On Christians

Among Christians, the code employed to express strong disapproval is, “Why would you…?” As in, “Why would you want to discuss an ugly thing like slavery in a class at a university?”

So my student gave a presentation on the Brazilian narco-slums and police repression and simultaneous collaboration or even leadership in the narco-gangs, which is a major issue for many reasons.

The police in Rio de Janeiro have arms normally used only by armies, and the narcos have better arms than many armies have. There is a proposal that Brazil intervene in Switzerland and the United States to stop the flow of arms at its source, the same way the United States intervenes in Colombia and Peru to kill coca plants.

Someone asked the Christian question: “You are really interested in crime and police stories, aren’t you?”


11 thoughts on “On Christians

  1. You are really interested in crime and police stories, aren’t you?” is an example of Christian selective vision. When I did some research on Simmesport, Louisiana for background on Magnaville, I discovered that the three main places of non agrarian employment were cracker America’s Holy Trinity – the Casino, the Jail and the Church. The locals processed between these with intermediate stops at the payday loan office and fast food restaurants like penitents doing stations of the cross.

  2. I’d love to hear more about selective vision.

    It’s true about Simmesport but you forget the 12 step meetings and the adult video stores … and the motels. There’s a film, looking for the wrong-eyed jesus, you might be interested in: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0389361/

  3. This is hilarious. In a truly tragic way.

    In my Hispanic Civ class, we read Las Casas, we discussed the atrocities committed by the conquerors against the indigenous people (or at least I tried to discuss them). The students, however, were completely stuck on the novel idea that Columbus was not a great hero and a wonderful guy. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t steer the conversation back to the indigenous people. It was all about their disappointment in Columbus.

    Forget about all those slaughtered brown folks. A white guy turned out to be not exactly perfect. There is real tragedy.

    That’s also selective vision.

  4. Yes. And I guess that I’ll teach that in civ next year, too. I usually teach it in colonial but I think I’ll teach it in civ.

  5. This must be blinkered cultural difference (despite Christian schooling and a Christian colonial heritage — odd, eh?) because I don’t quite see how this ‘see nothing discomfiting’ question is related to Christianity. I’d love it if you — and NG — could elaborate.

  6. “Christian” means right wing fundamentalism. Others actually name a denomination and are not as crazy. “Christians” go to Bible Study and things like that which are disguised social networking for people in the arms industry and so on. “Christians” in the South may have had parents who were in or related to the Ku Klux Klan, which was Christian. It’s an almost Nazi like cult where you have to be really “nice” all the time but are not at all.

    1. Ooooh. That explains a lot of snide comments I read on the internet. Incidentally, one of the characters from my latest post was also ‘Christian’, and from the mid-west. The way the Americans at the table discussed her, the mid-western appeared to be significant. Is the mid-west very ‘Christian’?

  7. The south is the most Christian. Older Americans can be very snobbish about the Midwest, though, which they consider uncultured — lack of fine wine, French restaurants, things like that, on those frozen plains and prairies. “Flyover states.” There are some super Christian enclaves there, yes, and also in the West.

    I have a lot of respect for the Midwest. It’s where a lot of really laudable Americans come from and work, and Chicago is a great town. There are a lot of German leftists who arrived after the 1848 rebellions, and you can see their cultural institutions, as in some of the first free libraries … and of course Woody Guthrie, Big Bill Haywood, and Joe Hill were all Midwestern.

  8. There seems to be no way to compromise with Christian fundamentalists, alas. They have a whole universe of discourse that excludes everything but their own world view and which is absolutely intolerable for me to listen to.

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