The Woeful Persistence of Christian Hegemony
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Audre Lorde.
The problem with Christian belief is that blind faith causes people to think that they may abandon all reason and evidence in presenting arguments and interacting with sane people.
So it is that even “progressive” people in the United States automatically appeal to Christian imagery and concepts, not least when they want to criticize Donald Trump.
Christianity is the master’s tool, always and forever.
It seems unlikely that Trump believes anything, beyond the belief of the average toddler that he should immediately do or get whatever he thinks will make him happy right now. It’s the best explanation for his erratic, inconsistent behavior and his constant lying.
Regardless of what Trump does or does not believe, he won a clear majority of Christian votes in 2016. Christians in every group, except African Americans and Hispanic Catholics, voted over 55% for Trump. Had only Christians voted, Trump would have won the popular vote easily.
Christianity is inherently conservative. It is the oldest continually operative ideology in western culture. It cannot help but be conservative.
It’s a simple rule: the Constitution plainly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” It also prohibits religious tests for public office. The Fourteenth Amendment, in creating a national definition of citizenship and setting a federal floor for the rights of citizens, makes all of the rights in the U.S. Constitution applicable to the states.
Yet here is crazy Christian woman in Pennsylvania, on the day that the first Muslim ever to serve in that state’s legislature stood for her swearing in, giving an impassioned, Jesus filled prayer as the invocation in the state legislature. People still paint Nazi images on gravestones in Jewish cemeteries in the United States. Christians are relentless in trying to shove their religion onto the uninterested and the unwilling.
Like it or not, progressive Christians are not going to drown out the crazies. The crazies are the ones who pushed to invade “the Americas” and rape, pillage, enslave, and murder millions of Natives and Africans over the past 500 years as part of the project to steal two continents from Natives who had lived here for thousands of years, quite happily without Christianity, before the Christians invaded. Christians have been ruthless and relentless in their colonization of the entire world, and anyone else has only made any progress by resisting Christian colonization, whether of their territory or of their minds.
Everything bad or wrong in the United States results more or less directly from Christian belief. From the first settlement, through the writing and ratification of the Constitution, to the present day, the vast majority of the leaders in the United States have been Christian.
No one will ever fashion a progressive politics using Christianity as their base. We need a new moral theory and a new ground for our politics.