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I thought we worked all this out during the Enlightenment?

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.

[sigh]

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.


12 comments

  1. Harquebus

    I totally agree. Religion must die.
    My wish is that, the collapse backfires with deadly consequences on those who have caused it.
    Well done James.

  2. ceridwen66

    “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

    Denis Diderot

    and another – The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

    Mikhail Bakunin

    Wonderful essay btw, there is something amiss with my ‘like ‘ button for the AIM or I’d have clicked it.

  3. Freethinker

    I am worry about the Evangelists, not only are interfering in USA politics but also are in force in Brazil with many pastors in the corrupted congress.
    They have to be stopped before increase their power even more.

  4. Ballarat

    Hypocrisy and cruelty were the only things I witnessed in the Church.

  5. sandrasearle

    I can’t get the like button to work either. Michael can this be fixed please.
    This article was great by the way.

  6. Zathras

    It all comes back to the lust by extremist evangelical Christians for the return of Jesus and they are doing their best to hasten things along.

    They have now become part of the political process and politicians are happy to humour them in exchange for votes and money and Trump is no different. He’s the inevitable result of the whole process – a Christian Ayatollah or the head of another type of Taliban.

    Israel is also happy because it validates their long intended land grab and empowerment under the contrived umbrella of being “God’s chosen people” and the return of “their land” (as conveniently stated in a book written by them in the first place). Too bad a returned Jesus will burn them all according to another book.

    It’s a mass delusion that goes beyond reason and threatens us all, even in the 21st Century.

    The witch-burners, inquisitors and slave owners of earlier times did have ignorance as some sort of excuse but it’s even worse now because we have enough knowledge to refute most of the long-held nonsense.

    The best thing the world can do about Jerusalem is to evacuate everybody and just nuke the place to restore some sense of equality and perspective. The way things are going it may happen anyway.

    You can keep up to date on the evangelical activities on http://www.rightwingwatch.org/ .
    It would be funny if it wasn’t true.

  7. jimhaz

    Complex brains in us herd based animals leads to complex forms of madness. There does not seem to be a fix to temper the madness – at least not while insane religious people are being 100% against Christ by concentrating on the accrual of wealth which creates power to determine political and social policies.

    I suspect even if their was no religion, we’d find other madness based power structures.

  8. PopsiJ

    I can not see any difference between Jerusalem under Israeli control and S African both are/were aparthied states.
    Notice when all the snowflakes get together to ban nukes world wide no one mentions Israel. We live in interesting times !

  9. Michael Taylor

    Hi Sandra. I haven’t been able to fix it so I’m waiting for WordPress to come up with a solution.

  10. Glenn Barry

    Brilliant article –
    Hmm what could be worse than an armed to the teeth, zealot infested, fundamentalist, war mongering, imbecilic, military superpower –
    Being allied to a bunch of armed to the teeth, zealot infested, fundamentalist, war mongering, weaponised imbeciles and lacking anyone in our Government with any courage whatsoever to tell them that they are completely OUT OF BOUNDS

  11. Freethinker

    Best news of the month, Roy Moore lost in Alabama!!

  12. Andrew J. Smith

    Good article, Chris Hedges (theologian) has written at length about evangelicals et al. and ‘Christian facsism’ in the US, lack of ethics and much is informed by 1930s Germany… not surprisingly there are links to the white nativist movement and of late ‘alt right’ trying to attract younger white ‘Christians’.

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