The fundamentalists are coming

Image: Luis Quintero
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By JEAN PIERRE CHAUVIN*

It's not long before the theocracy guides the speeches of candidates for guardianship councils, city councils, legislative assemblies, the chamber of deputies and the senate

"Avarice. A capital sin in the laity, who must always show themselves to be generous towards the church.”
(Baron of Holbach, Portable Theology.
“Jesus has no teeth in the country of toothless people”
(Titans, 1987)

A specter that has nothing to do with solidarity haunts the Banana Republic. In recent days, social networks have gone on a virtual and physical warpath, due to the elections for the Guardianship Council, held across the country last Sunday, October 1st. On the one hand, candidates representing interests arising from their support bases; on the other, pseudo-Christians with the pernicious habit of contaminating campaign agendas with fundamentalist bias.

Judging by preconceived ideas based on dogmas; due to the high degree of invention of many fake politicians or religious figures; by the content of fake news that have circulated freely on the internet in recent times; Through the victory of common sense over the critical spirit, the theocratic wound is here to stay. Just as rights and duties provided for in the Constitution have become a dead letter, almost the same can be said about the separation between State and Church, without effect since the first republican Magna Carta, ratified in 1891: there never was.

In a country that allows the spread and operation of sects and temples that do not pay taxes, there is nothing more obscene than the parade of prejudices, proclaimed inside and outside parliament. Alongside subjects, considered religious, with an extensive political career, there are also media leaders who defy common sense with unrealizable promises, commodifying the good faith of others on radio and television stations.

Robert Muchembled showed that the “materialization” of the figure of the devil in the arts, between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, allowed the Christian church to construct a common enemy capable of unifying its followers, despite so many differences. On the other hand, since then, writers and artists have also multiplied who question the age-old prejudices that rock the church and the blind adherence of the faithful – especially those unable to perceive the devastating effects caused by religious fundamentalism.

In Brazil, as we know, Lucifer gained new colors since the first decades of the Republic: first, he was identified with trade unionism; then, to the permanent “communist threat”, fought hard by Uncle Sam’s foremen. Then, Satan began to be confused with any policy of social inclusion, to finally “naturalize” the argument that it is not enough to demolish the secularity of the State: it is necessary to rescue fundamental monotheism, supported by a punitive god who does not admit beliefs whose mythology does not correspond to that of the sacred scriptures.

There is very little left for theocracy to guide the speeches of candidates for guardianship councils, city councils, state legislative assemblies, the federal chamber of deputies and the senate. What is never in short supply is the holy hypocrisy of every day: that factory of insults shouted by the legion of “good men” with which the kingdom of pseudo-religious people grows and multiplies, at the cost of the misery of millions of followers.

Here is the promised land, where opportunists and persistent liars continue to offer “blessed” objects, without any restrictions from the secular State. Thank God, the internet and radio broadcasts did not cover the most remote and needy areas of this neocolony: perhaps there is time to escape the reissue of the ten commandments, the neo-inquisition and the autos-da-fé, broadcast live on channels in streaming.

*Jean Pierre Chauvin Professor of Brazilian Culture and Literature at the School of Communication and Arts at USP. Author, among other books by Seven speeches: essays on discursive typologies (Editora Cancioneiro). [https://amzn.to/3sW93sX]

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