Sunday, April 14, 2019

When Size Matters: The Tiny Impotent Republican God


Republican Values by Nancy Ohanian

Bret Stephens is one of the New York Times' neoconservative #NeverTrump on-staff Republicans. Yesterday's column, Trump and the Annihilation of Shame, is another public yearn for the good ole days. "The contrast between then and now," he wrote, "is worth pondering in the Age of Trump-- an age whose signature feature isn’t populism or nationalism or any other –ism widely attached to the president. It’s the attempted annihilation of shame. Shame is neither sin nor folly. It’s what people are supposed to feel in the commission, recollection or exposure of sin and folly. In days bygone, the prescribed method for avoiding shame was behaving well. Or, if it couldn’t be avoided, feeling deep remorse and performing some sort of penance." Stephens could have as easily been writing this column about Joe Biden, but it fits Trump like a glove.
By contrast, the Trumpian method for avoiding shame is not giving a damn. Spurious bone-spur draft deferment? Shrug. Fraudulent business and charitable practices? Snigger. Outrageous personal invective? Sneer. Inhumane treatment of children at the border? Snarl.

Hush-money payoffs to a porn-star and centerfold mistresses? Stud!

The annihilation of shame requires two things. First, nerve: Whatever else might be said about Trump, it takes immense brass to lie as frequently and flagrantly as he does without apparently triggering any kind of internal emotional crisis. Ordinary mortals tend to blush when caught out in some kind of mischief. Trump smirks.

...It was once the useful role of conservatives to resist these sorts of trends-- to stand athwart declining moral standards, yelling Stop. They lost whatever right they had to play that role when they got behind Trump, not only acquiescing in the culture of shamelessness but also savoring its fruits. Among them: Never being beholden to what they said or wrote yesterday. Never holding themselves to the standards they demand of others. Never having to say they are sorry.

Trump-supporting conservatives-- the self-aware ones, at least-- justify this bargain as a price worth paying in order to wage ideological combat against the hypostatized evil left. In fact it only makes them enablers in the degraded culture they once deplored. What Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx is to Smollett, they are to Trump.
Funny how Stephens and normal people view the history of the amoral nature of conservativism so differently. As though Reagan and his regime were so very different from Trump and his intros regard. Poor guy; binded by the light right. The was a far better and more relevant moral lesson over the weekend than Stephens' from John Pavlovitz over at Stuff That Needs To Be Said: The Terribly Tiny God of MAGA Christians. Pavlovitz feels sorry for professed Christians who support Señor Trumpanzee. "They have a profound and fundamental spiritual problem," he wrote. "[T]heir God is too small. They passionately worship a deity made in their own image: white, American, Republican, male-- and perpetually terrified of just about everything: Muslims, immigrants, gay children, Special Counsel reports, mandalas, Harry Potter, Starbuck holiday cups, yoga, wind turbines, Science-- everything. Their God is so laughably minuscule, so fully neutered of power, so completely devoid of functioning vertebrae that 'He' cannot protect them from the encroaching monsters they are certain lurk around every corner to overwhelm them."
MAGA Christians sure put up a brave face, I’ll give them that. They shower this God with effusive praise on Sunday mornings, they sing with reckless abandon in church services about Him, they brazenly pump out their chests on social media regarding His infinite wisdom, they defiantly declare this God’s staggering might at every opportunity-- but their lives tell the truth: They believe He is impotent and scared and ineffectual. You can tell this because they insist on doing all the things that a God-sized God would simply do as part of the gig.

They need to be armed to the teeth at all times because they don’t really believe God will come through to defend them in a pinch-- and will always be outgunned.

They want to change gay couples and transgender teenagers themselves, because they don’t trust God to work within people as He desires. (Apparently God keeps making LGBTQ people, which really pisses them off.)

They want to stockpile and horde wealth, health insurance, and opportunity-- because this is a zero sum game; because the God they claim turned water into wine, and fed thousands with a few fish and some leftover bread-- can’t make enough for everyone.

