On Golden Idols

On Golden Idols

 IN Exodus it is reported that while Moses spent time on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments from Yahweh, the people of Israel down below got tired of waiting for him and so constructed at least one, maybe more than one, as silver is mentioned along with gold, statue to be worshipped, with the golden idol, usually claimed to be of a calf, the most notorious.  When Moses returned with the Commandments he was wroth with anger and denounced them for this perfidy, and Exodus reports that Yahweh destroyed this idol, turning its gold into “dust” or other kinds of small particles depending on the translation, and then a part not usually discussed forced the people who had worshipped this golden idol to drink a liquid containing this dust. Of course one of the first commandments forbade the making of “graven images,” with this golden calf or whatever and any silver idol being clear and prime examples of what was clearly forbidden.

So it is ironic that at a conference heavily attended by religious right fundamentalists who most certainly know this passage a golden-looking statue of our most recent president has been publicly displayed. The group doing so apparently had a panel not open to the media, although QAnon believer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was seen entering the location of the panel when it was held.  I saw on the internet a photo of a man bowing in front of this absurd statue and placing his hands on it in a clearly reverential way.  I have also read of a man in India who made a statue of our former president and was outright fully worshipping it as a god.  That reportedly healthy middle-aged man recently keeled over dead from a heart attack.  In any case, at CPAC in Orlando, we pretty clearly have people worshipping a golden idol, one depicting a living man who does not seem even remotely worthy of a thread of respect, much less worship.  All this in advance of him making a speech that many people see as him solidifying his apparent dominant control over the current opposition political party in the US.

I do not want to go on about this too much, but even though now the Dems control, just barely in the Senate, both the White House and both houses of Congress, clearly the GOP is in position to possibly retake control of onw or both of the Congressional houses in 2022, and even possibly reelect the former POTUS, or is not him then somebody who has been worshipping his golden statue or at least figuratively doing so.  His critics appear to be being purged from the party, or at least isolated.

The most damaging thing about this, even if the Dems are able to hang on to power over the next few years, is that even the possibility of him or somebody following his views returning to power at all in the foreseeable future means that the damage he did especially to US foreign policy and commitments is difficult if not impossible to overcome.  I already have concerns about some overly hawkish tendencies in the Biden admin, but if even in areas such as rejoining the Paris Accord or negotiating with Iran or China or allies, other nations will no longer be willing to accept commitments made by this president or his admin because they might be so easily overturned after another election, well, this is serious harm and damage.  It means that while maybe parts of the post-WW II era that Trump overturned needed changing, those parts that were benevolent may not be able to be restored.  We shall be stuck drinking a fluid made of gold dust instead.

Barkley Rosser