The MAGA Cult and the Art of Misdirection

Published March 10, 2021

Exhibit A:

Abortion and Pro-Life Pins

Note the strategy: Because, in fact, America is not silent. Far more people care about abortion than cared about the outrages this piece of propaganda pits the unborn against. The trouble is not that the “prolife” movement is ignored. The trouble is that the “prolife” movement consistently weaponizes the unborn against victims of the evil and ugly things conservatives stupidly choose to defend instead of relating them to the victims of evil and ugly things, such as moronic cruelty to animals. Because of this, the “prolife” movement has made itself a stench in the nostrils of Normals, who are mortally sick of cruel, nasty people hiding behind the unborn to celebrate depraved cruelty and wanton contempt for ordinary decency.

But wait! There’s more!

Exhibit B:

FWD: FWD: FWD: SORRY BURGER FLIPPERS!!! : forwardsfromgrandma

Whenever you call a minimum wage worker “selfish” for wanting a living wage higher than an underpaid soldier, EMT, cop, or rescue worker, what you are really doing is defending the cheapskates who underpay all of those people while offering the minimum wage worker as a human sacrifice for your audience to direct their anger at instead of at the cheapskates. You are engaging in misdirection and helping to make sure that the people you pretend to honor remain as underpaid as the minimum wage worker you spit on. Only the cheapskates benefit from this lie.

There can be only two reasons for your behavior. Either you are wilfully and knowingly engaged in crushing the underpaid due to self-interest and are therefore a conscious liar, OR, you are stupid/ignorant and parroting garbage you have uncritically accepted.

If the latter, you aren’t ignorant any longer because I just told you the truth about the lie you are spreading. So if you keep repeating this filthy lie, you are now culpable for a sin which Catholic tradition calls one of the four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance: denying a worker his just wages.

Either way, repent spreading this filthy lie.

And, of course, there is the classic misdirection in Exhibit C, which is the backbone of the MAGA Cult:

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” – Lyndon Johnson

A political cult that so consistently and adamantly relies on lies in order to rob, harm, and kill the weak needs to be destroyed. It is past redemption.

14 Responses

  1. Great column, Mark. I love you best when you are on a rant.

    This part caught my eye: “ the “prolife” movement has made itself a stench in the nostrils of Normals, who are mortally sick of cruel, nasty people hiding behind the unborn to celebrate depraved cruelty and wanton contempt for ordinary decency.” Despite being only on my first cup of coffee, it suddenly dawned clearly on me, in a way it never has before, about what bothered me so much about the graphic displays of body parts so popular among the antiabortion crowd fifty years ago, when I was involved in the abortion fight in hawaii.

    It never occurred to me before in quite this way: they were getting off on it. It wasn’t about THOSE horrible people involved in abortion. It was all about THESE horrible people, fighting it. I always try to see the best in people, and not assume the worst, unless they give me a really good reason to think that the worst IS their best. With me, what you see is pretty much what you get. The people I like the best are the same way.

    There is a parallel here to my usual topic. The really viciously anti-gay people who can’t seem to stop talking about it, but go into constant long and graphic descriptions of whatever it is they IMAGINE my sex life is. (I wish!). That was really clear to me along time ago that they loved talking dirty, under the guise of moral outrage.

    Thanks.

      1. That was very interesting. I did not know about Father kapaun. “ Greater love hath no man than this: that he lays down his life for his friends.” I much prefer the stories of religious people whose faith makes them better to the other kind.

        Thanks.

  2. Thanks also for reminding me about another bit of viciousness: the “four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance”.

    I’m not going to hijack your discussion for my topic, but I couldn’t let it pass. One of those four sins is not like the other three, not even remotely. And basing it on Jude 1:7, of all things! Another perversion (!) of a truly ancient story in service to projection, deflection, and a political agenda.

    1. I needed to review what the four sins that cry out to God are: Homicide, sodomy, oppressing the widow and orphan and holding back just wages from the worker.

      According to the article I read, all of the sins are linked, and have to do with objectification–not seeing our neighbor as a human being–merely a means to a selfish end.

      This would indicate that sodomy is practiced by more heterosexuals than homosexuals, as heterosexuals make up a higher percentage of the population.

      It’s interesting that most people, randomly questioned would say that Sodomy was a sexual act rather than an attitude toward another human being.

      1. @ taco

        One of the interesting things about the definition of sodomy is how that definition has changed literally over centuries.

        The sin of Sodom is very easily named throughout the old and the new testament. What it clearly is not is what it is usually attributed to. One Has to go through a multitude of mental gymnastics, misinterpretations, and political agendas, As well as ignoring a great deal of history, to come up with it being about homosexuality.

        You can read Saint peter Damien to see that it was about abusive sex with boys by the clergy. That was 1000 years ago.

        The Templars were accused of sodomy by Philip the fair, who wanted their money. In Phillips time, it had nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with idolatry, devil worship, and having money.

        Eventually, it became a sexual sin again, but this time, it was the “infamous crime against nature, not to be named among Christians”. Basically, they couldn’t say what it was. They were sure willing to hide this ancient, vicious, and durable prejudice behind religious belief, and use it as a club against people who are sexually nonconforming – at least the ones whose sexual sins they had no intention, or conversely, every intention, of committing. Cardinal O’Brien, Cardinal McCarrick, and ted haggard can tell you all about it.

        More recent scholarship is indicated that it’s about the sins of inhospitality, and lack of generosity. You choose that interpretation because you’re a nice person.

        As always, how people read the Bible really depends upon the kind of person they are to begin with, and not the other way around. And when it comes to this particular sexual subject, it has a great deal to do with what someone is trying to hide

    2. Many Christians are attracted to the prolife movement because the unborn are the most innocent of human creatures and therefore don’t deserve to be killed. Many identify with aborted babies because they count themselves as innocent, more or less. They are fighting a good fight from the wrong motivation.
      By advocating for policies that kill the poor and the marginalized, what they tell these people is, “Once you’re born, your right to life is contingent on our judgement of your degree of innocence, or your parents’ degree of innocence.” They are not truly valuing the image of God, present in every human.

      1. @seen

        though I am a notorious atheist, I will take the Christian position that only God sees deeply enough to see what needs to be seen about any human being. And there is the real problem, right there, which you allude to: what I call religious megalomania. People assuming that they are so close togod and so good that they are just like God and embody goodness, that God confides in the likes of them his relationship with any other person on the planet.

        I am always reminded of the conversation between Gandalf and Frodo, where Frodo says that Gollum should have been killed by Bilbo, and that he deserves death. Gandalf replies, “I dare say he does. And many thAt die deserve life. Will you give it to them?”

    3. I am always reminded of the conversation between Gandalf and Frodo, where Frodo says that Gollum should have been killed by Bilbo, and that he deserves death. Gandalf replies, “I dare say he does. And many thAt die deserve life. Will you give it to them?”

      A-{if you’ll pardon the expression}men!

  3. I’m old enough to remember when Catholics cared about the poor, the worker, the immigrant. Was it only because Catholics in America still remembered what it was to be oppressed? Does Christ’s message fade with affluence. Several years ago the coffee shop we patronized told its customers that it would be raising the cost of a coffee by 25 cents in order to give their workers a raise. Since we were already spending about 15 – 20 dollars a day there the additional cost made absolutely NO difference to us but helped their workers. Just sayin’

  4. There is a BIG Help Wanted sign in the front window of our local In-N-Out. I’m pretty sure it’s up to $19 an hour. There aren’t a lot of people who can handle that frenetic work pace. They earn every dollar. It’s grueling work in a hot kitchen.

    I wonder if people who use the term “burger flippers” will get a creative purgatory assignment. Years ago I read a book that indicated that in some cases, people spend their purgatory on this earth in the presence of those that suffer, to understand their plight and empathize with the people they didn’t care about. Interesting concept…

    Lord grant me abundant gratitude and empathy!

  5. @taco

    One of the things I really hate is seeing people being abusive to low paid workers. One of the things that they don’t understand, or don’t wish to understand, is that the reason they can afford the large screen TVs that they get is because of low paid workers. One of the reasons they can have produce out of season it’s because of low paid workers. And on and on and on and on. It’s one of the reasons we tend to tip generously.

  6. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Z96EWcO0g5U&t=3237s

    Mark, consider watching the portion of this video in which David Bentley Hart describes how American pro life politics is akin to accepting the accuser’s third temptation to Christ. Christ would have been a great and just ruler, but that was an unacceptable bargain as presented by the slanderer. His further point, that the failure to see the poor, especially those we kidnap and abuse at the border, is to actually be in hell already, for it is to hate Jesus, and to hate Him, the one we were made for is the essence of damnation.

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