Bad Faith

Dashiell

 

casablanca31.jpg In a speech the other day, Sam Brownback said the following: “The view of government without faith has been tried and failed; it was atheistic communism. It had the idea that somehow man would move himself into a perfected state, and it utterly failed. It didn’t look to the transcendent, and didn’t pull man out of himself in love.”

Here we have a fairly standard distortion, an imitation of actual thinking, in which the separation of church and state is identified with atheism. It’s designed to appeal to the
fundamentalists. Liberty from religious intolerance, from the enshrinement of religious power in government power, is framed as a threat to faith. The harking back to communism is an almost nostalgic appeal to the knee-jerk hatreds of the Cold War. If you don’t want prayer in the schools, if you think women should be able to decide themselves whether they want to go through with a pregnancy, if you think gay people should have the same rights as everyone else, well you must be an atheist communist.

An all-too obvious aspect of all this-which is, however, seldom
pointed out-is that Christian fundamentalists and their enablers must have incredibly weak faith, seeing as how they are in a practically constant state of anxiety about threats to it from liberals, feminists, gays, atheists, Muslims, or what have you. Their almighty God must be a puny little weakling if his rule is threatened by a few gays, or for that matter by any mortal who summons the courage to question
his existence. But of course the fundamentalist faith is the real
weakling, since it relies on a constant diet of hatred, resentment, anger, repression and contempt to stay viable. The spiritual midgets of the so-called religious right apparently think that God needs their help. Without Pat Robertson scrunching his eyes closed and asking for a Supreme Court Justice or two to have a heart attack, Jehovah just may not be able to succeed in his mission.

When someone like Brownback starts to pontificate about faith and the sacredness of life, etc., I am puzzled-no, dumbfounded-trying to understand what he means. He voted no on requiring CIA reports on detainees and interrogation methods. I guess “faith” means keeping silence when people are tortured. He voted no on banning chemical weapons. So I guess “faith” shouldn’t interfere with the right of the state to use nerve gas on human beings. He has continued to block pulling troops out of Iraq. I guess “faith” means more war, more death, more militarization, more fraud, more lying,
more lawlessness.

The faith that countenances continued violence and state-sponsored terror is no faith at all. It is a sham. And the only way someone like Brownback can tell himself that he is a man of faith is if “faith” is a concept so devoid of meaning as to simply indicate the craven exercise of power over others. And when our modern Pharisees hear of the suffering caused by their government, they cheer inside, and cry against those who stand for peace, and use the idea that liberals want man to “move himself into a perfected state” as an excuse to do nothing.

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~ by cdash on October 22, 2007.

8 Responses to “Bad Faith”

  1. Holy Shite. What a great post. Damn Dashiell.

    As one of the few card carrying Catholics who both want to read Jonestown and is welcome here (at least with Fairlane) I am going to say more than a few things. Starting with what I said above and also including THANK YOU.

    These people are pathetic. They are not Christians in any way I understand. They are a bunch of sick fucks. Yes I cuss a lot. I said I am Catholic not “Christian”. That means cussin’ and drankin’!

    Anyway, I digress. There is almost nothing and I mean nothing about their behavior, and I generalize because they make it so effing easy to do so with their idiotic and hateful behavior, is even remotely related to Jesus.

    Jesus, if they bothered to actually read and understand Scripture as more than some literal instruction book (thunder peal- God rolls eyes and thinks, wow, they just get dumber and dumber. got to call the quality control area.)for their redemption.

    Jesus basically fought the hypocrisy of the leadership that had lost its way with greed and hate. He hung with all the outcasts, broke rules, challenged authority and spoke truth to power.

    All non believers, that’s cool, you can say I am on some trippy day dream, but forgetting the supernatural parts, that is what he did. Healed lepers. Blind people. (they were thought to be “sinners”) He did this on -gasp- the Holy Sabbath! Ooooh… I am telling, Jesus broke the rules!

    Then he hung out with the two most outcast groups, tax collectors and prostitutes.

    I recently wrote about something on a blog I run for my church saying that I think if Jesus was here he would be hanging with the illegals, the peace-niks and gay folks. That is when I knew no one was really reading because no one said anything. I figured I would get a rise out of them on that one.

    Anyway, my long winded point is really summed up by your words here…“Their almighty God must be a puny little weakling if his rule is threatened by a few gays, or for that matter by any mortal who summons the courage to question his existence.”

    It is so pathetic. They are so pathetic. You wrote a great post. Thank you. Sorry for the long winded ramble, this is a topic close to my heart.

  2. I’m not exactly a biblical scholar, so can someone point me to the verse where Jesus tells us to “kick thine enemy in the nuts?” Thanks.

  3. Great post and great comment fran, there’s not much that you did not cover.

    There’s not any comparison between true Religion and the Christian right. For too long Atheist has use the Evangelical Christians to attack true Religion and for good cause.

  4. I’m thinking the word “faith” can easily be used as a disguise in order to do horrible things to human beings. It seems to cover all “sins”. If he did it in the name of faith, it must be justified in some way according to the bible. To which I say bs.

    I agree with you, their god must be mighty weak if he relies on people like this to carry out his work. Hell, they don’t even qualify to be president yet they are the best He’s got?

  5. What an excellent post. Between your post and Fran’s comments there is little to add. I do want to mention that the failure of Communism wasn’t due to the lack of religion as the religious right loves to point to; as far as I can recall, it was due more to bureaucratic inefficiency (did they have any excuse to explain why people had to stand in line at the store for bread?), greed (a fine capitalistic principle that communism doesn’t take into account with its original philosophy) and perhaps putting too much money into the Cold War and not enough into their people.

    Speaking of utter hypocrites, does anyone, anywhere, really believe that Ann Coulter sincerely thinks she’s a Christian?

  6. Awesome, Dashiell. You got the MANIFESTO here (heh-heh). I’ll just add two words: ELMER and GANTRY.

  7. I used this quotation from Thomas Merton in a post at my blog today…
    “Curiously, the most serious religious people, or the most concerned scholars, those who constantly read the Bible as a matter of professional or pious duty, can often manage to evade a radically involved dialogue with the book they are questioning.”
    – Thomas Merton, Opening the Bible

  8. I went to Catholic School and my Principal walked around with a lit Marlboro and a perpetually full snifter of brandy. The only man besides my father I warily looked in the eye.
    There are no ‘true’ Christians.
    The foundation is hopelessly is flawed.
    People have been worshipping the wrong guy for a long time.

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