Are you tired of Republican war mongering? Try to pace yourself, because we are going to be hearing a lot of it in the coming days, now that they have won control of both houses of Congress. And given how many of them are religious extremists, well, let me tell you…
Hold that thought. Let me put it this way: Will the Republicans turn sane again, now that they are no longer the opposition party?
Short answer? No.
Let me explain why.
David Brooks assured us Thursday in a New York Times op-ed that, “every party in opposition goes a little crazy.” Then he turned comedian and told us, “Fortunately, serious parties eventually pull back from the fever swamps. That’s what’s happened to the Republican Party.”
I don’t need to remind Brooks, because he ought to know, that the Republicans just elected a whole slew of crazies. Brooks says, “Look at the Republicans who were elected to office on Tuesday.” He then completely forgets to mention Gordon Klingenschmitt, Joni Ernst and Michael Perouttka, and rather than telling us all the crazy things Thom Tillis has said, settles for giving us his employment resume, because, you know, having worked at Wang Laboratories and IBM sounds a whole lot more sane than ranting about Ebola-infected Mexicans invading Texas.
Tsk, tsk, Mr. Brooks. Ethics, ethics. Lying is a no-no. And that includes lies of omission.
Bryan Fischer, who hosts many of these self-same and allegedly currently sane Republicans on his show, embodied all that is evil in the Bible on Friday. While Pope Francis is condemning those who use religion to justify violence, Fischer is pushing a Bible-based just-war theory.
(I just want to be clear here before we go on: the election is over. The Republicans kept the House and won the Senate. Officially, controlling two-thirds of the government, the Republicans are no longer an opposition party.)
So following Brooks’ logic, the crazy is over now, right?
Wrong. We’re not even at the high-water mark of crazy yet.
Case in point. Stripped of its false sordid sanctity, Fischer’s theory – and remember, Fischer has already declared himself in theological accord with genocidal ISIL – goes like this:
if you want something, just say God says he wants you to have it. If you kill the other party, who is going to argue with your justification? They’re dead.
It’s a pretty neat system. And the fact that you won proves God wanted you to have it. The ends do indeed justify the means, even when those ends are utterly, unrepentantly evil.
First, Fischer justified the destruction of Israel’s Pagan population, as well as its Pagan neighbors, with some crude, bathroom metaphor, setting the stage by explaining if you’re not civilized enough, you have no rights:
This is why it was right for the nation of Israel, under God’s direction, to come in and displace the Canaanites. The Canaanites had been so corrupt, they had so lapsed into superstition and paganism, and idolatry, and sexual immorality and savagery – and you know, God gave ’em fourteen hundred years. God said to Moses, look, this land is yours, but I’m not going to be able to bring you into this land for another four hundred years because, he says, ‘The sins of the Amorites is not yet complete.’
Rutroh, an incomplete sin! Is this sort of like not interrupting your enemy while he’s making a mistake? Don’t interrupt him while he’s sinning?
No…it’s just “God’s patience,” says Fischer.
I’m going to be patient with the Amorite people for 400 years, and if they continue to sin at the rate they’re sinning, every time they sin they’re putting a little more slop in the slop bucket, and if they keep doing that the slop bucket’s going to get full, and I’m going to have to empty out that slop bucket.
Can you imagine the effrontery of those Canaanites, thinking they had the right to their own customs and traditions, their religion, society and culture! How dare they!
Nothing like digging up a little religious justification for genocide.
Needless to say then, it’s quite alright in Religious Right thinking for Israel today to engage in the same sort of genocide, as sanctioned by the same Old Testament. After all, according to their own claims about the Bible as the unchanging word of God, those who don’t believe in the “right” god have got to make way for those who do.
If this gang of thugs ever gets in control of all three branches of government here, don’t expect any sympathy from the United States, Palestinians: “Whoa! Wrong god! You’re on your own.”
Not that the US has shown much sympathy as it is. But things are never so bad that they cannot get worse, as the Jews themselves discovered in the 1930s when they found themselves on the wrong end of a little God-ordained ethnic nationalism.
Moving on from the Old Testament and the previously chosen people, Fischer turned his attention to the new chosen people, the Americans, justifying our genocide of the indigenous population:
This may even be a part of American history, when we think about the moral right for the nation and the peoples that God brought into this land to exercise sovereign control over this land. Part of that equation may have to do with the immorality of those nations that were exercising sovereign control over this land at the time.
So of course, God sent in his new chosen people, the Christians, to clean up this newly discovered nest of “superstition and paganism, and idolatry, and sexual immorality and savagery.”
Obviously then, Christians are entitled to whatever they say God wants them to have, because nowhere in the Bible – Old Testament or New – is there any mention of the New World or of Native Americans or of Christian rights to destroy in a comprehensive, Old Testament sense, those people.
Here is where we see how pretending facts don’t exist gets dangerous. A premise has to have some foundation in reality, yet David Brooks tells us that,
If the party is to fully detoxify its image, something will have to pass next year. Midwestern Republican governors will have to develop a compelling governing model. And the volcanic effusions of the Palin era will have to look like 1970s neckties – inexplicable oddities from another age.
It’s extremely unlikely that we will see any “compelling governing models” given some of these governors have had years to run their states into the ground – and have – but I think Brooks is missing the most important ingredient here: the GOP needs to stop sounding – and acting – crazy.
So far, we have seen no sign THAT is going to happen either. And I don’t know about you, but I shudder at the thought of all the evil Republicans are going to do in God’s name going forward.
No, folks, the crazy is pretty frikking far from over.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.