Oh, Please, Tim Rudd

So, Grantham went and asked Rudd about this ridiculousness. Rudd says–

“This wasn’t about Jason Mumpower as much as it was about the entire caucus and party,” Rudd told NIT. “Anyone making statements like that is ridiculous and trying to change the subject. He lied to us. He betrayed us. He decieved us. If a man can’t even comprehend that he’s done wrong, how can we trust him to do right?”

So, look at that, Rudd is capable of developing a cogent, passionate argument that doesn’t use Jesus as a political cudgel.

Too bad he doesn’t choose that rhetorical strategy all the time, not just when he’s under public scrutiny.

Dear Mr. Rudd, privately bullying people using their religion against them is terrible, but doing so when you know better and can do better? Hilariously appalling.

Talk about ridiculous.

17 thoughts on “Oh, Please, Tim Rudd

  1. Why is it such a big deal to compare someone to Judas? He is the patron saint of backstabbing…no? If a psychologist were to say someone had an Oedipus complex, they don’t mean he literally wants to kill his dad, marry his mom, and become the King of Thebes (though I’m sure some guys do…), just that they have a crush on Momma.

    We use literary allusions to previous myths all the time…hell, half the Bible is some literary allusion to a previous mythology, at least this Rudd dude made a proper attribution.

  2. This reminds me a little bit of high school, when all the cool and REALLY Christian kids would to go “see you at the pole” and everyone else was considered spiritually suspect.

  3. Sean, I think it’s a fine line. If Rudd were just calling Williams a Judas, I’d think it was a hilarious bit of hyperbole and figure the Republicans could see through the histrionics or not, their business.

    But look at that wording. “This scene is reminiscent of Judas joining hands in prayer with Jesus at the garden in Gethsemane”? First of all, Judas didn’t join hands in prayer with Jesus at Gethsemane. Rudd is miscasting what happened between Jesus and Judas in order to further his own metaphor.

    And, in furtherance of that metaphor, someone has to be Jesus.

    I don’t like it because there are genuine Christians in the state legislature, people who genuinely strive to do what they think is God’s will.

    Rudd knows that. And he knows that calling Williams a Judas and making it seem like that scene is parallel to one in the Bible will work on people’s religious sensibilities.

    Who wants to be the person who goes home and tells their spouse they worked on behalf of a man who is the equivalent of the man who betrayed Jesus?

    Manipulating people on the basis of their religious beliefs for your own political ends is pretty vile.

    And it’s not as if history has only left us with one betrayer worthy of using in political metaphors.

    Rudd went with Judas for a reason–because he knew it would play on the nerves of good Christians.

    It’s stupid to pretend otherwise. Especially since we now have proof that he can speak passionately about this without resorting to religious machinations.

  4. if Jeebus was sent to die on the cross, then Judas was acting as an agent of Gawd’s plan.

    Ergo, Kent Williams is doing the Laird’s work and all those who oppose him will clearly be doomed to spend all of eternity in Heck.

  5. Good point, Sarcastro. People who try to stand in the way of Judas are working against God.

    Contemplate that, folks. It’s God’s will that Williams be where he is.

  6. “This wasn’t about Jason Mumpower as much as it was about the entire caucus and party,” Rudd told NIT.

    So the house republican caucus and entire Republican Party are like Jesus and his disciples? This Rudd guy is given a chance by Grantham to clarify his postition and make himself look less sacrilegious, but he just makes it worse. The republican party needs to get rid of this powder keg of a committeeman!

  7. And here’s the other thing (in the spirit of refusing to let this whole Williams thing go). Dude clearly has “issues” with women. There wasn’t some Republican operative to send to Williams’ neck of the woods and ask around about him?

  8. The comparison is also inapt because Williams didn’t proceed to a nearby tree to subsequently off himself. But hey, the world (political or otherwise) is replete with poorly thought out analogies. But the Bible is essentially a book of fables that people can adapt to their own lives and situations…no?

    Judas is the most famous backstabber in the history of Christiandom. Williams stabbed ol’ Mumps in the back, Mumps went through what was likely a very painful experience of crying in the bathroom cursing God for forsaking him, and hopes to be reborn as Speaker next year. Sure, there is a significant scale of difference between the two stories, but the analogy works fairly well in my opinion.

