Idolatry...

Idolatry - there really is no other word for it - except what it is: the worship of a physical object as a god; or the immoderate attachment or devotion to something. That's how the Republicans spoke of the free market at their recent convention in Tampa ~ with an unholy sense of devotion and worship of the market place ~ to which everything else must pay obeisance. Idolatry.

I was stunned and saddened. I suspect that Mitt Romney is a shy and decent person of faith. He is a little wooden in public, but so what?  And while it is clear to me that he is out of touch with mainstream reality and lives in the rarefied realm of corporate America, that is true of a lot of other people in his class, too. Paul Ryan, well he is another story; he is more mean-spirited, deceptive and ideological.  It appears that he can lie to your face and believe he is still serving the greater good as his duplicity around Medicare and Simpson-Bowles makes all too clear.

Still, as I watched the show unfold last week from Canada, I was hoping for a ray of truth and a measure of integrity from the speeches of Ann Romney, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio - but it never happened. There was no call to community, no invitation to learn from our mistakes; clearly there was no humility nor interest in anything except worshipping the god of Mammon.  And I was struck how so-called people of faith could forget what Jesus taught so clearly in the Sermon on the Mount: No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and wealth

So, to evoke St. Bob Dylan who once urged "let us not talk falsely now because the hour is getting late," let's be clear: the Republican ticket has become idolatrous. It worships wealth. It has fetishized money-making - giving it a sacred quality -  that ignores social consequences.  And in so doing, this idolatry exposes what happens when our collective imagination atrophies and we replace God with a false god: we lose all sense of reverence and awe.

When our only metaphor for life is the "bottom line," not only do people become things to be used and manipulated, but actions and convictions only matter if they serve the cause of creating wealth.  If St. Paul were alive he might amend Romans 1 saying not that when we experience the absence/wrath of God we become beastial, but rather we become robotic.

St. Bobby got it right so long ago when we reminded us that, "Money doesn't talk it swears." Years later he went to add, "You gotta serve somebody... it might be the Devil or it might be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody because... sometimes even Satan he comes as a man of peace."  Thank God for Mrs. Obama's message last night:  she clearly offered an alternative to the idolatry...

Comments

Black Pete said…
"We'll fly when money crawls..."
--Oysterband, Rise Above
RJ said…
Oooh this is a great one! Thanks, my man!
Levantine said…
Idolatry. Bellow that title, an image of Bob Dylan. Yes, - I said to myself, - he was an object of idolatry. So was everyone, probably, on the rest of the images.

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