GCB Can't Be That Over-The-Top

Categories: Schutze

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Yeah, OK, OK, I get that GCB is going to be a send-up of drunk bitchy Christian women in the Park Cities. I'm all for that. I just hope the comedic voice of the TV series doesn't serve to obscure the fact that it's true.

Alan Peppard had a funny piece in The Dallas Morning News yesterday about all the Dallas/Park Cities links. Prediction: Far from being outraged, Park Cities women will be thrilled. The association with glamour and glitter will be well worth the cost in basic respect.

I missed the pilot. We've got it set to record from here on out. Other prediction: If it's amusing, I'll be hooked immediately.

But I will still want people to remember that a characterization of Dallas and the Park Cities in particular as a center and even the possible birthplace of contemporary Christofascism is not over the top. It's true.

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ABC
FYI ABC: The only people wearing hats in the Park Cities probably aren't blond and are probably carrying a rake.
I spent some time this morning searching unsuccessfully for a Brit documentary done back in the 1980s (maybe you can help?) tracing the roots of the American religious phenomenon called prosperity doctrine. The guy doing the documentary traced it back to Dallas and the late pastor of Dallas First Baptist Church, W.A. Criswell. There was an absolutely fascinating and appalling interview with Criswell in the film.

The term, prosperity doctrine, covers a spectrum of beliefs, from the salutary at one end, to the benign in the middle, all the way out to toxic on what has become the far right of today.

At the good end, it's the idea that you'll do better if you act better. Maybe that's nothing more than a restatement of the doctrine that individual destinies are shaped by individual values, a notion discussed as social science in a David Brooks column in today's New York Times.

At the bad end, it's the idea that Jesus actually cuts the checks. If Jesus loves you, this you'll know: He will make your income grow. The obverse would be that Jesus looks down his nose on the poor.

That idea -- the toxic one -- is central to the new Christofascism, which teaches that the world is divided between winners and losers. The winners are rich Christian bitches, and the losers are just in the way.

My memory of the documentary is somewhat fizzed by the passage of time, but I do recall a great scene in which the documentarian sits in Criswell's office at First Baptist while the camera scans walls and table-tops chockablock with priceless art works and Christian tchotchkes.

The guy asks, in his best Brit fake-fair tone, about all the opulence. He points out that Jesus lived among the poor. Does Criswell's display of wealth not pose a sort of conflict with the values of modesty and charity espoused by Jesus?

Criswell says not at all. He observes that back when Jesus walked the Earth, the church was still a start-up. Criswell gestures around at his Midas-like display of moolah and says, "Look what we've been able to accomplish since then."

Today the notion of God as venture capitalist has spawned an entire ideology, cloaked in Christian robes but with the Crusader's sword firmly in hand, ready to behead anyone who gets between a good Christian bitch and her money.

If Dallas is going to get some attention on this score, I say we should get all the attention we deserve. Anybody who thinks the values expressed in GCB are only an over-the-top joke hasn't been watching the Republican presidential primary debates.


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66 comments
Utopian
Utopian

'Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done,'' Antony Thomas's documentary about born-again Christians and the political right, is powerful enough to lead to that conclusion, and hectoring enough to make us aware of Mr. Thomas's own manipulation.http://movies.nytimes.com/movi...

letsbefrank
letsbefrank

I say let 'em get as rich as they want. Just keep 'em out of politics.

MikeyLikesIt
MikeyLikesIt

Hey Jim,

Is this it?  http://movies.nytimes.com/movi... The BEST part of that documentary was Criswell sitting at his desk describing the satellite churches First Baptist has for minorities when questioned about why there aren't any at First Baptist downtown.  I've almost had this memorized since the 80's:

"Mexicans and Blacks don't want to go to the sanctuary downtown.  They are more comfortable among their own people.  Your Mexicans are a family sort and love to be with each other on Sundays and your Blacks love to dance and sing and stay in church all day."  I used to laugh and laugh when I saw that.

