The Miseducation of the Religious Right
A vivid memory of mine is the night about 10+ years ago when Dan Massey and I concluded that mixed-up Republicans out there were no longer making any attempt to hide their misanthropic adventurism. They were just saying whatever was on the top of their minds and hearts, not caring whether it made any sense, and worse, whether or not it fully disclosed to anyone paying attention their general dislike, utter disregard, and hate for humankind. We predicted (dreamt) that this trend would lead swiftly to their final undoing, and that seems to be happening.
What began as Nixon’s Southern Strategy (his supposed secret strategy) to rile up poor, low-information white voters has now fully flowered into an all-out assault on science, women, the poor, people of color, immigrants, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans folk.
I have studied some of the forces driving this suicide course and chief among them is a virulent strain of American fundamentalism, the so-called religious right, something I have been writing about here for almost a month. I’m not talking about the believer sitting in his pew, but the christianists intent on infiltrating government and taking oaths of office under false pretenses. Never would I deny any of them their religious beliefs but I do have something to say whenever public officials cross the constitutional line between church and state that is so essential to our democracy’s survival.
The religious right follows to the letter the political and religious philosophy of Dominionism which calls for the end of the rule of law and the ascendancy of (their version of) god’s law. In other words, christian sharia, government-mandated obedience to a set of fear-based, man-imagined, inviolate religious rules. Our Constitution is a mere device to them, a stepping stone, to achieve their ultimate goal to usher in “god’s law,” which in part explains all of their behavior and the laws and decisions they support and don’t support.
We recently heard all about the Duggar family’s American dominionist cult, Quivverful, but I have chosen to focus almost entirely on another one called The Family (aka The Fellowship) — not only because it is by far the largest, claiming 10,000 cells worldwide, but because since WW2, Family members and their philosophy have increasingly permeated all three branches of our government, and the governments of many other countries.
But The Family is more powerful than that because it is just as much focused on financial profits for its members (in and out of government) as they are with fashioning religion-based laws and policies that deny science and punish the rest of us. The Family is non-denominational when it comes to making the right business connections (members don’t even have to be christians or christianist), making it more akin to a secret business enterprise, like the Mafia, than anything resembling christianity.
I hope you’ll learn more by reviewing my last month of posts about The Family and the dominionist philosophy driving the religious right. And, if you haven’t already, read the two definitive, investigative books on The Family by Jeff Sharlet (The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy). They will change how you view politics in America.
But . . . take heart! all of us who regret letting this delineation between religion and government get so gray already, we can do something about it, right now, before the 2016 elections!
Despite its secrecy, Family members in public service have left an incriminating paper trail of ethical and financial violations that document their deceitful, duplicitous history, spanning 70+ years to this very day. The largest purge of incumbents took place 200 years ago in 1816, when 70% of the House of Representatives members were voted out of office unceremoniously for a similar conflict of interest and financial malfeasance.
We can, and should, repeat history. Will you join me in this new campaign?
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