I do so like Elmer Gantry. The award winning book was made into an award winning movie starring Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons and Oscar-winner Shirley Jones. The heart-wreching part of the movie for me is the unawareness of the lead character. Gantry honestly believes in what he says, even while his life and actions contradict his words.
Even though we first meet him in a speakeasy, Gantry piously rages;
As long as I got a foot, I'll kick booze. And, as long as I got a fist, I'llGantry has no idea that he is a hypocrite, that he is bringing about the destruction of the church he has hooked himself onto. Sincere believers desperately take in his words and cannot be bothered to judge him by his deeds because of their own fears.
punch it. And, as long as I got a tooth, I'll bite it. And, when I'm old and
gray and toothless and bootless, I'll gum it till I go to heaven and booze goes
Sin. Sin, Sin. You're all sinners. You're all doomed to perdition. You're all
goin' to the painful, stinkin', scaldin', everlastin' tortures of a fiery hell,
created by God for sinners, unless, unless, unless you repent.
And now, Xoff shows us the Elmer Gantry for 2006, a man steeped in special interest money preaching about reform, a man who would restrict the health choices of our wives and daughters sermonizing about bad science, a big-government-voting GW-kowtowing deficit-building Congressman who claims he has suddenly found restraint in a brazen attempt to fleece the flock.
Sinclair Lewis wrote Elmer Gantry in 1927 as an expose of religious hypocrites. If he was writing it today it could just as easily be written about the last 6 years in Washington.
It's supposed to rain this afternoon. Go rent a movie.