The sheep and the goats

At its subtlest, hypocrisy is the “homage vice pays to virtue.” At its most obvious hypocrisy even violates the hypocrite’s very own printed articles of faith. Either way, these days hypocrisy is almost always the exclusive preserve of the Republican.

Take the recent Republican effort to do what they failed to do in 2020, steal the election, for instance. This time in their implementation of Jim Crow laws across the country, Republicans are as obvious in their desire to steal the next election as a house thief setting up shop on your front lawn. And this time, in one instance in Georgia in particular, the article of faith they are betraying is their very own holy book, the Bible.

Not even Lindsey Graham can explain why it’s necessary to make illegal the bringing of food or water to someone standing in line to vote. That’s because it’s an obviously racist law. Those places in Georgia where voting takes the longest on purpose are the same places where people of color vote. It was bad enough that people of color had to wait in line for as long as ten hours to vote in the 2020 presidential election. Next time they will have to do it without food or water.

If this evil law weren’t so infuriatingly diabolical it would almost be hilarious. Because the “inerrant word of God,” that is, the Bible, says very explicitly that Republicans are going to hell for this very practice alone. It’s right there in Matthew, the very first book of the New Testament. Matthew 25 to be exact.

In Matthew 25, Jesus warns what’s going to happen to these very same hypocrites. Specifically, starting in verse 41, he says, “41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink.” This is the famous passage where Jesus talks of the separation of the sheep from the goats. It is brilliantly illustrated in Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” on the altar wall in the Sistine Chapel. The sheep on Christ’s right are the good guys, the goats on the left are the bad guys. (Remember this next time a Republican who, in his or her headlong effort to “own the libs,” calls you a sheep.)

In defending their intolerant hatred of gays and transgender people, their abuse of immigrants and people of color, Republicans usually have to look to the Old Testament. But it’s the New Testament that typically comes back to bite them on the posterior.

Republicans put children in cages despite the admonition — again from the Book of Matthew — that in doing so it would be better for them if a millstone were tied around their necks and they were cast into the sea. Republicans are brutal and unwelcoming and hostile to refugees despite the message of the parable of the Good Samaritan, from the Book of Luke. This time it’s food and water they are denying to people waiting in long lines, despite Matthew’s warning that they will go to hell for it. And those long lines are made deliberately long to discourage people of color from voting. Next time they vote they will have to do so without food or water.

It’s a preposterous hypocrisy, one clearly in violation of the holy book Republicans are forever thumping us with. That’s the same book, incidentally, that Donald Trump posed with in front of the church across from the White House after gassing and beating peacefully assembled human beings protesting the murder of people of color by police. Trump needed to get them out of the way. Once again Republicans need to get people of color out of the way. It’s the only way they can steal the next election.

That is the essence of Jim Crow, to beat down, to discourage, to dispirit and disenfranchise. It is evil, evil right out in the open. And white Georgia legislators are implementing these evil laws today in 2021. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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