Friday, February 26, 2021

Behold the Golden Calf

I have a serious question for my regular readers. Does this feel like some sort of a joke to you? Because it sure does to me. I mean, if I were the sort of person who wanted to make fun of fundamentalist Christians (which I am) and had ample opportunity to get it done, a statue of Donald Trump seemingly deliberately created to resemble the "golden calf" of the Bible would be exactly the sort of Borat-style prank I would pull at CPAC. The joke would be to see if any of the fundamentalist Trump fans got the reference, and then make fun of them when they didn't. Which is exactly what's going on all over the Internet right now.

The Golden Calf is one of the most famous stories in the Old Testament. The Israelites, newly freed from Egyptian slavery, have a crisis of faith while God is speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai. They melt down the golden jewelry to construct a physical god — a statue in the shape of a calf — to worship in place of their abstract, invisible deity. It’s a story about the allure of idolatry, how easy it is to abandon one’s commitments to principle in favor of shiny, easy falsehoods.

This biblical tale trended on Twitter in the US Friday morning because of the following video, filmed on the first day of the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Someone involved in the conference constructed a golden statue — not of a calf, but of Trump — and wheeled it out to cheers from conference attendees. “That is so cool,” one of the onlookers says.

There are so many reasons why this is a perfect metaphor for the state of the GOP after the Trump presidency. The party sacrificed its commitment to political principles, including previously cherished ideals like free trade, on the altar of Trumpism. White evangelicals abandoned their alleged commitments to godliness in public servants and embraced a man accused of serial sexual assault who had an affair with a porn star and paid her hush money to cover it up. Conservatism, once seen as a high-minded intellectual tradition, became undeniably base and degraded in the Trump years.

Other indications that this might be some kind of Obvious Plant trolling is that it's not an even remotely dignified statue of Trump. He appears to be wearing a suit coat, dress shirt, and tie along with American flag boxers, red flip-flops, and no pants. Come on folks, this has to be a joke! Because it isn't, I'll be forced to admit that my opinion of Poor Oppressed Christians who follow Trump is actually too high. I hadn't previously considered that possible. So I'm waiting with my fingers crossed for the truth to come out.

Because if this is totally for real, and totally serious, and not intentionally designed to resemble the idol of the Bible as closely as possible, the level of stupidity just astounds me. And as anyone who knows me will tell you, it's really hard to astound me with stupidity.

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Monsignor Scott Rassbach said...

Not only that, but the stage that looks like an SS RUNE seems just a little too on point. Part of me wonders if some design company is messing with the conservatives, but maybe they're just not hiding anymore...

Scott Stenwick said...

Yeah, I am not sure what to make of that either. The rune is not even from the Elder Futhark, it is from the Von List futhark that was pretty much only used by the Nazis.

And the thing is, for all that people talk about Nazism being associated with occultism, the Nazis actually hated occultists and put them in concentration camps. I have a really hard time understanding occultists who believe that supporting these clowns is a good idea. I would expect that to end badly, at least judging from history.