Sermons From the Gospel of Thomas, Vol. 1, #8
The GOP must die.
Jesus said, “They have planted a grapevine away from the Father, and have not protected it. It will be torn up by its roots and will perish.” Logion 40, Gospel of Thomas
"What I think we need to keep in mind is that Trump REALLY DOES represent the GOP and they REALLY HAVE become an authoritarian party of deplorables and the party of stupid. The GOP must die, but I fear that the GOP zombie will continue for some time and we will be fighting to save our democracy for a long time to come. And it is a fight, and everyone had better engage or this experiment started by our founding fathers can really come to an end." (Tweet from Paul Krugman, Nov 1, 2016)
I’ve been saying it for a long time.
The GOP, as it is today, must "die" (and these are the words of Paul Krugman, not mine) before we can get on with America. As long as they're around, our government can never work. I say this with deep regret, quite apart from mere partisan prejudice, and in a spirit admittedly contrary to the lofty Unified Consciousness I've been finding in the Gospel of Thomas. That spirit works fine for personal piety, whatever may happen to the country we love--but today's theme is politics for the masses. True religion, true spirituality are best nurtured in a democratic milieu, and tend to die out in a dictatorship. A great irony, by the way, seeing that we've somehow managed to make it an indisputable truism that God is a Republican, that the Democrats are "godless." As a matter of sheer objectivity, and--even by their own admission--it has to be faced: the current version of the Republican party no longer even pretends to believe in democracy. It has, in fact, become essentially a fascist enclave. No one should have been surprised that Donald J. Trump refused to say that he'd accept the results of the election, and properly concede defeat, should he lose: this has been their tactic since the election of Bill Clinton, and has continued through the tenure of Barack Obama. Hillary's destruction is already being plotted, win or lose. From the day they are sworn in, the fascist far right simply determines to disallow any elected Democrat's authority, to cancel out in effect his or her election victory, in fact to destroy the Democratic victor any way they can, by lies, invented scandals, unending personal attacks, whatever it takes. So, this is the nature of the struggle we face: we will have to start all over with the two-party system, or concoct another one, if we are to continue to survive. Before the experiment in liberal democracy that our founding fathers had in mind can continue to exist---and yes, I do mean “secular humanism," for that's what it was--the same secular humanism that the original Jesus epitomized and embodied--we will need to dismantle one of the political parties... And it ain't the Dems. Democracy depends on abiding by the results of elections and coming together in support of the new president (something they demand that we do, if their man wins---and wait and see, we will, if grudgingly). It also depends on the shared tacit assumption that in this life we've simply been denied access to the Total Truth, that the only way anybody's religion can survive is if nobody's particular religion is allowed to dominate public life, least of all government. Only then can every man be free for the pursuit of happiness (or truth, or whatever---even money, their real god). Doubting Thomas Jefferson knew this ("search away for the Truth, but beware of those who claim they've already found it.") and his influence was huge in the founding documents that the zombies love to reference, having though no clue as to the spirit behind the words they so mindlessly repeat. Second Amendment, indeed. C'mon, as Bill O'Reilly might say.
Who needs Armageddon? We are facing our very own Zombie Apocalypse. These people will not go away, before or after the election, or any time soon, no matter who wins.
Your scholars and political leaders (scribes and Pharisees) have taken the keys of knowledge and hidden them away. They did not go in, nor have they permitted those desiring entrance to do so. It is imperative that you, therefore, must be cunning like the serpents, and innocent like the doves. Logion 39!
Therefore, he tells us---and given these conditions--we must get to be really slippery, especially subtle, in dealing with these fanatical zombies. It’s not easy. Yes, you see, because nobody wants to admit it, no one is willing to name it. They're not fair and balanced. Too many of us still cling to the Narrative of False Equivalency—the "wisdom" of which insists that the two parties are equally “corrupt,” that “all politicians lie” (a half-truth), that there is really no choice this Election Day: one candidate is a criminal and the other crazy. Yeah sure, we can only say, averting our gaze and changing the subject. You can’t really tell them anything, not since Ronald Reagan convinced them that the problem is "government itself..." The obvious fact is more clear with each passing year: the real problem is the Republican Party. They themselves are the problem: the recalcitrant, reactionary, recidivist Republicans. It does no good to scream at them, to try to talk over them, Fox News style. They’ve mastered these techniques; you can’t compete. They’ve learned---these zombies---that anything you say can be turned upside down, inside out. They will come back at you with an opposing and contradictory viewpoint, whatever you say--however rational, however obvious, however compelling your discourse may be. Because all they really want, all they really understand, is POWER, however acquired. In such an environment, you have to watch your step.
You need to find a way around their stupidity.
Because you see, they are angry. They’ve become dimly aware of their stupidity, and it makes them mad. Dimly aware that it does after all require a certain level of intelligence to comprehend the theory of American democracy, to understand even their own beloved Constitution, yes or even their inerrant divine book The Bible---dimly aware that they are disadvantaged, having dropped out of school way back when and since learned to poke their cell phones, buy those huge SUVs to tool around in, back and forth to that authoritarian Church they think is someday going to inherit the USA and even the world, never mind Jesus and the “meek.”
But maybe not to worry: they appear to be self-destructing. It’s painful to watch. Did you see Trump in the “debates” with Hillary? She stayed cool, let him talk, let him strangle himself. Of course, in typical zombie fashion, though she handed him his butt in all three debates, he and the rest of the zombie herd are now claiming anyway that he won. And in due course they know they will win it all, if they just hold their ground and hang in there, refuse to seriously engage. It’s all a matter of opinion, they’ll tell you. In their minds, they can always take refuge in that cliché: it’s all a matter of opinion. What matters is power; it’s all they care about. What they don’t or can’t understand they seek to stomp out, to destroy… Shout you down, make you go away, you and your liberalism. Right from the start, you know, you've been the real bogeyman, you damned intellectual you---from way back there in Frontier Days. John Wayne yes, Barack Obama, no... Adlai Stevenson, no way. Donald Trump, now there's our man... Sarah Palin for Secretary of State (to replace Hillary, valedictorian, Wellesley, Yale Law School). How ironic that the men who dreamed up the idea of America were just that: intellectuals. Tom Paine, John Locke, Adams, Hamilton, Franklin, Doubting Thomas Jefferson, intellectuals all.
Yes, Thomas Jefferson, you were right to warn us about them, these zombies. They were your biggest nightmare. Well, they're back, to bite us in the butt. What goes around comes around.
The fight will begin again, after Election Day. Dig in for the long haul. Get set. Turn off your TV now and then and do some thinking, for once. No, Jesus won’t be mad if you learn to think a little bit. And BTW you will never understand the Gospel of Thomas apart from this ability to ruminate, to ponder, to meditate. Your “scholars and religious (aka ‘political’) leaders” will tell you otherwise, of course. They've hidden away the keys of knowledge. They have a vested interest in keeping us all stupid. They’re “looking out for us,” right?
Does phony religion, like phony politics, need to be exposed?
It’s way past time. They know not what they do.
The zombies are knocking at the door. Pounding it down, even.
Gird up your loins. Subtly, if possible. Slick, like a serpent, that's the ticket. Harmless, like a dove.
Innocent, like Hillary. Or Jesus.
Maybe our great-grandchildren can start it all over again, that dream of those founding fathers.
But first, the Zombie Apocalypse must come. We can only hope that they do each other in.