment you are reading this.

 

The most pathetic thing is, Hannity really does think he's a good Christian.  Hannity probably thinks that God approves of what he does, just like self-deluded humans have done since Biblical times:

 

Micah 3:9-11

9. Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity, 10. who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with wrong. 11. Its heads give judgment for a bribe, its priests teach for hire, its prophets divine for money; yet they lean upon the Lord and say, "Is not the Lord in the midst of us? No evil shall come upon us." [other translations] [125]

 

But as shown earlier, Hannity is in reality just another in a long line of false prophets that the Bible speaks of, and fortunately for him, the New Testament does not require killing such false prophets, but merely avoiding them:

 

Romans 16:17-18

17. I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them. 18. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded. [other translations]

 

So Sean Hannity should be shunned by good Christians as the false prophet, Satanic, even anti-Christ-like figure he is.

 

And when he does eventually face divine judgment, Hannity will not, I suspect, receive such relatively mild punishment as shunning. [126]  The only question –

 

Wait!  I sense a Heavenly presence in the room… a "corrected" version of the Lazarus passage in Luke is coming to me.  Let me quickly write down these words before they vanish again into the ether:

 

Luke 16:19-31

19. "There was a rich man named Hannity, who was clothed in pinstripe gray and fine wool and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20. And at the door to his nation, yea at the very door of his Fox News office building, lay a poor immigrant named Jose, full of sores, 21. who desired to be fed with what fell from Hannity's table. But Hannity said the man had failed to respect the sovereignty of Hannity's nation, the greatest nation ever given mankind by the Lord, and thus Jose must be immediately deported back from whence he came. 22. The poor man Jose was deported, and died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man Hannity also died and was buried; 23. and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Jose in his bosom. 24. And Hannity called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Jose to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25. But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Jose in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27. And Hannity said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my Fox News office building, 28. for I have political colleagues there, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29. But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30. And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31. He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"

 

I am now receiving an alternative corrected version:

 

Luke 16:19-31

19. "There was a rich man named Hannity, who was clothed in pinstripe gray and fine wool and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20. And at the door to his office building, lay a poor homeless man named Lazarus, full of sores, 21. who desired to be fed with what fell from Hannity's table. But Hannity said the man had made certain choices in life, and must abide by the results, and that above all, a government program should never be used to help a man such as Lazarus. 22. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man Hannity also died and was buried; 23. and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. 24. And Hannity called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25. But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27. And Hannity said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my Fox News office building, 28. for I have political colleagues there, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29. But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30. And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31. He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"

 

Yes, now I'm sure: the only question is, utilizing the schema of Dante's Hell, into what circle will Hannity be cast. [127]

 

There isn't a circle where false prophets as such are put, but one should be created. There really should be a special circle of Dante’s Hell reserved for those like Hannity who mislead by preaching peace while they wage war.

 

If there can't be a separate circle, I have two alternative suggestions:

 

1) In the eighth, next-to-deepest circle of Hell, Dante placed Mohammed.  Dante was strongly anti-Islamist, and felt Mohammed deserved this place in Hell not only for being a false prophet, but for creating a schism in Christianity.  We in the modern era know better, and we would rightly take Mohammed out of Dante's Hell altogether -- and we should rightly put instead in that eighth circle one Mr. Sean Hannity for his incessant and deadly false prophecyAnd while it's true that Hannity has not caused a schism in the Roman Catholic church, perhaps he should be causing one, with all true Christians refusing to be part of any Church establishment which has not excommunicated Hannity and his ilk for their virulently anti-Christ-like behavior.

 

--or--

 

2) In the deepest circle of Hell, eternally tormented in one of the three mouths of Satan himself, is Judas Iscariot, for betraying Jesus.  A fourth mouth should be added into which Hannity would most properly be placed.  Worse than Judas, Hannity betrays and helps kill Jesus not once, but thousands if not millions of times, every time Hannity advocates letting any of "the least of these" suffer and die:  'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.'


 

ENDNOTES


[111] Also:

 

Jeremiah 23:9-40

9. Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me, all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and because of his holy words. 10. For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right. 11. "Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their wickedness, says the Lord. 12. Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall; for I will bring evil upon them in the year of their punishment, says the Lord. 13. In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14. But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah." 15. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: "Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink; for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone forth into all the land." 16. Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes; they speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, 'It shall be well with you'; and to every one who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, 'No evil shall come upon you.'" 18. For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord to perceive and to hear his word, or who has given heed to his word and listened? 19. Behold, the storm of the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. 20. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his mind. In the latter days you will understand it clearly. 21. "I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. 22. But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. 23. "Am I a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off? 24. Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. 25. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' 26. How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27. who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams which they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? 28. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. 29. Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces? 30. Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31. Behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their tongues and say, 'Says the Lord.' 32. Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the Lord. 33. "When one of this people, or a prophet, or a priest asks you, 'What is the burden of the Lord?' you shall say to them, 'You are the burden, and I will cast you off, says the Lord.' 34. And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, 'The burden of the Lord,' I will punish that man and his household. 35. Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, 'What has the Lord answered?' or 'What has the Lord spoken?' 36. But 'the burden of the Lord' you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man's own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37. Thus you shall say to the prophet, 'What has the Lord answered you?' or 'What has the Lord spoken?' 38. But if you say, 'The burden of the Lord,' thus says the Lord, 'Because you have said these words, "The burden of the Lord," when I sent to you, saying, "You shall not say, 'The burden of the Lord,'" 39. therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city which I gave to you and your fathers. 40. And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.'" [other translations]

