Reverend Pete Needs a New Theory

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Albert Einstein

You may go verify if you want, but it stands to reason that, somewhere, some person who loves to post the famous quotation from Albert Einstein, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them,” is also aflutter over Reverend Pete’s pathetic attempt to Jesus shame Republicans for their horrific treatment of children in Border Patrol camps.

What Reverend Pete totally misses is that, while we are not an officially Christian nation, we are functionally a Christian nation. That border Trump is so keen to defend from the hordes of legal asylum seekers who are fleeing violence U.S. policy caused in Central America only exists because of Christians.

Before good Christians invaded “the Americas,” uninvited and unwelcome, and raped, pillaged, enslaved, and murdered millions of Natives and Africans, there was no border there. There was no “Mexico.” There was no “United States.” To a person, the “white” men (they were all men) who created this country, including the slave owners — including the slave owners — were Christians. Christianity has been the hegemonic ideology of the United States since the founding of Jamestown, the first successful English settlement in North America, and the first place here to employ African slaves systematically to grow commodity crops.

Slavery for commercial purposes IS Christianity.

What Reverend Pete doesn’t understand is that good Christian Trump’s treatment of children in concentration camps right now is actually a bit better than what his good Christian predecessors did to brown children for centuries before he took office.

There is zero room within Christianity for a critique of Trump’s horrible treatment of children. That horrible treatment is the product of centuries of Christian ideology governing “the Americas.” Whether Reverend Pete likes it or not, Christianity is the favorite tool of the most despicable, deplorable (!), revanchist political leaders in the United States and he is not going to wrest it from their hot, living hands.

Reverend Pete is trying to solve the problem using the same kind of thinking that created it. Christianity made this mess. Christianity offers no help cleaning it up. Or, to use a more apposite version of the same point, as the famous African American, lesbian poet, Audre Lorde put it, we will not dismantle the master’s house using the master’s tools.

Christianity is the ultimate tool of the masters, and anyone who cannot, or will not, recognize this critical point is pretty useless for achieving any real change in the United States.

Reverend Pete, good Christian soldier, is pretty useless.

Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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