and you can tell that's a Great Lash wand, you bet your bouffant.
(order the thong here.)
Today's Don't Sugarcoat It Award goes to visiting journalist Joe Bageant at Talk2Action for his lovely post, "Redneck Liberation Theology --- Why are leftists so fucking afraid of God?" It's so nice, first off, to see another writer of faith use the fuck word. Makes me feel a little less alone. But Joe also cuts through the mustard, turkey, pickle, lettuce and tomato, with this insightful comment, which really hit home with Blue Gal's experience at the Divinity School up the river:
It's OK for Latin Americans to practice fundamental Catholic Christianity with great devotion (brown peoples are suckers for that superstitious stuff) but white American fundamentalists, well, that's another matter. As the left sees it, what they need is a good public stoning.
The egotism of the left hit very close to home with me in graduate school. It's perfectly alright for Africans to practice Islam in a fundamentalist way, Buddhists to do whatever they do, etc. But if a white American believes in following Jesus than yeah, gotta watch that one. I was laughed at in a class at Harvard Divinity School for daring to bring up Lazarus in a discussion of the afterlife. Seriously. People in the class laughed out loud to my face. It's okay to take apart biblical texts and piece together myriad translations and even to bring up how OTHER PEOPLE in OTHER COUNTRIES might use Biblical text to change their situation. But hey, you know what? We're better and smarter than that.
That's not only fucking patronizing, it's fucking racist. Just saying.
Maybe I'm misreading Joe, but the money quote for me in this article is that we, all of us, have to come to grips with the fact that both the American Empire and the planet itself are dangerously close to ending. And that if we, the left wing, the ones who always, always, congratulate ourselves that WE are the ones "paying attention," fail through our own egotistical trust in our own intellectual righteousness, to connect with anything outside that ego, we're screwed.
Busting through the delusional veil of any imperial state culture always spells acceptance of more tough news for its clueless citizenry. In our case means reconnection with the earth, and embracing the suffering and eventual death it provides every living thing as a matter of physics and cosmic order. That's where it begins and ends. Everything in between, the NGOs, the Internet, the theologians, and all the political theories in the world are just the signal static, the self-enforced interference between ourselves and the only worthwhile goals left in a doomed Empire---and all empires eventually meet their doom---humility, compassion and reconnection with the spirit.
We lefty Christians, on the other hand, must admit that it's our own damn fault for letting James Dobson tell America that he speaks for Christianity and yeah, we didn't call him on his bullshit early enough or loud enough. Because now, yeah, the majority of lefties hate Christians and don't want to even talk about it. They're justified.
We've started to undo that, I hope, with Blog Against Theocracy. I hope at least in the blogosphere, the three hundred or so bloggers who participated realize that Christians are not all James Dobson, and that scientists are not all Richard Dawkins. If you're here reading, you know they're not.
In either case, it's not about being right all the time. It's about listening.