Hearing about the attack on Pelosi’s husband though abhorrent and incredibly disturbing, really should not surprise anyone.
For decades Rush Limbaugh, Dr James Dobson, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reily, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and a host of others have funneled their disgust of all things liberal toward two women. Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. These men and many more plus a lot of American far right women literally HATE them. Despise them.
Upon hearing of the attack on her husband yesterday, in the back of my mind I recalled multiple conversations around dinner tables and over coffee with friends about the danger we faced as a nation because of the “femin-Nazi” (Rush Limbaugh’s adjective used to continuously describe his most hated women leaders, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi).
As a young Evangelical Christian mom in the 80’s, daily listening to Focus on the Family to learn how to be a good Christian mother, Dr. Dobson would regularly have guests that would mention these women and the danger they posed to our country. In our church a pamphlet circulated from a charismatic Christian leader that exposed feminist women like them as those possessed by a demonic spirit called Jezebel.
We loved being separate.
We loved seeing ourselves to be exclusively enlightened.
We loved being Conservative Christian Republicans.
Then our daughter became seriously ill with an eating disorder. She was near death three times. She was suicidal. Our lives were lived with transparency in our church family. We almost lost our daughter because we had so many answers, they had so many answers.
It was almost intuitive for me to understand the connection between our religious and political life just months into our daughters treatment. It had been 14 years of living a complex life as her parents. Her premature birth made her childhood full of Dr appointments and hospital visits. Physical illnesses in the believer by default demanded inquiry into their root formation from sin, an attack from Satan or a divine gift from God, our Heavenly Father sent to teach and conform us into Christ likeness.
Eating disorders come from none of those places. They exist because the self – the soul has no place to exist. My girl was lost to her self almost at birth. There would be no redemption of that self in the toxic world of our Evangelical faith. We left it and moved away in 2005.
Nothing about what we are witnessing in our political life surprises us. No one steeped in that kind of exceptionalism and certainty can live a healthy life without perpetuating the distrust of the other. No one.
The cancer that has been and is continuing to eat our Republic alive is religious zeal that has covered over real dysfunction and abuse and emphasized controlling others in Jesus name. There were yesterday and are many more today celebrating the Pelosi’s horror right now. I know it like I’m breathing air.