Beckett and the Christian Right

I’m no Beckett scholar, but for some reason I find myself re-reading the second act of Waiting for Godot this am.

Personally, I take the play as a denunciation of human inaction arising from the (mistaken) belief that someone (Godot) is going to magically appear and save us, if only we wait faithfully for his coming. In Catholic Ireland, beholden to the fatalism too deeply ingrained in that faith, this must’ve been a revolutionary perspective.

It strikes me how right wing Christians in modern America have independently evolved a similar sensibility. Driving around the other day, I saw one of those damn bumper stickers — “Warning: in case of rapture, this car will be without a driver.” [I proffer that that car is probably mostly without a driver already.]

This fatalism seems to be creeping more and more into so many policy areas — why work to save the planet, because Godot is coming for us?

And, strangely, this is the antipathy of the “can-do” spirit we Americans pride ourselves in. So here’s some logic I hope will cause a Red State meltdown — Christian-centric fatalism is inherently unAmerican.

Chew on that turnip.

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