The new New York Times piece titled "And Jesus Said Unto Paul Ryan" is a masterpiece
Before I launch into this, I want to state up front, this is not directed at you, anonymous. Thank you for thinking of me, and the article is a funny read.
But I also read the article on the train to work this morning (before I ever got this ask) and it has been bothering me all day. I thought about it at lunch. It niggled at me during my healthcare policy class, because the Social Security Act is boring and so was the view out the window. And on the train ride home, I went huh.
I don’t give a fuck whether Paul Ryan is a good Christian.
I was surprised too! But it turns out, I don’t give a fuck whether any of my elected leaders’ policies are consistent with their professed Christianity. I don’t care whether their policies are consistent with my or anyone else’s Christianity. If the Second Coming happened tomorrow, and Jesus came down on a cloud and handed me the ACA replacement bill, I would still want to see the Congressional Budget Office report about it.
It’s fun to condemn our political leaders for hypocrisy. (God knows most of them are, and so deserve it.) But at the same time, I feel like we keep circling the same fallacy—”well, you know Ryan and his ilk aren’t real Christians; real Christians would [insert political viewpoint here].” It’s a fun fallacy! You pull it out at parties and it gets you off the hook entirely. You might be a thing, but you’re not that thing, so it’s all okay!
The problem with this is that…..well, real Christians are, and have. Real Christians have had slaves or been complicit in slavery, they’ve started wars and genocides and simony and scandal. Real Christians had a vested interest in the oppression of women and the conversion of all people on earth to Christianity. Real Christians killed Jews and Real Christians killed Muslims and Real Christians in the US today have decided to continue that 2000 year unbroken tradition of hate. Real Christians scream outside of abortion clinics. Name it, Real Christians have done it, or been complicit in it. You can’t divorce the words of Jesus from the bits of history or politics you don’t approve of—or at the very least, you can’t pretend as though “Real Christianity” is a totally separate animal, innocent in comparison with its ugly political cousin.
At the end of the day, the Christian Bible has been used to both support and condemn all sorts of political activity since….before the ink of the canon had a chance to dry. And I’m sure that in two hundred years, there will still be thinkpieces arguing that the senator isn’t a real Christian, because a real Christian would have issued a statement welcoming the sentient moss of Zebble-gor to Congress.
But I don’t like it. Because—well, because we’re not a theocracy. Whether someone is a good Christian or a hypocritical Christian is irrelevant. Our elected leaders need to be good leaders. Full stop. They should be guided by honesty and innovation and civic-mindedness and compassion and intelligence; they should be ethical and make choices with integrity, take their position and its obligations seriously, listen to their constituents. If those qualities come out of their commitment to Christianity, that’s fine! But they don’t have to, and I don’t think it’s productive—even within the Christian community—to go back and forth about someone’s religiosity.
I don’t care if Paul Ryan is a good Christian. He can settle that one up with our Lord and Savior when the time comes. But he’s the principal sponsor of a frankly shitty piece of legislation, which offers significant federal savings at the expense of poor and elderly individuals.
This is complete unrealistic crack but I'm so amused by the idea of a vagabond who responds to murder the same way a dog responds to "walk". Like geoff is discussing plans with jack for their next hit and casually mentions having to "get rid" of the guard at the door and suddenly there's a clatter in the next room as ryan appears in the doorway, knife in hand and eyes wide like "Murder?? Do we kill him?? Is it me can I do it???"
tbh i’m not entirely sure that’s beyond the realm of possibility. now i’m imagining it too.
geoff at the kitchen table with jack, talking about some jackass lawyer who’s starting to get under his skin.
“it doesn’t look like we have much choice left at this point. that motherfucker’s got to go.”
“’got to go’ you say.”
“jesus fucking christ ryan how the fuck did you sneak up on me like that dude - “
“you know i can help him go.”
“yes ryan i know - “
“my schedule is completely clear i have all the time in the world.”
“okay ryan but we still have to figure out how we want to - “
“me. you want me. i am the how. me.”
“ryan don’t you have plants to water jesus christ”
I'm sad that Ryan won't win anything for his performance during SSW. Robert opening up about his bisexuality was one of the most important scenes I have seen. It still makes me emotional when I rewatch it now. Lets make him our own award