Saturday, May 06, 2006

Brandi: Publicity Seeker

I'm coming to the conclusion that Brandi Swindell is all about Brandi Swindell. It's called self aggrandizement and brand enhancement.

Ms. Swindell was arrested at the White House for "praying" in support of the reporter who disrupted the recent visit of China's President Hu. The reporter was protesting China's persecution of Falun Gong. I'm not quite sure of the connection between Ms. Swindell's cause and the Falun Gong.

On her website, Swindell says

Ms. Swindell said, "I was saddened to see faith trampled on in China. I was also inspired when I saw Dr. Wenyi Wang on the news... I feel shame that my country would treat her this way."

Okay, Swindell is supporting "faith". Makes sense for a religious conservative to support faith. However, Falun Gong doesn't seem to fit into Swindell's very Christian-oriented view of acceptable faith. This site says:

The practice of Falun Gong is composed of two components:

A moral philosophy for self-improvement, and
Five sets of "qi" exercises, done to Chinese music and involving lotus postures and hand movements. Qi "refers to the most fundamental concept of the Chinese cosmology and has been interpreted as 'steam' or 'breath,' the life-force, the fundamental element of the Creation and the energy of every form of existence, including human bodies."

Falun Dafa is the spiritual movement that practices Falun Gong. Increasingly, the movement itself is being called Falun Gong.

So, we can draw one of two conclusions. One, Swindell embraces faith regardless of the beliefs. She supports Christianity, of course, and apparently Islam, Buddism (Falun Gong is primarliy Buddhist), and other faiths. Or two, she is doing this not because she really supports faith but rather because she is trying to promote herself and the Brandi Swindell brand.

By supporting Falun Gong she is supporting a religion that does not follow Judeo-Christian beliefs, so she is declaring her support for any religion. Wicca? Paganism? And if so, why so militant in support of the Christian Ten Commandments?

Pretty clearly, Swindell does not really support the Buddhist religion. She was doing this prayer vigil just to promote herself and the Swindell brand. She stayed after the alloted time in front of the White House, after being warned, purposefully to get arrested. What was the point of being arrested?

Was this civil disobedience? She was arrested for refusing to move away from the Ten Commandments monument in Boise. I guess I'd call that legitimate civil disobedience. She was (apparently) trying to physically protect the monument, and got arrested. There was a point to it.

Getting arrested for overstaying a prayer vigil in support of a reporter who disrupted a state visit to protest Falun Gong oppression is pointless. She got to pray. She had alerted the media that she planned to stage the protest. Overstaying at that spot was intended to get her arrested. It was solely and purely to generate publicity for herself. Couldn't she pray somewhere that she wouldn't be arrested? Was it more important to pray or get arrested?

Yes, she drew attention to Falun Gong the Buddhist spiritual movement. If that was her point I expect to see her drawing attention to all kinds of non-Christian movements. If not, the point was to promote Brandi Swindell.

And last but not least, Swindell demonstrated her disregard for law. Wouldn't it be more in tune with her Christian principles to raise money to feed the poor, or to actually work in a mission?


bobby fletcher said...

Alan, I guess Brandi doesn't know FLG teaches that Jesus is a weak god and only saves white people, while Falun Gong's God Master Li, who lives in Queens, is a powerful God that can save everyone.

Brandi is well advised to look into the veracity of Dr. Wang's "Chinese Auschwitz" claim before she poses next to the White House gate again:

Dr. Wang is the lead researcher for Epoch Times NY's conveniently timed "Sujiatun Auschwitz" allegation that has since being discredited:

Given Dr. Wang's profession as a pathologist, and New York's recent string of grisly illegal cadaver organ harvesting cases, it's not hard to see how that could have pushed an already fragile psyche weakened by cultish political teaching, over the edge.

- The hospital being accused is a joint venture with a company affaliated with the Malaysian government. Malay officials have fisited the site in previous years:

Bubblehead said...

Some good points, but I do need to point out that the Ten Commandments are actually part of Jewish dogma... (They come from the Book of Exodus, which is part of the Torah.)

Alan said...

Agreed that the Ten C are part of the Torah, but most Christians recognize the Old Testament. I'm not sure how all the denominations value the Old T, greater, lesser or equal to the New T, but Ms. Swindell exhalting the Ten C is consistent with religious conservative thinking and her past actions. I think she got her start with the Keep the Commandments Coalition.

Bubblehead said...

While most Christians will say that one should follow the precepts of the Ten Commandments, I still think that calling them the "Christian" Ten Commandments is inaccurate (although I'll grant that it's almost entire Christians pushing for their public display).

Alan said...

Point taken. Judeo-Christian is probably more accurate, since they originated with the Jews but were later adopted by the Christians.

Or better yet, just call them the Ten Commandments and leave off the adjective.

Anonymous said...

Get your facts straight sunday are repeating propaganda straight from one of the worst human rights abusers in the world-chinese communist party. These facts are not true and if you want the facts then read the book yourself "Zhuan Falun". Did you know that the Chinese Communist Party banned this book 3 years prior to banning the practise in China-hmmmm so when the practise was banned and vilified no one could go and read the book for themselves because it was gone....Sounds pretty devious to me.

Julie in Boise said...

I've read this thread and Adam's defense of BS at his blog. (A Brandi Swindell Administration? Yeah, right, when she can't even win a seat on the Boise City Council ... thank God for that.)

Alan, I think you are spot on about BS being first and foremost a publicity hound. Most of us outside the Christian fundamentalist fold believe in religious freedom so yes, it is intriguing to contemplate BS being in that category. If she truly believes in free expression of faith, more power to her.

However, most of us do not fly to Washington, D.C.; alert the media; then kneel in front of the White House long enough to get arrested to make this point.

What was it Jesus said about praying in private - of not making a public spectacle of your faith? That verse is the one most egregiously missing from the Gospel of Brandi Swindell.