When President Trump announced that he would acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel he did it to appease the Christians in America. Or, more precisely, the big money Evangelical donors. This is not a good development. The real problem with the current meddling in the affairs of the middle-east is not so much that the President has no idea what he is doing. The real problem is that this President is a fantasist.
Because the President lives in a world in which everyone is being deliberatively and carefully deceitful, he cannot seem to discern the difference between the personally rapacious and the dangerously lunatic. Don’t get me wrong. I want to state at the outset that people like Steve Bannon are dangerous. But Bannon is a banker and so is easily understood. It is simply class-warfare. To work Bannon out all you need is a calculator, a stock price index and to be able to feel the breeze of the current social mood on your cheek. In many ways Bannon and the traditional Republican Establishment are one and the same. They entertain much the same basic ambitions: Do what you have to do to amass a lot of money, then retire.
But the current Prez is so dim-witted that he cannot seem to understand that while most of the people he deals with, day-to-day, are just saying whatever they need to say – some are not lying. Some are actually batshit crazy.
So we return to the topic of the Evangelical Christians and all the other ‘people of the book’. The current coalition of the deluded that the US President is unknowingly appeasing are just that percentage of the population that all sane and thinking apes have been doing their best to disinvest of power since Adam was knee-high to a Neanderthal. We almost got there for a while prior the Roman Empire but the dark ages intervened and it was religion everywhere for centuries. Then we had a real crack at it during the Enlightenment. But it was only after we all had electric light and flushing loos that rationality ever really took hold. So, ever since the Industrial revolution, we have all been whittling away at the power of the ‘people of the book’. I actually thought we had finally won. Silly me.
I don’t mean to say that we don’t all like the stories. They are terrific stories. The garden of Eden. The snake. Noah and the big boat. The red-sea opening up. Moses and Commandments. Jesus whizzing about on the water. Mohammad and his flying horse. But in the modern world I thought that it was not really popular to actually believe the stories. Or admit that you believe them. At least not in public where sane people might overhear.
After all, the ‘people of the book’ (either Jewish, Islamic or Christian) are simply not working with the same rule book as the rest of us. They are not amenable to reason. The Evangelical Christians that Trump is pandering to are pretty much unknown to Trump. He probably dismisses all their ‘end-of-the-world’ malarkey as just another schtick. But some of us understand that they are deadly serious. No really! People like Sheldon Adelson should not be approached unless they are wearing a straight-jacket and muzzle. They are not just batshit loop-the-loop crazy; they want to blow up the world so they can live forever in another dimension where everything is ‘nice’ (in other words where scum like you and me are burning in hellfire eternal somewhere close at hand where the saved ones can watch on and giggle). So not just batshit crazy but dangerously batshit crazy.
For those unfamiliar with the name, Sheldon is an anti-Union, anti-Cannabis, anti-Women’s rights, anti-Modern world, evangelically inclined Casino magnate, who donated twenty-five million dollars to Trump. Sheldon was brought up, like the rest of his generation of literalist bible believers, reading the ‘Left Behind’ series of books, which are simply racy pieces of Christian ‘end-time’ apocalyptic pornography in which the Christians all win and the rest of us get to burn in hellfire eternal. Most of the rest of us understand that people like Sheldon cannot be allowed into the game. OK, being corrupt is horrible but tolerable. It is not an existential problem. Even the corrupt need a world in which to spend their ill-gotten gains. However, the batshit crazies like Sheldon are on the side of a worldwide apocalypse. They are on the side-lines cheering and doing everything they can to bring on a worldwide Armageddon as soon as possible. (Nothing could be finer than to burn in Carolina?)
It is impossible to stress this enough for a relatively rational Aussie audience: the American Evangelical Christians really do believe that bringing about the end of the world is a good idea. They talk about ‘us’ and ‘them’. They really do think that science is the product of the devil, that the world is six thousand years old, that angels exist, and they alone will live forever while everyone else is damned (and damnable). They are hoping for Armageddon. They have been betting on it and waiting for it all their lives. Some of them even think that they have to force the prophecy to come true. They believe that bringing about the end of the world is doing God’s work. Loopy does not quite cover it.
Yet notice how all of the Press coverage does not even dare to talk about the sheer lunacy that is propelling this whole situation. Why do the Christians care? According to the Evangelicals, all of their metaphysical end-of-the-world fun can’t get underway until Jerusalem is reunited under the one ruler who can then lead all of the Jewish Nation into the fires of hell to cook forever in one long parade. Wow!
I am not so worried that Trump will cause America to become debased. That is a bit like worrying about water becoming wetter. But I am worried that he might accidentally blow us all up.
Say after me; people are real. Books are fantasy. We don’t stone children to death; we don’t keep slaves; women are equal to men; sex between consenting adults cannot be ‘perverted’; we don’t live forever; people don’t die and then get better; and, blowing up the world is just not a good idea.
F’r Chrissakes. I thought we worked all this out during the Enlightenment? Sad.