uno itinere non potest perveniri ad tam grande secretum -- Q. Aurelius Symmachus, 384 C.E.

Friday, December 2, 2011

What 'Anti-Christian' Really Looks Like

Today the following anti-immigration, copied-and-pasted meme, which I've found via Google here, wound up in my Facebook newsfeed:

"While hiking down along the border this morning, I saw a Muslim extremist fall into the Rio Grande River; he was struggling to stay afloat because of all the guns and bombs he was carrying. Along with him was a Mexican who was also struggling to stay afloat because of the large backpack of drugs that was strapped to his back. If they didn't get help, they'd surely drown. Being a responsible Texan and abiding by the law to help those in distress, I informed the El Paso County Sheriff 's Office and Homeland Security. It is now 4pm, both have drowned, and neither authority has responded. I'm starting to think I wasted two stamps!"

Get it? Ha ha ha! He let the two men drown. Like much of the humor on the Right, this is somewhat funny if you simply don't think about it at all. Indeed, much of the ideology on the right requires such a suspension of thought. But I digress.

What I found interesting about this particular meme is just how efficiently it illustrates how genuinely and proudly anti-Christian much of the right wing of this country has become, even while claiming the opposite.

For what we have here is, quite obviously, a gross inversion of the Good Samaritan.

Of course, people abuse the story of the Good Samaritan all the time, such that it has become merely synonymous with someone who stops and helps someone else. That is not, decidedly, the point of the story: rather, it matters just who stops and helps. In Jesus' story, two Jewish religious leaders, a priest and a Levite, walk on by a man felled by robbers while a Samaritan -- an outsider, a "foreigner" in the strongest sense of the word -- stops to help. Jesus of course ends the story by pointing out that it's the Samaritan, despite being outside the inner religious and cultural circle of his listeners, who was the true neighbor.

Not so, of course, in our chain e-mail above. Here, two foreigners fall victim to misfortune, and the good, upstanding "responsible Texan" who is "abiding by the law" (and whose self-avowal certainly brings to mind the pious religious leaders that are some of Jesus' favorite targets) lets the two foreigners die. Of course, in this tale, the two are engaged in illegal activity, so I guess that makes it OK. Because as Jesus always said, we should hate our enemies, right?


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this. The Tea Party's insistence on not having mercy on 'losers' threatened by foreclosure is another example of people loudly trumpeting 'Judeo-Christian values' while blatantly championing the opposite.