Thursday, August 6, 2015
Religion in the Modern World
This morning I had a tiny epiphany regarding the IOKIYAR [It’s OK if you're a Republican] cliche. Of course, this is just tribalism - that much has always been obvious. What struck me today is the connection of Tea Party Rethuglianism to Christian religious fundamentalism.
The basic concept of Christian fundamentalism is that once you accept Jesus as your personal savior, you’re in - you’re saved, you’re going to heaven: end of story. They way in which you live your life - your sins vis-vis your good works - becomes irrelevant.
Implicit in this concept is the notion that Jesus will inform your life in such a way that you will then live it according to the ideals that Jesus preached constantly and exemplified continuously in his own life: love one another, take care of those in need, forgive, and don’t judge.
But we all know how that works out.
Of course, the antitheses of all of these is greed and hatred. What I see among self-righteous, self-professing Christians in the pubic sphere is boundless greed, hatred on steroids, utter contempt for those in need, and harsh - indeed merciless - judgement for those who do not meet their approval, for whatever reason.
Then what I see among the Christian community at large [with the notable exception of the current Pope and his minions - but the fundamentalists don’t believe Catholics are real Christians anyway, so that doesn’t count for much] and most notably the Christian right, is agreement with and approval for every bit of this. But since they’re saved, it’s all good.
So here’s the connection: when you’re in the tribe, whether it be the Christian or the Rethug Tea Party variety, anything you do is OK, because - well, just because. And, to a large extent, these two tribes are really just one.
So now you see Donald Trump making stupidly outrageous comments on a wide variety of topics, and surging in the polls. Because he is not only a Rethug, but playing to the ignorance and prejudice of a base which is largely the religious right.
The hypocrisy - it burns.