The Washington Post Hates the Bible. If You’re Christian, It Hates You Too.
Satire can’t explain it. It has got to be hatred. Raw, unfiltered hatred for Christians and for the Bible.
Yesterday the Washington Post published a commentary by the often-funny Alexandra Petri, titled “Jeff Sessions’s Other Favorite Bible Stories.” It’s a response to Sessions’s use of Romans 13:1 in support of administration immigration policy. She says he’s misusing it, but not in so many words. Instead she puts her own view of the Bible on display:
Judgment of Solomon: As King Solomon so wisely and clearly admonishes us, babies should be taken from their mothers and cut in half. …
Daniel: If someone objects to the laws of a land, authorities are within their rights to punish him, for instance by throwing him into a den of lions. …
As Jesus so wisely said: “Suffer, little children.”
Satire That Isn’t
I get that it’s supposed to be satire. I get that she’s telling us Bible verses can be misinterpreted. So I’m trying as hard as I can to read it with a sense of humor — but it’s just not working for me. And I don’t think I’m the one to blame. This isn’t satire; not really.
I’ve seen sharp satire before, and I know when it’s used: when there’s something horribly, obviously, deeply, ethically wrong with the object of the satire. What horror spurred this attack? Get ready for it: Sessions cited Romans 13:1, then added, “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”
How evil can an attorney general get?
Satire Aimed at the Bible Itself
But wait! It wasn’t his take on the law that she swung at. It was the fact that he put a Bible verse in front of it.
Just that. Someone used the Bible, and she slashed the thing to pieces.
It wasn’t about his interpretation of the verse. She made no comment on his exegesis. I doubt she knows if he got it halfway right or not, and I doubt she cares. She was too busy mocking the man merely for mentioning the Bible.
That’s what her attack was about. Nothing more.
Satire Too Distorted to Work
And she brought it with all the divisive, angry invective she could muster. Not to mention her ignorance; her take on Solomon, Daniel, Jesus and the rest is unbelievably distorted. Satire ought to have at least some connection with reality; this has none.
Which means it could only work as satire for those who know nothing at all. For the rest of us, it’s ignorance, not irony; anger, not humor.
But let’s try to understand her point anyway. Best I can tell, she’s saying that when you use the Bible you’re bound to blow the message. Whatever Sessions thought Romans 13:1 means, he must be wrong, since other passages can be taken so wrongly, too. That’s my best shot at what I think she was getting at.
Satire That Slashes at Every Christian
But if that’s her message, it’s a broad, sweeping, hateful one. She’s not just saying people don’t always get the Bible right. She’s saying the Scriptures mean nothing at all. That Christians through thousands of years have been fools. “Look at them all!” she tells her friends with a smirk. “They. Never. Even. Noticed!”
And still today, millions of us in the U.S., and billions around the world, who think we can read the Bible and learn something from it, are too blinkin’ stupid to see it doesn’t have a thing to say to us. Or so she seems to be saying.
The Hatred We Must Prepare For
This is hate. Prominently published hate. Washington Post-endorsed hate.
Christians, this is what we’re facing, more and more these days. We have got to gear up for it.
We’ve got to be alert, so we can recognize and call out this kind of thing for what it is. We’ve got to be spiritually ready, so we can respond in love.
And we’d better be intellectually prepared, so we can return truth when we see lies and distortions like Alexandra Petri’s.