The greatest fault of the Landover Baptist Church comedy website is that it’s just not that funny. Yes, we’re in on the joke: this is neither a Baptist group, nor a church. Much like the liberals who infiltrated Tea Party rallies so they could be photographed holding up offensively racist signs, Landover Baptist’s purpose is to mock American values from within the hive. They also aren’t shy about cashing in on people’s shock and disgust while they’re at it. Ultimatelty, this website has nothing redeeming about it. It’s simply there to promote an open hatred of Christians while simultaneously subverting any possibility of honest dialogue in this country.
The truly sad thing about Landover Baptist is that this group never comes clean about its ultimate intentions. They stereotype the faithful as simplistic buffoons while avoiding the real issues of values, patriotism and God. For them, it’s all about the kicks to the gut, those short and hard bathroom jokes that the grunting herds of America can nod along with as they zip themselves up. But the site stinks of desperation, from the garish web design to the cloying writing style, from the shrill hawking of cheap paraphernalia to the outright deception of young readers, these people will do anything to rescue themselves from the oblivion of low page views. Sorry folks, your web site fails.
BUT IS IT COMEDY?
By any given standard, Landover Baptist Church and the character Betty Bowers fail as comedy. Comedy is meant to bring us joy and laughter. At times, it makes us see something hidden about ourselves. In this case, the people behind this site claim to be practicing satire. But satire needs the participant to be aware of the joke. Landover simply keeps this little secret all to itself. Yes, there are pages where the charade is revealed, but they do not go far enough. The message boards are one common area where visitors are tricked into thinking they are joining a genuine and vibrant Christian community. But the lie is never explicit and it’s heart-wrenching to see so many confused Christians lured into foolish distractions and loud arguments.
If you visit Landover’s website, I encourage you to post the following simple message: “This is satire.” Say it again and again to keep others from being fooled. Do not join that throng of pranksters who pose as righteous Christians or irate liberals. All these people are quite proud of themselves for harassing the innocent who stumble in. No, this is not fair nor is it fun.
A website that consistently promotes such a degree of out and out hostility crosses the line from failed comedy into libel, discrimination and the suppression of humanity’s basic right to practice religion freely. Were it any other creed that these people were mocking, surely they would be condemned as a hate group. In the end, there is nothing constructive or enlightening about Landover. They add nothing to the political discourse in this country, they never bring us genuine news and they represent an almost perfected disingenuousness that only spreads despair.
For a nation that so desperately needs to have an honest conversation about God, the efforts of Landover Baptist undermine the credibility of both sides. How can normal people trust any liberal if they’re so willing to engage in a longstanding campaign of disinformation and hate? Conspiracies like this cheapen the value of facts in all media. They sew the seeds of mistrust into every form of human interaction. If we lived in a society where all our information was composed entirely of such propaganda, would it be any different than China under Mao?
No, we should be teaching our children to love and have faith, to believe in ultimate truths and to seek out genuine facts. Skepticism can be a spiritual dead end, leading to extremes of fear and paranoia. As a basis for human existence, we must be willing to set aside doubts, to embrace our greatest mysteries and to have faith in that which we can barely understand.