Monday, December 21, 2009

And On And On They Bang On Their Empty Drum

Robert P. George with fellow pillar of the Church, George P. Dush
"With friends like these, who needs enemies?" muttered Almighty God as the photo was taken.
The Times profiles another vitally-important Conservative Concerned Christian Christly Conservative, Robert P. George. He's Very Important, the piece tells us. It seems that having ruled the nation with Bush in the White House for nearly a decade, the Christian Right continues to rule the attention of the New York Times.

Perhaps a posse of Elmer Gantrys catched a hold of them worldly, wine-bibbing Times' editors in a dark, sinful, lust-strewn alleyway or back street and whispered words of warning and Godly concern in their ears: "Without SALVATION AND CHRIST and decent press coverage for our backward, feudalistic mumbo-jumbo, you're going to BURN in HELL for ALL-CAPITALIZED ETERNITY, SINNERS!"

Because it is mumbo-jumbo. In the profile of George, the writer ably assists his subject in dressing up 'conservative' opinion as modern yet philosophically-grounded thinking, and relevant to these times. A central plank of George's raison d'etre is his opposition to same-sex marriage. On that, more than continuing the losing fight against a woman's right to choose whether she may abort a foetus or not, George says the Christian Right must take its stand. As its predecessors took their stand... against women voting, interracial marriage, civil rights for blacks... Against gravity. Against Galileo.

But same sex marriage will not bring about the end of the world, it will not cause Western civilization to collapse, it is not some wild, crazy, sheep-and-dog-fuck-circus moving in as your next door neighbors. It is about civil rights, and a very modest extension of them. It is not even close to (for example) the 'insanity' opposed by the Christian Right's forefathers, such as permitting women or black people to vote. In another decade, same sex marriage will be another boring norm, and your neighbors, if gay, will be a conventional pair of dullards who met at the office party. They'll water your plants when you go away. And you'll keep an eye on their cats when they are weekending out of town.

And Robert P. George and his pals will be banging another big empty drum about something else. Because we let them. If they claim to be the followers of Jesus and God, how come they are always slinking along so close to money and riches that you can hear the coins' clink among rustle of dollars? Jesus warns often of the dangers of wealth, riches, of money and the love of it; it is primary, at the core of the Christian message. If you object to my saying this, just skim the New York Times article on George. Opening sentence:
On a September afternoon, about 60 prominent Christians assembled in the library of the Metropolitan Club on the east side of Central Park. It was a gathering of unusual diversity and power...
I would like to ask this, however: the Christian Right is made up of a rainbow spectrum of boneheads, from deeply weird Catholics (like George) through to bible-thumpin' hicks of the lowest-of-low church Protestants. I cannot see how such a crowd can long hang together. Like trying to blend Evensong and Old Spice!