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White Hate is Idolatry

(And I don't mean just their obsession with honoring statues.)

The terror perpetrated by Nazis in Charlottesville is one consequence of divine truthiness. There is a long history of lifting up to the status of God the worst of human vices, like revenge, abuse, and violence. If violent people can say even God engages in detestable vices, then in one move they absolve themselves from the stain of their own abusive actions.

It starts with a wholesome intent to express universal human dignity as we say humans are created in the image of God. But then people say God acts with deadly, terrifying power—and they cloak it with mysterious terms like ‘divine justice.’ With those elements in hand they can then declare that abusive people are the most like God, and (horrifyingly) their victims are the least like God. And then, as we saw in Charlottesville, Virginia, they put that into action.

That is the deadly ideology burning beneath the surface of the violent, abusive fascists, Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists. They see violent power as their divine right. They believe they are on the side of a violent god. They believe they are not only absolved of responsibility for their violence—even worse—they believe they are literally doing the violent will of the violent god.

This is idolatry. Lifting up the worst human vices to the status of their god, they worship a graven image of their own creation. This idol worship, bowing to the false and truthy god of violent abusive power, has real effects in the real world.

Worship of abusive violent power means their idolatry expands:

  • They worship the Nazi death cult.

  • They worship the Confederate death cult.

Their false god with its false, violent power is divine truthiness through and through. Their false god, the idol of their own construction, demands blood sacrifice. And that is what makes them dangerous.

The real God attends the candlelight vigil. The real God stands with those who stand against hate and violence and abuse. Where do you stand?

Come to think of it, their intense fighting on behalf of statues really is rather idolatrous. I mean, come on.

 

Paul Joseph Greene

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