[Okay! I confess, this is an old one, but I'm busting my hump trying to get a manuscript ready for publication. Besides, I've always liked this baby.]
It takes a delicate touch to keep God from becoming problematic. The truth is that God is an amalgam of Eros and Thanatos, which melt together to give life its creative force.
However, God can only be brought into politics if our oligarchs emphasize Thanatos and force Eros into a back room where she will hopefully wither and die. This is how the theocratic right has corrupted the pro-life movement by unleashing a rage that shoots doctors and bombs abortion clinics instead of affirming a compassionate ethic of life. Violence is more easily exploited than compassion; the negative attracts more attention than the positive.
Here is an example of how we serve God by destroying Him. In 1989, the photographer/artist Andres Serrano put on display a photograph titled Piss Christ. It showed a crucifix suspended in a gallon of the artist’s urine.
The religious right went bonkers. They had to attack the work because Serrano had done nothing less that produce a deeply profound work of religion art that opened up to the viewer a deeper understanding of the wholeness and unity of God’s creation. The theocratic right couldn’t allow this to happen. Here was Eros trying to kick down the door. They had to barricade it.
Pee is a victim of bad press. We hide it in our toilets and pretend it doesn’t exist by never mentioning it in polite society. The truth is that pee is a life-sustaining fluid. Pee nurtures life by carrying the poisons out of our system. Thus, pee is an integral component of God’s creation.
This was the problem with Serrano’s work. The crucifix was suspended in a container of life-giving fluid. The last thing the theocrats wanted was the public popping a bunch of epiphanies in which they saw the all-embracing nature of God’s creation and how even the ugly and the vile are as important to life as the beautiful and the sublime.
In his photograph, Serrano unified Eros and Thanatos.
The theocratic right’s strength is the belief that God’s creation is selective. The idea that it is all-embracing is a heresy that must be suppressed at all costs. As always, God is carried into politics on the Devil’s back.