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Ian McColgin
10-07-2013, 07:20 AM
[This essay is related to the Tea Party NOT the Cause thread in that it shows the emotional-religious forces used to make the mass right Tea Party such an effective tool for negation. The last three paragraphs indicate how the plutocracy that parasiticly manipulates the mass right runs the risk of destroying itself by destroying us all, and also how the solutions are not mouthing blah liberalism but bringing social, political and economic justice. But it’s so much harder to mobilize around an affirmative than to harness hate.]

Published on Monday, October 7, 2013 by TruthDig.com


The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government

by Chris Hedges

There is a desire felt by tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, to destroy the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment, radically diminish the role of government to create a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and force a recalcitrant world to bend to the will of an imperial and “Christian” America. Its public face is on display in the House of Representatives. This ideology, which is the driving force behind the shutdown of the government, calls for the eradication of social “deviants,” beginning with gay men and lesbians, whose sexual orientation, those in the movement say, is a curse and an illness, contaminating the American family and the country. Once these “deviants” are removed, other “deviants,” including Muslims, liberals, feminists, intellectuals, left-wing activists, undocumented workers, poor African-Americans and those dismissed as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace this peculiar interpretation of the Bible—will also be ruthlessly repressed. The “deviant” government bureaucrats, the “deviant” media, the “deviant” schools and the “deviant” churches, all agents of Satan, will be crushed or radically reformed. The rights of these “deviants” will be annulled. “Christian values” and “family values” will, in the new state, be propagated by all institutions. Education and social welfare will be handed over to the church. Facts and self-criticism will be replaced with relentless indoctrination.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz—whose father is Rafael Cruz, a rabid right-wing Christian preacher and the director of the Purifying Fire International ministry—and legions of the senator’s wealthy supporters, some of whom orchestrated the shutdown, are rooted in a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism. This ideology calls on anointed “Christian” leaders to take over the state and make the goals and laws of the nation “biblical.” It seeks to reduce government to organizing little more than defense, internal security and the protection of property rights. It fuses with the Christian religion the iconography and language of American imperialism and nationalism, along with the cruelest aspects of corporate capitalism. The intellectual and moral hollowness of the ideology, its flagrant distortion and misuse of the Bible, the contradictions that abound within it—its leaders champion small government and a large military, as if the military is not part of government—and its laughable pseudoscience are impervious to reason and fact. And that is why the movement is dangerous.

The intellectual and moral hollowness of the ideology, its flagrant distortion and misuse of the Bible, the contradictions that abound within it—its leaders champion small government and a large military, as if the military is not part of government—and its laughable pseudoscience are impervious to reason and fact. And that is why the movement is dangerous.

The cult of masculinity, as in all fascist movements, pervades the ideology of the Christian right. The movement uses religion to sanctify military and heroic “virtues,” glorify blind obedience and order over reason and conscience, and pander to the euphoria of collective emotions. Feminism and homosexuality, believers are told, have rendered the American male physically and spiritually impotent. Jesus, for the Christian right, is a man of action, casting out demons, battling the Antichrist, attacking hypocrites and ultimately slaying nonbelievers. This cult of masculinity, with its glorification of violence, is appealing to the powerless. It stokes the anger of many Americans, mostly white and economically disadvantaged, and encourages them to lash back at those who, they are told, seek to destroy them. The paranoia about the outside world is fostered by bizarre conspiracy theories, many of which are prominent in the rhetoric of those leading the government shutdown. Believers, especially now, are called to a perpetual state of war with the “secular humanist” state. The march, they believe, is irreversible. Global war, even nuclear war, is the joyful harbinger of the Second Coming. And leading the avenging armies is an angry, violent Messiah who dooms billions of apostates to death.

