There are some topics I have shied away from tackling on this blog because they were brought to mind by specific things said or done by friends – friends who have at times commented on my postings, so I know they read at least occasionally. In describing these incidents it would be clear to them that I am directly talking about their beliefs and behavior, and I have not wanted to offend them. But the pressure builds over time and accumulation, and so we have reached a point where I am unwilling to let the latest outrageous statement go uncontested.
So here we go.
A friend recently made a claim that, essentially, it’s OK to vote for racist demagogues if you like his other positions, because God gives rulers power anyway. So if a new holocaust happens, it’s just God’s will.
This is horseshit.
Now, I understand that there are people who actually believe this is the case. I know it says it in your fairy tale book.
But it is demonstrably true that elected officials achieve positions of power because of decisions people make. That is what voting is. Even if you think your god visibly anointed rulers in the past, it would be beyond delusional to claim that anything resembling a supernatural intervention to elevate a person to national office has ever occurred in a Western democracy. People seek power, and people give it to them. You see it happen. You can trace the exact mechanisms by which it happens, and you choose to deny it to absolve yourself of the moral responsibility for your choice.
When you vote for someone who gives every indication that he will use it to persecute people, you are responsible when he does. Not your god. Not fate. You.
When you tell your friends who are members of the group whom the leader you chose has promised to persecute, your friends who are legitimately scared he will follow through on those promises, that it’s just God’s will if that happens, you aren’t saying to them “I’m a faithful servant of my god.” You are saying to them “I care more about these other issues than I do about what happens to you, but I sure as hell don’t have the fortitude to accept moral responsibility for that decision.”
Everybody in a democracy bears moral responsibility for the actions of the governments they elect. Especially when they are the actions those leaders promised to commit while campaigning. You do not get to pretend you are not responsible for the parts of the platform you didn’t like by pawning it off on your god. You chose the issues you wanted to prioritize, you decided that achieving them was worth the price of accepting the parts you didn’t, and you, DEMONSTRABLY YOU, chose to empower the leader who would carry it out. You take the bad with the good, and you accept your own culpability in doing it.
You may think “…but God’s will…” absolves you, but the rest of us don’t. No god picked our President. The American people did.