A while back, the Republican party decided that it was in their best interests to court the voting sensibilities of Americans who fill stadiums to hear obscenely wealthy evangelical preachers speak the word of god. Short term, it was a good idea. Long term, who knows? But now, the craziest of the Christian crazies not only lobby the White House in order to erode the wall of separation between church and state, conservative politicians are forced to lobby evangelical preachers for their endorsements. The relationship between the GOP and the evangelical lobby has gotten so turned upside-down that it’s become like a parent asking their spoiled child for approval before making a decision. It’s nuts.
Although there have most probably always been Christian fundamentalists trying to impose their will on our nation, in the twenty-first century, evangelists are exerting more political influence over Republican legislators than ever before. The evangelical beast has become too big for the GOP to control. Sure, there are ratings to be had on conservative TV and radio, regional elections to be won by touting Christian platitudes, and donations to be pocketed from the fearful Christian proletariat… but the political cost has been that the according irrationality and incomprehension have become impossible to contain.
Now the lunatics on the pulpit make and break party leaders. To be a twenty-first century Republican politician, one is not only forbade to speak of science, neither are they permitted to exhibit a modality of conscience. Rather they are confined to the twisted version of “morality” demanded by the evangelical lobby. For it is not the morals of new testament Jesus that steer the conscience of the GOP, but rather the economics of theocrats, the business of religion, and the disproportionate division of wealth and power it accords.
Big money preachers are now the driving force behind how the GOP legislates.
But the Republican electorate seem blind to this, as they’ve had the very concept of morals distorted so as to abide their own biases. Christian Americans are provided with biblical sound bites to help them justify very “un-Christian”-like behavior. For even if one is so inclined to excuse the socio/economic nonsense that pours from the pie-holes of Christian lunatics like Scott Walker or Ted Cruz as “political conservatism”… or from Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity as “fair and balanced” journalism … they’d still have to downshift their cognitive Edsels into an entirely new delusional gear in order to rationalize the psychotic ravings from multi-millionaire evangelical preachers. Yet that’s what the cycle of conservative psychosis has yielded.
The Christian Dominionist rhetoric from both the political and church pulpits are virtually identical. The religious and political doctrines have little, if any departure from one another. Yet the cognitive dissonance of Republican voters rarely makes that correlation.
For most Republican voters do realize that evangelical preachers are (at best) insincere, yet when it comes time to pulling the voting lever, most ignore the similarities between Republican politicians, and televangelist shysters. As such, Dominionists no longer have to pretend that their political goal is anything less than totalitarian. Those predisposed to their agenda are not inclined to consider the consequences.
“Religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy. They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives.” -Barry Goldwater
Senator Goldwater warned the Republican party about the very political dynamic of the fundamentalist Christian theocrats taking over the party of Lincoln. Now the GOP is being dictated to by crucifix wearing racketeers who demand that anyone who runs for office with an (R) in front of their name must be willing to deny basic history and science. That they must claim –in the name of “morality”– to believe that the Earth was created by Yahweh in six days, approximately six thousand years ago. Just as historical and scientific reality is not what evangelical Christians say it is, neither are their morals, or their economics.
Indeed, if conservative media and politicians are intertwined in reciprocal cycle of fact deficient, irrational socio/economic assertions, the Christian evangelical lobby is the source from whence the crazy and stupid came.
From the time we were children and old enough to comprehend, most of us have been taught to believe in an afterlife. We’ve been conditioned to believe that if we adhere to specific behavioral paradigms and sacrifice critical thought in this lifetime that we’ll be rewarded in the next one. We were told of an eternal paradise that could only be had via whatever religion we were geographically fortunate enough to be born into. As such, many have invested in a guilt driven, earthbound proprietal savings account that they hope will bear interest after they die. In doing so, many pass on life’s opportunities. And many resent those who aren’t afflicted with the fear of a post life consequence.
It is with this in mind that a recent interaction with a delightful, albeit imaginatively banal Christian fella whose “if I can’t have fun than neither should you” resentment towards anything libertine was so blatantly transparent that it would not take much of a suspension of disbelief to surmise that his secret porn stash probably contained some pretty freaky stuff, allowed for several vapid, nonsensical Christian platitudes to be blathered in my direction. Among them was that “There are no Atheists in fox holes”. This meant to infer that my disbelief in a deity would fade in the face of desperation.
But what that anemic logic fails to acknowledge is that the same can be said of one who claims to believe that their faith will grant them entrance to an ethereal utopia. Sure, there are non-believers who –when faced with the proposition of their life ending– grasp at cognitive straws. Even atheists yell “Oh God” when they’re having sex. But what makes a Christian cowering in fear in the very same fox hole, and who believes they are bound for heaven, so afraid?
For if the faith is pure and the war just, and if God is truly on your side, then why not perform daring acts of heroism in his name? Why not jump from the fox hole where the Atheist is mentally juxtaposing mortality and oblivion and show your devotion to God? Your Christian options are either doing Yahweh’s earthly bidding, or being called home to paradise. Sounds like a win-win to me. So what the hell are Christians doing crapping themselves in the same fox holes as Atheists? For that matter, why dig the fox hole in the first place?
