Garry Wills Body Slams the Christian Right

New York Times, April 9:

"The Romans did not believe Jesus when he said he had no political ambitions. That is why the soldiers mocked him as a failed king, giving him a robe and scepter and bowing in fake obedience (John 19:1-3). Those who today say that they are creating or following a "Christian politics" continue the work of those soldiers, disregarding the words of Jesus that his reign is not of this order."
Fierce bodyshots by the challenger!
Some people want to display and honor the Ten Commandments as a political commitment enjoined by the religion of Jesus. That very act is a violation of the First and Second Commandments. By erecting a false religion -— imposing a reign of Jesus in this order -— they are worshiping a false god. They commit idolatry. They also take the Lord's name in vain.
He's landing blows at will! How long can the Christian Right take this kind of punishment?
Jesus was the victim of every institutional authority in his life and death. He said: "Do not be called Rabbi, since you have only one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, the one in heaven. And do not be called leaders, since you have only one leader, the Messiah" (Matthew 23:8-10).
The Christian Right, in the Red Trunks is starting to wobble, this fight won't go to the judges...
He was never that thing that all politicians wish to be esteemed,— respectable. At various times in the Gospels, Jesus is called a devil, the devil's agent, irreligious, unclean, a mocker of Jewish law, a drunkard, a glutton, a promoter of immorality.

The institutional Jesus of the Republicans has no similarity to the Gospel figure.
He sends them to the canvas! ...8, 9, 10. This fight is over!

* * * * *

I thought it might be fun to take the Christian Right's favorite frame out for a spin. I didn't really want it to be war, so I changed the narrative to a boxing match. Less background that way. I didn't have time to come up with equivalentent of the Armor of God. Boxing seemed just as violent, dualistic, and dramatic but a little less... involved.

It was kinda fun, I have to admit. It's nice to paint yourself as the heroic underdog beating the crap out of the evil enemy. Especially if, like many Christianists, your at the bottom of the social order and don't actually have the ability to .beat the crap out of anybody (or at least command the respect of anybody).

For all the silly framing, though, Garry Wills formulates a convincing argument. He uses the same text that the Christianists claim to worship to prove that their whole movement isn't about God or Jesus or any religion represented by the text of their own 'infallible' holy book. The Christianists are about power, conformity, and the continued domination of one world view - their world view - over all others. Their movement is, according to Wills, heretical. While failing to actually call the Christianists out on that, all the scripture quoted in the piece drives at that conclusion.

This is argumentent that needs to come from within the Christain community. It won't mean anything coming from the outside.

No comments: