Posted tagged ‘Mexican religiousity’

Palin on Prosperity – God Help Us.

February 14, 2010

In Chilapa, Mexico

Started out today (Valentine’s Day) intending to write and draw about love and its objects.  With and without elephants.

One object of my love is tea.   My first cup, drunk while reading Frank Rich of the New York Times, unfortunately brought me to ‘tea party’.  And tea party, elephants, Frank Rich, and Valentines (as in who can be as cutesy, hokey, and reductive, as a Hallmark card–sorry, Hallmark!)–brought me to Sarah Palin.

I confess to having a hard time listening to Palin’s Tea Party speech (I had to read the transcript).  There is a teasing artifice that is deeper than the teased hair.   She zings out one-liners which she must know are not true;  she presents herself as  a spokesperson for the “little guy,” while keeping a continual eye on the nontransparent ball of personal enrichment and aggrandizement.

(One of the personally most aggravating inconsistencies is her castigation of government programs while touting herself as the protector of those with special needs.  Who pays for the lifetime care of most people with special needs, Sarah?

Her “solutions” are also one-liners:  on the war against terrorism:  “Bottom line, we win, they lose. We do all that we can to win.”  (Gee, amazing that no one else thought of that.)

One would think that Sarah’s highly-paid exhortations towards an un-fact-based, if strident, agenda would cause her pause, maybe even a little guilt.  But Sarah seems to bypass all those concerns by a pink cloud of religious faith:  as in ‘if we Godly people can only get into power, God will swoop down and save us.’

Palin’s actual words: “you know, we don’t have all the answers as fallible men and women.  So it would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again.”

I don’t doubt Sarah’s faith.  I understand people (including myself)  seeking divine support and guidance in times of trouble and not.

But what’s worrisome is Sarah’s casual equation between the search for divine intervention with safeness, security and prosperity; as if hard, fact-based, complex, boring, analysis, could be bypassed.

Putting aside some of the more philosophical questions–didn’t George W. try that?

Secondly, well, is God really that interested in the the bank bail-out?

Third, Sarah, how can be so sure that you have a better pipeline to God than Obama?   (BTW, didn’t your demi-idol Ronald Reagan consult an astrologer more frequently than a pastor? )  (And isn’t this an awfully lot like the type of things that the Taliban preach?)

Finally, aren’t there a lot of religious, even Christian, people who are not particularly safe, secure or prosperous?   (Don’t, in other words, bad things happen to good people?)

She makes me think about a trip to Mexico a couple of years ago.  Mexico is an extremely religious country;  in the small town where we stayed there were fiestas every week in which the “Cristianos” conquered the “Moros” on the paving stones in front of the local cathedral.  At one fiesta, depicted above, a man dressed in satin swaddling clothes was hung from a cross on the back of a truck.

The Mexicans, in short, are not afraid to show, even to parade, their religiousity.   And yet that country suffers from poverty, unemployment and underemployment, terrible drug violence.   Yes, it’s true that abortion, long illegal there, has very recently had a slightly greater allowance in a few Mexican states.   However, anti-abortion rules are on the rise again  (and Mexico’s economic and social problems long preceded any loosening of abortion laws.)

Sarah, please  explain.