Monday, July 13, 2009

Wow. Just wow.

This Malkin Nominee must be read to be believed. Just a taste: "Sarah Palin loves God. God loves Sarah Palin. And that is why they hate her...and Him. And why she -- and He -- will be back...[I]t is evil because it is accompanied by crushing debt that will, ultimately, devour large chunks of individual income... Sarah Palin is concerned about unborn children -- another God thing. Fancy that."

Whenever wingnuts start going on this track, it reminds me of Dr. Leo Spaceman from 30 Rock, when he said that science is whatever we want it to be. For these people, God is whoever they want Him to be. Needless to say, the Bible doesn't actually proscribe economic guidelines by which Christian societies ought to be formed (then again, what guidelines do exist suggest that much of the Western economic system is unChristian--i.e. the famous prohibition against usury), not to mention that there's not actually any sort of guidelines with respect to when a pregnancy can be terminated, considering that Christ came in a prescientific age when not nearly as much was known about human development as is now. I'm not saying that these positions are indefensible, or that Christians can't hold them, but I do think that some appellation other than Christian ought to be applied to some of these wingnuts, because they really do worship another god altogether.

For me, my politics are related to my faith in the sense that my worldview follows logically from it. I tend to believe that people are generally good, but that everyone is born with a will to power that will, absent self-awareness and humility, tend to act in ways that glorify the self over others. This is why democracy makes sense, as it distributes power in ways that minimize this corruption of the will (or, at least, diffuse its effects), but I think it goes further than that. Power isn't just held by officials, but also by wealthy individuals, corporations, moneyed interests, etc., and such accumulations of power will be much more likely to lend themselves to corruption. I see this as being sort of the basic form of Christian liberalism, and a straightforward adaptation of Christian insights about human nature into the political sphere, but I'm not under the illusion that it's the only way of applying those insights. It's just one that you don't hear about too often, despite its having a long and storied tradition.

I would say that it's ironic that the religious right is arguably one of the least authentically Christian organizations in the current political sphere, but really it isn't ironic. It's expected. Nobody is incorruptible. Pride makes us think that we are, which is its danger. The whole thing is a cautionary tale about the dangers of hubris, really.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.