Friday, January 27, 2006

Wolf In Wolf's Clothing

This Rolling Stone article about Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is terrifying. If you wanted a psychological study of a man obsessed with power, read the passage where Brownback goes over his resume late at night, and then, determining that he had done nothing that would outlast his own lifetime, burns it and commits himself to serving the one path he believes to lead to immortality, God. He so desperately wants the power to change the course of history, that in his lust he has convinced himself that God wants him to have it as well.

Then there is this lovely passage:

It doesn't bother Brownback that most Bible scholars challenge the idea that Scripture opposes homosexuality. "It's pretty clear," he says, "what we know in our hearts." This, he says, is "natural law," derived from observation of the world, but the logic is circular: It's wrong because he observes himself believing it's wrong.

He has worldly proof, too. "You look at the social impact of the countries that have engaged in homosexual marriage." He shakes his head in sorrow, thinking of Sweden, which Christian conservatives believe has been made by "social engineering" into an outer ring of hell. "You'll know 'em by their fruits," Brownback says. He pauses, and an awkward silence fills the room. He was citing scripture -- Matthew 7:16 -- but he just called gay Swedes "fruits."

Here's a man so detached from the world that he sites contemporary Sweden as an automatically negative example. Sure, a modern secular society with a strong economy, a great public health system, and an international reputation as peacemakers must seem like a great blasphemy to the religious right, but they don't seem to even realize how silly they sound when they use the phrase "look at Sweden" in the same way that most of us might say with sadness "look at North Korea" or "look at the Sudan". Sweden ain't it.

But I bet that whole "fruits" pun just kills at the megachurches.


Anonymous george said...

Sweden is also the nation which produced one of the greatest peacemakers of recent history -- Dag Hammarskjold, who died tragically in 1961, when he was Secretary-General of the U.N. He is also regarded by many as a Christian mystic. Whether a mystic or not, he was certainly a man of deep religious faith, and he helped shape modern Sweden.

10:13 AM  

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