, 13 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
I can't get over my seasickness over the racist, homophobic attack of @JussieSmollett. Hate crimes like this are not anecdotal or episodic. How can it still even be in question whether or not reckless rhetoric empowers extremists/extreme action? #JusticeForJussie #MAGA
I will contend again: #MAGA is not just a political ideology, but a theology that makes explicit theological claims that must be evaluated theologically. And anybody who studies theology knows this: LANGUAGE MATTERS. Words matter.
Defensive people inevitably tell me that Trumpian rhetoric is not intended to be used this way, that nobody responsible for the rhetoric wants it carried out like this. That may be true! But here's something else you can learn from theology: authorial intent is NOT A THING.
Stanley Hauerwas once said at a conference, "If the Apostle Paul were here right now & stood up to try & tell us what he 'really meant,' I'd tell him to sit down & shut the hell up. The text belongs to the Church." Words have an existence untethered to intent.
#MAGA has a full slate of theological implications--including an eschatology. That's another rule of good theology: always start with the end. What kind of end does #MAGA doctrine envision? What you believe about the end always determines how you live in the present.
#MAGA has a soteriology. Who saves? Who will be saved? How will they be saved?
#MAGA has an ecclesiology: which people are God's people? Why are they gathered? What is the basis of their unity?
The doctrine of #MAGA (IT IS DOCTRINE), like all false theology, is grounded ultimately in lies about who God is. That's the center of it. #MAGA is a theology in which god is small, capricious, petty, punitive, an idol to vindicate "our" side against another. In short, idolatry.
Before you @ me, if you don't like it...give me a different theological reading of #MAGA. Tell me what the ends are, tell me who is saved & who is how, tell me who the chosen people are & how/why they are gathered. If you have a better theological reading, I'd welcome it.
This is also why you can't just talk people out of #MAGA with data, charts, graphs: it's not just an ideology, it's a SPIRIT, a principality that insulates people from the truth. You hear people saying things they wouldn't have said before, that aren't "them?" In a way, it's not.
And this is where I get too weirdly Pentecostal for some of y'all. I don't believe you can negotiate with a spirit. You can't compromise with a spirit. Some things can't be talked out, they have to be cast out; not merely rebutted...but rebuked.
It is also why, while anger is right & necessary, the animating energy of resistance MUST be love. Because in the words of Jesus, "Satan cannot cast out Satan." This is not moralistic, but pragmatic: hate simply cannot defeat hate. Choose Love...even if for practical reasons.
You can hear news every single day of domestic terror (that is the phrase) perpetuated by white men with guns, & still sit around talking about an imagined crisis at the border? That's demonic. And why, progressive friends, you need a theology of evil.
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