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God said to Abraham: Kill me a son

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This is strictly impressionistic, but I’m seeing various signs that Trump’s use of the Bible as a prop for a fascistic publicity stunt is actually going to be a bridge too far for at least a small but significant part of his softest support, and, probably more important, for people who weren’t going to vote for Trump but up until now weren’t going to vote for Biden either.

At the least it’s giving us some pretty juicy quotes from men and women of the cloth:

Unfortunately it is partisan: The overwhelming majority of political conservatives in America continue to support Trump despite everything, because Trump is a literal embodiment of what political conservatism in America now is.

Ceasing to support Trump, for a conservative, now requires something akin to a conversion experience — not away from Trump himself, which would be relatively simple psychologically (no true Scotsman etc.), but from American conservatism itself, which, as conservatism everywhere is prone to do, is now trending into the frank authoritarianism which itself so easily becomes overt fascism.

This sort of conversion is always extremely difficult, because it requires at bottom a loss of an entire world view, which ultimately means the loss of one’s previous identity. The convert must come not just to reject this or that particular belief, but rather an entire way of looking at the world:

92. However, we can ask: May someone have telling grounds for believing that the earth has only existed for a short time, say since his own birth? – Suppose he had always been told that, – would he have any good reason to doubt it? Men have believed that they could make the rain; why should not a king be brought up in the belief that the world began with him? And if [G.E.] Moore and this king were to meet and discuss, could Moore really prove his belief to be the right one? I do not say that Moore could not convert the king to his view, but it would be a conversion of a special kind; the king would be brought to look at the world in a different way. Remember that one is sometimes convinced of the correctness of a view by its simplicity or symmetry, i.e., these are what induce one to go over to this point of view. One then simply says something like: “That’s how it must be.”

Wittgenstein, “On Certainty”

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