Sunday, September 17, 2006

Everybody Wants to Be My Good Shepherd

Perhaps our president was right last week when he spoke of a revival of religiosity, a possible Third Awakening sweeping the countryside.

As usual, though, it’s hard to tell where devotion ends and all this newfound religiosity shades into an excuse for showy self-righteousness and license to get into your neighbor’s face with your faith.

In Texas, it’s getting real hard to tell.

The highly irreligious Kinky Friedman is all over the television these days, scratching the ears of various mutts and hounds while invoking some “old-time preacher” and telling voters he wants to be their “good shepherd.” (It’s a real good commercial, though---everybody’s a sucker for a forlorn pooch, right?)

Meanwhile, the purse-lipped Democratic gubernatorial nominee is claming to be all about Jesus, or maybe that he is Jesus, which is going to get him as many extra votes as his current strategy of running as if he’s still in a Democratic primary (zero).

But all that bald-faced piety pales next to the television advertisement we saw this Sunday for “Christian trial lawyers” Simmons & Fletcher, which featured one of the name partners wielding a Bible and walking in a sanctuary while explaining, “It’s not un-Christian to get what you deserve,” or something to that effect (we know this mixture of trial lawyering and overt Christianity is nothing new: John Devine, the former state district judge who displayed the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, was very tight with John O’Quinn, Texas’ preeminent ambulance chaser).

As generations of Texans have learned, it’s a good idea to watch your wallet when the revival comes to town.

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