When considering the religious aspect of the fanatical MAGA mob and their QAnon conspiracies, I can’t help but be reminded by Kierkegaard‘s leap of faith. Just as Abraham was told to do something heinous in the name of God, and despite the fact that nobody would understand why Abraham had done it, he must still do it.
This, to me, seems to be the harm of the Kierkegaardian leap of faith: anyone can claim that the insanity of their actions only goes to prove their true devotion to God.
But what did Abraham do? He arrived neither too soon nor too late. He mounted the ass, he rode slowly along the way. All that time he believed – he believed that God would not require Isaac of him, whereas he was willing nevertheless to sacrifice him if it was required. He believed by virtue of the absurd; for there could be no question of human calculation, and it was indeed the absurd that God who required it of him should the next instant recall the requirement. He climbed the mountain, even at the instant when the knife glittered he believed … that God would not require Isaac. He was indeed astonished at the outcome, but by a double-movement he had reached his first position, and therefore he received Isaac more gladly than the first time. Let us go further. We let Isaac be really sacrificed. Abraham believed. He did not believe that some day he would be blessed in the beyond, but that he would be happy here in the world. God could give him a new Isaac, could recall to life him who had been sacrificed. He believed by virtue of the absurd; for all human reckoning had long since ceased to function.
Fear and Trembling, Soren Kierkegaard
The rioters on Capitol Hill believed they were doing God’s bidding. I doubt they’ve abandoned that faith. Just like Abraham would have killed Isaac if God had not stopped him, the MAGA rioters were prepared to storm the Capitol building and commit murder for what they believe.
I would be interested in knowing how one could work their way out of such a predicament – if one truly believes that God not only condones, but demands, such actions, doesn’t it only lend credence to their belief for others to tell them it’s wrong or evil?