The Irony, It Burns

 Posted by on 12 October 2009 at 4:00 am  Culture, Politics, Religion
Oct 122009
 
A recent piece from PJTV floated by, “Is Barack Obama Jesus Christ?” It starts off with footage of one of those often-creepy examples of children singing patriotic songs or Jesus-jingles with the words modified to be about Obama (this time it appears to be a Jesus-jingle). The piece goes on to explore its title question with sarcastic tongue in cheek comparison and contrast that ranges through the schools that have kids singing like that, to the adoring treatment of Obama in the mainstream media and artistic community.

There’s a lot to talk about here, but what struck me wasn’t the quality or lack in the analysis. No, it was the sheer irony. This commentary was created to register some degree of outrage at the deification of Obama, at the sacrilege of any comparison of him to a Christlike Savior — and the commentator is making a real point about how dangerous this is: after all, pretending doesn’t make it so. Giving up our independent understanding and following authority in some sort of primacy-of-consciousness yes-we-can pretend world does in fact leave us dependent and exposed to all sorts of dangers, positioned poorly to deal with all those pesky facts of reality, ill-equipped to achieve genuine values in the actual world.

The video took some serious effort to produce, so what is being said isn’t exactly casual — yet it somehow misses the painfully obvious application of its criticism to precisely what it is defending! Check out the closing:

Luckily, though, if there’s anyone on earth who can help us stop thinking or laughing or learning new information, it’s our public school teachers, mainstream journalists, and state-loving artists.

So, boys and girls, is Barack Obama really Jesus Christ? Of course not! But working together we can all pretend, can’t we? And if we pretend very, very hard, we can soon go to live in his magical kingdom, where everything is taken care of for us, and nothing costs anything, and we never have to make any of those nasty, old personal decisions for ourselves ever again. And then we’re screwed.

And in religion — most definitely including the one being defended against this slight/competition — we are called to submit to authority and take important matters on faith (that is, it helps us stop thinking). And religion tells us that if we simply pretend (i.e., believe) very, very hard, we can soon go to live in God’s magical kingdom, where everything is taken care of for us, and nothing costs anything, and we never have to make any of those nasty, old personal decisions for ourselves ever again.

And then we’re screwed. Indeed.
   
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