What Ms. Petri admirably thematizes is a par-for-the-course anthropological fact in Girard's mimetic theory; namely, fallen human nature always seeks a scapegoat so as to revitalize our conventional cultural structures of ritual, myth, and prohibition. The act of scapegoating itself, unconscious though it normally is, is a playing out of ritual, rehearsing of myth, and enforcement of the prohibition(s) that is part and parcel with culture.
The other day, a friend of mine made a heartfelt confession. I’d known it was coming, and I was prepared to offer support. I swaddled her shoulders in a rainbow blanket, played Elton John softly in the background, and reassured her that no matter what, she would always be the same person. This was only one small facet of her personality, and it wouldn’t change the way we thought about her. If anything, we would love her more for her honesty.
But when she blurted out, “Alex, I think I’m conservative,” I realized that I had been deluding her with false hopes. I couldn’t bear to look at her. Clearly, this girl I had always thought of as an intelligent, rational being was secretly a sub-literate moron. All those times we‘d innocently joked about Bristol and Levi, she’d been harboring perverted desires to do things like watch FOX News and vote for McCain. “At least tell me you still think Sarah Palin is Satan,” I pleaded. She shook her head and muttered something about the liberal media distorting things, but I couldn‘t quite make it out over the sound of our friendship crashing to an end. Read all …* * *
What is of interest here is that even post-modern naïveté about these anthropological realities cannot abjure the one thing one must never do to maintain culture's rituals, myths, and prohibitions - one must not name the victim/scapegoat.
But Ms. Petri does. Whether or not she realizes it, she is pulling back the mythological curtain and revealing the appalling fact of what gives the primitive sacred its power - the fallacy that the victim/scapegoat deserves to be victimized and scapegoated, and the culpability of his persecutors. In other words, once one sees that the mob is not innocent or righteous and its victim is not a devil or monster, the jig is up.
Conservatives are innocent of the default liberal accusations and attacks, structurally. One may say that the Obama campaign, the vast falderal that is sucking so many into its vortex, is simply the latest expression of the mob feeling righteous in its search for new victims.
Obama is merely the froth on the cauldron. A mob and its leader that are sincere can be sincerely wrong; every hubris-filled humanist utopian project of the twentieth century was wrong, from Stalinism to National Socialism, from the Khmer Rouge to the abortion-ritual "sexual liberation" genocide now underway. Without the true transcendence of the biblical faiths - including understanding of Origin Sin - such projects are doomed to end in sacrificial violence.
Conservatives in general, Christians more specifically, and the Catholic Church in particular are indeed the "new gay." Read: the victim of choice by the default liberal oligarchy of the West. What shall happen in post-election America will be most telling.