Andy Divine’s latest moralizing intervention starts off with the Roy Moore scandal and ends with Bill Clinton. It is, as always, a convoluted political/religious imaginative variation on the themes he hold most dear: the Christian Revelation, and its sine qua non of the inherent ‘wickedness’ , indeed ‘evil’ of the human person. One need only look to the architects of Christianity, Paul, Augustine and Jerome, to witness the self-hatred of these three monstre sacrés as its source. Their self-hatred was institutionalized as primary dogmas of the Church! As cudgel for Christian Moralists to condemn human self-seeking, self-justification in the name of saving souls for Christ! this is illustrative of the theme of his latest essay (Italics are mine):
I have to say I was deeply moved by the New York Times op-ed yesterday by an evangelical law professor from Alabama. The piece, by the wonderfully named William S. Brewbaker III, moved me because it was the first genuinely Christian thing I’ve heard an evangelical say about the Roy Moore scandal. It did more than renounce the tribalism that has led so many alleged Christians to back Moore; it presented Christianity, properly understood, as the core alternative to tribalism, as one way out of tribalism’s dead end. Brewbaker’s critical and deeply evangelical point:
This is not just an evangelical truth. It is deeply embedded in all of Christianity. No party, no cause, no struggle, however worthy, is ever free from evil. No earthly cause is entirely good. And to believe with absolute certainty that you are on “the right side of history,” or on the right side of a battle between “good and evil,” is a dangerous and seductive form of idolatry. It flatters yourself. And it will lead you inevitably to lose your moral bearings because soon, you will find yourself doing and justifying things that are evil solely because they advance the cause of the “good.” These compromises can start as minor and forgivable trade-offs; but they compound over time. In the Catholic church, the conviction that the institution could do no wrong, that its reputation must endure because it represented the right side in the struggle against evil … led to the mass rape of children and teens.
The Abrahamic Tradition is defined by ‘tribalism’ of Judaism, Islam and the ‘tribalism’ of the Saved of Christianity. The last paragraph, of this part of his weekly column, demonstrates his obsession with the falleness of the human person, as codified in Christian Dogma.
There is a moment here. No party is immune from evil; no tribe has a monopoly of good. If these bipartisan sex-abuse revelations can begin to undermine the tribalism that so poisons our public life, to reveal that beneath the tribes, we are all flawed and human, they may not only be a long-overdue turning point for women. They may be a watershed for all of us.
Can the reader even imagine the total absence of cognitive dissonance, in the moral/political evaluations of a Christian, whose unslakable war mongering, whose allegiance to the ethical/political/economic vacuity of the collapsed Neo-Liberal Dogmas, to the perpetual demonizing of the Left, and a moral/intellectual fealty to that monument to Conservative Sociology of the notorious ‘Bell Curve’?