Losing my religion
I used to have a friend who taught classes in psychology at UCSD who, when Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons came to his door, would invite them in, offer them lunch or cookies and, after professing interest in what they were selling, would explain his theories about how religion (and in particular their flavor of religion) was complete bullshit. The problems for his visitors was that, because he was such a charming happy guy, they never saw it coming, and even after they realized that they had been sandbagged, they still felt that they could win. They thought they were collecting a soul, but instead ended up desperately trying hang onto their own
We used to think it was funny, but also cruel in a way, because he was trying to destroy everything that they believed in and you got the feeling that he was leaving them with nothing except doubt and an empty plate where the cookies used to sit.
I was reminded of this today when reading the comments over at Crunchy Con Rod Dreher’s place. Unsurprisingly Dreher has got a full blown Palin-woody causing all the blood to drain from his head and head for his heart with, maybe, a side trip to his naughty parts.
Not wishing to see Rod make a fool of himself, which is like asking him to not pray or breathe, reader JPL sums up Dreher’s entire live in just a few acid-etched paragraphs:
Rod, you’re the living embodiment of the old phrase "there’s a sucker born every minute." Look, regardless of this woman’s qualities, many of which do truly seem to be fine, she isn’t the President. And, before Cheney, VP’s didn’t get to do a hell of a lot. It’s still McCain at the top of the ticket, and everything that was wrong with him before remains wrong with him now. More war, more tax cuts, more support for the rich and powerful, more torture, more unilateral international relations, more Bush. He’ll just have an attractive woman near him who shares your values, and who, given his treatment of women in the past, he will completely ignore. Your best hope is that he drops dead, leaving her in charge. And then you’ll discover that all those nifty Alaskan values don’t get you very far in the rough and tumble of global politics.
(It’s worth noting, I lived in Alaska for years, and though I hate stereotyping, most Alaskans were the most short-sighted, backward people I’ve ever lived among. And I’ve lived in 8 countries.)
But there you are, bursting with eagerness to pull that lever for the Republicans again. And two years in, when things have gotten even worse, you’ll do just what you did with Bush…just what you did with Catholicism. After singing their praises endlessly, you’ll turn on them, with surly descriptions of how they fooled you, and how could you have known?
Except that millions of people did know. They don’t fool you…you keep fooling yourself. You’re so desperate for the world to be the way you think it should be, the world you’ll feel safe in, that you just can’t accept that it isn’t now, and it’s never going to be that world again. Hell, I doubt it ever was, except in your own fevered fantasies. But you’ll blame it on someone else, switch teams again, and wait for the next wunderkind to show up and promise a blissful return to traditional Christian values and a bucolic life on the farm.
It’s a good thing you’re happily married. As a single man, it would be hard to imagine how any even vaguely clever gold-digger wouldn’t take you for all you’re worth in a few months. I think you should consider renaming your genre from Crunchy Con to Gushingly Gullible.
If it didn’t mean the continued ruin of our nation, and the future of my children, it would be almost endearing. As it is, it just seems sad how traditional Conservatives will keep selling this country right down the gutter for the smallest possibility that their values will once again dominate the public discourse.
Ouch. That gonna leave a stigmata…