Monday, December 11, 2017

Inside the mind of a Catholic fundamentalist

Mark Shea helps us understand the mindset.  Basically, he speaks of Donald Trump and those who support him in the way that fundamentalists once spoke of The Beatles, or Communists, or even liberals in general.   They are of the devil.  They are the enemy.

Now, I'm aware of no fundamentalist who ever said they 'hated' those enemies of God and man.  In fact, they most often spoke of loving their enemies, loving those they disagreed with, or loving those who were clearly misguided.  But enemies they were, and they spoke of those enemies of the traditional, American Christian faith as they would legions of demonic forces.

As does Mark.  And that's helpful.  I've said all along that liberalism has become the new conservatism.  And with that, of course, it has brought along with it a new form of fundamentalism.  Just as liberalism now speaks openly of what should be censored, what values should be imposed and legislated, what morals are repugnant and must be shunned, and how dissenters should be dealt with, so it is with those Christians running to keep up.

For Christians who have followed the developments, it increasingly sounds the same as it used to sound.  We don't disagree with people over this or that issue.  We don't find Trump to be a political threat or a bad politician.  We fight the Devil himself.  The powers of Hell are at work in Trump, his supporters and his pundits.  There is no jury or court or evidence needed.  Guilt is already assumed.  Roy Moore is a child rapist.  Trump is a racist and rapist and evil man hellbent on nothing but murder and destruction.  His supporters follow him because they are of the same ilk, or because they somehow are inferior in their faith walk.

I heard the same about Bill Clinton back in the day, if not in a milder way.  Bill Clinton was a tool of the Devil, liberalism and liberals were an evil, and those Christians who supported him did so because their faith was somehow inferior to those courageous defenders of the Way.

Nonetheless, the fundamentalist expression shows itself when it is no longer a matter of dialogue or discourse.  For Mark, the trial is over.  The verdict is in.  Trump and his supporters are tools of the Devil.  The presumption is one of guilt, not evidence.  Any defenses are therefore lies and of the father of lies.  It is not a political movement we fight, but Satan himself.  If love is insisted upon, it's to maintain a spiritual grounding in this fight against the cosmic powers of this present darkness.

I'm at pains to think of a fundamentalist I knew who made it clearer than Mark.  And like most fundamentalists I knew, I don't think Mark is open to negotiations at this point.  For once a person is convinced they are fighting Satan, how open to listening are they going to be?


  1. Mark is eating himself away with hate. My response:

    An earlier, and much saner, Shea:

    I would disagree with much of the argument he was making, but back in 2010 he wasn't mad with hate, which he clearly is now. He needs our prayers.

    1. Yeah, I pray he turns a corner. Right now, I saw a post of his that basically says Christianists - a term he now uses - are basically Christians who disagree with him. A very fundamentalist approach.


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