 

Jeremiah 14:13-16

13. Then I said: "Ah, Lord God, behold, the prophets say to them, 'You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.'" 14. And the Lord said to me: "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. 15. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, 'Sword and famine shall not come on this land': By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. 16. And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of
Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them -- them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them. [other translations]

 

[112]  Also:

 

Lamentations 2:14

Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles false and misleading. [other translations]

 

Ezekiel 22:27-28

27. Her princes in the midst of her are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. 28. And her prophets have daubed for them with whitewash, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord God,' when the Lord has not spoken. [other translations] 

 

Of special note in our Matthew 25 context, is the nature of the people's evil described in the next verse:

 

Ezekiel 22:29

29. The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without redress. [other translations]]

 

[113] As noted in the text above, Pope John Paul II has condemned this type of demonization of the poor.  These types of alluring yet false platitudes are a staple of right-wing pseudo-Christian political dogma.

 

[114] Also:

 

Ezekiel 13:10-11

10. Because, yea, because they have misled my people, saying, `Peace,' when there is no peace; and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets daub it with whitewash; 11. say to those who daub it with whitewash that it shall fall!... [other translations]

 

[115]  How delicious this Biblical passage to appropriately turn back on himself George W. Bush's declaration that if you aid an evildoer terrorist, you are an evildoer terrorist!

 

[116]  A less harsh judgment might be that of a prominent theology professor who recently criticized the right-wing founder of a new Catholic college:

 

Some critics say [the college] Ave Maria reflects Mr. Monaghan's conservative political agenda more than any religious or educational need.

 

"Tom Monaghan has the agenda of a right-wing Republican, and he happens to confuse that with the teachings of the Catholic Church," said Richard P. McBrien, a University of Notre Dame theology professor. "I wish he had spent this money the way a really good Catholic would: helping the poor; helping inner-city schools, which are being suffocated through lack of money; helping the aged and the infirm. Those are the teachings of Jesus Christ."

 

Confusion is one explanation, but the fervent, sustained anti-Matthew 25 agenda of right-wing pseudo-Christians who are intelligent enough to know better, seems to me to call for a concept more like Satanism.

 

[117]  Also:

 

Jeremiah 6:11-14

11. Therefore I am full of the wrath of the Lord; I am weary of holding it in. "Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men, also; both husband and wife shall be taken, the old folk and the very aged. 12. Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together; for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land," says the Lord. 13. "For from the least to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, every one deals falsely. 14. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace. [other translations]

 

cf. Jeremiah 27:14-15

14. Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are saying to you, 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon,' for it is a lie which they are prophesying to you. 15. I have not sent them, says the Lord, but they are prophesying falsely in my name, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you." [other translations]

 

[118] Ironically, given Sean Hannity's Tourette-syndrome-like liberal-bashing, the King James version of this passage uses the word "liberal," not the term "one who is noble," to approvingly describe those who act acting according to God's wishes: "8. But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand."

 

[119] In the context of the misleading nature of false prophecy, I would be remiss not to at least briefly note how right-wing pseudo-Christians engage overall in an amazingly selective, and thus distorted view of the Bible.  Let's contrast their disparate treatment of two issues: economic justice, and abortion.

 

Nowhere in either the Old or New Testaments is "abortion" forbidden.  All sorts of horrible acts are explicitly condemned and/or proscribed, but not abortion.  During the times when both the Old and New Testaments were written, the Jewish community did not forbid abortion.  Anti-choice Christians simply make up an entire Biblical justification for their anti-choice position based on the inferences they read into a few Biblical passages. 

