“Them”

The toxicity of this form of in-group Evangelization-by-Being-a-Jerk is summed up in the word “Them”. All it communicates is “Get a load of the non-Christian vermin not being Christian! Amirite?” It is, like so much American conservative Christianity, ordered not toward communicating the love of God, but to reinforcing Unit Cohesion among proud bullies who simultaneously radiate Olympian contempt for Outsiders and pity for themselves. It’s a huge turnoff to anybody approaching the Faith from outside. But since the goal is to drive away the Impure, the Greatest Christians of All Time see that as a feature, not a bug. They seek a Church that is an exclusive club, not a sacrament of salvation to the world.

The distinction between this mentality and that of the Pope’s is that the Pope understands that we no longer live in Christendom. We are back in a pluralist society in which Christians have to earn respect and not simply take for granted that we are Top Dogs. Conservative Christians are frustrated and bewildered by that fact. It’s why so many are drawn to the MAGA cult, whose core message is “We deserve to be lords of the earth and They are taking it away from us. So strike back!” (See, for instance, Stephen Miller’s blubbering self-pity on The Ingraham Angle–and note that Raymond Arroyo, Catholic and Ingraham sycophant, is right down there in the corner because EWTN is just FOX with smells and bells.)

It is not a message native to Christianity (which began life as a despised sect regarded as neither fish nor fowl and which won hearts and minds by impressing its neighbors with love, not nihilistic power grabs.). But racism and nationalism and political designs have screwed over the minds of millions of self-proclaimed Christians who have turned Jesus into a totem for American nationalism and white supremacy. Unsurprisingly, they hate this pope because he has no interest in serving their dreams of power and domination and continually ignores the whole Fortress Katolicus dream they cherish. He constantly leaves the fortress and does what the apostles did and what Jesus commanded, going out in the highways to bring the gospel to the poor, weak, and broken. He has no interest in the mockery of Them and is a standing rebuke to the entire Fortress Mentality.

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10 Responses

  1. I was rereading your post from yesterday. The words of Pope Francis are powerful: “Corruption must be cured” (because it can’t be forgiven until the corrupt are actually contrite…) (“Lord, show me where I am corrupt!”)

    1. A great reflection for Lent, thank you!! Mark has written in the past about giving up one of one’s sins for Lent, which is a great idea.

  2. Did you write this Mark?

    ‘Autism is a gift and that rising rates of autism (and other chronic conditions) are cause for celebration. Anyone who wants to keep toxic chemicals out of kids must hate disabled kids and want to kill them.’

    ‘Trans women are women. Indeed they are now the only women. All other former “women” are now “birthing persons” or womb having persons according to the best medical experts.’

    ‘Testosterone is a crime. Unless it is injected into women and girls. Then it is a lifesaving miracle.’

    ‘Pharma press releases are the only truth.’

    ‘We’ve reached the end of history, all truth is known a priori by Pharma.’

    ‘Critical thinking and scientific debate are no longer necessary. “Thinking for oneself” is a dog whistle for right wing extremism that is dangerous and must be stopped.’

    ‘Internal thoughts and perceptions (by people who have gone to liberal arts colleges) are what’s true (postmodernism). There is no external reality. Everything is a performance that creates reality. Except Pharma press releases which are stone tablets handed down directly from god. Of course there is no god, only Pharma. Point being, Pharma is the only institution qualified to measure external reality. Anyone who thinks differently than this is dangerous and should be put into a “quarantine” camp.’

    ‘Democrats are the only people who Care(TM) and have Empathy(TM). We know that they care because they demand Equity(TM) in the distribution of experimental genetically modified poisons to the immunocompromised, underserved communities, and poor countries. Because Democrats are the only people who care, they are the only people fit to govern. In perpetuity. Even though legislatures have been replaced by executive orders, this could not possibly be authoritarian because Dems Really Care(TM).’

    ‘Republicans are inherently racist, sexist, homophobic, and violent and their thoughts are by definition false. Republicans hate Science(TM) which means that they hate truth and they sadistically revel in causing harm to others and tearing down society. This is why they must be censored, silenced, and removed from society. The purity of our thoughts and society and therefore health, can only be maintained through rigid separation to remove the always already diseased people (Republicans) from our midst.’

      1. From nowhere. Pulled out of a rodent’s behind. No answer will be forthcoming, unless I’m very mistaken.

  3. Is this by any chance an example ”libtards are so dumb they’ll fall for anything as long as it’s cloaked in their lingo” strategy?

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