  9. Well, yeah, I’d love if, in the political arena, people treated the Bible like a book of fables–a nice way for folks to shape their own lives, but not something to impose on the rest of us–, but you and I both know that’s not the case. Look at that whole group holding hands and praying, as if they receiving the Holy Spirit right then and there, to go out and enact God’s will.

    The Republican House Members are not the Hand of God, or even the Body of Christ.

    Rudd isn’t just saying “Oh, that Williams, he’s a Judas.” Rudd’s saying, “Because Williams betrayed us like Judas betrayed Jesus, you shouldn’t let Williams become a Republican again.” Leaving unsaid, but strongly implied that, then, if you do, you’re practically standing against Jesus.

    That’s a shitty way to try to manipulate Christians.

  10. Sean, on a scale of Williams, Benedict Arnold, and the Christian narrative of Judas, do you see any spread? Or are all those things sorta kinda the same?

  11. NM,

    I’d probably have to revisit the whole Judas saga, but did he continually feed the pharisees info about JC, or was it a one time betrayal for which he received 30 pieces of silver? If the latter, I think Williams’ story is more akin to Judas than B.A., because Arnold was a continuous traitor, while Judas was more of a one-and-done kinda guy. Now, obviously there is a major scale of difference between betraying someone to the point of death, and betraying someone to the point of their embarrassment and deferred dreams…but I see the similarity between the two situations.

    AuntB,

    “That’s a shitty way to try to manipulate Christians.”

    Yeah, but doesn’t that assume they are basically as pliable as a handful of semi-retarded 5 year olds…oh wait…maybe you do have a point.

  12. Errr, that might have come off as I was implying all Christians were akin to semi-retarded 5 year olds…I wasn’t…I was referring to the State Republican Executive Committee.

  13. Today someone e-mailed me the latest Conservative Bible Project hilarity. Apparently the CBP folks are disputing that while part of the Bible where Jesus says from the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” as so much liberal/university professor claptrap. Rifle Jesus apparently would never ask God to forgive his enemies. That’s not how Rifle Jesus rolls.

    This is what happens when you mix religion and politics. Religion always always ALWAYS loses.

    If you love your religion, if you love Jesus or the Virgin Mary or Mohammed or Shiva or Isis or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you will keep politics out of it.
    Because sure as the sun rises in the east some idiot human with the brain the size of the pea will decide that thousands of years of accepted religious tradition are suddenly at odds with the current political winds and will corrupt that tradition for political expediency.

    Time was we called such people heretics and such things blasphemy. But, no longer. So, be warned.

  14. Sean, what nm was asking was not a “who is a more comparable though inaccurate analogy?” but an order of magnitude question. Judas — his betrayal led to the murder of Jesus. Arnold — he committed a demoralizing act of treason and went to fight for this country’s enemy. Williams — voted with the Democrats. You do see how one of these things are not like the others, right? If you don’t, you really need to get a grip on the relative importance of this little bit of piss in Tennessee’s teapot.

  15. Woops — I think I just fell off my high horse! Went back and read more carefully and Sean had already acknowledged that voting with the Democrats is not tantamount to murder or treason. Glory be.

  16. Benedict Arnold betraying Washington and the American Revolution would seem a more apt comparison. I might use Alger Hiss but probably not here.

    It helps in all this discussion to remember that speaker Williams told Senator Corker that he was going to support Mumpower less than an hour before the vote. Some people see that as the most offensive aspect. ‘Had he been honest at any time before the vote…’ is their gripe.

    That the Williams switch comes in the same election cycle as the Kurita debacle raises a point that I do not think gets discussed much but that underlies many of the problems in our current political culture.

    Consider that without the Republican Party, Willims would probably be back home living a quiet life. Without the Democratic Party, Rosalind Kurita would still be a County Commissioner.

    Elected officials like Williams and Kurita and many other tend to forget that they hold their seats only because of the people who keep the two political parties functioning. They think that they get elected because of who they are more than because of the party.

    As such, Williams’ action was placing his interests over the interest of the people who made him as was Kurita’s vote for Ramsey. It ain’t blasphemy but every time someone does this sort of thing and gets away with it, the political process suffers. And harming the people that made you what you are is not a small sin.

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