There are certain biblical passages that white conservative Americans have so thoroughly neutered that they are effectively deleted from Scripture. For instance, judging from virtually all Christianist rhetoric and practice, this is what the Sermon on the Mount actually says:
You have heard that it was said, “Love your enemies”. But I say to you “Blow your enemy’s head off”. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, Stand Your Ground and blow his head off. If someone compels you go one mile, that’s kidnapping. Blow his head off. If you let somebody push you around and don’t blow his head off, do not even the Soyboys do as much? Rather, you must not only blow your enemy’s head off, but invade his country as well, even if they had nothing to do with attacking you. For a Real Man rains bombs on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:38-48–Revised MAGA Version)
In addition, MAGA Jesus teaches that when you give a banquet, you should only invite like-minded people and one or two of the deserving poor. Above all, be sure that they can pay you back. Otherwise, you just create dependent parasites and welfare queens.
And, of course, as we all know, Jesus didn’t actually mean it when he said “Blessed are you who are poor” (full stop) and “Woe to you who are rich” (full stop) (Luke 6:20, 24). What he actually meant is “The poor are lazy or they wouldn’t be poor. Also, they can’t be trusted and you have to keep an eye on them with drug tests and various kinds of harrassment. But the rich are leading citizens and just because they lie, cheat and steal to the tune of billions of dollars does not mean you should not trust every word they say.” This is one of the many reasons that we are always instructed that when Jesus told the Rich Young Man to sell all he had and follow him, he meant absolutely nothing that we need to apply to our lives in any way that will even slightly inconvenience us.
But in addition to the passages of the New Testament that have been utterly drained of the last drop of blood, there are also passages that have become swollen and inflamed. Among these are the warnings about persecution that Jesus gave his disciples. Not that there is no persecution of Christians, of course. It is happening in many places in the world.
Where it is not happening at all is to white conservatives, especially men, in the US. We have it made in the shade. But we continually talk as though we are suffering terrible persecution and it’s ridiculous. Here, for instance, is a conservative Catholic Gun Cultist talking as though he is some kind of Defensor Fidei Knight Templar who can’t tell the difference between the Magisterium and the NRA when it was suggested that thinking about gun violence victims and not eternally about one’s narcissistic self might be a refreshing change:
I just cant stand white liberals always telling us what’s good for US! Then saying you’re a catholic on top of it! I know western Catholics are mostly effeminate, but us eastern Catholics still ARE crusaders! I’m sure you’ve never even been spit on for your faith, as my people loose their heads everyday for the Gospel! Your hatred is legion!
Eyeroll. Suck it up, snowflake. Your victim schtick is ridiculous. Nobody, and especially no white male in the US, is “losing their head for the gospel”. That you then shriek, “Effeminate!” just makes you sound absurd as you defend a subculture so fragile that it is afraid to go to Home Depot without a giant AR-15 phallus to prove its masculinity. You aren’t persecuted. You are the persecutors. Overwhelming percentages of you guys are the driving force for the *real* persecution of Catholics happening on our soil: at the border. Your narcissism is suffocating.
And that’s the thing: between imaginary Wars on Christmas and imaginary “invaders” and imaginary liberals coming to take their guns and put their women in shariah breeder camps, the imaginary persecution of white conservative Christians in the US in films like The Reliant is the basis the Gun Cult appeals to the future rise of imaginary Hitler. Yet incredibly, the Christianists supping on this paranoid drivel do not see the actual Nazis actually marching under the banner of the swastika and praised by the White Supremacist in Chief as “very fine people”. Nope. Those aren’t Nazis. Those are historical statuary enthusiasts.
No. In the Alternative Reality of the Persecuted White Christianist, it will be a real Hitler, like Bernie Sanders, (memorialized by a brave Gun Cult defender and MAGA enthusiast here):
who will send his monstrous goons to Take Our Guns and give us the terrible menace of affordable college and health care instead of the blessings of freedom enjoyed by the children of Sandy Hook, the children of Parkland, and the children of El Paso. (Fun fact: more children have died from gunfire in the US than soldiers have died in combat since 9/11.) And because these imaginary Future Hitlers are persecuting the Gun Cult in their heads, that Cult gets to ignore the actual real mountain of 40,000 bodies every year while posing in front of the mirror with their guns and imagining themselves in a firefight with liberals at Chipotle, saving hundreds of persecuted white conservative males from “genocide“:
The language of those brave defenders of the White Race may sound familiar. Here’s another sample:
My motives for this attack are not at all personal. Actually the Hispanic community was not my target before I read The Great Replacement. …[H]ere is what is important. Due to the death of the baby boomers, the increasingly anti-immigrant rhetoric of the right and the ever increasing Hispanic population, America will soon become a one party-state. The Democrat party will own America and they know it. They have already begun the transition by pandering heavily to the Hispanic voting bloc in the 1st Democratic Debate. They intend to use open borders, free healthcare for illegals, citizenship and more to enact a political coup by importing and then legalizing millions of new voters. With policies like these, the Hispanic support for Democrats will likely become nearly unanimous in the future. The heavy Hispanic population in Texas will make us a Democrat stronghold. Losing Texas and a few other states with heavy Hispanic population to the Democrats is all it would take for them to win nearly every presidential election.
That’s the butcher in El Paso explaining in his manifesto about the need to slaughter the browns before they genocide poor victim-hero butthurt white conservative men out of existence. “White genocide” is, in fact, a fave rationale for mass murder for white racist nutjobs.
John Zmirak, once wrote an infamous essay for CRISIS titled “Amnesty Equals Abortion” in which he spewed exactly the same paranoia as the El Paso butcher regarding the alleged Great Replacement and, predictably, used the unborn as human shields for his nutty racist thesis that the solution to dealing with 20 million people who have lived here, many of them all their lives, is not to treat them as human beings and fellow Christians, but to deport them all for the sake of GOP power.
How does any of this square with the Catholic tradition? It simply does not. Indeed, the whole fantasy of the Persecuted American White Conservative Christian is sheer self-pitying narcissism, made all the more obscene by the fact that they are the #1 backers of the real persecution of Christians taking place on our soil: the persecution of brown Christians at the border and throughout the US. They are also the most vocal persecutors of Jews and Muslims. Once again, the Cult lives out the reality that, with them, accusation is always a form of confession.