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What happens when America’s chief law enforcement officer is a religious maniac?


Let’s understand a few things about William Barr, who currently is Trump’s Attorney-General. We’ll start with his religion, because he says he’s here “to bring God’s law to America,” and since Barr is America’s chief legal officer, we need to understand just what he means.

Barr was born Catholic but became an evangelical Christian at some point in his past; exactly when is uncertain, because Barr is very reluctant to admit it. We know certain things about evangelicals: they believe the Earth is exactly 5,779 years old because that’s what the Hebrew calendar says, and the Bible, according to them, is the literal truth of everything.

They believe that Jesus is going to return to Earth, at which time his enemies (gays, Muslims, Jews, and everyone else who hasn’t accepted Jesus) will promptly be sent to Hell. They believe that, in order to prepare America for this expected Rapture, they must take over all power: government, schools, media, etc. and stamp out non-evangelical messages.

Evangelicals, as their name suggests, are not content to live their religious lives privately. Instead, they believe that God has commanded them to impose their religion on everyone else, regardless of whether or not others wish to accept their religion. This tends to make evangelicals pushy, which explains why they like the bully, Trump. This is not a problem, as long as they don’t have power; but in the case of the Trump regime and William Barr, they do have power. A lot of power. So when Barr rages against “the secular assault on religion,” as he frequently does, implicit in his fulminations is the threat of using his vast powers to repress those “secular” impulses, by force if necessary.

Indeed, the language of militancy runs throughout evangelical discourse, and is Barr’s preferred metaphor, as well. His Justice Department will “fight to enforce traditional values,” he said in a speech last week. Whom will he fight, how will he conduct his fight, and what are those traditional values? His own words provide the answers: He will fight “the secularists.” Who are the secularists? You don’t need a dictionary to know: the secularists are anyone who is not a Christian. That’s me. It may be you.

How will he fight us? The most obvious way is through the law, and Barr’s interpretation of it. This means, among other things, that Barr will fight to make same-sex marriage once again illegal. He will fight to protect the “right” of bigoted bakers not to sell wedding cake to gay couples. He will fight to rid the military of trans people, and he will fight to once again force gay people into the closet. And on many other fronts, Barr will use the courts to bludgeon people into an evangelical way of acting.

What are Barr’s “traditional values”? The most ironic way of identifying them is to look at the life of Barr’s boss, Donald J. Trump. You can identify a “traditional value” as the opposite of anything Trump says and does. Barr says the family is the most sacred bedrock of traditional values. Trump’s addiction to pornography, serial adultery and to grabbing women’s genitals surely is the opposite of “traditional family values” but that doesn’t seem to bother Barr or his fellow evangelicals.

Swearing also is a “traditional value,” but when Trump publicly uses the f-bomb and “pussy” and “shit” you don’t hear Barr or his evangelical friends criticizing such filthy language coming from a President of the United States. Another traditional value is loyalty to one’s friends, but when Trump throws the Kurds under the bus, where’s Barr? Playing the bagpipes, probably; it’s his hobby.

Well, you can’t expect logical consistency from evangelicals because their minds don’t work that way. Imagine the mental energy that needs to be expended, in the form of denial and resentment, in order to believe that the Universe is 5,779 years old. You have to disregard so much evidence! Our human brains have evolved to make us rational creatures, but at the same time we still possess a reptilian brainstem that rejects reason and science; and it is from this reptilian brainstem that evangelicals like William Barr “think.” An alligator cannot reason; an alligator only knows how to attack and devour its enemy, and this militancy lies behind Barr’s threat to “fight the secularists.”

But William Barr’s inability to think beyond his reptilian brainstem will be his downfall, because he doesn’t realize just how powerful we “secularists” are, when we band together to defend ourselves and our country. There are way, way more of us than there are of the evangelicals. Trump has tried for nearly three years to pack the courts with evangelical judges, but secular-minded judges still remain the majority: this doesn’t mean they’re atheists or agnostics, but it does mean they put the Law ahead of their religious preferences. William Barr does not; like the late Antonin Scalia and the still-living Clarence Thomas (both Catholics), Barr puts his religion front and center, and anything that doesn’t kowtow to it—including the Constitution—is expendable.

This is why the Republicans are going to suffer such a huge electoral defeat next year. Most Americans, of all religions, remain fair-minded. They know that our country was born in a fight against a dictatorship (George III’s monarchy) and they have no wish to see a religious theocracy imposed upon them. There may even be some evangelicals who are beginning to have their doubts about Trump. It’s going to be hard on them, in the coming year; after all the energy and faith they poured into Trump, it will be an enormous strain on their cognitive dissonance to realize that he’s a truly bad, ungodly man, and that he has sold out his country for his own personal greed and profit. So, I feel a little compassion for evangelicals: not much, because they have brought this catastrophe upon themselves; but a little. They’re having a reckoning with themselves, and to be honest, it’s fun to watch them melt down.

  1. freddy j orosco2 says:

    You’re nothing more than a typical libertard Demoncrat with the brain the size of a pea. Trump is still your President so get used to it because he will be all the way through 2024. And mat God bless you.

  2. Here’s freddy’s incisive comment. I publish it errors and all.

  3. Bill Tobey says:

    I can tell you really don’t like Christians. That is your choice.
    For me, I very much want a country that is based upon the Constitution, not modern-day thinking. It is clear that modern-day thinking- for example, legal abortions are a classic example of perversion that is modern-day thinking.
    Why in the world is it O.K. to kill babies?
    Why is O.K. to give one group of people greater protection under the law than another? It isn’t.
    Why is it O.K. that now that pot is legal in a number of states, the government is wiping all convictions off the books. It was a crime when it was committed so it is a crime regardless of what has changed since.
    I’ll stop here and just say I fully support your right to express your opinion as long as you agree you fully support my right to do the same.
    Thanks for listening.

  4. Of course you have the “right to express your opinion.” Why on earth would you think otherwise?
    As for your other stuff — there’s so much BS there, I don’t know where to start.
    How’s this: What “group of people” are you referring to that has “greater protection under the law than others”?
    Would it be–gasp!–Gays? Gays want the SAME rights, not more rights than others.
    What about those so-called “christian” bakers who claim the right not to sell wedding cake to same-sex couples?
    And why would you have a problem with wiping minor marijuana convictions off the books? Why are you so angry?
    As for abortion, it’s complicated. I am not in favor of making it illegal. Women would simply go back to knitting needles and other dangerous procedures, and both they and their babies would die. I support President Clinton’s admonition to keep abortion “rare, safe and legal.”
    Finally, I love Christianity. It’s many so-called “christians” I have a problem with.

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