The Weekend Politics Thread Asks ‘What if God Was One of Us?’

♩ Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
Killers, thieves, and lawyers

— The Black Rider Has a Bridge to Sell You1

More precisely, your off-hiatus WPT host asks what does anyone mean when they defend the indefensible as “doing God’s work.” What could anyone plausibly hope to posit when reverting to rhetoric so implausible?

The hoary question asserted itself anew as Uvular listened to an NPR interview with U.S. Representative Tony Gonzales (TX-23). Speaking with real-life immigrant success story Leila Fadel2 the Republican lawmaker whose district encompasses Del Rio, Texas, and its infamous bridge defended saying “Border Patrol agents are doing God’s work.”

Gonzales spewed a sluice of specious sanctimony not worth recounting in detail. If the congressman knows anything about the earliest history of people of African descent arriving in what would become the United States only to meet people on horseback wielding leather lashes, Gonsales might have pause to reflect on mostly Portuguese Jesuits consoling themselves that baptizing captives in pens on the shores of Angola at least ensured those who succumbed to disease, drowning or abuse during the middle passage “died as Christians.”

♫ I can tell from just one look
That she wants me to come along
But the priest and I read the same book
And one of us must’ve got it wrong ♫
— Trust Uvular, You Know This Guy’s One-Time Best Friend

Uvular’s outrage at such disingenuousness and, quite literally, hiding in Jesus’ skirts demands a second video vignette. Whenever he hears or reads “God’s will, “God’s plan,” “God’s creation,” or similar saccharine simulacra of sententiousness, he reflexively responds “Which god?” and “To what purpose?”

Now, your heretical WPT host sees grace in operation every day. Despite all his doubts,3 he believes an omniscient being close to the Roman Catholic conception of God exists.4 He has even attended Sunday mass religiously during irregular periods of his nominal/calendarial adulthood.

But he ascribes no good nor bad human works to ineffability. Humans own their shit no matter what they declaim. They also infuriate with a spectacular lack of specificity.

Say, for the sake of argument, a god or a godlike substance did play in the fields of Del Rio during those terrible hours of the Haitian refugee roundup. Does one praise or blame Poseidon, whom ancient Greek credited with creating horses? Perhaps each of the several Catholic saints5 designated as patrons and protectors of immigrants slept in that morning and, consequently, deserve opprobrium? Loki having a larf? Anansi setting up a long con at the incremental cost of hundreds of tales of tragedy.

No. People suck. As a corollary, people can stop sucking. Tough problems can and should yield to simple solutions. For instance, Representative Gonsales, needs to desist from offering encomiums to cruelty at the U.S.-Mexico border and follow the injunction of Leviticus 19:34, “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”

Better, he should heed Romans 13:10, “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

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