Adam Kinzinger; Pat Toomey; role playing games.
The most revealing event of the past few days is how the family of a Republican Representative, Adam Kinzinger, essentially condemned him for having criticized former president T****. They wrote him a letter and publicized it so that everyone would know he was being ostracized.
NYT: Adam Kinzinger’s Lonely Mission, followed up upon at CNN: House Republican shunned by family members over Trump criticism. Here are images of the letter.
Oh my, what a disappointment you are to us and to God! We were once so proud of your accomplishments! Instead, you go against your Christians principals [sic] and join “the devil’s army” (Democrats and the fake news media). How do you call yourself a Christian when you join the “devils army” believing in abortion! We thought you were “smart” enough to see how the left is brainwashing so many “so called good people” including yourself and many other GOP members. You have even fallen for their socialism ideas! So, so, sad!
And this is revealing:
(If God can forgive and use King David in the bible, He can do the same with President Trump.)
Typically, the letter is only marginally literate, with misspellings and erratic punctuation. (The word “disappointment” is underlined three times!) The letter is revealing in a couple ways. First, it illustrates the simplistic, black and white thinking of religious conservatives, and their obsession with abortion, in a way consistent with the characterization of Republicans as the cult of Trump. Second, and this is a new insight, it *excuses* the behavior of a despicable politician like Trump, on the grounds that despots in the Bible were just as bad!
Where in all this are Republican/conservative principles and accountability?
Then today there’s this: The Hill: GOP official on Toomey: Wasn’t sent to ‘do the right thing or whatever he said’, and MSNBC: GOP official: We did not send Toomey to Hill ‘to do the right thing’ and Boing Boing: PA GOP angry at own Senator: “we did not send him there to ‘do the right thing’ or whatever”.
There you have it. The GOP, for all conservatives’ claims of moral superiority, only care about winning, not about holding T**** accountable for his actions.
I think the Kinzinger family letter shames the Kinzinger family more than it shames Representative Adam.
These events have led me to another insight: religion is a LARP. That is, a Live Action Role Playing game in which everyone pretends (or believes to one degree or another), things for which there is no actual evidence in the real world. And if you had raised your children in a Game of Thrones LARP, or in a continuous Renaissance Pleasure Faire (as they were once known), they would become adults believing those things were real, and pass them on to their own children. So it is with angels and the invisible man in the sky and ancient, a-historical messiahs (one of many).
There’s evidence some religious “believers,” even some clergy, understand that they’re just playing a game, of sorts. Conforming to a social standard for the benefit of the community, for the benefit of those community members who need simplistic, comforting beliefs. Playing the “game” on Sundays and disregarding it the rest of the week.
Does it matter if those beliefs are “sincerely held”? The problem with that phrase is that there are so many different people demanding such respect for conflicting beliefs, that cannot all be true. Do we defer to Flat Earthers, or QAnons, because they claim their beliefs are sincere? We do not. Apparently the religious somehow resolve this cognitive dissonance.