Thursday, November 19, 2015

Carrying a Cross and Wrapped in the Flag


I don't like the flavor of the current political atmosphere much these days, as I keep returning to how the attacks in Paris turned into a hotbed of concern about accepting Syrian refugees in the US. Tengrain, at the risk of Godwinning, took a look at the kind of things that were being batted around, and heard that as the "dog whistle heard round the world." I think that's exactly right. Politicians right here tend to not realize there is a whole entire world outside of the US with the ability to see what we're doing. And what we're doing is very Christian-signifying.

Take the idea that being Christian should specifically be privileged in accepting refugee applications. I really hate this idea. The Assad government isn't specifically bad to Christians at all, but they definitely have a problem with Daesh and other militant Islamist groups--I just don't see how this makes life worse for them than Muslims who apply, or why we should view them as better because "there's no meaningful risk" of Christians committing acts of terror. And sure, in context, Syrian Christians won't, and for the same reason Muslims wouldn't--pretty fucking grateful to be here and not where the bombs and bullets are!  But if the slinger of that bullshit, son of a Cuban refugee and a supporter of refugees until like, a minute ago, Ted Cruz, wants to talk about whether Christians ever do terror--yeah. Right here in the US, they sometimes do.

(Also--I don't know how much of a "history buff" my regular readers might be--but did anyone ever hear of "benefit of clergy"? This was an English thing where if you could prove you were trained as a pastor, you got off of being tried for anything in a civil court and got to go to a more lenient one. This led to certain of the criminal class being very boned-up on a certain Latin passage, which became a "Get out of a stiff sentence with this one weird sentence" card. How is that not totally subjective and circumventable?)

But here's the deal, privileging religion is pretty bizarre--we have some non-Christians to definitely talk about. Albert Einstein was a refugee whose application we accepted.  Anne Frank was one whose application was not.  Both endured a period of actual "statelessness", when they could properly say they had no home country at all.

So, when we have been led by The Donald (Il Douchey) to accept that 11 million people can be rounded up and deported and it wouldn't cost a thing and we'd have this brilliant wall--why wouldn't some cracker come up with rounding up our present group of accepted refugees and just, I dunno, herding them into a camp?  (And would we appoint Joe Arpaio to run the camp, or is that too rather?)

When people of ethnic or religious minorities, like Hispanics and Muslims, are singled out, the rest of us have to sort out where we stand. Because US candidates for president literally attended a rally about killing the gays. Does that at all sound familiar in history?

The funny killing joke in all this is, that some of the people nodding their heads right now to the nativist beat, were quite all right with depicting Obama as Hitler. They shouted about who the real fascist was and all that. But here we are.  Cross, check. Flag, check. Historical perspective? Totally AWOL. 

These things people like Trump says--are communicating to the world what our values are, and who we are. I want to think we are not this stuff. We can do better than this. This is a horror.

2 comments:

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vivacious, sometimes I find myself in the odd position of defending Christianity. It must be stated, of course, that my view of Christianity arrives from brilliant theologians and not from the church on the corner.

In an earlier comment I wrote about the transcendental and immanent nature of absolute reality. One of the metaphors used to explain this comes from Dorothy L. Sayers who wrote the detective series featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. Imagine the analogy of a prolific author who has written a shelf full of books. Naturally, a keen mind meticulously scrutinizing these volumes could learn a lot about the nature of the mind that conceived and executed those works. It would be possible to be able to assert quite a lot about the author. On the other hand, the author lived a life in which many things never went into books. A whole life of events and thoughts that one could never guess from reading the volumes.

The part of the author's life that we never knew could by analogy be thought of as the transcendental part of the absolute nature. And the part that we could gather from a meticulous scrutiny of all the author's works could be thought of as the immanent portion of the author's works. Interestingly, Dorothy Sayers had quite a lot to say about all this, and much of it is very interesting.

We agree that ISIS is terrible, and I have said that the war rages on the astral plane. A way of looking at this is to understand that jihadists supported by Islamic teaching is an egregore that is struggling against the egregore of the West. The egregore that wins will determine the outcome of the conflict, and therefore what happens to all of us. You are going to be uncomfortable with what I'm about to say, but I'm talking strictly in terms of what egregores are and how they operate and am not trying to suggest some moral implication.

I realize that you essentially see yourself as a reformer trying to challenge the status quo on issues that you regard as requiring attention. However, if you are not a combatant on either this level or the next, the best thing you can do is help strengthen the Western egregore. That means putting affirmative thoughts and emotions into affirmation of the United State and other Western countries – meaning affirmation of Christianity and its challenge to Islamic theology. That means affirmation of the Western way of life. The idea is temporarily to put aside reformation and do what you can to strengthen the Western egregore as it battles the Islamic egregore. I don't expect that this will be tempting to you, but on the level of the struggle between egregores, a lot of our citizens weaken ours while they put fanatical energy into theirs. There are times for reformation and changing the status quo; however, there are times when strong affirmation of our own values needs to be asserted.

Beyond that if you wanted to be helpful you would take time to visualize the superiority of the West and our way of life and our values as strongly and emotionally fervent as you can to help the Western egregore grow in its strength. There are other things, but I am not allowed to discuss those openly.

Sometimes Christianity needs to be rebuked, but in our day that time has temporarily passed, and what needs to be rebuked is radical Islam and the theology that supports it.

The Christian Identity Movement is a handful of lu-lus that has no acceptance among the roughly 180 million regular Christian denominations in the US.

Vixen Strangely said...

If the Christian Identity movement is so minor, why don't I hear more mainstream Christians denouncing them? (To use the construct one always hears against moderate Muslims regarding the terrors of their extremists.)

I get bored looking at this in geographical terms of East vs West, Us vs. them. Round planet, all the same DNA. I'm with Denis Diderot.