WASHINGTON, June 13, 2017 — “It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor,” Roma Downey told the Hollywood Reporter in 2013. Downey, along with husband Mark Burnett, was about to release the film “Son of God,” which was based on the popular History Channel miniseries “The Bible.”
The exorcised “devil” scenes resulted after many viewers and media outlets alike noticed that the likeness of the “father of lies” was reminiscent of President Barack Obama.
“The striking resemblance led to questioning online, given previous attacks on Mr. Obama from some conservative religious circles, which have compared him to the Antichrist,” said the New York Times.
“Obama also has been cast before in this part by sectors of the American public when they’re not depicting him as Hitler, a foreign-born Other, or the leading figure in an End of Days scenario,” wrote Steve Erickson in The American Prospect.
And Brian Tashman of the website Right Wing Watch noted that religious broadcaster Rick Wiles insisted “‘God guided the hand of the makeup artist and blinded the eyes of everybody on the movie set while it was being recorded’ so that they wouldn’t see the resemblance [to Obama].”
Satan, of course, is no hooded, scowling, forked-tongued monster. He is a poised, smooth-talking deceiver. Or, as the Bible says, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
As William Shakespeare noted, “The devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.”
Now these attributes are much more in keeping with those of Obama.
Speaking of the Bard, New York City’s Free Shakespeare in the Park has sparked a little controversy over its latest production of “Julius Caesar.” The play’s time frame has shifted from that of ancient Rome to modern Washington, with the play’s namesake taking the form of a certain president bearing a glowing yellow mop of unruly hair that pops against his iridescent red power tie.
During the course of the play, a group of conspirators brutally stab Julius “Trump” Caesar to death while he stands in the well of the Roman Senate.
“Naturally, some right-wing commenters are revving up their outrage over what they assume is an incitement to violence against the president,” said New York Times theater critic Jesse Green.
“So then,” says conspirator Brutus, “death is a gift, and we are Caesar’s friends, for we’ve done him a service by shortening his time spent fearing death. Kneel, Romans, and let’s wash our hands, up to the elbows, in Caesar’s blood and smear it on our swords. Then we’ll go out, even to the marketplace, and, waving our bloody swords over our heads, let’s cry, ‘Peace, freedom, and liberty!’”
Brutus and his friends assume that smearing blood all over themselves will show the Roman people just how dedicated the conspirators are to the shining principles of republican government.
Instead, the gory site triggers horror, anger, and eventually a bloody civil war. The defeated Brutus will throw himself on his sword. “Peace, freedom, and liberty” are lost in the bloody struggle for power in the new Imperial Rome.
Shakespeare was making a point: Once a republic falls to tyranny, it is forever lost.
Rational Americans know that Trump did not march armed legions over the Potomac to seize power in the nation’s capital, declaring himself a living god. He won an election against impossible odds, defeating the media, a well-oiled Democratic political machine and the power brokers of the GOP.
The staged murder of President Donald Trump now playing in New York’s Central Park is derivative of sad comedian and D-lister Kathy Griffin’s cheesy mock beheading of The Donald coupled with the glorious words of Shakespeare.
Trump Derangement Syndrome has not only sucked all originality out of American politics, it has done the same for what calls itself “the arts.”