They are obsessed with building a wall and defending a border and turning way refugees-- because their God isn’t generous or smart or creative enough to help them figure out how to welcome and care for everyone who requires it. 
They want no other religious traditions to have a voice, because their insecure and terribly tiny God is mortally threatened by such things.

MAGA Christians’ daily existence testifies that their God is a microscopic, myopic coward, who has appointed them to morally police a world He cannot handle or is not equipped to direct and renovate. That’s pretty sad.

In short, their God isn’t a God worth believing in or worshiping-- which is why they have to play God while they’re alive. It’s why they are furrowed-browed and white-nuckling their journey here-- not content to let Jesus take the wheel for fear he’d drive them outside their gated community and into the hood and ask them to get out and care for the people they’re so used to condemning.

If you’re going to have a God, it may as well be right-sized. The world deserves this... Their God is small and terrified-- and it suspiciously resembles them.

People deserve a God who so loves the world, not a God who thinks America First; whose creation begin without divides and borders and walls, because there is only a single, interdependent community.

People deserve a God who touched the leper and healed the sick and fed the starving and parted the seas and raised the dead-- not a quivering idol who drafts bathroom bills and social media crusades against migrant families.

People deserve a God who is neither white nor male nor cisgender-heterosexual, nor Republican-- because any other God isn’t big enough to bear the title or merit any reverence.

MAGA Christians believe in God earnestly, pray to God passionately, serve God with unflinching fervor. The problem is their God is too small, and as long as they are oriented toward such a tiny, useless deity-- they will continue to be compelled to do for God what they believe God should be doing, but can’t or won’t.

I feel sorry for them and for the world that has to be subjected to their pocket-sized theology when there is an expansive space waiting.

I hope and pray that these people soon find a God who is big enough so that they stop living so small.

For their sake-- and for ours.

Fascism Comes To America by Nancy Ohanian

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At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Pavlovitz managed to condense the world of the MAGAt to a size that should be understandable even to democraps. But since they don't learn either, I wonder if Pavlovitz will put together a concise description of a democraptic deity?

At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, valid criticisms that are far too narrowly aimed.

"Stephens could have as easily been writing this column about Joe Biden, but it fits Trump like a glove."

Biden sure. what about pelosi, mcturtle, ryan, reid, scummer, obamanation, any Clinton, dws, Bernie, Elizabeth...? they all had no shame when they violated their oaths, lied freely, engaged in boundless corruption, fomented hate and evil and all manner of other perfidy? the entire body politic has no shame and has not had since 1979. if you want to add in Nixon, it's been since the late '40s.

"They passionately worship a deity made in their own image: white, American, Republican, male-- and perpetually terrified of just about everything" and everyone who isn't like them? you neglected to mention the hate that parallels the fear.

But you also narrowly focus again. In fact, ALL deities worshipped by human morons are made in their own image; documented by human morons claiming divine intervention; and reflecting every single human limbic feature (greed, fear, hate...).

The irony here is the "son of" their god of American "sunni" Christians was a FUCKING PALESTINIAN JEW. And that means he looked much more like those old Nazi caricatures of jews than he looked like the pictures painted by all those European artists that strangely resemble Eric Clapton from his Cream days. How much delusion is possible in American fucktards? Is it infinite?

"their God isn’t a God worth believing in or worshiping"

an absolute truth. Yet, conspicuously, you again apply this far too narrowly.
1) this truth applies to every single human god ever. they all have size issues. they are all in the image of their worshippers.
2) take this to its logical conclusion: there can be no such god at all. it is logically inconsistent that such a god could exist. To believe so is to believe that we are playthings and the deity that amuses itself with us is fundamentally cruel. You know... like us.

is it sheepdogging when you write fundamental truths but apply it to only those you hate?
you practice what you condemn.

At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the deity of the democrap PARTY is $. lots of $s.
and the PARTY sees itself as their deity's clergy.

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all gods of humankind are petty little tyrants. the petty and tiny minds of mankind can conceive of nothing better.

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bret Stephens is full of crap. As soon as Bernie is nominated, Stephens will be kissing Trump's ring.


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