Over on the Book of Face, a friend of mine quoted a passage from C.S. Lewis that I generally agree with:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.—C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock
The trouble is that passages like this tend, of late, to be seized on by the most selfish jerks in the US–butthurt white conservative Christians–to whinge that an oppressive state is hurting their precious feels by asking them to show a little consideration to other people during Pandemic.
Case in point: A former Washingtonian of my acquaintance and a classic MAGA Catholic responded to the Lewis quote with, “It’s why me and my family left Washington state. Sick of the way lefties want to unconstitutionally control everything. I’m so much happier in Arizona.”
It is utterly unsurprising to me that a MAGA Catholic would flee the “oppression” of common sense public health restrictions for a state with twice the infection rate, plus the blessings of wall worship, ICE concentration camps, and Sheriff Joe.
If I could have one wish granted, it would be to banish from the minds of conservative white American Christians the blinding fantasy that they are living under or about to live under “tyranny”. It has been the engine that has made them the self-pitying authors of the tyranny of others for years and has only been kicked into overdrive since they whored themselves out to the dimestore antichrist Trump, who taught them that they should be liberated from all consideration for others and live entirely for themselves.
Not that there aren’t oppressed Christians on US soil. They are brown and they are poor and the loudest champions of their oppression are butthurt white conservative Christians who, per Lewis’ warning, inflict their cruelties on them with the lie that they are doing it for their own good.
From kidnapping children from their parents at the border with the lie that they are “keeping them safe” to depriving poor kids of food to teach them “responsibility” to burning down black churches the other day in the name of “order” (while prating about “religious liberty” for themselves) to deporting unaccompanied children to countries where they did not originate (with no provision for them once they step off the plane) and calling that “rule of law” to trying to disenfranchise 20 million voters and calling that “protecting democracy” to selfishly helping to kill 300K Americans with pandemic because having to mask makes these sociopaths feel persecuted, the selfishness of this demographic pleading “religious oppression” is the greatest civic curse the US faces and a stench in the nostrils of God and man.
And the day is coming when the patience of their fellow Americans will run out and they will, through their own repulsive selfishness, bring down on their own narcissistic heads the persecution they have been imagining they suffer because they refused to lose their lives in order to save them.
Mark – I think you are still living in 2020. The US, sadly, has 400K deaths now.
On April 1, the US will have 550k-700k deaths. April 1 is an important date as it is roughly 1 year since COVID deaths numbers started getting high. For comparison, here are 2018 US death totals by cause
1. Heart Disease 655k
2. Cancer 599k
8 Flu/Pneumonia 59k
So for a 12 month period, COVID could be the leading cause of death in the US. This represents a dramatic change from “a normal flu” as it is 10 times as deadly.
Which black churches were burned down and when? I’m shocked and deeply troubled that this isn’t getting news coverage. Or am I interpreting “the other day” as being more recent than you meant?
Sorry, I misinterpreted what you meant by “burning down”. I was aware of these disturbing acts of vandalism, but mistakenly thought you were referring to church buildings being destroyed by arson. Then my overactive imagination, picturing churches burned to the ground, next became quite agitated that the press was alarmingly silent on something so horrific.
Thanks for clearing things up for me. There are more than enough actual events to be upset about, without me having to conjure up more.
Thanks for this article Mark. The topic of Christian persecution seems to be “trending” in Christian circles lately. At scouts the other night the boys received a harrowing lesson about modern-day persecution. On the ride home I told my boys: don’t worry–that doesn’t happen here.
Well said. Thank you. I admire your writing. It’s important, especially in these times. I just tried to buy your book. It says my cell phone is required to complete the transaction. I included my email. Why is my cell phone number required?
Is this something Paypal wanted?
Re: Paypal. I checked my credit card statements today and found that Paypal had charged me for your book at the end of September when i ordered it, but it has not arrived yet…
I remember reading a long time ago about the strong anti-catholicism in the US a few decades ago, and it seems to me it did not go away, just remained quiet for a while, and is starting to raise its ugly head again, partly because Biden is a Catholic.
It never went away, any more than the virulent antisemitism ever went away. They merely learned not to say the quiet part too loudly.
The most strident anti-Catholics are their allies the Evangelicals.
Goshes. where to start?
Maybe St, Lucy, who sees everything clearly, can explain it.
That Friendly Atheist post was quite good, actually.
Whether you agree with him on the particulars or not, I would ask everyone here to please say a prayer and send some love to this gentleman, who seems to be one of the only (presumably, now-former) Trump supporters who kept his eyes open, and is taking the heat both personally (being plagued with intense anger) and socially (being spat upon by the True Believers) for NOT swallowing the lies of the Dime-Store Antichrist and NOT buying into the white conservative persecution complex:
Believe it or not, he even managed to get a (slightly less angry) article published at OnePeterFive (how I first became aware of him)! I can only assume it was a movement of the Holy Ghost that allowed it to be approved and has kept it from being taken down:
John Jalsevac wrote:
Yeah like what. Please explain, conservatives.
Two apt comments from journalist Jesse Singal (liberal Jewish agnostic):
(1) “How [Thing Progressive Don’t Like] Was Caused By [Ideology Progressives Don’t Like Or Group Progressives Are Suspicious Of]”
(2) (On Lauren Ryan claims she wuz robbed if she is denied the presidential pardon that Trump impliedly promised her]
“Gee I wonder what her stance is on crimes committed by people who aren’t her”