Steve
Steve

Every Park Cities Woman/Wife/Mother that I know is concerned with raising her children well, and engaging in the kind of charitable activities that fund hospitals, etc.

Inaccuracy aside, this TV program is 1) not funny, 2) neither parody nor satire, and 3) a fictional glom onto the Real Housewives phenomenon.

So, in short, fuck you, Jim.   Fuck you.

Albert
Albert

"Christofascism"

Laugh out loud.

You people are so paranoid.

Glenn
Glenn

So Jim didn't see the pilot and couldn't find the documentary, but he knows and remembers just enough to write a whole column slamming rich people who are also Christian. A new definition of bullshit.

Guest
Guest

"If Dallas is going to get some attention on this score, I say we should get all the attention we deserve. Anybody who thinks the values expressed in GCB are only an over-the-top joke hasn't been watching the Republican presidential primary debates."

This is right-on-the-money when it comes to describing women in HP!!! 

Fake, plastic, pretending, self righteous, pretentious, etc..........

Which means it might get some good ratings, people love watching train-wrecks!!! 

JS
JS

This also shows why religious organizations should lose their tax-free status.

RC
RC

Except for too many cowboy hats, I'd say it was pretty accurate. As for those who snif and turn their heads, well...to that I would say.....then the show was spot on.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Come on. I know we're all proud of Dallas and its accomplishments. But to claim that this is "the possible birthplace of contemporary Christofascism" is silly. Like claiming that Dallas is the birthplace of beer because we consume it so enthusiastically.If you mean by "Christofascism" a toxic combination of religious belief and free-market capitalism, then you need to consult Tawney's "Religion and the Rise of Capitalism," which traces this unholy alliance to the rise of Protestanism, particularly the kind of Protestanism embraced so enthusiastically in Middle America. As for "contemporary," oh fiddlesticks. I heard the same brand of zealotry preached by radio evangelists in Denver in the 1950s.My own guess is that Christofascism is not primarily a religious or even an economic philosophy but a political one, imposed since the days of the Puritans for the purpose of social control over a fractious population. (Putting everyone's nose to the grindstone and tending to business, especially if it's a sacred duty, keeps the minds of potential troublemakers occupied.)Once again, Jim, you're assumed that Dallas is somehow unique and not just a enriched sample of American traits. (Is Dallas the most American of cities? A case could be made.) You need to get out and about more.

Sam
Sam

Yep they created "First Baptist Academy" when desgregation started in the public schools.

Weezwas2001
Weezwas2001

 And just to add MY $0.02. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK, Y OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, Steve as well.

And with thy spirit, as well.

Amen.

Daniel
Daniel

Every Highland Park Christian man that I know calls me a "sinner" ... but their wives call me a "saint."

Daniel
Daniel

Steve, I think your anger is misdirected. It's hardly Jim Schutze's fault that this TV program is not funny. 

40ozs&abagofjellybeans
40ozs&abagofjellybeans

Steve, what would those wonderfully, charitable Park Cities gals think of you and the foul language you just spewed forth? Steve, say it ain't so! Have you belittled yourself to the level of the plebs?!?!?

RTGolden
RTGolden

Every Park Cities Wife/Woman/Mother I know............... DAMMIT,  I'm poor, I don't know any of them.

Sam
Sam

True they are very charitable so long as their kids don't have to sit next to minorities in school.

I love it when you talk dirty
I love it when you talk dirty

As any good Christian knows, if you turn the other cheek before saying "fuck you" the second time - you can include more people.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

um, its comdey, based on a true story, did you get your wittle feewings hurt?

JimS
JimS

No, Steve, I beg to differ. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck Yooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MarkyTheParky
MarkyTheParky

Cut the bullshit, I know many rich people that are great people, and you wouldn't know they are rich! 

There is a big difference, and the point is, you can see it with your eyes!!

JimS
JimS

Between now and the last time I checked, did rich people stop sucking?

