Thank God For His Good Bishop

Just when I had gotten all despair-y about the political condition of the country and prospects for a nasty and often pointless summer of rage, something brightened my day: the realization that the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia would be offering us unintentional comic relief as Election Day in the Commonwealth approached. Right on cue, National Review‘s Betsey Woodruff offered some gleanings from a book (Ten Commandments To an Extraordinary Life: Making Your Dreams Come True) E.W. Jackson published in 2008:

On “most people”:

“[M]ost people are dead spirits. As such they have the nature of Satan who does not want to have anything to do with God or anyone related to Him. Of course they are not aware that they are imbued with the nature of Satan. They would be mortified by the idea of becoming Satanists or devil worshippers. Satan benefits far more from people who do not know they serve him than from those who knowingly bow to him. Your spirit was made for attachment. It is either attached to God or to Satan, but it is not neutral, no matter how much people think themselves to be.”

On the times we live in:

“We live in the most interesting times in human history. These are the days spoken of in Scripture, the days of fulfillment. This is therefore an era of unprecedented spiritual activity on both sides as the conflict races to a head. Those who are in Christ are on the winning side. Part of what must happen during this period of great harvest for the kingdom of God is a massive wealth transfer. It is not going to happen by theft or governmental policy. It is going to happen supernaturally. Those invested in God’s market are going to reap a windfall. Make up your mind now to buy in.”

On the dangers of yoga:

“When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana. . . . The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. . . . [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. That is why people serve Satan without ever knowing it or deciding to, but no one can be a child of God without making a decision to surrender to him. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want.”

And this is material coming from someone at a publication that’s sympathetic to Bishop Jackson. In a separate, lengthy profile of Jackson by Woodruff, you get the sense he terrifies her a bit.

My favorite part of the profile involves Jackson’s sudden conversion from being a “drinking, smoking, cussing” Harvard Law School Student to a proselytizing conservative evangelical who couldn’t stop talking about Jesus. His political conversion came somewhat later:

Jackson finished law school, passed the bar, and then entered the ministry. Within a few years, he had left the Democratic party, partially under the influence of Ayn Rand’s writings.

Yes, it’s another Objectivist For Christ, on fire with the pure, sweet gospel of selfishness.

Bishop Jackson could turn out to be God’s gift to those of us forced to write about politics during this accursed season.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.