L’etat, c’est moi

L’etat, c’est moi June 4, 2018

Last week, I puzzled some people by noting that Trump’s dumb trade war against friends and allies was the thing Christianists would spend the day defending instead of defending the unborn.

Some people seemed to think I have strong views on Trump’s dumb trade war and that I believed everybody must think what I think about it or be damned.

No. That’s not my point. I don’t care much about this particular stupidity of Trump’s. My point was simply that the eternal refrain of the “prolife” Christianist is that we have to “keep the focus on abortion”–followed immediately by keeping the focus on defending whatever it is Trump says or does today. That particular day, it was “Defending a stupid trade war with allies at all costs”. And that day, like every day, the unborn do not matter one iota except so that the Trump Adorer can say, “Let not criticize Trump so long as abortion is happneing anywhere in the world.” The unborn only matter as human shields for whatever it is Trump is doing today.

It used to be that we had to “keep the focus on the five non-negotiables: abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, embryonic stem cell research, and human cloning”. But then Christianists started negotiating all those away. Human cloning hasn’t been discussed in years. ESCR was inconvenient to the GOP, so the “prolife” movement quietly jettisoned it as a “core issue” when Bush and McCain signaled to them to do so–because the “prolife” Christianist exists, not to save the unborn, but to strive to gain and maintain power for the GOP.

Gay marriage was next. When GOP SCOTUS appointee Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, the GOP and its Christianist apologists acquiesced to the loss of that “non-negotiable” with scarcely a sound, because they knew that it had all been a lie from the start that they even cared about this.

Now we are down to euthanasia and abortion as the last remaining “non-negotiables”. But euthanasia is becoming a tough sell now that the Party of Trump is foursquare behind forcing people to die for lack of medical care and are revealing themselves as the real party of death panels.

So it’s down to abortion as the sole remaining non-negotiable. Donald Trump, prolife hero, will magic abortion away any day now and so “prolife” Christianist go on blindly defending everything he says and does. Some days it’s just a dumb trade war. But other day, like today, it’s something else, like the claim that he can commit cold-blooded murder and cannot be prosecuted for it because he is the law.

That is the claim his lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, made yesterday and that is the claim that Trump is now reiterating.

In case you are unclear, King Donald I is arguing that he has the power to murder citizens in cold blood without any consequences whatsoever. Once you cross that line, there is no limit to the number of citizens he can kill.

This is the apotheosis of what Christianist authoritarians have been seeking all along. In this cult where accusation is always a form of confession, think of all these people have been accusing Obama of wanting to do over the past decade and then realize that it has all been one massive act of projection. The imminent Obama dictatorship of murder, concentration camps, re-education and an absolute tyrant who is himself the law that they constantly fantasized was dawning? It’s what they feared because it’s who they would be if they could have the power. And now their man is in office claiming precisely this lawless power and they want, more than anything, for him to fulfil their fantasies against their enemies.

This is a profoundly perilous hour, not just for the Republic, but for Christianity in the US. White Christians, by huge percentages, passionately identify with this tyrant and stain the witness of the Church. And they do so willingly and with malice aforethought. Every time Trump says or does something outrageous, there is always a delay of a few hours while the Right Wing Noise Machine and their Christianist slaves figure out what narrative of lies they can coordinate in defense of the outrage. We are in one of those lulls right now. Trump has just announced that he is king and that he is the law. Stunned liemakers are now trying to figure out how to defend that. In a few hours, the narrative will be settled on and by tomorrow, Christianists will be spreading that lie everywhere.

Note that pattern: because it means that these liars have before them always a moment of choice where they *know* that Trump has again said and done something indefensible and they could, if they chose, say, “That’s it. Game over. I’m done lying for this guy.”

But they don’t. It’s a *choice* to defend evil or to repent. So far, they choose evil every time, whether it’s a relatively trivial evil like a stupid trade war with allies, or an extremely grave evil like the claim to be able to murder political enemies with impunity.

That is what the “prolife” Christianist has brought himself to the point of defending and will, if history is any indication, be passionately defending by tomorrow morning.

Christians, in contrast, say that Caesar is not above the law of God and that an unjust law is no law at all.

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