Most thinking people agree that Marco Rubio is the apotheosis of the useless Republican politician. He is venal. He responded to a Parkland shooting survivor’s challenge about taking money from the NRA by asserting that they get their influence from the millions of people who support their agenda, not from money, which of course is a bad joke for an answer. In 2015, he had what Salon called his “Sarah Palin” moment when someone asked the self proclaimed hip hop fan if he could name any of the members of his supposed favorite band, Wu Tang Clan, and he couldn’t.
He likes to post bible verses on Twitter.
Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
He thus illustrates vividly the pernicious influence of Christian belief on our politics. People wonder endlessly how good Christians can support Donald Trump as president. The answer is simple: Christianity is a club and to join, one only needs to say the right words and make the right gestures. Trump has done both. Because he is not as strong a character and does not occupy so prominent a position — and because he was notably less vicious about winning his last election — Rubio has to work harder at it, so he uses Twitter to reinforce his image as a good Christian.
But the image is all he really needs. Everyone expresses amazement every time a Christian public official gets caught with his pants down, literally or metaphorically, but nothing should be less surprising. Because Christianity is the hegemonic ideology in the United States, everyone automatically accepts the self representation of any person as a Christian and, for unknown reasons, expects morally admirable conduct from that person, even though the history of Christianity has been one of unremitting violence and oppression, mostly directed at brown and black people, but at anyone Christians decide they don’t like, since they invaded 500 years ago. The history of Christianity in “the Americas” is very ugly.
But good Christians, by definition, are very good at fooling themselves. They have to be to believe the fairy tale that is Christianity, so they keep persuading themselves that proclamations of Christian belief by public figures mean something, thus allowing corrupt political leaders like Rubio to be duplicitous sleaze balls and pursue harmful public policy. So long as he tweets the occasional bible verse, Christians will fall in line and keep electing him.
It’s a noxious system, and it depends on the excessive credulity of Christians.