What do “Club for Growth,” “Americans for Prosperity” and “America First” all have in common? They are impersonal in that real people and their concerns are left out of their equations. It isn’t just that people have been reduced to numbers. The word “American” is meaningless because the occupants of two and a half continents have been excluded from the category. We are supposed to take a part for the whole.
I don’t think that intellectual exclusion is evidence of the exceptionalism that is associated with the USA. “Exceptional” to the common man is supposed to signal a special (admirable) status that in many cases is supposed to be an adequate substitute for hardship. Material sacrifice is supposed to be evidence of spiritual success. After all, did not Jesus Christ predict that “the poor you will always have with you?”
More recently we had Mother Teresa inflicting deprivation on followers and patients to bring them closer to God. I had not considered that sadists need an excuse, but apparently they do. The purpose? Power. For power to be felt, it has to hurt. Moreover, it seems that once bitten by the bug of lust for power, there is no end because the lust for power, unlike carnal lusts, is never satisfied.
Of course, if there are to be humans to abuse, they have to be born. I was surprised to read that Mother Teresa had lobbied the SCOTUS on Roe v.Wade in 1994. She referenced “the dehumanization of inconvenient human life.” What a redundancy! How does one dehumanize an inconvenience? Perhaps the woman was being ironic. Or perhaps just incedibly hypocritical:
In another sense, no one in the world who prizes liberty and human rights can feel anything but a strong kinship with America. Yours is the one great nation in all of history that was founded on the precept of equal rights and respect for all humankind, for the poorest and weakest of us as well as the richest and strongest.
Right, tell that to the slaves and their descendants and to all those born, to this day, as chattel.
I used to think of Mother Teresa, a woman who was never a mother, as a leper licker. I think I prefer that to the authoritarianism she promoted in her paean to human life. Of course, “life” is also, like “American” an example of depersonalization, an elevation of artifice over function.
But, given the entity into which christianity and catholicism have evolved, declaring Mother Teresa a saint is quite appropriate, an affirmation of the fact that women count for nothing.