I think it was Emerson who said that sometimes a scream is better than a thesis. This passage from a New York Times Op-Ed by Peter Wehner (yes, one and the same) suggests that sometimes an inward scream is better than a worked-out blog post.
At its core, Christianity teaches that everyone, no matter at what station or in what season in life, has inherent dignity and worth. “Follow justice and justice alone,” Deuteronomy says, “so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.” The attitude of Thrasymachus is foreign to biblical Christianity. So is Trumpism. In embracing it, evangelical Christians are doing incalculable damage to their witness.
“So that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.” No questions to be asked on what was required to get it.
It may seem incongruous to be quoting Deuteronomy to explicate the teachings of “Christianity.” But recall the Gospel of St Matthew: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Matthew, 5:17.
I sometimes wonder whether I overdo things here, harping over and over on the same themes. But then I wonder whether anyone notices things like this: we’ve gotten so used to hearing accolades for “Western Civilization” that no one seems to notice that the accolades continue when genocide, expropriation, and conquest are praised as the epitome of justice.
It sounds unrelated, but I don’t think it is: A colleague of mine in the counseling psychology program here at Felician just left the program to do a two-year stint for the Peace Corps job in the Ukraine. “It’s a two-year thing,” he said, “but I really don’t intend to come back. I can’t take it here anymore. I’ll just find a way to stay there, even after the Peace Corps job is over. I’m not coming back to Jersey. I just can’t do it. I can’t live here anymore.”
This isn’t some granola-eating leftist, by the way. My colleague is an ex-Marine, a veteran from the Iraq War who saw front-line combat there. I don’t want to put words in his mouth (he’s a man of very few words) but it sounded like he was saying that he’d fought for a country he could no longer bear to live in.
I don’t fucking blame him. Few people have the courage to live their disgust. In a milieu that leaves little to admire, I doff my cap to someone who does.