Are You Really Reading This?

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“We’re getting used to reality and fantasy passing into each other. Much of the border between them has been erased.” – novelist Michael Helm

Did Joe Biden and Kamala Harris really win the election earlier this month, or did you just imagine it? Did you really eat that raspberry Danish for breakfast this morning? Did you really marry that person with whom you share your house? Do you really go to work each day as a hairdresser, or____?

Do you really exist, or will the Great Dreamer wake up soon and erase all those bogus properties of your illusory life—and mine?

The Collapse of Certainty

More than anytime I can remember in my six-plus decades of life—if those many years were and are real—I’m now witnessing the deterioration of veracity, the collapse of certainty, the end of epistemological existence. And we have the bizarre marriage of white evangelicals to the most heathen man ever to run for the office of president to blame—or thank, take your pick—for that alarming cultural collapse.

Prior to the November 3rd final day of this nation’s election, scores of white—and a few black and brown—evangelical “leaders” prophesied that Donald Trump would win. A few of them—most notably Robert Jeffers, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and a devout Trump supporter—have conceded that their deliverer failed to deliver this time. Trump lost. But many others cling tenaciously to their capricious contention that Trump won, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Beliefs Over Facts

Despite the certainty provided by irrefutable numbers, Jeremiah Johnson—a North Carolina pastor, not the main character in the 70s Robert Redford movie—refuses to acknowledge Trump’s loss. Johnson, who calls himself a prophet, foretold Trump’s resounding victory over Biden, whose policies, he says, “God hates.”

Others, such as the preposterous Pat Robertson, who has made numerous false “prophecies” over the decades, and Trump’s wacko “spiritual adviser,” Paula White, similarly have refused to recant their obviously false prophecies of a glorious Trump victory. They’re joined in their fantasy world by the likes of TV host Sid Roth; Dr. Francis Myles; TV host Jim Bakker; Pastor Shawn Bolz; Professor Tom Meyer; Messianic Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, whose Bible software found hidden clues in equidistant letters in the Torah that cryptically claimed a Trump victory; and scores of other delusional diviners.

Were their fantasies to remain private, the world could go on with the vast majority of humans instinctively discerning between fantasy and reality. But these charlatans aren’t content to exist as hermits in their whimsical world; they actively and deceptively recruit unsophisticated folks by the millions to keep them company—and to pay for their lavish lifestyles.

Sold Out to the Grifter-Messiah

So when these religious grifters met the master grifter, they quickly recognized him as a kindred spirit and refashioned him as the modern-day messiah for their followers to worship, adore, follow—and even to become their reference point for reality and truth.

The majority of Americans did not follow those extreme evangelical leaders down that irrational rabbit hole, but millions did. And for those millions, the ability to discern truth from fiction has become increasingly elusive. Some—perhaps most—will never find their way back to the surface and into the light of objective reality. Instead, they will continue to proclaim their messiah as America’s legitimately re-elected president. They will continue to believe unsubstantiated rumors over unbiased facts. They will increasingly withdraw from mainstream society, into distrustful and hateful enclaves. And worst of all, they will continue, as Michael Helm declared in the quote at the top, to erase—not just for themselves—the border between fantasy and reality.

Future generations will pay a heavy price for their careless capitulation.

10 comments

    1. I don’t wish harm on any of them; I was once one of them. I’d much rather they awaken from their ignorance-based stupor and rejoin reality. But, alas, as you indicated, their arrogant ignorance will–for many of them–be their undoing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The comment was meant as a normative observation rather than a wish. Karma can be such a pain at times. Behavior affects outcomes, and those mistaking fantasy for reality are likely to pay for the error. That’s all I intended.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. One reason I don’t like religion and feel it undermines fairness and decency and spreads exclusion and fear.