 

I don't say here that they're right, and I don't say here they're wrong about abortion.  What I do say is, it is strange indeed that right-wing pseudo-Christians expend extraordinary amounts of time and energy to ensure the forbidding of an act not explicitly forbidden in the Bible, yet they spend comparably little time fostering the actions that again and again they are explicitly commanded to undertake: to save the hungry, naked, thirsty, and sick as Matthew 25 enjoins us, as well as to more generally ensure that the poor are not oppressed, economic justice is established, and immigrants are welcomed and treated well, as the Old Testament repeatedly commands us.  This is so even though the Matthew 25 injunctions are matters of life and death to millions, if not tens of millions of already-born, unquestionably human beings every year.  Right-wing pseudo-Christians don't seem to apply to Matthew 25 the same absolutist black/white analysis that they employ in their broad interpretation of "Thou shalt not kill," even though Matthew 25 is explicitly stated in black-and-white terms: the hungry, naked, sick, thirsty, etc – no exceptions -- must be helped, with the gravest of all possible consequences if you do not do so.

 

Compare the pseudo-Christian right's lackadaisical, let's partly accomplish these economic justice/feed the hungry type goals, not necessarily as our top priority, not necessarily right now, and let's depend for our success on the voluntary efforts of private citizens who almost certainly don't have the resources on their own to really accomplish all of what needs to be done – with their total, immediate, mobilize all resources of both private citizens and the government to 100% stop right now all abortions.

 

What the Bible doesn't explicitly speak about, they devote unlimited amounts of time and effort to.  What the Bible does explicitly command, they relegate to a relative afterthought.

 

In other words, what the Bible, and Jesus in an incredibly powerful oration tells them to do, they do not do – and indeed prevent others from accomplishing; but what Jesus never even asks them to do, that task they spend virtually all their time on!

 

Right-wing pseudo-Christians apparently think Christianity is defined as opposition to abortion, homosexuality and pornography – interestingly enough, three things Jesus never mentioned even once, did he?

 

On an even more absurd note, if possible, I saw this fundamentalist minister on a talk show who was foaming at the mouth about how the Bible mandates we spank our children, and that our not doing so is the cause of all our problems with them.  The thought of spanking children obviously got him very excited.  He obviously had severe psychological problems that should be treated immediately.  After thinking about it for a while, I decided that while there is a difference in the kind of obsession, there's not much of a difference in the degree of psycho-sexual dysfunctionality and attendant misreading of religion between this spanking-obsessed minister and the homosexuality-pornography-obsessed right-wing pseudo-Christians.

 

Back on point, right-wing pseudo-Christians might do well to spend more time reading and trying to implement the words of the Biblical prophets, than on conjuring up and seeking to enforce by writ of law a Christianity that doesn't exist.

 

[120]  Indeed, while right-wing pseudo-Christians constantly accuse liberals of engaging in "class warfare" and wanting to engage in unjust transfers of wealth, it is really the right-wing pseudo-Christians who are guilty of those sins.  The entire right-wing pseudo-Christian agenda is "voodoo economics, the transfer of wealth… from the poor and the working classes to the rich."

 

Isn't it interesting how trademark false labeling is a Bush family tradition?  The father promised a "kinder and gentler nation," while the son fancies himself a "compassionate conservative."  Neither appellation, of course, could be farther from the truth.

 

[121]  In addition to the Papal writings linked to in the text, an additional New Testament passage comes to mind:

 

1 John 3:17-18

17. But if any one has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18. Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. [other translations]

 

Is there anyone who has more of the "world's goods" and wants to share less of them with "his brother in need" than that archetypal right-wing pseudo-Christian, Sean Hannity?  (Tax cuts for the rich, anyone?)  And is there anyone who not only doesn't "love" "in deed and in truth," but also does not even love in "word or speech" more than he?  Hannity is the complete package: word, speech and deed in contravention to Matthew  25.

 

[122]  Liberation theology is a social justice-oriented form of Christianity. It is especially popular among impoverished, oppressed people in the Third World. 

 

Luke 4:18-19

18. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19. to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." [other translations]

 

While Jesus said he came to bring "good news to the poor," Sean Hannity comes to bring them horrific news of continued misery, suffering and death.

 

[123]  In psychological terms, they are nothing other than sexually repressed fascists who selectively utilize Holy Scripture to justify enforcement of their anhedonic dogma.

 

[124]  Hannity loves to say that he "Hannitizes" people, by which he means that he converts them to his way of thinking.  To that I can only reply, "If you've gotten Hannitized, you need to get exorcized."

 

[125]  Also:

 

Jeremiah 2:34-35

34. Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of guiltless poor; you did not find them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things 35. you say, 'I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.' Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, 'I have not sinned.' [other translations]

 

[126]  As one writer to this site put it using a deft touch of understatement:

 

I must agree with you. Sean Hannity is the most unchristian man i have seen in a long time. I actually feel sorry for him because he probably will be sincerely shocked when he passes over to the other side and isnt fawned over the way he anticipates he will be. He's like a pharisee in his sanctimoniousness.

 

[127]  I've never physically stood near Sean Hannity, but if I did, I wouldn't be surprised to smell the stench of brimstone already emanating from his rotting soul.

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Read the entire essay from which "Sean Hannity, Evildoer"  was excerpted