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

I know enough Park Cities women to know that they would never be caught dead in a real cowboy hat. {And be mistaken as being from Fort Worth?? The horror!!!!!}

JimS
JimS

Not Christofascism. Modern prosperity doctrine, which of course is an iteration of an ancient heresey. The principle means of propagation of this idea cited in the documentary were the the Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas First Baptist another Baptist insitution that was here at the time (Criswell Insitutute?). Actually Dallas is very much at the center of that particuar universe.Bill: read  more carefully, try to get out more.

40ozs&abagofjellybeans
40ozs&abagofjellybeans

Exactly! That's why this rag is titled 'The Every American City Observer'...no, wait....I believe it's 'The Dallas Observer'???

Parvomon
Parvomon

They sure don't in Dallas.

FriendsInLowPlaces
FriendsInLowPlaces

That is because either your porking them or they want you to pork them!!!!! 

@ STEVE -

FUCK YOU STEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Parvomon
Parvomon

Blacks are leavIng Dallas because they don't their kids sitting with Hispanics.

Are they racist?

MarkyTheParky
MarkyTheParky

That is why they don't allow minorities in Parky Schools or the negborhoods! 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

And this reply right here is why I continue to read unfair park  post apocolyptic loss of wilonksy

FreindsInLowPlaces
FreindsInLowPlaces

Way to go Jimbo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FUCK YOU STEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FRIENDS OF THE DO SAY FUCK YOU STEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

I know people who have black "friends" and are racist as shit, but you wouldnt know they are racist. 

Albert
Albert

Losers don't think so.

JimS
JimS

And, Glenn, really: they don't need or value your support, however well meaning.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

I don't dabble much in the minutiae of Protestant theology, so the distinction you're trying to draw between modern prosperity doctrine and Christofascism is lost on me. They seem pretty much the same thing, though you know how academics can split hairs.I think we are in general agreement here -- a rare moment; savor it -- except that you seem to want to give the city far more credit than due for this nasty doctrine. I've seen prosperity doctrine/Christofascism propagated and practiced in places that never heard of the Baptist General Convention. As you accurately point out, it's an ancient heresy. Reminds me of the old Soviet days when Russia was claiming to have invented the airplane, the refrigerator, the motor car. Back where I come from, the only thing we thought Dallas was very much at the center of was north-central Texas. And Fort Worth could challenge that.By the way -- displaying my ignorance here -- what's a PK?

JimS
JimS

I was thinking if the Baptist general Convention, headquartered in Dallas.Actually, BIll, Dallas was also central in a schism within the black Baptist Church just at thedawn of the civil rights movement. MLK Sr., not Jr., led a wing of the church that was pushing forasimilation (integration), and the wing centered in Dallas was on the other side, for Marcus Garvey-style separation (segregation) of the races. Dallas hasn't quite gotten over that one, either. Bill -- don't argue church with a PK

ts
ts

I agree with this post.  On this day 1 A.R.

Daily Reader
Daily Reader

And the horse you Rode in on STEEEEVVVVEEEE!!!!!

Weezwas2001
Weezwas2001

 All commenters are assholes! NO! Wait....

JimS
JimS

Ah, yes. But the sad lesson of newspapering: not all drunks are writers.

Daniel
Daniel

Fair point, Glenn. Mr. Crow will take his coffee now.

JimS
JimS

all rich people suck

Glenn
Glenn

To say or believe that all "rich people suck" is just as stupid as saying that all poor people are put-upon or heroic. You're just usually more nuanced than that.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

So there IS an argument for priestly celibacy.

JimS
JimS

preacher's kid

FHA
FHA

Class is in session, so sit at your desk and learn, Rico. Where you been, under a rock? 

Rico
Rico

95 years, so far. What's your point? Or rather, what's your point!

FHA
FHA

Yeah, didn't I read somewhere that the Park Cities is 98% percent white! We dont believe that is an accidental after affect of meteorites crashing into one another!!! Much the opposite, by design, and execution! 

Great Accomplishment Parkies!!! We will see how long it last.......................

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