    Just as a curiosity, Inauguration Day is a palindrome 1202021…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I bring you a double-edged sword of words. You can take these as comfort or find them very depressing. They are from a Europe with centuries upon centuries of this sort of thing (and it’s the second of this sort I have written today…or it is the third?). Anyway.
    Nothing new here folks. This is a repeat of the Folly of Humanity throughout history. Hang onto your perspectives and work towards a way out of it.
    In the Pantheon of Destructive Figures, Opportunists, Set-Up Patsies by Others, Deluded Egotists, Brats and Suffers of Hubris Trump is not a particularly original figure. For the USA he sits somewhere with Joe McCarthy who was considering Pension Reform as a platform when someone suggested Anti-Communism and it probably struck him as easier work. Trump like most of them has been created by a groundswell of opinion by folk in search of a cause, in US terms aside for Joe there you have the fictional Elmer Gantry (only Hollywood tied up a ‘good’ ending).
    For the real terrors you have to go to: Say (1) post-Revolutionary France and Napoleon who was willing to create whole armies allow them to pillage their way across Europe then get slaughtered in head on battles and he still gets romanticised (2) Post WWI Germany where a large portion of the population convinced itself the German Armed forces had not been battered and defeated but it had all been down to socialists, communists and Jews conspiring (sound familiar?) and thus fertile ground for lots of right-wing extremists and out of the mix the ghastly talented Hitler. (3) The consummate opportunist bureaucrat Stalin who just took over a state apparatus. All of them who blamed everyone else. All of them who twisted situations. All of them with their devoted followings.
    And those are just a few, if it goes on it gets kind of repetitive, even more depressing and comes across like I’m showing off on History.
    You see the trouble with Humans is , they want these kinds of folk, because they hate, fear and yearn and along comes a simple solution.
    Now the worse thing or most salutary thing about Trump is, he is not very talented, Reagan, both Bushes, Nixon and Eisenhower would for differing reasons seen him off in the early primaries and not broken the proverbial sweat. He is a symptom of a divided time. In European terms he is a kind of Pretender to The Throne set up by others who don’t want The Other in power. And being the brat he is, he has bought into it, and acts as they want him to…In short he’s a political shmuck.
    Like I said….Nothing New Here Folks.
    Ride out the storm, keep your hands on the tiller of perspective and fight the good fight.
    Take care all of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well put, as always, Roger. There is an arrogance in this nation, as you and I have discussed before, that presumes nobody has ever done it ‘better’ than us, with ‘better’ being a subjective term. And the people in this nation are largely uninterested in any history prior to the last 233 years and on any shores other than these. Thus, we did not learn the lessons of history and are hellbent and determined to repeat them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Jill.
    I would not say it is arrogance. It’s simply in being a new nation (200 years….like a week’s worth in the pantheon of Nations, States, Empires etc) you’ve not encountered constant cycles of the ups and downs. So far you’ve followed one pattern…..Gain independence, a few years later you have a civil war; that’s very common, in fact it’s almost a requirement.
    Here’s a sad little fact….No one, no matter how old the state ever learns the lessons. Everywhere you go:
    (1) The Past is seen as a romantic thing full of brave bold honest heroes (gimme a break willya!)
    (2) They who shout loudest seem to think this and a bonehead solution is the best way
    (3) It is always ‘somebody else’s fault’
    (4) Asshats are seen as honest, straight-talking folk
    (5) Everyone thinks the ‘other folk’ will ruin the nation if they are in charge
    (6) Consensus Democracy is a very messy, annoying, disappointing and wasteful form of government…… but trust me you don’t want any of the alternatives. It’s the best game in town folks, accept it.
    Here is another little snippet, if people, as they do from time to time forget about ‘1-5’ and accept ‘6’ is as good as it gets…. Things get better…..but need to be guarded….Always hang onto ‘6’. It’s when folk who with the best of intentions try to rail again ‘6’ that ‘1-5’ come slithering back in.
    OK, I’m getting down from the lectern now, there’s a cup of tea calling to me.
    Take care, rest up, watch cartoons and look at images of the Cosmos and Nature on the computer, it sure does give you perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

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