Senator Cornyn, Senator Cruz, Representative Williams,
Separating kids from their families. Dosing them into compliance with psychotropic drugs without parental consent or knowledge of their medical history. Putting them in cages. Losing track of them. Trafficking them. Denying due process. Joking about it. These are acts of incipient evil: callous, careless, and cruel. We have crossed a bright shining line.
American democracy is up against a relatively large, well-heeled, and highly organized Christofascist bloc whose rhetoric reveals their contempt for pluralism and democratic norms and their desire to impose theocratic authoritarianism on the rest of us. To resist, we need to know how to understand and contextualize that rhetoric. Many of us who have lived and left right-wing evangelicalism and who have been trying, in some cases for years, to expose the Christian Right as authoritarian and abusive, are ready to serve as interpreters.
Trumpism and American Evangelicalism are racist and misogynist religions based on patriarchy and white supremacy. The most churched white people in the country support Nazis who chant “Jews will not replace us.” They support child abusers, domestic abusers, harassers, rapists, and the language of domestic violence while devaluing women and children. They support violent discrimination against LGBTQ and disabled people. They support rape culture, spiritual abuse, and the gaslighting of a nation. They support tearing apart families and traumatizing children. Radicalized from birth in enclaves of fear and hate, they are the self-avowed enemies of democracy and pluralism.
Kidnapping children of color (an American tradition) is just the latest depravity forwarded by the acolytes of these pluralism-rejecting ideologies. A great many Americans, sick of this low and cruel form of Christianity, are emptying the pews in response. Immigrants and Muslims and LGBTQ aren’t the problems. White evangelicals are. You are.
You, my representatives, are morally and ethically bankrupt (near enough to round down) authoritarian bigots. You are traitors selling out our foreign policy to dictators. You are kleptocrats dismantling our country. You are bad people operating outside laws, norms, and civil society. The indictments are rolling in (23 as of this writing), though not fast enough to save our systems from generations of rebuilding.
We see you. We see your racial hatred, your indifference to suffering, and your refusal to examine systemic causes. We see your hypocrisy, your inconsistency, your incredibly selective mercy, and your thinly veiled supremacy. We see your deflection, false equivalence, fear-based socialization, projection, and defensive fetishes. We see you cherry picking hate and ignoring love. We see you and reject you. Your bigotry and base morality are cautionary tales to our kids. Do not be like these twisted and unworthy men. Do not discard ethics and tatter your souls as they have done. Do not be on their side of history.
“Will they kidnap me and put me in a cage,” ask kids across America after glimpsing the news. I cannot reassure my Jewish kids that their whiteness will protect them from a party of providentialist Christofascists following the script (stage 7 out of 9) of segregation, concentration, and genocide-ready tyranny. With the GOP and the Trump administration elevating and amplifying virulently anti-Semitic Holocaust deniers and the Republican electorate electing Nazis, reassurances might become more lies on the pile.
“Needless to say, racists don’t spend a lot of time hunting down reliable data to train their twisted models. And once their model morphs into a belief, it becomes hardwired. It generates poisonous assumptions, yet rarely tests them, settling instead for data that seems to confirm and fortify them. Consequently, racism is the most slovenly of predictive models. It is powered by haphazard data gathering and spurious correlations, reinforced by institutional inequities, and polluted by confirmation bias. In this way, oddly enough, racism operates like many of the WMDs I’ll be describing in this book.”
Racism makes bad decisions and bad policy. Your careers, my reps, provide ample example. Russia and white supremacists are still interfering in our systems (many of us in infosec and tech offer continuous witness), but Congress and POTUS are more concerned with baseless, performative racism than with fortifying our infrastructure and protecting our citizens against a hostile nation-state and domestic Christofascist terror. Your performances in hearings with Comey, Hayden, Watts, et al demonstrate your loyalties. Those loyalties are not to our country or Constitution. They are loyalties to party, power, patriarchy, and supremacy. A government made of such loyalties is an enemy of the people.
I think we can’t keep going with a system that allows the minority to run the country, especially a racist minority, a misogynist minority, a fundamentalist minority, a cruel…minority.
How long will the majority consent to be governed by the minority?
Source: Waiting – emptywheel
You represent the most intolerant and cruel of our deliberately poisoned body politic. Beneath respect and beyond moral rehabilitation, you merit not even the pretense of respectability from the constituents you marginalize and endanger. You are not civil. You are not respectable. You are not acceptable. You are not okay. You do not know how to behave in polite society.
You are pariah. Wherever you go, you will be seen and rejected for what you are: racist, misogynist, eugenicist, ableist, bigot, traitor, gaslighter, liar. There are social costs for intolerance. There are costs for imposing your dark, dystopian vision of “one kleptocracy under God” upon us.
I think it’s important for liberal Americans who do not come from a patriarchal religious background to hear our stories and to sit with that shock. Why? Because I remain convinced that if American civil society and the American press fail to come to grips with just how radically theocratic the Christian Right is, any kind of post-Trump soft landing scenario in which American democracy recovers a healthy degree of functionality is highly unlikely.
To put it another way, you may not come from Jesus Land, USA, but Jesus Land is coming for you. We will all be subjected to theocratic dystopia, to “one kleptocracy under God,” if we don’t stop the Christian Right. The Christian Right has been able to acquire massively disproportionate power in part because the press has allowed evangelicals’ slick, code switching PR spin doctors–such as the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell “journalists never ask me about my view that feminism is a heresy” Moore–to frame the national discussion of evangelicalism. The result is that the readers of major news outlets are presented with an unrealistically benign picture of a darkly authoritarian, cult-like branch of Protestantism. That’s one reason I’m writing this essay.
The elephant in the room is that the vast majority of (mostly white) conservative Evangelicals hold to a fundamentalist, authoritarian version of Christianity that is incompatible with pluralism, but for that no less “really” Christian, as “real” Christianity comes in both reactionary and progressive versions. Combined with political power, conservative Evangelicalism threatens democracy and human rights, and to continue to treat conservative Evangelicals as if they are operating in good faith within the acceptable boundaries of American democratic norms will serve only to normalize extremism, allowing Evangelicals to further erode our democracy. And pretending that “real” religion is incapable of being abusive and anti-democratic only serves to deflect from the rot within American Christianity that we as a society need to face.