I have to admit that Roy Moore has lost any real menace to me during this election. I mean, he’ll be terrible in the Senate, but in many ways he’s precisely the adversary we could use right now. Moore (who to be fair was a very divisive figure within Christian right circles back when I still was still somewhat plugged into those circles) comes back at a time when the Christianists are desperately in need of a visible leader, any leader. (Trump is more a (literally) Faustian bargain than a leader of their group.) Moore is inevitably going to be slotted into that position and the good news is that he’s as big a fool as has ever made it to the upper echelons of American politics. Regardless of their ideas and values, in the past there have been plenty of smart, calculating figures atop the religious right. Think about Billy Graham, for example. Moore, though, is a total dolt. Like Trump, he knows nothing about policy of any sort. But while Trump at least offered his (illusory) dealmaking and leadership skills, Moore offers literally nothing except God. Crime? We need to believe in God. Natural disasters? God again. On issue after issue, literally nothing doesn’t boil down to this with him. This is, it should be said, more related to cult psychology than to any plausible form of Christianity. It also makes him an obvious target of mockery and jokes, and given that he’s likely to become a high-profile media figure after winning the election, his entire larger group is going to be associated with this oversimplified, ultrastupid take too. Secularists have been pining for a foil this toxic and stupid for some time now and they’re just about to get him.

Again, to be fair to Christian conservative types, many of them specifically resist this sort of thinking for reasons that are all too obvious. Disasters happened even back when upwards of 95% of the country believed in God, after all. They still happen regularly in nearly-unanimous Christian countries too. Also, it is hard to believe in a loving God who just murders huge numbers of people who simply don’t believe in him (as well as, just numerically, quite a lot who do).* It also makes the Christian faith out to be little more than an exercise in elaborate self-interest than anything else if you’re only believing to avoid disasters and crime, which Christianity has never, ever promised it can do. God’s role in Moore’s scheme would seem to be as the ultimate blackmailer. Really, Moore’s thinking here is a mishmash of prosperity gospel, fire and brimstone, and various other Christian traditions that don’t really join well because he’s a fool. It makes you yearn for the relative intellectual and philosophical sophistication of Jerry Falwell.

*Also, I do get that “belief” doesn’t mean simple belief to people like Moore. So do we all. But I’ll acknowledge it here.

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