Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Christian Martyrs

For the sanctity of which of her 4 marriages will Kim Davis claim the palm of martyrdom?

I relish being preached at by multiple divorcees and serial adulterers about my love life and my sexuality.
I just love how members of autocratic fundamentalist congregations with harsh penalties for any deviation from the Straight and Narrow bang on about "freedom."
I'm thrilled that the Roman Catholic Church is remaking itself as a fertility cult led by celibate old men.

And in the end, I think none of this has anything to do with religion or morality.  It is all about identity, about tribe; who's Us and who's not.  It's all of a piece with the white identity politics that dominates the Republican Party these days.  The one time party of the chamber of commerce now remakes itself into a far right national front party focused on a threatened racial, gender, religious, and class supremacy.  The use of the tax code to redistribute the wealth from everyone else to the top of the food chain is part of that supremacist agenda.  Ayn Rand evicts Adam Smith from his old seat at the GOP.
So too is the focus on gays.  Gays are the ultimate beneficiaries of liberal cosmopolitanism, the very personification of that detested liberalism that puts universalism ahead of identity; humanism ahead of sectarianism.   The Bible has comparatively little to say on same sexuality as compared to a lot to say about adultery and divorce as well as social justice issues.  But that disproportionate focus on one small thing, putting it at the center of the Christian faith right there with the Resurrection and the Trinity, is central to the anti-cosmopolitanism of the supremacist far right. The white American race through its Christian mandate claims a manifest destiny to rule, according to this school of thought.  The universal proclamation of salvation as the free gift to all by a self-sacrificial God becomes barely recognizable beneath the distortions imposed on it by the necessities of supremacist identity politics.

As I've said before, "religious freedom" is just code for the liberty to be a pious asshole and to feel superior while treating other people like shit.


Dan Savage on the whole Kim Davis fracas:

I say this with sadness, I say this as the son of a preacher, I say this as a former seminarian: This pathetic bullshit is what passes for Christianity in America today. Thanks to the efforts of hate groups like the American Family Association, the Family Research Council (co-founded by a tortured closet case and lately the employer of a kid-diddling serial adulterer), the 700 Club, the Moral Majority, the National Organization for Marriage, the National Association of Evangelicals, etc., and the mousy, near-complicit silence of left-wing and progressive Christians, "Christian" is now synonymous with "anti-gay bigot." 
To be a good American Christian like Kim Davis—or a good Alaskan Christian like Bristol Palin—you don't have to stay in your first marriage, you don't have to stop getting knocked up by randos who aren't your husband, you don't have to deny marriage licenses to straight people who are remarrying or marrying outside the faith or obtaining marriage licenses for Godless secular marriages. Nope. You just have to hate the homos. Hate the homos and you're right with the God of Tony Perkins and Josh Duggar, hate the homos and you're good with American Jesus. (Toss in support for capital gains tax cuts and Jesus loves you even more.) You don't have to feed the sick, clothe the naked, house the homeless—you don't have to do any of that shit Jesus actually talked about—you just have to hate the homos hard enough to go to jail for for your beliefs cash in on your bigotry.


And a martyr is born.


JCF said...

And you just know, she can't understand the comparisons AT ALL.

"Well yes, I'm not perfect---but JEEEZUS has forgiven Meeeeeee! But y'all are a bunch of disgusting f@ggots. How can you stand to even show y'all's faces in public, you PERVERTS!!! Y'all goin' to Hell, you know what. HELL!"

Bless her heart (and her formerly pregnant---by a man NOT her then-husband!---uterus).

JCF said...

"the mousy, near-complicit silence of left-wing and progressive Christians"

I'm curious how you feel about this accusation, Doug. I find it painful. Sure, partly in a "truth hurts" sense. But more in a "why do you think we 'left-wing and progressive Christians' (which the media has ZERO interest in, no matter what we do or say) are SUPERMEN/WOMEN? The idea that because I happen to have a belief-system that has one word, one SOUND, < ˈdʒiːzəs >, in common w/ the Christianists, that I can control them?"

It's almost like an anti-theist like Savage (etc) really DOES believe enough in the supernatural---when it comes to, say, Episcopalians like me---that we can have Divine Powers!

...and as a Queer Christi--, no, follower of the Prince of Peace (Episcopalian), feeling like Christianists want to (literally, qua Matthew Shepherd) crucify me for the former, and anti-theists want to emotionally (spiritually?) um, "Savage" me for the latter. It's No-Win. And when cornered into a No-Win situation, I tell ya, I'm not calling out "Oh Queer Anti-Theism, SAVE me!" Nope, I lean on the everlasting arms of ˈdʒiːzəs...

Counterlight said...

I don't like it either, but I post it because I think he speaks for a lot of gays and lesbians, maybe most.
Openly gay and Christian is a very rare fish these days. I'm not sure there's much more that we can do alone other than to throw ourselves at Tony Perkins. He'd just step over us anyway.

Gerrit said...

In the Dutch province Zeeland some 30 ( if not 40; oh dear...!) years ago two girls brought up in a very conservative splinter of the Dutch Reformed Church (TV is the devil's own box, go cycling on a sunday and you put you soul in peril) decided they wanted to be nurses, to help delivering healthy babies to happy mothers.
To their horror, abortion appeared to be part of the nursing school's curriculum.IIRC they graduated, after which the local hospital indeed expected them to assist with abortions. They resigned.
I sympathise with those girls, who I doubt not might have made excelllent nurses, and I do think the hospital could easily have performed abortions without them, out of respect their religious principles.

Any thoughts?

Counterlight said...

I'm not sure the Dutch nurses who oppose abortion amount to quite the same thing. I doubt that there are institutions here that would not allow them to excuse themselves from procedures that they object to. Kim Davis had that option. She could have simply left same-sex marriages to her assistants in the County Clerk's office (5 out of 6 of them were willing to certify such marriages even before Kim Davis forbid them to do so). That's the real problem. She forbade her subordinates (who did not share her religious beliefs) from following the law laid down by the recent Supreme Court decision, putting them in possible legal jeopardy as well as herself.

The religious right in this country compares Kim Davis to Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights pioneer who refused to give up her seat to a white man and to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. A comedian pointed out that Kim Davis is not like Rosa Parks at all. She's more like the bus driver who refused to drive the bus until Ms. Parks yielded her seat and went to the back of the bus.