Or to put things visually, here's what DeLay's followers think of him :
There are those who would say Tom DeLay lost his job as House majority leader because he was indicted by a Texas grand jury on charges of money laundering and conspiracy, or because of his extensive ties to lawbreaking lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But they would be wrong.
In fact, the Texas Republican fell from power because he is a Christian.
That, at least, is the view of Rick Scarborough, convener of a conference this week called "The War on Christians."
"I believe the most damaging thing that Tom DeLay has done in his life is take his faith seriously into public office, which made him a target for all those who despise the cause of Christ," Scarborough said, introducing DeLay yesterday. When DeLay finished, the host reminded the politician: "God always does his best work right after a crucifixion."
Despite being an atheist, I look forward to a day when the people most likely to pat themselves on the back for being Christians start paying attention to the things Jesus had to say. UPDATE : I got an email from Jonathan Schwarz reminding me of this earlier bit of DeLay-as-Jesus absurdity :
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'"
You'd think comparing yourself to Jesus would be considered blasphemous, but based on some of the responses this post has received blasphemy only seems to be a problem when it's done by a liberal. If you're offended by the photo (which I totally understand), why would you be more offended by a tongue-in-cheek visualization of a sacrilegious metaphor than the serious statements that inspired it? Save your rage for the politicians who would belittle the suffering of Jesus by comparing his slow, bloody death with the political and legal fallout that has stemmed from their own corruption.
As we leave First Baptist, I ask DeLay about the many citizens who would be quite uncomfortable with the idea that he would mold the government in the belief that his religion - fundamentalist Christianity - had the only answers to society's problems.
DeLay looks me squarely in the eye and shakes his head sadly. "When faced with the truth, the truth hurts. It is human nature not to face that . . . People hate the messenger. That's why they killed Christ."
Only cowards like the GOP leadership would have the temerity to hide behind the Bible when forced to atone for their own crimes. Samuel Johnson was wrong. DeLay and his allies have shown us that religion is the real last refuge of a scoundrel. If you care about your faith more than your political party, I'd recommend taking Jesus back from the scumbags who have hijacked him for partisan purposes. You deserve better.