You’ll recall that last week we focused on the law and order branch of the great big tent ruling Republican coalition. This week, we will focus on the religious extremist branch of the ruling party. Pictured above are two of the iconic images of the American Christianist movement, Davey and Goliath, in the image above, shown testing a home-made improvised explosive device.
Originally inocuous, the Lutheran Church produced a series of stop-action clay-mation animated shows featuring Davey Hansen and his family (sister Sally, parents John and Elaine), and the family leader, the all-powerful talking family dog, Goliath. The episodes seemed straightforward: simple stories, with generally happy endings because moral precepts were followed, in easy to understand language and action. Indeed, it would be hard to find a television program more sappily dripping with “family values.”
This, of course, would be the perfect overlay to insert secret codes to advance a dark, violent movement (while being a hell of a lot more tasteful than the Manson family’s use of the Beatles’ Helter Skelter, or other decadent music.) While virtually every second of every episode, particularly Goliath’s facial ticks, are pregnant with subtext and secret meaning to the initiated, I will just discuss a few particular influences on one long-time viewer:
The Wild Goat: Davey and Goliath rescue a wild goat that was trapped under a heavy tree branch. Secret message: deal with largest terror attack in American history by reading story about goat.
On the Line: Davey makes a string telephone and talks to his unseen parents to show his friends how it’s possible to talk to God when God is invisible. Secret message: You don’t need a dumb-ass string– you’re always talking to the big guy.
Officer Bob: Davey breaks his bike when he disobeys Officer Bob’s warning about not riding on the handlebars. Secret message: Didn’t quite get this one.
Happy Landing: Davey compares his neighbor Hank to God after watching him do his job as an air traffic controller, but Hank quickly sets Davey straight. Secret message: Hank is not God.
Man of the House: When John & Elaine Hansen leave the house for the day, Davey and Sally get permission to stay by themselves. Davey soon learns rights and responsibility go hand in hand. Secret message: Just “April fooling” with you on that one… everyone knows that rights follow the Golden Rule… he who has the gold rules!