Monday, July 13, 2009

Why we'll never win (them over)

As a prefacetory aside, I'm aware that Sarah Palin's defenders -- especially those who don't actually know her -- think there's something wrong with those of us who can't drop the whole Palin thing and 'leave her alone.' They're missing out on a key truth here: The Palin thing has allowed her supporters to talk freely in a manner that we Palin attackers can understand in a way we never could understand before. Their points are no longer abstract, but rather start with specifics and then allow us to extrapolate in the abstract. In this way, the Palin thing, as it plays out, reveals important new information about this country and one of its biggest rifts. Anyway:

Andrew Sullivan's people lead us over to this ... uh, thing. It seems, on its face, to be breaking new grounds in crazy:
Sarah Palin loves God. God loves Sarah Palin.
And that is why they hate her...and Him.
And why she -- and He -- will be back.

Also, we look down on them because they didn't go to Harvard, and they look down on us because we don't know what God wants, while they, of course do ... blah blah blah. OK, I guess it's chiefly the beginning where new ground is broken. We hate God because He loves Sarah Palin. And we hate her because she loves Him. Or because He loves her. I'm not gonna lie, I didn't read this thing too closely. You mostly want to maintain a distance in instances like this.

No, the part where I really got enlightened was in the comments. I went there expecting to be entertained, but first I was set straight. Turns out I was only half right when I wrote that Palin supporters say the preposterous things they say because they don't want to admit they're wrong. There's way more to it, and 11:36 on Saturday night, someone wrote in under the moniker JaneLovesJesus to explain it to me:
it's weird, but maybe because of her faith in God, and MY faith in God, and my faith in HER, I feel at peace and energized over her decision to resign. Even though it would have never been something I would have expected. I don't have to know Sarah Palin's plans. I know she is not going to back down from the greater fight for America and for freedom.

Honestly; you could spend days thinking about what JaneLovesJesus wrote. The parts where she equates Palin with God are awesome in the most literal sense of the word. They deserve your consideration.

But I can't get over her main message in her first sentence. It's not that JaneLovesJesus and like thinkers have some issue with admitting when they're wrong. It's the conflation of that with faith that's the problem. Such people do not choose McCain and Palin over President Obama and Vice President Biden after thinking the issues through and making a decision. Their candidates stand for what they (their supporters) believe in. Like God. The decision is made for them. It is turned over to God (or, more commonly, I imagine, Jesus). Evidence that McCain/Palin was the wrong decision, of which many of us can't help but observe there is no shortage, would be evidence that God got it wrong. That's why JaneLovesJesus is 'at peace' (you're feeling my massive self-restraint here, right? Please say you are) with Sarah Palin's decision. It's because God is making sure everything Sarah Palin does is the right thing (or, possibly, because Sarah Palin believes in God so much, she can't help but do the right thing every time). I'm not 100 percent clear on why we can't trust God with the actual election outcome as well, and with controlling what the current administration does, but I imagine it has to do with the president being immoral, as the post's author noted.

But Palin's God-fearing. And so is JaneLovesJesus. If you criticize Sarah Palin in any way, you are challenging God's decision-making or his power -- or JaneLovesJesus's faith in Him. It is times like these that I wish this site had a bigger readership, to increase the chances that I could entreat a logician to diagram all of this. But I can tell you this much: When the right appeals to the fundamentalists on the basis of morals, not policy, they're locked up. Republicans can botch the economy, foreign policy, or whatever you want. As long as they're against abortion and gays, they'll have the fundamentalists sewn up, and if you try to free those Christianists up through logic, they're going to view it as an affront to their faith in Jesus. And that's why we'll never win. Move to Amsterdam if you don't like it.

1 comment:

JaneLovesJesus said...

Hi Troy, I'm JaneLovesJesus. It's kinda' weird that I even stumbled upon your post ... it being months old and all and I'm sure we've both moved on to other things.
But, what the hey? Since I did stumble on it, I thought I'd respond.
One thing: Did you really think I was equating Palin to God? I mean, if I say "I like ice cream" and "I like freedom" I'm not equating ice cream with freedom, right? I may 'have faith' in Sarah Palin, in general. But please be assured that it is not that kind of 'Faith' -heh.

I also don't think she (or me, Lord knows) -- or any Christian -- has some sort of infallibility cloak around them so that every thing we do is necessarily 'God's will' or something. We -- perhaps not unlike you, read, think, research, go to Harvard sometimes (but not me!)ask questions, discuss, try, fail, and try again in the course of trying to seek truth and make wise decisions.

I can admit when I'm wrong. I used to be a liberal Democrat -- and I was a Christian back then as well. Let that bounce around in your head for a while. I do hope that you -- and all people -- find faith in Christ, because I believe it is true. I don't think Christians, even the right wing species, are the strawmen you seem to make us out to be.
Take Care, Jane