On Demonization and Politics
This sums up all I wish I could have said.
“There may still be a deeper and saner place within us that knows that our blame is wildly out of proportion–that whatever we think ills us really can’t simply be entirely the fault of illegal immigrants, homosexuals, Muslims, pro-life or pro-choice people, or fundamentalist Christians. Yet blame has a uniquely energizing, galvanizing energy to it, especially in a crowd. Scapegoating is always a religious practice, a spiritual ritual that offers the community what at least feels like cleansing from their sins. If we can deport, excommunicate or marginalize the right people, we just know that our problems will go away with them. No matter how secular the language we use, there is always a savage, toxic kind of spirituality that underwrites this entire project. No issue is ever quite as pressing for us as our own need for atonement. The trouble is, many of us are looking for someone other than Jesus to suffer for our own sins.”