Friday, May 26, 2006

con-undrum



May 9: "God has blessed me and my family enormously. He's been in that courtroom every day. He has a plan and a purpose in this and I have complete confidence it's going to come out fine," said [Enron Chairman Kenny-boy] Lay as his case went to the Jury.

May 25: Lay, upon receiving guilty verdicts in two separate trials: "Certainly this was not the outcome we expected. I firmly believe I’m innocent of the charges against me, as I have said from day one. I still firmly believe that as of this day. But despite what happened today, I am still a very blessed man. I have, on my left, this beautiful lady that's my wife. I have a very warm and loving and Christian family that supports me, a lot of friends, including some out there in the audience right now. And most of all, we believe that God, in fact, is in control, and indeed He does work all things for good for those who love the Lord. And we love our Lord, and ultimately all of these things will work for good. Thank you so much for all of your courtesies, all of your interests, and obviously as time goes on we'll have more things to say, but that's all I want to say today. Thank you.

Do these gentlemen* attend the Matchbook School of Jesusology because their criminal instincts tell them it's a good idea, or do they develop as master criminals because they believe, thanks to said schools, that they are innocent instruments of God?

*viz Bush, George W. et al.


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9 Comments:

Blogger Chuck Pinatubo said...

In the absence of institutional support for religiosity, the same people find other charlatan conjurers' tools, whether it's Lysenkoism, evolutionary psychology or morphic resonance. It doesn't matter what's called when the final authority is mediated through a spokesman with eventual access to guns. Without guns, none of them are problem, just annoying and the sort who keep lawyers in business.

Jesusology is handiest for this locale, but they could make do with social darwinism or neoliberalism and often combine the three, for extra mojo.

It'd be nice to "take back religion", but religion is not what they have. Struggling for better ethics and an inquiry into the divine is practiced by very few.

5/26/2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger Chuck Pinatubo said...

To emend that a little, I think the cultural support for their criminality finds its most useful guise in Jesusology. The root problem is fear, which inspires paranoid authoritarianism and the ferocious greed that's supposed to provide security. I'm agnostic as to whether a serious inquiry into the nature of the divine could address that.

5/26/2006 2:05 PM  
Blogger tm said...

I've met con men who were pretty good - not Ken Lay good, but good. In the face of hundreds of lawsuits and community outrage at their crimes, they sounded much like him. One was a minister, and he made sure all the people he was going to loot knew it. They are always blessed, and often win on appeal.

5/27/2006 6:46 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

I think the Jesusology works for these goons on many levels. It reminds us, the stupid -- umm, the faithful -- that cheek turnage is always to be preferred over revenge. It comforts them, the rapacious, to know that eventually they can have a genuine conversion experience and go to heaven. (The cost/benefit analysis on this one offers a timeline that suggests that now is not quite yet the time for the genuine thing). And meanwhile, they can assume that they'll be forgiven for the sin of faking their religiosity, if not for the irony.

5/28/2006 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Albert Ruesga said...

As a Jesusologist of sorts (one of the "faithful"), I think I have an inkling of what he's on about. First, I'm struck by the fact that he consistently says, "I believe I'm innocent." An innocent man, certain of his innocence, would say "I know I'm innocent ...." This tells me that his lawyers convinced him (because he was all too willing to believe it) that his behavior flirted, but did not knowingly sleep with, criminality. "Only God and the jury can decide." As a man compromised by a thousand lame rationalizations, and possessed--as many believers are--by a sentimental and very personal sense of Manifest Destiny, it's easy for Lay to believe he sees the Hand of God in his affairs.

5/28/2006 6:30 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Easy and convenient.

5/28/2006 11:48 PM  
Blogger Chuck Pinatubo said...

The cheek turnage, loaves and fishes sharing, broad ranging forgiveness and efforts towards acceptance are typical of tribes that feel they're under stress. So's promiscuity ;-) It's bizarre that the Clan of the Kenny Boy would adopt a perverted version of that -- we being the ones asked to turn yet another cheek, give up our last sardine, forgive and accept their crimes and, of course, put out for them, but their victimology is heartfelt and they really feel badly used. Casualties in the war of all against all they flirt with, poor millionaires.

Tammy Bruce might call that "malignant narcissism" if she detected it in liberals.

5/29/2006 12:13 PM  
Anonymous tutor said...

The canonical story of Judas would make good background reading. God had Lay betray his company, and will have Bush betray his country for purposes beyond our understanding. This does not make Judas a fine fellow.

5/30/2006 2:43 PM  
Blogger Juke said...

The Pope's working a similar gambit/rationale on the Holocaust. It's the Will of God - but still we ask, like children, why.
Because.
Otherwise God's mum on the deal.
The atomized Holocaust of mere living, the clockwork cumulative dismissal of uncountable lives - the eternal Darwinian flame - much easier to see that as the proprietary divine plan.
When it happens all at once it's disconcerting.
The struggles of carnality, the total violation of the soul it takes just to get through the week - nobody's got a real clear and defensible cause-and-effect on that.
Faith is the traditional comfort there, so you would expect true faith, (in the sense of non-dogmatic, non-corporate, non-proprietary, non-horseshit belief and hope) to be under attack from all sides.
And so we find it to be.

5/30/2006 4:51 PM  

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