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Christianity and Republican Economics

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:

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Zimmerman

Just as a body requires nutrients to survive, and to be able to expel toxicity, we likewise need to do the same with information. As Americans increasingly fail to metabolize massive amounts of carbohydrates, we have simultaneously lost the ability absorb, and sift through the deluge superfluous data we take in every day. With tabloid, ratings driven news-ertainment having supplanted journalism as the common means by which we garner current events, our ability to cognitively metabolize media has been compromised by a steady diet of sugar coated propaganda. The diversions from more pressing political or economic issues amount to insulin for the nation’s cerebral diabetes.

We’ve become intellectually unhealthy, lazy in our thinking, and have fed our bias past the point of morbid obesity.

In a big scary world where real life monsters manifest as disappearing pensions and inaccessible health care, our diminishing ability to psychologically cope with the feelings of powerlessness that accompany the twenty-first century have caused many to project their anxiety at tabloid social issues. Mired in a Pavlovian feedback loop, the American proletariat has been conditioned to salivate every time the news media makes the determination of where we should focus our attention. On some visceral level, we feel more emotionally equipped to offer sociological opinions on tabloid subject matter than we do the economy. And in that regard, it allows us to feel a little less powerless.

America is afraid. So do as we’ve been trained to do in order to internally rationalize our anxiety. We engage in the partisan rhetoric, and ignore things that require acumen, or which might require us to accord uncomfortable realities. We cope with fear by being angry at one another. Indeed, Americans have been Nancy Grace’d into a waking coma.

But it gets worse. With the advent of social media, our polarization has become philosophically paralyzing. Facebook and Twitter have allowed us to engage one another directly. Thus, our fear and hyper-partisanship are realized in guttural reactions to complex social and economic issues. Our diminishing intellects and collective unwillingness to generate genuine comprehension have crippled our ability to effectively communicate, and reduced us to a nation of conspiratorial, hyperbolic, name calling dullards.

We’ve gotten to a point where one’s choice of laundry detergent can reduce them to ally or enemy.

As such, American social media has diminished every aspect of sociology to equate with over-simplified, black and white perspectives. So we gather information that coincides with our predispositions, and dismiss that which contradicts them. It is no longer enough to feel that our vapid, uninformed opinions are so completely justified that there is no room for any concession, but the world has to understand that whomever lies in the path of our enfeebled sensibilities must be so utterly wrong, morally bankrupt and intellectually inferior that they are due ridicule from the entire internet. But of course, those with whom we disagree feel the same about us. Our collective need to have some sort of control over our fear –and to be “right”– often precludes us from sharing empathy with one another.

And around and around we go. It’s not that anybody is right, or that anybody is wrong. It’s that (to some degree) everybody is right, and everybody is wrong. Falling prey to sensationalist media is a no-win scenario, and the people who profit from tabloid news know it. In fact, they bank on it. literally.

The danger of subjectivity harmonizing with cynicism on any given issue can affect our overall perspectives moving forward. From a sociological perspective, tabloid news is interesting insofar as how people can interpret the same evidence in accordance with their own predispositions, and how –as a society– we are prone to polarization. Whether one is partial to believe in anyone’s guilt or innocence, those choices are often made before information is gathered, or objectivity can be implemented so as to accord one’s bias. Tabloid news says a lot more about our capacity to remain mired in subjectivity than it does our judicial system.

The very purpose of the establishing a free press in our country was to keep our focus on the judiciary, legislative, and executive branches of our government. Not to distract us from them. But as with every other industry, profit alters perspective. So we find our media being dummied down to our lowest intellectual common denominator and arguing over symptomatic social issues, while their root causes go unaddressed.

Sadly, the same capital lobbies that collude with Congress to undermine our economy, and our judicial system also own the media. They need us polarized, and bickering with one another. For if we ever stopped to notice that our democratic republic is being slowly terraformed into an Orwellian aristocracy, “We the People” might learn to metabolize the bad information we are being fed.

Looking Down the Barrel

Even a tragedy as horrible as a school shooting no longer warrants civility. Absent from the national discourse regarding guns, and gun control is reasonable perspective. The internet has given rise to mediocre personalities spewing constitutional hyperbole and an utter lack of understanding of a topic in which they profess to possess an expertise.

In the minds of those awarded the privilege of speaking to the American public about socio/political propositions, it can be only all or nothing, black or white. So it is with guns. But how can we have a rational discussion about the second amendment when those whom we turn to for reason are themselves, irrational? To make matter worse, as it always does when people derive their information from biased, unreliable sources, the crazy is trickling down to the public.

Recently I made the mistake of trying to find — within my circle of influence–  a common ground for reasonable people to begin a discussion, in the hopes that somehow the margins might be brought in from the extremes. As a law abiding citizen and legal gun owner, I thought that there must be some commonality between the lunatic fringes. Certainly there had to be people whose sensibilities allowed them to fall on the gun issue somewhere between the government forcibly disarming the populace, and allowing everyone to have their own predator drone.

So I began with the premise that no matter what anybodies feelings were about guns, and gun control, that we should all agree that *ILLEGAL* guns should be addressed. I thought that would be a good way to begin a rational discussion. So I thought.

Little did I know that I — a legal gun owner– am akin to left wing loony Piers Morgan on this topic. Assailed by NRA activists for even suggesting that any guns or gun sales be scrutinized, even the topic of illegal guns seemed to be prohibitive to their second amendment rights. The Only answer that the far right gun nuts would accept, was to arm every law abiding citizen so that they can either deter, or shoot it out with their criminal gun nut counterparts.

Also unbeknownst to me was that President Obama had a secret plan to take everyone’s guns away despite the reality that this administration has made it easier to purchase, and travel with firearms. Yet despite the facts, the panic was palpable. As it turns out, the NRA makes millions from the panic they create. Dumb, camouflage wearing people buy lots of guns when you tell them that they soon won’t be able to.

You see, the NRA is a gun lobby, not an activist group for the rights of American citizens. It doesn’t  give a damn about the second amendment, or anyone’s liberties anymore than the oil lobby cares about the environment. They are concerned about gun sales, and nothing else. The second amendment is merely the worm on the hook the NRA needs to get support  from the proletariat so that legislators can take their money without it costing them their jobs in the form of voter retaliation.  

But lost in all of this  far left/far right gun mania is that innocent people –American citizens– are being helplessly gunned down all too often. These are tragedies, not rope to have a political tug O’ war with. We’re having the wrong discussions, because people are making money from our collective anxiety.

The reality is that the causes for gun violence are more complex than any of the talking heads on cable news, or our unimaginative politicians will acknowledge. There is no one explanation that causes someone to shoot their fellow citizens for no rational reason. The blame has been spread around from too many guns, to not enough guns… from a culture desensitized to violence to a lack of proper mental health coverage… and from the changing landscape of parent/child relationships to the sugar and salt rich American diet resulting in millions of cases of undiagnosed depression.

To some degree, it’s probably all of the above. But the thing is, that offering a reasonable perspective won’t get socio/political entertainers the clever sound bite they need to stay relevant into the next news cycle. So they blather wingnut platitudes in the hopes of having their media appearance turn viral.

… and it comes at the expense of solving problems, and ultimately people’s lives.