One of the most irritating things about being a 21st century American spinster aunt is the ceaseless barrage of invective against reason to which she is daily subjected. Right-wing women! Log Cabin Republicans! The Hasselhoffian Recursion!
Lately itâ€™s all â€œGodâ€ this and â€œScriptureâ€ that, with everybody running around believing in God willy-nilly, demanding that everybody else respect their â€œfaith.â€ They call it â€œfaith,â€ no matter how prejudicial, how unencumbered by lucidity, how foul or inhumane its ramifications, so that it will suddenly warrant immediate unconditional acceptance, which, inconceivably, it does.
Even if it was faxed by a moron actor from a seafood restaurant.
Which of course is totally bogus, and Iâ€™ll tell you why, right now, in my own words:
I used to have this T-shirt with a Jesus fish logo. Whenever I wore it to the rock club people would just wince and tell me that ironic T-shirts are for assholes. But whenever I wore it at one of your more ideologically neutral venues, like the grocery store, I noticed something truly bizarre: the proletariat would regard me with beatific tenderness, beaming happily, fighting back the urge to invite me over for tea and cake, because this cheap crap shirt from China said I was a safe, vapid, wholesome American. When for all they knew I was the D.C. sniper.
I should point out that at no other time since I turned 12 have people in grocery stores ever been anything but hostile toward me. There is apparently something sharp and unladylike about me–possibly it is my enormous brain–that frightens norms.
But what Iâ€™m saying is, whenever you want to sell something, no matter how odious, to the teeming throng without even trying, just slap a Jesus shirt on it. Like the norms in grocery stores, news media have been trained to automatically â€œrespectâ€ your â€œfaith.â€ To wit:
- God calls you to the presidency but you canâ€™t pronounce â€œnuclearâ€? No problemo! CNN will host â€œserious debateâ€ with Swift Boat Veterans and look the other way on that AWOL-during-Viet-Nam thing!
- Your old misogynist homophobe pope bites the dust and the rate of attrition amongst the faithful is threatening to bankrupt you? NPR to the rescue with Pope Month! Thatâ€™ll get the new guy some kick-ass PR for that essential East Coast Liberal demographic!
- Want to butt in on private life-or-death family decisions but the pesky U.S. Constitution is in the way? Gotcha covered! Fox will film your 16 nutbag protesters and makeâ€™em look like 1000!
Iâ€™ve noticed, though, that right-wing godbags can get kind of touchy about objections to the legislative turn their hyperactive faith-based fascism has been taking lately. This is because the extraordinary expectation of latitude held by Christian soldiers has somehow lodged itself in the mainstream zeitgeist of political discourse, and it has a virulent corollary: that those who choose rational analysis over unrestrained bigotry are, in a word, sinister. Thus was Terry Schiavo â€œmurderedâ€ by "activist judges." Thus are gay rights â€œanti-Christian.â€
You know, the only group I know of who are truly entitled to carte blanche, idiot-wise, are teenagers. Hello, right-wing godbags! Everybody hates teenagers!
Whatâ€™s passing for faith in 21st century America is a raging, retarded, highly politicized monomania. It smelleth not of scholarship or enlightenment or even theology. It is profoundly at odds with all the homiletical rhetoric we were used to from the moderate Churchies of yore: mercy, compassion, love thy neighbor, live and let live, if it feels good do it, judge not lest ye be judged, money canâ€™t buy me love, do the humpty-hump, thou shalt not kill, et. al.
Phony subservience to an immortal macho asshole, is what it amounts to. When a god hates everyone who isnâ€™t a straight white American male douchebag, itâ€™s time for a new god, hey? Or better yet, no god. Just say no to mass delusion!
Not that the cosmos will give a crap one way or the other.