The myth of the Christian conservative
A nice piece of writing from Mark Morford. I sometimes find his columns interesting. This one felt spot-on.
The final two paragraphs are quoted below, but the article itself is pretty short and worth reading. Talks a lot about Amway's DeVos family too, as an example of the contradiction between Jesus and the people using his name to push for policies he would certainly have opposed.
So now it begins to make more sense. While conservative Christians of the DeVos variety aggressively despise everything the real Jesus stood for nonviolence, aiding the poor, ministering to the sick, equal rights, spiritual autonomy, the anointing of lots of trippy holy oil to commune with sacred realms they very much value what came next: the institutionalized church and all its megalomaniacal, sociopolitical success, perhaps the greatest, most oppressive corporation/political operation of all time. The GOP can only dream.
Its true, no? More than 2,000 years later, despite endless scandals, oppression and political obfuscation, the churchs brand is still going strong (well, sort of). It is empire incarnate, the greatest marketing success in history, squashing opposition, steamrolling spiritual autonomy and most of all, encoding into millions of followers the most tragic lie of all time: that you are separate from the divine. That you cannot ever truly know God. That you are meek and broken, full of shame and sin. But if youre really lucky, if you work hard, soak yourself in guilt and support the correct (white, rich, male) leaders, you can maybe, just maybe, avoid Hell. Familiar message, right? Just like Jesus absolutely never intended?
"They took the anti-authoritarian shaman and stripped him of all mysticism, modesty, and divine love, and turned him into the ideal spokesman for the worlds first corporate megabrand. They created the Son of God. Accept no substitutes. Or else."
And in the final paragraph, "that you are separate from the divine". I grew up in this world of Christian absolutism, and that was indeed the message. Anything else was blasphemy. The mysteries were explained away with empty references to scripture, using the Bible as a textbook containing all of the answers instead of as a guide for ethical behavior on the mystery train we all ride. All aboard, window seat please.