Imaginary Good and Real Evil

In his essay, “The World’s Last Night” C.S. Lewis reflects on the possibility of Judgment Day–of God interrupting all our consequentialist plans to do evil right now for the sake of some imaginary Future Rosy Dawn with his very concrete judgment for what we are, in fact, actually doing, thusly:

I can imagine no man who will look with more horror on the End than a conscientious revolutionary who has, in a sense sincerely, been justifying cruelties and injustices inflicted on millions of his contemporaries by the benefits which he hopes to confer on future generations: generations who, as one terrible moment now reveals to him, were never going to exist. Then he will see the massacres, the faked trials, the deportations, to be all ineffaceably real, an essential part, his part, in the drama that has just ended: while the future Utopia had never been anything but a fantasy.

Increasingly, the spectacle of Trump-adoring Christianism is one of imaginary good and real evil.  The imaginary good is the alleged “progress” being made on the “prolife” front.  The repeal of Roe is supposedly just around the corner (as it has been for thirty years) as a justice was appointed who call’s Roe “the law of the land” (as a previous GOP appointed called it “settled law” and GOP appointees before that established and beefed up our abortion regime).  In fact, however, Roe will still be here when the century passes because neither party and 80% of Americans do not have the slightest intention of getting rid of it.

And so, we learn that the Trump Administration will be refunding Planned Parenthood for the sixth time to the tune of half a billion dollars. Informed of this fact, a zealous supporter of Fr. Frank Pavone replied to me

There is a higher good. Apparently, people see only the $

and added

President Trump is the greater good.

This is what is called “mission creep”.

Meanwhile President Greater Good and his party–the most prolifeyest party ever are–concretely and in the real world, not in the Great Rosy Dawn hereafter, doing things like quietly destroying the Americans With Disabilities Act and demonstrating that, for all the chatter about the evils of euthanasia and “death panels” one heard from the GOP, the reality is that this pack of predators is doing more than anybody else in American public life to tell the disabled they need to just be dead.

And, of course, they are famously doing everything in their power to destroy the lives of veterans and innocent people by deportations–which the Church calls a grave intrinsic evil.

Here, for instance, is a real human being, actually named Jesus (Berrones) who is now threatened with deportation:

Last year, under the new Trump administration, Berrones went to ICE to refile a stay, and officials told him it was not necessary because he was no longer a deportation priority, Wilkes said. But in January, Berrones got a notice from ICE that he would be deported. The lawyer filed another request for a stay, but it was recently denied.

Berrones’ 5-year-old son has been battling leukemia since 2016 and is undergoing chemotherapy. Berrones is the family’s sole breadwinner.

“He’s a hard-working man,” Sonia Berrones, who is a U.S. citizen, told HuffPost on Friday, in tears. “We’re scared. The kids will ask me: ‘Where’s Daddy?’”

“Prolife” Christianists see only the imaginary good of the repeal of Roe, not the actual evils being done in the real world.  Indeed, the bulk of Christianists passionately support the insane cruelty of destroying this man’s life, blasting his family to bits, and killing the child whose treatment depends on his support.  Why?  The greater good: the glory and support of Donald Trump and his party that, someday, will magic abortion away in the great by and by.

God sees what is real, not imaginary. If you are a Christian, you will too and will contact Congress right now to stop this attack on disabled people.  You will also pray for Jesus, who has now sought refuge in a Phoenix church, which is doing something that churches have done for centuries, to the praise and glory of God.  In the words of good bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa:

When it becomes a crime to love the poor and serve their needs, then I will be the first to go to jail for this crime, and I pray that every priest and every deacon in this diocese will have the courage to walk with me into that prison.

In addition to these real evils, the Administration that found it possible to refund PP is cutting Medicaid by $300 billion and SNAP by $213 billion. It sadistically attacks the poorest the most viciously.  It is also, just for the sake of pure culture war spite defunding NPR and PBS.  And what is telling is that this will delight Christianist “prolife” Trump zealots and occupy more of their time than the refunding of Planned Parenthood, which they were silent about the previous five times and will be silent about again.  Because the truth is: what occupies their time and energy is defense of this sadistic Administration’s cruelty to the least of these, far more than the unborn.  As my reader said, Trump is the greater good.

Be Christian, not Christianist.  Obey the gospel, not culture war lies.

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