Elizabeth Lauten Forgives Herself — Again

Elizabeth LautenYou’ve probably heard about Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director of Republican Representative Stephen Fincher, who complained that Malia and Sasha Obama weren’t showing “class” while their father presided over the somber tradition of pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving. After thousands of people on Facebook and Twitter accused her of bullying the First Children, Lauten realized she was wrong. She didn’t put it that way, of course; she said, “After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents and re-reading my words online, I can see more clearly how hurtful my words were.” Does anyone really believe that? I’m sure after the criticisms started coming fast and hard, she spent some time praying. Her Twitter description reads, “Loves GOD, cats & all things pink, green and pearls!” (See the photo!) It is amazing how enlightened all that God-love makes a person.

But I don’t really care. Lauten is yet another in a long line of conservatives who hate all things liberal. Remember when Rush Limbaugh complained about Chelsea Clinton being ugly? Of course, Limbaugh isn’t much of a Christian — if he is one at all. But Ms Lauten is ostentatiously Christian. And yet it didn’t stop her from dumping all over a couple of children just because she doesn’t like the political party of their parents. As I argue around here a lot: American Christianity doesn’t mean much; it’s just tribalism; it is very hard to find any actual theology in it.

What most struck me in Lauten’s little rant is something she has made no further mention of, “Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter…” You’ve got to love this kind of facile disregard of the President and First Lady. How exactly is it that they don’t respect their positions? And the idea that they don’t respect the country is really too vile. Lauten is, after all, a member of the conservative political party. That’s the party of, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” This is the party of, “Love it or leave it!” This is the party of, “Better dead than red!” It reminds me of this David Cross routine:

That’s the thing, right? I discussed it recently, Conservatives Love “America,” Hate America. The conservative love for our country is totally contingent upon the country being a certain way. And this is why they claim that it was totally unacceptable to criticize President Bush even while they claim that Obama is some foreign “other” who hates the country and probably doesn’t even have a Constitutional right to be president. Really, it is all just the fact that conservatives have wrapped themselves in the flag for so long that the rest of us mistake that for patriotism. But the truth is that they love the flag and hate the country. And you can see this in the fact that they are more and more blunt in their love for the Confederacy.

Elizabeth Lauten, of course, is a good Christian who prays and asks her parents for guidance on what she should do when she publicly shames teenage girls for the sin of not being born to Republican parents. But that doesn’t make her different from any other Republican. That just shows that the the whole Christian “family values” routine is just as much of an act as we always thought. But don’t worry about Lauten! Conservative Christians are extremely good at forgiving themselves. For example, Lauten seems to have forgiving herself for the time when she was arrested for shoplifting when she was 17 years old. And she’ll forgive herself for this. What’s more, the Republican Party will forgive her. I’m sure she’ll soon have a good paying job in some other paleoconservative’s office.

This entry was posted in Politics by Frank Moraes. Bookmark the permalink.

About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

6 thoughts on “Elizabeth Lauten Forgives Herself — Again

  1. Christian piety is cheap. By which I mean it costs nothing. Thus it is singularly useful in serving as a tribal sign to the rich and poor and those in between alike because it incurs no real cost to those who would adorn themselves in it. I refer, of course, to christianity as it is practiced in America, in these times. It is like a diet and exercise plan that includes all of your favorite foods and defines fitness as whatever condition your body happens to be in. Prepositions are terrible things to end a sentence with, and I haven’t formulated a pithy, matching metaphor for how promiscuously judgmental these people invariably are towards those they don’t like. Us. Suffice it to say I have a few devout people in my family. Knowing them as I do it is not clear to me when their all consuming faith ever cost them a fucking thing they wanted. A bit of sex, money in exchange for lying on behalf of their employers, turning away from the least of these because it was convenient. Paul Bibeau over at Goblinbooks writes about this much better than I am able. Writing this, my indignation is losing force, because I know. It’s a feature, not a bug. Constantine was looking for a new cult to prop up the legitimacy of the Empire. Standards lock in converts Europe and the Americas. Done.
    People should care that they don’t make any sense.

    • Theologically, Christianity is a mixed bag. There is much mercy in it, at the same time that it comes down heavily on the justice and torturing people for eternity. Like all religions, people can find what they want in it. But I’m always suspicious people who make too big a deal of their religion. If it works for you, you don’t need to mention “GOD” (in all capitals) in your Twitter description.

  2. “Really, it is all just the fact that conservatives have wrapped themselves in the flag for so long that the rest of us mistake that for patriotism.”

    I’ve never mistaken their behavior for “patriotism”. It’s anything but.

    • Absolutely. But over my lifetime, in the popular consciousness, “patriotism” has become a synonym for “jingoism.” It’s a big problem when a country spends 48% of what the entire world spends on military.

  3. The right-wingers I know who called themselves “Christian” follow a view of that faith that has nothing to do with the actual teachings of Christ.
    As an agnostic, I’ve long been annoyed when religious types ram their viewpoints down my throat. But if there’s anything worse than that, it’s having a bigoted, twisted, intolerant version of “Christianity” rammed down my throat.
    The fact is, Jesus was a socialist who had extraordinarily harsh words for the rich.

    • That is a reasonable reading of the gospels. And if you like this, you should read Terry Eagleton, who is a Marxist Christian (and a great literary theorist). I think the New Testament as a whole is more mixed. But I have a great love of what I think of as “hippy Christians.” It is certainly a far more accurate reading of the Bible than the conservative reading of it, which depends rather too much on the Old Testament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *