The content of Alanis Morissette’s regrettably catchy hit on irony has always been a pet peeve of mine, second only to the painfully frequent pluralization of the word “bosom.” Rain on your wedding day isn’t ironic. It’s not even out of the ordinary. It just…happens. A “no smoking” sign on a cigarette break isn’t ironic either. It’s just a slightly amusing choice of location when you wanna get your smoke on.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar (cue dramatic cigar flick). This is, though, a perfect segue into what I really wanted to talk about this week, an article I came across on HuffPost talking about the irony in politicians milking their religion for all its worth despite the fact that it is in opposition with their actual political ideologies and campaigns. (Think Michelle Bachmann on gay marriage, etc.)
But wait! It’s not irony. It’s strategy. Think about it historically- the instances in which religion has been used for some sort of political power trip outweigh the scenarios in which it was used for something positive. The HuffPost article essentially criticizes openly Christian Christians for not doing what the Bible tells them to do while still projecting an image of themselves to the world as beloved disciples of such-and-such. A specious argument. Because even though the author makes a solid observation on political discrepancies he’s still relying on biblical text to dictate and/or dominate human behavior. There is no possible way for human behavior of any kind to be controlled through words from an unknown source.
Using the Bible as a behavioral outline is a poor decision because a) there is no such thing as a behavioral outline and b) the Bible (if indeed legitimate) was (questionably) written thousands of years ago. It’s used to attempt understanding/justifying human behavior that cannot/should not be explained. Obviously all human beings (especially in this country, wealth gap anyone?) aren’t going to give away their possessions to the poor. Obviously they’re not going to love everyone. It’s illogical to assume that this fantasy can somehow be stuffed into the tiny-ass keyhole of reality.
Religion and politics have been smashing each other for far too long (my apologies for that graphic image). Or, more specifically, Christianity and politics. No one has a problem with Michelle Bachmann’s rampant, racist/sexist/homophobic Christianity but all hell broke lose when people thought Barack Obama was a Muslim. The original, probably spiritually healthy purpose of Christianity (at least from my perspective) is, therefore, the Waldo of the 21st century.