Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bobby Jindal Hoist with his own Petard

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s school voucher program has been the butt of jokes when some of the questionable claims from textbooks recently came to light.   Recently, Nick Wing of the Huffington Post reported that a textbook from a Louisiana voucher school teaches that hippies filthy, ragged devotees of rock musicians who “belonged to Eastern religious cults or practiced Satan worship.”
It was precisely this kind of conflation that led to the satanic scare that caused Jindal and the Christian student groups (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Campus Crusade for Christ) to perform the exorcism on Susan in 1990.  One of the major influences that led to hysteria about the alleged rise of Satanism was a bestselling book that unceremoniously lumped together the activities of the youth movement with devil worship.  In 1970, Hal Lindsey wrote The Late Great Planet Earth, a book with apocalyptic end-times themes.  In the book, Lindsey’s (flimsy) evidence that Satan was marshaling his forces in preparation for The Battle of Armageddon was the fact that many young bohemians were expressing an interest in the occult (e.g., tarot cards and horoscopes) and Eastern mysticism. 
Although The Late Great Planet Earth is pure schlock, the book became a huge bestseller (over 30 million copies have been sold).   Lindsey's book, along with other discredited books like Mike Warnke’s The Satan Seller and Michelle Smith’s Michelle Remembers, helped create the satanic scare that festered throughout the 1980’s and certainly influenced the Brown University students who performed an exorcism on Susan when she experienced convulsions and a sudden personality change (for future reference, call an ambulance, for fuck's sake!).  It’s rather amusing that Christianists are repeating the claims that contributed in part to the atmosphere that led to bizarre behavior at Brown University in 1990.