I am not pleased at all with a few articles written about the sin of envy right now, heck, I am not pleased with what I shall call an age old conservative excuse. It is overly simplistic, boring, repetitive, and wrong. Why do I point a finger at conservatives? Well, because when confronted with reports of some systemic injustice they have a tendency to totally shut down the conversation, blame the victim, and to just say, get a haircut, get a job, and work as hard as I did. Stop being so jealous, you just want what I have but you aren’t willing to work for it.
It’s kind of like waiting in front of a city planning dept watching someone breeze in and get a building permit while one is left standing there wondering how in the world you are going to be able to afford a wetland study and an engineers report for our silly little lattice rose arbor. Pretty sure my alleged sin of envy is not the primary crap sandwich that is permeating this bureaucracy.
I remember a few well meaning people in my life trying to be kind, trying to help me not take something personally by saying, “they’re just acting that way because they are jealous.” No, actually they are acting that way because they believe it is acceptable behavior and you are too much of a coward to tell them it is wrong. Your clever wordplay about envy and jealousy simply masks a lazy attitude towards justice and and an unwillingness to stand up for what is right. Hence my frequent references to soggy plates of starchy, overcooked pasta.
From such well intentioned messages that still widely miss the mark, I learned to keep my head down, to wear two or three coats, to gain 40 pounds, and to never do anything that might trigger someone’s jealousy. I spent a good decade wandering around lost in that wasteland until I finally realized I could not make myself any smaller and more invisible if I tried.
Do you know how many people read the tale of Joseph and his multi colored coat and conclude that the moral of the story is that Joseph was bad for sharing his dream with his brothers and then parading around in his fancy coat? What were his poor, hapless brothers supposed to do but throw him in a pit and sell him into slavery for thinking too highly of himself? Worse yet, do you know how many times I have heard that tale preached that way? It’s as if Joseph made his brothers behave that way by thinking too highly of himself, by triggering their envy.
That form of the tale tickles the ears of the woke and unwoke, alike.
Now, let us relate this dysfunctional mindset to modern times, to the idea that social justice is just a phenomenon ruled by the sin of envy. There is no injustice, you’re just jealous. True, the retired California baby boomers who move here have 15 times the wealth you do and own 3 houses while you get to just live in your car with your family, but that’s not a matter of economic injustice, of the sin of greed, you’re obviously just lazy and full of envy. I mean seriously, work harder, get yourself a trust fund, and purchase yourself a US congresscritter. Everybody should just own one. They help to grease the skids.
What sparks my little Marxist heart to have a flare up is that fact that they tend to call us locals mudlickers, bottom feeders, and tweakers. We are the unwashed masses, the vermin that must be removed in the progressive march towards gentrification. I cannot tell you how helpful it is to read long spiritual screeds about social justice and the sin of envy, as if it is somehow shameful to want to protect what is yours, your way of life, your ability to keep a roof over your head.
Recently someone posted an article, science donja know, that suggested that people who comply with masking mandates and vaccine mandates tend to be more highly educated. You want to be perceived as a member of the more highly educated, don’t you? No. I don’t want what you have, I don’t seek your approval, and I’m tired of having education equated with intelligence. Speaking of which, you’ve now burdened our young with student loan debt, deceiving them into believing that if they just got a good Marxist education they would be granted access to ingroup favor, wealth, and resources.
I feel much better having now unburdened my soul, but on a much grander scale, our long national nightmare is not going to end until conservatives stop othering people, stop blaming victims, stop acting as if what we see going on in our world today is just the isolated and individual sin of envy and laziness run amuck. The gap between the rich and poor in this country just went right through the roof, and that alone is going to have a huge impact on us politically and culturally. To attempt to reduce the massive socio-political upheavals going on in the country as if say those who complain about greed, corruption, injustice, are simply dealing with unrepentant envy doesn’t surprises me, but it disappoints me just the same.
Perhaps instead of instructing people to vote harder, work harder, and pray harder, you should learn to listen better.