“What we have here is our core values as Americans and Christians slipping away into this facade where we should take care of our poor, sick, and disabled,” Ted Cruz said in the Senate last month during a 21-hour speech that he gave in an attempt to block the funding of Obamacare. “It is disheartening to know that the nation our forefathers built is no longer of importance to our president and his Democratic counterparts. Not only that, we are falling away from core Christian values. I don’t know about you, but I believe in the Jesus who died to save himself, not enable lazy followers to be dependent on him. He didn’t walk around all willy-nilly just passing out free health care to those who were sick, or food to those who were hungry, or clothes to those in need. No, he said get up, brush yourself off, go into town and get a job, and as he hung on the cross he said, ‘I died so that I may live in eternity with my Father. If you want to join us you can die for yourself and your own sins. What do I look like, your savior or something?’ That’s the Jesus I want to see brought back into our core values as a nation. That’s why we need to repeal Obamacare."

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Ian McColgin
10-07-2013, 07:20 AM
- - - cont - - -

Dominionists believe they are engaged in an epic battle against the forces of Satan. They live in a binary world of black and white. They feel they are victims, surrounded by sinister groups bent on their destruction. They have anointed themselves as agents of God who alone know God’s will. They sanctify their rage. This rage lies at the center of the ideology. It leaves them sputtering inanities about Barack Obama, his corporate-sponsored health care reform bill, his alleged mandated suicide counseling or “death panels” for seniors under the bill, his supposed secret alliance with radical Muslims, and “creeping socialism.” They see the government bureaucracy as being controlled by “secular humanists” who want to destroy the family and make war against the purity of their belief system. They seek total cultural and political domination.

All ideological, theological and political debates with the radical Christian right are useless. It cares nothing for rational thought and discussion. Its adherents are using the space within the open society to destroy the open society itself. Our naive attempts to placate a movement bent on our destruction, to prove to it that we too have “values,” only strengthen its supposed legitimacy and increase our own weakness.

Dominionists have to operate, for now, in what they see as the contaminated environment of the secular, liberal state. They work with the rest of us only because they must. Given enough power—and they are working hard to get it—any such cooperation will vanish. They are no different from the vanguard described by Lenin or the Islamic terrorists who shaved off their beards, adopted Western dress and watched pay-for-view pornography in their hotel rooms the night before hijacking a plane for a suicide attack. The elect alone, like the Grand Inquisitor, are sanctioned to know the truth. And in the pursuit of their truth they have no moral constraints.They work with the rest of us only because they must. Given enough power—and they are working hard to get it—any such cooperation will vanish.

I spent two years inside the Christian right in writing my book “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” I attended services at megachurches across the country, went to numerous lectures and talks, sat in on creationist seminars, attended classes on religious proselytizing and conversion, spent weekends at “right-to-life” retreats and interviewed dozens of followers and leaders of the movement. Though I was sympathetic to the financial dislocation, the struggles with addictions, the pain of domestic and sexual violence, and the deep despair that drew people to the movement, I was also acutely aware of the dangerous ideology these people embraced. Fascist movements begin as champions of civic improvement, communal ideals, moral purity, strength, national greatness and family values. These movements attract, as has the radical Christian right, those who are disillusioned by the collapse of liberal democracy. And our liberal democracy has collapsed.

We have abandoned our poor and working class. We have created a government monster that sucks the marrow out of our bones to enrich and empower the oligarchic and corporate elite. The protection of criminals, whether in war or on Wall Street, is part of our mirage of law and order. We have betrayed the vast and growing underclass. Most believers within the Christian right are struggling to survive in a hostile world. We have failed them. Their very real despair is being manipulated and used by Christian fascists such as the Texas senator. Give to the working poor a living wage, benefits and job security and the reach of this movement will diminish. Refuse to ameliorate the suffering of the poor and working class and you ensure the ascendancy of a Christian fascism.

The Christian right needs only a spark to set it ablaze. Another catastrophic act of domestic terrorism, hyperinflation, a series of devastating droughts, floods, hurricanes or massive wildfires or another financial meltdown will be the trigger. Then what is left of our anemic open society will disintegrate. The rise of Christian fascism is aided by our complacency. The longer we fail to openly denounce and defy bankrupt liberalism, the longer we permit corporate power to plunder the nation and destroy the ecosystem, the longer we stand slack-jawed before the open gates of the city waiting meekly for the barbarians, the more we ensure their arrival.

© 2013 TruthDig.com

Full Tilt
10-07-2013, 07:33 AM
Hey, I'm in the choir.

