avatarJohn Worthington

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Is MagaMike Johnson Falling Through the Evangelical Donut Hole?

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A few days ago, I heard an interview with the new Speaker of the House. In that interview he said that he followed the Bible to guide his legislative endeavors¹. He further stated that should anyone wish to enquire as to what exactly he intends to do, one could simply read the Bible and it would all be laid out right there as plain as the nose on your face. Before I go on, we should remember this is the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States. Second in line to the presidency. What the man said about the Bible is simply absurd. This is the hole in the evangelical donut. I don’t wish to be disparaging, but when I hear people treat the Bible or the Koran or any other writings from antiquity as though they understand the words which are written as opposed to understanding the abstraction the words are part of, I nearly lose all hope in any possibility of human survival.

I think I should explain my frustration. Back in the far reaches of history, it seems that nearly all of those old writings told tales of some supernatural being conversing with some random local who happened to be able to write. At least that’s how some of those stories go. Others are more detailed and even offer reason for this download of knowledge. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, for example, up on the mountain. It was a private meeting. There are stories about gods and goddesses showing people how to grow food and raise animals.

Native Americans have lots of stories of creation. In all of those stories from all over the world there is a transition from being created to being kicked out of the nest or sent off to college of some such, where the supernatural being gives a set of last minute instructions for how to behave and then poofs back to somewhere else (which is not here) and is usually assumed to be a heavenly home. Now before you get all hot and bothered about my glib assessment, think about the problem that God must have had communicating with the Moseses they left those last-minute instructions with. It wasn’t that they were not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, it’s that there wasn’t even the idea of having a chandelier as yet.

To set the context, the Ten Commandments were written around 3500 years ago as a best guesstimation by those who know these things. I think that was before Rome. It was a while back, that much is for sure. Before computers I think. Before cars. Before England. Before Spain. In reality, before nearly any country we know today. There are still a few old time countries around which history has revolved. Civilizations come and civilizations go for the most part but the stories and myths hang around for thousands of years after they were first told. But the heroes and their trials and tribulations are described differently with waxing and waning of civilizations. In other words, the words change as language kaleidoscopes the origin of the story into the conquering traditions which then adjust to the current generation of storytellers. But the abstraction the story illustrates applies to humanity even though different groups of humans wear those abstractions in novel and entertaining ways. The words change but the abstraction the words are part of are applicable to all who are human no matter when or where they reside or what else they might believe.

Back to all the Moseses with all those last-minute instructions. I’m pretty sure that those guys were all the best and brightest of the population sample which any god chose to be the winner of the divine lottery became the wisdom impartee. The problem is with the guys who were still down the mountain. Those guys were a rowdy bunch and not given to such civilized practices such as understanding why the newly imparted wisdom was to be applied, much less why. For the most part the Moseses as well as the rowdy bunch were limited by what they could talk about as yet. The Ten Commandments were given to nomads. Nothing wrong there but their world view was necessarily limited. How was that god supposed to explain the workings of the human biocomputer to a populace that had yet to coalesce their collective thinking into food production? Those folks depended on mana to survive out there in nomad mode, remember? How were they to know that by following the wisdom from the god that civilizations would wax and wane as the words to those stories morphed and tumbled through time?

The abstractions are as meaningful today as they ever were. “Have no other Gods before me;” for example means the same thing as no man can serve two masters. Or do what you do, do well. When the Speaker asks us to read what he intends to do because it’s in the Bible, does he mean that Commandment about not screwing your neighbor’s wife or the example of King David lusting after his neighbors wife and due to legal complications the only way he could get her in bed was to send her husband off to war to serve on the front lines? That would not be in conflict with that thing about not committing murder would it? Clearly, the Speaker is more erudite than to nit pick. But I still have serious doubts about the Speaker being cognizant of how much of what he claims to be his Christian duty is actually not about the Bible at all. It is only about his interpretation of the words he reads in his Bible. I do not see that he pays any attention at all to the abstractions those words are part of. The words are not the abstraction but each word plays a note in the melody of larger and larger abstractions as the civilization grows.

I cannot see evidence that the new Speaker has ever considered the profound possibility that his interpretation of what a God told a Moses three or four thousand years ago is flawed by his own fears and frustrations. However, I must point out that MagaMike represents a wide swath of Americans who say they are Evangelical Christians. They all can quote rapid-fire bible verses but they do not apply the abstractions those verses are leading us to understand. I’m pretty sure that folks like MagaMike truly believe they are demonstrating righteousness. And they are righteous within the set of conflicting beliefs they count as real.

Just a quick peek into that kind of sleaze will show that the Palestinian children who are being blown apart by Israelis do not count as human beings. They are counted as revenge for the unspeakable attack by Hamas. If the Speaker cannot discern that both sides are guilty of ungodly acts which are supposedly contrary to the religious beliefs of the combatants then he commands and supports the ungodly revenge to be done. As well as the ungodly attack that occasioned the revenge. Neither atrocity is defendable. Unsurprisingly, MagaMike is militant in his defense of cellular heart electrical signals being quieted. But at the same time for a fetus where a heart does not yet exist but the cellular signal does, you can bet your bottom dollar that he is just as happy as a pig in shit with killing a classroom full of children. Or a club full of dancers or a grocery store full of shoppers. Or a Walmart full of parents or from high above a concert so that the murderer can pick random targets. Or any other venue where some stupid kid with a MagaMike approved AR-15 wants to take target practice on living flesh. So I’m pretty sure my interpretation of that famous scripture, do unto others as you would have others do unto you has been misinterpreted by our boy wonder the Speaker of the House. Need I remind you that this guy is a real Johnson?

References

1. Broadwater, L. (2023, October 27). Takeaways from Mike Johnson’s First Interview as Speaker. The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2023, from https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/27/us/politics/mike-johnson-interview-hannity-takeaways.html

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Mike Johnson
Politics
Spirituality
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Christianity
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