[percy-l] Re: Some Random Thoughts, Largely Unrelated, Based on Previous Discussions and Readings

Wade Riddick wriddick at usa.net
Sun Dec 8 00:52:06 EST 2002

What's going on in post-Christian society?

Well, I've written about this extensively in the past, if memory serves, so
I won't try to rehash too many old arguments.  Go back and look for
references to Louis Hartz in the archive if you wish.

Aside from transforming the mark of grace into the mark of profit, there's
all sorts of Calvinist foreordination and Manichean dualism which remain in
American history.  It's alive and well today in the "axis of evil."  In a
strange way, I guess you could call it almost Gnostic - a reduction of
moral complexity completely to the physical plane, where stuff is no longer
just stuff and people no longer just people.


In DeJulio is to be believed, on the right we now have "Mayberry
Machiavellis" catering to right wing "Christian" hopes that a nuclear war
in Israel will herald the Rapture.  This is not your Eisenhower's party.
It's a right wing with remarkably little capacity for self-assessment or
introspection.  On the other side of the aisle, we have Jesus Christ
refusing to drive an SUV - which, I suppose, adds fresh meaning to the
occasional exclamation of "Jesus Christ on a bike!" I used to hear growing

We definitely have more of this on the right than the left today - more
money, more self-indulgent outrage, more self-obsessed piety.  I have a
feeling the longer the tilt goes on, you're going to see more of this crop
back up on the left.  While my mercury poisoning came from amalgams, I
don't think the families of autistics were too happy to see legal
protections for Eli Lilly put into the Homeland Security bill.  I've also
gotta worry about the extra mercury Bush's coal-burning plants will belch
out under his "voluntary" pollution guidelines.

Isn't this what the Manicheans always get?  If someone can become the devil
incarnate, then can't someone on our side become a god - a holy man, unable
to be questioned, correct in his every utterance?  Suffice it to say, our
founding fathers were definitely quite pragmatic in their judgments about
their fellow man - but then they'd paid their dues under monarchical
absolutism already.  Where's today's Harry Truman or Henry V upbraiding his
troops not to celebrate in the suffering of his enemies?  Isn't this
immanence and transcendence?

Sorry to take so long to respond, but it's taken me over a year to figure
out I have glucocorticoid insensitivity - not that any doctor helped me
find this out, mind you.  Oh yeah, anybody with teenage acne's had it too.
They reported this last week.  Thought some of you might like to know how
the American diet is doing you in.

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