Reynard38
10-07-2013, 07:46 AM
Scary stuff. A few old friends of mine have adopted the far right mindset. It's amazing the way they parrot the party line repeatedly. I have asked them to stop sending me their "news" clippings.
My wife for a long time refused to believe these people existed. Then a large church here in Atlanta hired her company to reorg their communications department. That really opened her eyes.
The Christian far right worships war and the military. Odd for a group that dislikes government so vehemently.

John Smith
10-07-2013, 08:18 AM
There is no logical way to explain what people think when there is not logic in their thinking.

BrianY
10-07-2013, 08:28 AM
It's funny how much in common these Christian fascists have with the Islamic fascists we're so afraid of these days. Substitute 'Muslim" or "Islamic" for "Christian" in the article and it seems to me you've got a pretty good description of "radical Islam".

Ian McColgin
10-07-2013, 08:30 AM
This problem is true of the whole right. Facts just don't matter the way they did to real conservatives, a now endangered species.

But an important part of the article is to look at the population. The political cannon fodder for the right are hurt and oppressed. The RightReligion follows a false god, but does offer short comfort and even personal change from lives of addiction, squalor and hopelessness.

Only if we address those conditions as a society can we provide anyone with motivation to be part of the common weal. This is the failing of public "liberalism" ever since it was pretty much knocked off by the DLC during the Reagan era. We are not housing the disposessed. Hunger in America is on a rise matching increased poverty. Addictions are at a population percent high unmatched in America since the generation after our Civil War. We incarcerate more of our population than any nation ever has and in that we incarcerate blacks at such a rate that the reality of national racism is inescapable.

Real liberalism will be about empowering the oppressed. Not giving them cheap salvation and a few bucks, but letting them take their own power.

Durnik
10-07-2013, 09:28 AM
He (Jesus) didn’t walk around all willy-nilly just passing out free health care to those who were sick, or food to those who were hungry, or clothes to those in need.

Riiiight.. Hanley, care to opine on this?

For the rest, minus the names, it's what I've been saying for years - it really _is_ obvious.. with a bit of looking around. Hell! (sorry ;-)), it's not any bit different in goal than what Christianity has been doing for centuries!




Real liberalism will be about empowering the oppressed. Not giving them cheap salvation and a few bucks, but letting them take their own power.

And of course, Religion, as in 'rules to follow', is all about preventing that very thing.

enjoy
bobby

Durnik
10-09-2013, 06:52 AM
Let's put this in perspective -


"As of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists [in Syria]. Now what this says to me -- I'm a believer in Jesus Christ; as I look at the end times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry. We are to understand where we are in God's end times history. This isn't to cause us fear...Rather than seeing it as a negative, we need to rejoice. Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus. His day is at hand."


Rep. Michele Bachmann

YCMTSU

enjoy
bobby

skuthorp
10-09-2013, 07:12 AM
End times eh? Minority inflicted end times for the US's global influence maybe. That's probably the same thing for those with that mindset, just as long as they don't want to take the rest of us along with them.

Durnik
10-09-2013, 07:31 AM
...just as long as they don't want to take the rest of us along with them.

Oh, but in both ways, they most assuredly do!

enjoy
bobby

Full Tilt
10-09-2013, 07:32 AM
Let's put this in perspective -

YCMTSU

enjoy
bobby


Hallelujah!

Durnik
10-09-2013, 07:39 AM
^ you trouble maker, you! ;-)

enjoy
bobby

TomF
10-09-2013, 07:54 AM
End times.

About 6000 people died last year in New Brunswick. Every day is an End Time for someone.

Durnik
10-09-2013, 08:24 AM
^ out of a population (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Brunswick) of what, 750k? Seems a good place to live! ;-)

to be sure, the fundies want 'the end times' for _all_ of us. Trust me, they're my neighbors - they love Michelle - & they are insane.

peace
bobby

John Smith
10-09-2013, 08:31 AM
^ out of a population (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Brunswick) of what, 750k? Seems a good place to live! ;-)

to be sure, the fundies want 'the end times' for _all_ of us. Trust me, they're my neighbors - they love Michelle - & they are insane.

peace
bobby

And they are in control of the Republican party.