Friday, June 09, 2017

Not Really Human

Depsite all the tantrums the Far-Right threw about Clinton mentioning that it was deplorable to be a racist and a bigot, the special snowflakes on the Right have no problem declaring that anyone who isn't just like them -- following their religious creed, believing their political theology -- is "not really human."

Here's Rod Dreher, insisting in another wall of text ranting screed that anyone who isn't Christian-like-him isn't "fully human."

For [LGBT people]. one’s full humanity requires being able to express sexual and psychosexual desires, because these things are part of their identity. For traditional Christians, being fully human (in the sense of fulfilling our nature) requires ordering those desires to the ideal God reveals to us in Scripture and in nature. Understand me clearly: I’m not saying that LGBT people are “less than human,” any more than I would say that someone who cheats on his wife is less than human. Rather, I’m saying that all of us realize our full humanity when we live by certain truths embedded within Creation. In this sense, sin can be seen as a failure to be fully human, i.e., to fulfill God’s will for ourselves.

Not "less than human," Dreher insists, is somehow different from "not fully human." Sure, bro.

He goes on, by the way, to expand that "not fully human" definition to all progressives.

You'll remember Trump Jr. said the same thing a few days ago. And as we know from history, this is a typical move made by those who wish to strip away the civil rights (and sometimes the lives) of those they agree with: they paint their opposition as not-really-humans. Rats and vermin, Nazis called the Jews; during WWII, it was easier for Roosevelt to strip Japanese-Americans of their rights and their property because most American citizens did not consider Asians fully human.

Same for African-Americans -- well, I was going to say pre-1955, but hell, that's still true. Most Americans think it's fine for the police to shoot down black Americans, whatever their age or gender, because they don't really see black people as people.

It's been easy for Trump to treat immigrants the way he's treating them for the same reason -- those (brown) immigrants aren't, for far too many people in this country, really humans (not like white straight men are humans).

Now the Far Right -- our modern Conservatives, our Evangelical-Conservatives -- are doing the same to progressives. We're not really people. We're not "fully human."

This is, after all, what Trump and his followers meant by "Make America Great Again." What they meant is they want to return to an America where straight white Christian men are human, and no one else (really) is. In that world, only straight white Christian men are granted civil rights, or human rights. Only those men are entitled to respect under the law, or an equal playing field.

That's the "great" America they want.


John Dumas said...

Thank you for confirming my decision of May 21, 2015 to never read Rod Dreher's blog again. Every once in a while I do find myself curious, then someone comes along and reminds me how utterly toxic he is.

delagar said...

He's grown more and more toxic over the past few years.

I've stopped reading him frequently -- I used to check in every day or two. Now I can barely stand to read him once or twice a month. Every time I do have a look, he's saying something worse than the last time I read him.

His comment section is even worse, since he bans everyone who disagrees with his disgusting worldview. So now he's left with White Nationalists, Ultra-conservative Christians who hate LGBT people as much as he does, and the few liberals who haven't managed to trigger his ban yet.

Contingent Cassandra said...

I was trying to figure out why his phrasing rings especially oddly to me, and then I realized: the place I most often hear the phrase "fully human" (in a religious context, or for that matter in any context, since it doesn't come up a lot otherwise, except maybe occasionally in discussions of disability and/or end of life decisions, and I suppose maybe abortion) is in reference to Jesus, who, at least in Trinitarian Christian theology, is both "fully human" and "fully divine." Of course, Jesus is also traditionally considered to have been sinless, unlike any other human, but tempted to sin, like other humans. So maybe it's just my Calvinist upbringing showing, but for me being human=being fallen=being sinful/tempted to sin. It's not a huge stretch from there to say that we are most fully, or at least most typically, human when we're sinning, which is about the opposite place from where Dreher ended up.

[Of course, none of the above gets into the question of whether it's sinful to act, in a responsible manner, on the sexual urges that are also part of our human nature, and that take varying forms in varying individuals, other than in the context of monogamous heterosexual marriage. I think not, but even if I did, I don't think I'd arrive at the argument that people engaged in sexual sin are somehow "not fully human"/not expressing their full humanity. Lust, like greed, sloth, envy, etc., etc. strikes me as very human.]

delagar said...

CC: I like this take on humanity and our human nature!

One thing (this really has nothing to do with your point, but reading your comment made me think of it) -- one thing that annoys me so much about Dreher and his ugly perception of LGBT people is how he defines them by their sexual acts -- the way he claims they are only gay, or bisexual, or trans *because* of their desire to have a specific kind of sex.

That an LGBT person could want to have a loving relationship and a life with another person -- a life in which sex is only one part -- that just can't be possible, in Dreher's mind. No, it's all about (as he frequently phrases it) the "holy orgasm."

Does he think this about heterosexual relationships / marriages as well? That straight people only marry so they can have sex? That's what marriage / love is to him? A way to have "sinless" sex?

He's a disturbing man.