There’s a cynical and ironic phenomenon that I’ve noticed most glaringly in US foreign relationships in the Middle East and is now manifesting itself in the financial / political world as well as the Evangelical social media world in the States: Bullies like to call anybody who holds them accountable a bully.
Israel does this any time her stranglehold on Palestinians is challenged. Likewise, WORLD Magazine (a Neo-Conservative Christian bulwark) called Rachel Held Evans a slanderer for calling out mega-pastor Mark Driscoll’s irresponsible, homophobic, and trans-phobic behavior (with a bit more civility than I would probably afford him). And now House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, (R-CA) and spokesmouth for corporatocracy, is calling Elizabeth Warren, consumer advocate, a bully who would target the poor, little, downtrodden banks and loaning institutions and give them swirlies and wedgies and all that mean stuff.
Small pockets of men and women (and most recently, grandmas) try to get into Gaza, armed only with senselessly banned material – including harmless school supplies. At one point, they are gunned down at point-blank range by Israeli soldiers. At another point, Greece enforces Israel’s rules for them, in the hope of international aid favor from the US. Illegal settlements are being sprouted up on top of Palestinian homes, bulldozing and setting ablaze homelands, groves, and families that have resided there for hundreds and thousands of years. The Palestinians are denied pencils, buildings, and jobs in their own homeland.
And yet, it’s the international, hippy grandmas that are the bullies…
Author and blogger Rachel Held Evans demonstrated occasion after occasion of Mark Driscoll’s dehumanizing taunts towards women, feminists, “effeminate” males, and
queersteh gays. And then she asked her readers to address their concerns to the board of elders at his church. While Driscoll (of a large church in Seattle named Mars Hill) offered some sort of apology, WORLD Magazine writer Anthony Bradley belittled the criticisms and offered his amusing perspective that, “There is nothing loving about calling a pastor a “bully.“”* The rest of the paragraph sends a message that this male writer can only interpret as, “Woman no talk to manly man such way.” (Considering that – without any evidence – Bradley calls her a liar who spreads false testimony, I’m left to believe that the problem isn’t the testimony itself, but the testifier. After all, in biblical times, woman no important.)
So, it isn’t the influential, authoritarian pastor who, once again, ridicules so-called effeminate men who needs to be corrected. It is the woman who dared stand up to him…
Issa is a bit of an extreme example in an extreme time of extreme extremities. It’s common (though often ignored by pro-corporatists) knowledge that the recession is a direct result of predatory lending, borrowing and all means of deceit by big banks and other financial institutions – much at the hands of the poor and middle class. Warren, who has a proven track record of looking out for that important buffer – the middle class – as well as for those on the margins, is trying to protect the rest of us from the horrible practices that make a few very wealthy, very fast, on the backs of the rest of us who are left with fewer and fewer options. But she, not the banks that foreclosed on millions of hard-working Americans, is the bully? Because she would rather that these institutions not eat the poor and devour the middle class?? Really?
I suppose Orwell is shaking in his grave. It got awfully chilly.