Regarding the horrific massacre at Charlie Hebdo, I am in full agreement with Charlie.
This is the mass, unbridled, brainless Id of the barbarian at war with modernity in all its expressions. This is where anti-science leads, where a contempt for education leads, where the suppression of women leads, where marrying political fanaticism to religious fervor almost always leads. This is where theocracy brings us, over and over again.
And to say this in America is no small thing. It’s nowhere near as courageous, or dangerous, as printing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed on your magazine’s front page after having your office firebombed. But to call attention to the ever-lurking dangers of politically ravenous Christianism is to earn focused hatred from our own right-wing.
Because by way of the their unholy triumvirate, alongside Big Money and Big Business, Republican politics is wholly owned by the Big Prophet: Jesus Christ. When was the last time, for instance, you heard a Republican run for the Oval Office without receiving His singular blessing? T’would be unthinkable, because conservatives demand that their potential government servants be divinely and fervently empowered – and strictly, only – by Him. Michelle Bachmann:
“God then called me to run for the United States Congress,” she said. “Who in their right mind would spend two years to run for a job that lasts for two years? You’d have to be absolutely a fool to do that. You are now looking at a fool for Christ. This is a fool for Christ.”
“I prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m a man of faith,” Cain said. “And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You’ve got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?’”
“I’m getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs.”
“People have asked me…over these last 18 months whether I’m running, and I always say, ‘I’m walking.’ And I’m walking because I’m trying to walk in the path that God’s leading me in…”
You will note that each one of these holy-rollers led Republican polling at one time or another in the 2012 campaign. But I’m not here to allege that these people are, or would be, prone to political violence. What I’m here to tell you is that any politics which must be subservient to religion is dangerous. It’s a politics crafted to be a weapon for the few and the pure, and, thus, wholly threatening to Western-style democracy. Here to demonstrate the dangers of dominion I give you the President of the Catholic League, conservative icon Bill Donohue:
“Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter,” he wrote. “It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, ‘Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.’ Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.”
Donohue lays the blame for Charbonnier’s shocking murder at the foot of his casket. He warns: “Mister if you think you’re someone who can just say whatever he pleases, you’re a real narcissist. Don’t be surprised when the true believers you run afoul of show up to blow your head off.” This is not a traditional American attitude, you know? Perhaps that view was once in vogue when the defenders of the faith felt the need to burn witches, but we’ve managed to cobble together a Constitution – with notable amendments – since then. Usually we carry these free speech conceits around with us while addressing related matters, but Donohue hasn’t noticed:
“What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.”
As if some religious beliefs are held so dearly, by some people, that our own Bill of Rights really ought to defer on the relevant points. Perhaps we might call it then A Bill of Particulars, as custom-ordered by well-loved religions. The First Amendment ought to bow and scrape to Christendom first, of course, followed by Judaism second, and then, somewhere down the line, past some zanier sects of Voodoo and Beatlemania, eventually Islam (time permitting).
Of course anyone who would wholly empower their private religious beliefs to dictate a nation’s multi-cultural post-modern politics isn’t interested in what anyone outside that belief system ultimately thinks, or feels. They’re not interested in power-sharing. They’re not interested in compromise. They’re not even interested in what Christ himself would think of such apartheid. They only want to Hosanna unmolested inside their members-only construct while all you outsiders disappear. Which is why Bill Donohue is such an asshole.