The seven woes of the Tea Party
Rick Santorum recently suggested that climate scientists are like Pharisees but, as many others have pointed out – as they always were and will be – the real Pharisees today are ultra Conservative politicians! As such, by uttering such an absurdity/insanity/obscenity [delete any that do not apply], Santorum has plumbed new depths of reality inversion.
I appreciate that fools like Santorum make an easy target but, please, can we attack the psuedo science without attacking the misguided Churchianity that people like Santorum hide their anti-intellectualism behind? I think all such denialism is not actually driven by any real faith in God that these people may have (apart from an almost subconscious ascent to the idea that we humans have a right to dominate nature rather than a responsibility to be good stewards of it). For the vast majority, their denial of reality is driven by adherence to libertarian ideology and free market economics. However, because this would be immediately seen as them not acting in the public interest, a bit like members of the KKK, they hide behind a veil of pure white religiousity instead.
So then, here is why I think Rick Santorum needs to study his Bible a bit more closely (it is taken from the 23rd Chapter of the Gospel according to St Matthew):
Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.
Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?…
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices— mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law— justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practised the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!
(Matthew 23:13-32 NIV)
Those who know their Bible well, may ask why I stopped there. This is because Jesus went on to rebuke these Pharisees as follows: “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth…”
Is this not exactly what the Tea Party is doing? These ultra-Conservative prisoners of libertarian ideology and fanatical adherents to free market economics are determined to sacrifice the future habitability of planet Earth on an altar of worship to their God of short-term self-interest… My advice to all who are tempted to join them is this: When we know we’re in a hole, we should stop digging!
Update: With my thanks to the Mashed Potato Bulletin for the hat-tip, Michael Tomasky very eloquently summarised all that is wrong with the Republican Party today in this (17 January 2012) piece: What Mitt’s Father Got Right (and Mitt Gets Wrong)… As Tomasky says, “Romney… is appallingly wrong about ‘envy’ [because] he assumes that everyone wants to get rich but isn’t ‘good’ enough.”