Almost all of us have friends or family members who are Republicans. I’ve got several, but my brother-in-law is the quintessential “Christian” Republican hypocrite. Not to say he’s a bad person, but when it comes to politics and religion – he’s an absolute idiot.
First, let me give you some background on him. He’s an avid hunter and middle-class American who works in the oil industry. His mother is fairly poor, collecting disability because she has several severe health problems.
He’s a “small government” Republican who believes in the “free market” – except his mother is supported by government programs. In fact, without them, her quality of life would be terrible and she’d live in even more pain than she currently has to deal with because she would have absolutely no ability to get the medical treatment she needs.
Since “the market” saw oil prices crash, his work in the oil industry has been a fraction of what it was over a year ago. In fact, even as he tries to stay on hoping for a “rebound” (which I’ve told him isn’t going to happen anytime soon – though he thinks he knows more than I do about this) he’s basically become his company’s lackey. When they need him, they call him in. When they don’t, he doesn’t work. I’ve tried to explain to him that this is a perfect example of why “the market” can be terrible because companies have no loyalty to their employees. It isn’t about tax rates, or even how hard you work for them a lot of the time; it’s about demand and whether or not they need you.
Despite the fact that he’s been a very loyal employee for several years, the moment they no longer need him, they’re going to lay him off like they have plenty of others already. The only reason why they’ve kept him around is because, quite honestly, he’s one of the few who’s been foolish enough to stay with the company after a massive cut in hours and pay.
Even a week or so ago when he had to call in (which he never does) because he was violently ill with a stomach virus, he was told by his supervisor when he returned to work that he “let the company down” and was moved to the bottom of the “call chart” for when the company needed someone to come in and work.
Yes, a man who’s been there for this company since day one, sometimes working over a hundred hours a week, “let them down” because he couldn’t come in to work because he was violently ill.
That’s the “free market” my brother-in-law cherishes so much. The market that treats people like expendable cogs in a machine rather than human beings. Even when I pointed all of this out to him and explained how his company couldn’t care less about his hard work or dedication, he still doesn’t seem capable of comprehending the gravity of the situation.
You see, he’s one of those people who seems to believe that, at any moment, he’s going to “make it big” and “become rich” because of the greatness of capitalism and the free market.
But it gets even more ridiculous when you get to his religious hypocrisy.
To listen to him talk, you’d think he was a huge Christian. He’ll talk your ear off about the Bible, Christianity and religion in general. To sort of summarize the type of “Christian” he is, he’s one of those people who thinks tithing is a way into God’s good graces.
Of course, he almost never goes to church. Sure, he’ll make it out to the deer lease on the weekend, but he rarely attends church. In fact, the only time I really ever see him go to church is around Christmas, maybe Easter and a few other random times throughout the year if there’s something going on.
Not only that, but nothing about his life is “Christian.” While he’s not a “bad” person in a criminal sense, he’s extremely selfish. My sister handles 95 percent of everything to do with my nephews, while he typically puts himself and what he wants ahead of others. Honestly, I can’t really cite a single instance where he went out of his way to help anyone unselfishly. Even the past two weekends, when my 5-year-old nephew had his t-ball games, where was my brother-in-law? Two hours north, at the deer lease.
In the entire time my sister has been with him (around 16 or so years I believe) I can’t recall a single instance where the family did anything that he didn’t want to do. Whenever they take a “family trip,” it’s to go fishing or hunting – because that’s what he likes.
Oh, and most of you will get a kick out of this – he once told my mother that he felt his lack of tithing (because he rarely goes to church) was part of the reason why his hours and pay were drastically cut. Yes, he basically believes that because he hadn’t been going to church enough, that’s why oil prices fell.
Two really stupid things about that:
- What about all the oil workers who did go to church who were laid off or had their hours drastically reduced?
- This belief still didn’t prompt him to go to church more often.
He attributed part of the downfall of the oil industry to his lack of church attendance (an arrogant belief in and of itself) – then didn’t even bother going to church more to try to “make up for it.”
I’m not trying to purposefully talk down upon or degrade my brother-in-law, but I feel that he perfectly epitomizes so many hypocritical “Christian” Republicans I encounter. Poor or middle class Americans who’ve been screwed over by “the market,” who claim to be Christians – despite living a life that seems almost completely devoid of Christ-like values – who defend unregulated capitalism and are often the first ones to thump their Bible in your face.