..is exquisitely lampooned by Sr. Rose Pacatte:
Chesterton observed that the function of liberalism is to make mistakes and the function of conservatism is to make sure those mistakes go on being made. Something akin to this appears to be happening in the US, but with an even more exquisitely hypocritical twist.
To illustrate: I recently spent the afternoon listening to a postmodern Lefty explain that transcendentals like Truth and Justice are not real and are merely reflections of evolutionary traits aiming at maximizing reproduction, herd cohesion, and such like.
The first conclusion of such thinking, of course, is that you can blow off Truth and Justice as easily as you can blow off your hair color if you don’t like it and it gets in that way of what you want for you. Time was when conservatives warned about this and pointed you to books like Lewis’ The Abolition of Man because they rightly feared such nihilism.
But all that sort of conservatism is dead and gone, especially on the Trumpified Religious Right, where postmodern conservatives like Jerry Falwell, Jr. and his fellow white conservative Christians drool over Trump the Dream President, no matter how many lies he and his party tells or cruelties he and his party inflict on the weak. Consequently, as Russell Moore says, “The Religious Right are the people the Religious Right warned you about twenty years ago.
And so one of the curious two-steps of postmodernity seems to be that people on the postmodern Left work out the theory of postmodern nihilism and the people on the postmodern Right then implement it–to the astonishment and bewilderment of those on the postmodern Left who say things like “How can the party of Trump lie like that and do such evil things?”Case in point: Rep. Mo Brooks, who adopts the Bronze Age view that if you live a “good life” you will have no pre-existing conditions and that those whose illnesses are punishment for sin should be likewise be punished by man.
Rep. Mo is a man who would be at home in the book of Job: if you are sick it’s because you have sinned. He is the sort of man who asks, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he is a diabetic?” And as a Righteous Man, he does not want to thwart divine punishment by damn librul acts of mercy for the sinner.
Lefties ask (rightly), “How can this Pharisaic SOB be so heartless and hypocritical? These ice-cold bastards were talking a few years ago about ‘death panels’. Now they want to effectively institute Death Panel thinking and punish people for being sick if they can find a way to attach a moral stigma to their illness. Cancer treatment for smokers? You’re getting what’s coming to you. Addiction? You brought it on yourself, loser. Heart disease? Tough shit. You should have eaten better, fatso. Diabetes? It’s your own damn fault, porky. AIDS? Well looky who God caught up with! Die, sinner. Pregnant and poor? You should have kept your legs together. We oppose abortion (and we Catholics demand you not use artificial contraception on pain of mortal sin). But that’s no reason not to punish you by cutting your maternity benefits, you parasite.”
That’s what Rep. Mo is saying. He really means, of course, that money is king and human life is expendable to the whims of the powerful, which is what postmodern nihilism was saying in the academy twenty years ago. It’s just that the theorists in the academy didn’t foresee the heartless swine who would implement it all being postmodern conservatives like Trump and his ilk.
It’s a real bitch to discover all that stuff about transcendentals and God from the Western tradition turns out to be real and is far more descriptive than prescriptive. And it’s beyond tragic that Real Christians[TM] are the most passionate proponents of the godlessness and cruelty to the least of these they used to warn against.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis preaches a gospel that respects the least of these and the Church continues teaching that health care is a right, no matter how much the postmodern Right tries to shout that down.