I will maintain that deep down, sane people understand how silly the entire notion is. Christians don’t want to die any more than Atheists do because on some intellectual level, we all understand that death is the end. Moreover, the “heaven” Christians describe –to quote Christopher Hitchens– is more like a “Celestial North Korea” where the inhabitants must pay constant homage to their ethereal dictator, lest they be tortured for eternity in a fiery pit of hell. The things most of us enjoy are not permitted in heaven. Unless your idea of fun is sitting in detention with your hands folded, then the Christian heaven sucks. Actually, by comparison, North Korea sounds like an improvement.
The thing is, a lot of people say they believe in “God”, but what they actually believe in is a version of a supreme being who’s interests and bigotry are eerily similar to their own, and which allows them to tap into the darker parts of their nature when they have the desire to impose their will on others. If Christians truly believed in God the way the claim to, then he will either protect you if it is not your time to die, or he will take you if it is. At least the Islamic suicide bomber puts his faith where his mouth is. So regarding atheists and foxholes, I will maintain that there are actually no Christians in foxholes, either. There are just a bunch of scared men and women fearing the end of their existence.
If you are sane, and read the bible from Genesis to Revelations, there is a distinct probability that you’ll become an Atheist. If you are sane, inclined towards Christianity, and only read the New Testament, more likely you’ll become a Liberal Democrat. However if you’re just a douche bag who’s more concerned with justifying a departure from Christian ideals by bastardizing Christian tenets so as to coincide with a bigoted, uninformed, myopic world view, the twenty-first century term that might best describe your socio/political outlook would be “Conservative Republican.”
There are a whole lot of douche bags who vote.
How else could one explain the rationale behind the throngs of TEA-vangelical voters who’s socio/economic angst is directed at the very same people that Jesus of Nazareth advocated for? How can one claim to be a Christian and vote for candidates who are pro-gun, anti-health care, and who not only want to cut aid to the poor, but who are also tireless defenders of the wealthy? What Jesus were they reading about? When did “love thy neighbor” come to mean “screw ’em?”
Moreover, what part of a sane mind could possibly make these socio/economic determinations in a Christian context? It’s dizzying how many TEA party folks cling to the lowest rung of the middle class –or less– and have been convinced by twenty-first century political televangelists that the source of their economic woes are those further down the economic ladder, or their neighbor with a different bumper sticker. The leaders of the Tea Party, like the Koch Brothers (who are obscenely wealthy) sell pseudo Christian/patriotism to fearful, emotionally assailable, socio/economic illiterates who show up to rally’s in their floral printed Walmart bought house coats and tri-cornered hats. Many of the TEA Party proletariat are sadly already on some form of government assistance, yet they are so easily manipulated that they’ve been deluded into thinking that their voting decisions won’t affect them personally. In their minds, the TEA Party will protect them from the poor.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” ― Sinclair Lewis
And then, once those guilty of creating the present economic conditions (which are increasingly moving towards an Orwellian disproportion of wealth) have “scapegoated” the poor (who actually control only about two percent of the wealth in this country) for the uber-wealthy’s very un-Christian-like social crimes, and undermining of our financial system for their personal profit, they run TEA Party candidates who espouse these same ridiculous, fact deficient ideals. Flag waving idiots turn out for them in droves, while voting against their own best interests. It’s what Jesus would have wanted.
The TEA Party anxiety directed towards the poor –you know, the ones that Jesus Christ had this slight attachment to — is so powerful that Christian Politi-Vangelists have also convinced the dullards who vote for them that they need to help them make the rich more wealthy, than they already are by lowering their taxes past the record lows that they are presently paying. Moreover, that the working class must also bear the entire burden of economic austerity. Tea-vangelicals vote to cut Medicare, Medicaid, raise the retirement age, and privatize social security for dumb shmucks like themselves. If one wants to be a good TEA Party Christian, they also have to be against poor people having access to health care, and education while simultaneously raising the amount of tax dollars that go to military spending where the United States already spends more than the next twenty six countries combined, twenty five of whom are allies.
Because the rich shall inherit the earth, and it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a poor person to enter the gates of heaven…. or something like that. The TEA Party doesn’t embrace Christian ideals, as much as they embrace Chuck Norris. The Koch brothers must be laughing their asses off at how many idiots keep falling for the Jesus gag.
So with the rise of evangelism in American politics via the TEA Party, policy is affected thusly. When we elect people to public office who are so mentally and emotionally disturbed that they base their decision making process on the psychotic wishes of an invisible macrocosm commander, then terrible things are bound to happen. History is replete with theocratic atrocities. Yet many Americans are stupid enough to keep repeating those same mistakes and allowing ourselves to be suckered by those who speak lyrical “Godsmack”.
Throughout history, every time religion is the dominating political force, the aristocracy reigns, and the ranks of the poor swell. Most people suffer and die in poverty, needlessly, while a scant few live in obscene luxury. Now they are calling that capitalism (it’s not, btw).
Dominionist politicians would have you believe that their Fundamentalism is akin to a grandmother knitting a sweater, when in reality, it’s more like jamming the knitting needle into your eye socket. It is a consistent, ritualistic, form of counter-education and abusive mind control. Dominionism is a means of enacting a theocracy so as to control the populace, and ultimately, the nation’s purse strings.
Political predators who capitalize on fear and ignorance of the TEAvangelical movement are affecting much of our nation’s legislation. But first, they must control the process by which we think. They must control our determinations. They must steer the nature by which form our perceptions so as to make it easy for them to profit. They are not really in the Christianity business, they are in the idiot business. Christian Americans, and moreover, the Twenty-first century excuses for Republican voters, are just their customers.
For some hard economic facts, watch the following video: