Over on the Book of Face, David Mills notes a moment when the scalding lava of MAGA hatred spurted out with a fury that should disgust every decent person in the world:
One of the emails I get led me to an article on American Greatness of astonishing moral ugliness. (Never mind the horribly over-written prose, of the sort that makes you suspect the writer is actually twelve.) Here’s an example. Alexander Zubatov is writing about homeless people in New York City, apparently alcoholic or mentally ill.
[[[ I know the unyielding ukase of my educated pedigree and those who share it is that empathy and compassion are the only sanctioned responses to this sorry spectacle. But that would require me to rationalize my way out of a feeling and override all my sound, sane animal instincts.
Those instincts are of pre-cognitive repulsion and disgust, and I refuse to let them go. I refuse to humanize those who cannot be bothered to lift a finger to humanize themselves. The mentally ill need our care. The rest need the whip. In the long run, all of us—they most of all—will be thankful for it. ]]]
When he writes this, he has just described the first homeless person he meets on his walk as “a teetering, drooling zombie barely maintaining the accustomed vertical orientation of humanity—its head, neck, and back doubling over further and further, heavy eyelids drooping down time and again on the remaining vestiges of any consciousness to which it only weakly clings.” You will have noticed that “its.”
The article is titled “We Are Living in the Ruins of Our Civilization,” but ironically, Zubatov is himself a perfect example of the ruins of our civilization. A much better, a much purer, example than the poor homeless people he dehumanizes.
As a practical test, try to think of any of the great heroes and exemplars of our civilization who could have written this. Not St. Francis. Not Shakespeare. Not George Washington. Not Jane Austen. Not St. Damien of Molokai or St. Maximilian Kolbe. Not anyone who represents our civilization at its best. Not anyone who expresses, even in an attenuated, secularized way, the deep belief in human dignity. A belief that no one is ever an “it.”
Because one of the marks of our civilization is overcoming what Zubatov calls our “animal instincts” and our “pre-cognitive repulsion and disgust” and treating as human, as human as you and me, those he calls the “sorry spectacle.” Our civilization begins in the belief that being human means rising above our animal instincts, esp. in seeing everyone as a creature made in the image of God, of seeing behind the appearances to the reality. That Zubatov writes as he does shows that he is the one who is uncivilized.
A major MAGA website published this repellent, hateful piece. Is this their idea of “American Greatness”?
The last sentence is the main point. Of course, there are inhumanly cruel and selfish people in the world. The question is, should they be left alone like the wretchedly evil people they are to spew their contempt for the least of these on some dark screen in their mom’s basement? Or should they be platformed by conservative organs of propaganda in order to plant the virus of inhuman cruelty and contempt for human life in as many minds and hearts as possible. American Greatness emphatically endorses the latter.
And don’t lie to me about “Needing to hear all viewpoints”. Nobody needs to hear advocacy of deep evil.
Rather, if we are Christians, we should bear in mind that since at least one homeless person is going to come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, we ought to be careful about the way we treat the rest of them.