The End of American Christianity Itself, the World, the Universe and the Black Imposter in the White House, Praise Jesus!

 


 

This is How Christian Delusions Are Driving the GOP Insane

“The press often talks about the Tea Party like they’re secularist movement that is interested mainly in promoting “fiscal conservatism”, a vague notion that never actually seems to make good on the promise to save taxpayer money. The reality is much different: The Tea Party is actually driven primarily by fundamentalist Christians whose penchant for magical thinking and belief that they’re being guided by divine forces makes it tough for them to see the real world as it is,” writes Amanda Marcotte in Alternet

Here’s more from Amanda Marcotte:

It’s not just that the rogue’s gallery of congress people who are pushing the hardest for hostage-taking as a negotiation tactic also happens to be a bench full of Bible thumpers. Pew Research shows that people who align with the Tea Party are more likely to not only agree with the views of religious conservatives, but are likely to cite religious belief as their prime motivation for their political views. White evangelicals are the religious group most likely to approve of the Tea Party. Looking over the data, it becomes evident that the “Tea Party” is just a new name for the same old white fundamentalists who would rather burn this country to the ground than share it with everyone else, and this latest power play from the Republicans is, in essence, a move from that demographic to assert their “right” to control the country, even if their politicians aren’t in power.

It’s no surprise, under the circumstances, that a movement controlled by fundamentalist Christians would be oblivious to the very real dangers that their actions present. Fundamentalist religion is extremely good at convincing its followers to be more afraid of imaginary threats than real ones, and to engage in downright magical thinking about the possibility that their own choices could work out very badly. When you believe that forcing the government into default in an attempt to derail Obamacare is the Lord’s work, it’s very difficult for you to see that it could have very real, negative effects.

It’s hard for the Christian fundamentalists who run the Republican Party now to worry about the serious economic danger they’re putting the world in, because they are swept up in worrying that President Obama is an agent of the devil and that the world is on the verge of mayhem and apocalypse if they don’t “stop” him somehow, presumably be derailing the Affordable Care Act. Christian conservatives such as Ellis Washington are running around telling each other that the ACA will lead to “the systematic genocide of the weak, minorities, enfeebled, the elderly and political enemies of the God-state.” Twenty percent of Republicans believe Obama is the Antichrist.Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner argued that Obama is using his signature health care legislation to promote “the destruction of the family, Christian culture”, and demanded that Christians “need to engage in peaceful civil disobedience against President Obama’s signature health care law”.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops joined in, demanding that the Republicans shut down the government rather than let Obamacare go into effect. The excuse was their objection to the requirement that insurance make contraception available without a copayment, saying ending this requirement matters more than “serving their own employees or the neediest Americans.”

The Christian right media has been hammering home the message that Christians should oppose the Affordable Care Act. Pat Necerato of the Christian News Network accused the supporters of the law of committing idolatry and accused people who want health care of being covetous. The Christian Post approvingly reported various Christian leaders, including Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, saying things like the health care law is “a profound attack on our liberties” and lamented “Today is the day I will tell my grandchildren about when they ask me what happened to freedom in America.”

Some in the Christian right straight up believe Obamacare portends the end times. Rick Phillips, writing for Christianity.com, hinted that Obamacare might be predicted in Revelations, though he held back from saying that was certain. Others are less cautious. On the right wing fundamentalist email underground, a conspiracy theory has arisen claiming that Obamacare will require all citizens to have a microchip implanted. While it’s completely untrue, many Christians believe that this means the “mark of the beast” predicted in Revelations that portends the return of Christ and the end of the world.

In other words, the Christian right has worked itself into a frenzy of believing that if this health care law is implemented fully, then we are, in fact, facing down either the end of American Christianity itself or quite possibly the end times themselves. In comparison, it’s hard to be too scared by the worldwide financial collapse that they’re promising to unleash if the Democrats don’t just give up their power and let Republicans do what they want. Sure, crashing stock markets, soaring unemployment, and worldwide economic depression sounds bad, but for the Christian right, the alternative is fire and brimstone and God unleashing all sorts of hell on the world.

This is a problem that extends beyond just the immediate manufactured crisis. The Christian right has become the primary vehicle in American politics for minimizing the problems of the real world while inventing imaginary problems as distractions. Witness, for instance, the way that fundamentalist Christianity has been harnessed to promote the notion that climate change isn’t a real problem. Average global temperatures are creeping up, but the majority of Christian conservatives are too worried about the supposed existential threats of abortion and gay rights to care.

Under the circumstances, it’s no surprise that it’s easy for Christian conservatives to worry more about imaginary threats from Obamacare than it is for them to worry about the very real threat to worldwide economic stability if the go along with their harebrained scheme of forcing the government into default. To make it worse, many have convinced themselves that it’s their opponents who are deluded. Take right wing Christian Senator Tom Coburn, who celebrated the possibility of default back in January by saying it would be a “wonderful experiment”. Being able to blow past all the advice of experts just to make stuff up you want to believe isn’t a quality that is unique to fundamentalists, but as these budget negotiations are making clear, they do have a uniquely strong ability to lie to themselves about what is and isn’t a real danger to themselves and to the world.

First published in Alternet by Amanda Marcotte co-writes the blog Pandagon. She is the author of It’s a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book — And God Said, “Billy!” exploring the roots of religious delusion is #1 on Amazon Kindle in the Political Humor category. On Kindle and NOOK for $3.99 and in paperback.

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    I fear that what Mrs. Marcotte writes is very biases. She fails to consider the diversity in American Evangelicalism and that many progressive Evangelicals are shocked by the heartlessness and bigotry of their fellow believers.
    But this is just me.

    • R Vogel

      I would chalk it more up to ignorance than bias. Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Religious Right are terms that we might understand, but in general people don’t, even many religious people.

  • http://wp.theoblogical.org/ Dale Lature

    Lothar,
    The only mention of “evangelicals” was in citing a poll taken, which cannot be said to be an opinion of the author, but an observation of a self-identified group . The rest of the article refers to them as “Religious Right” and “Fundamentalist”, so I think Marcotte has already narrowed it down from “Evangelical” in general to a particular subset which is the “Fundamentalist/Religious Right”. That’s my take.

  • irisman

    The Religious Right, as it’s generally known is a certain subset of Christians. They are the same type of Christians who were burning people at the stake during the Holy Inquisition.

    • Monte Harmon

      You have truly mastered the art of painting with a broad brush.

      • randy kirschmann

        Monte, I like you.
        You really make me chuckle… Go get ‘em man.
        Certain people don’t like to be called on their biases and broad assumptions… Good luck!

  • R Vogel

    Funny, but I am just learning this personally. My family is mostly evangelical fundamentalists so I avoid political discussions as much as possible. The recent extortionist tactics, however, have made me far more vocal and surprisingly they all seem to side with the tea party looneys. I suspected that the TPers were right wing extremists but had no idea of the religious connection until recently.

  • Monte Harmon

    Something must be wrong with me as I don’t know a single person in the 20% that thinks Obama is the antichrist. However, I do know quite a few people who think he is god. That scares me much more.

    • gimpi1

      My experience is the opposite.

      I have a couple of fundamentalist relatives who believe the “antichrist” nonsense.

      I and most of my friends and relatives are progressive. None of us consider President Obama God.

      Who are you talking about? Or did you just make this up?

      • Monte Harmon

        I often hear Obama referred to as the bringer of freedom and prosperity for the downtrodden and enslaved, i.e. fulfilling a messianic role. When the state and its current leader are treated as authoritative and the solution to most problems then they have replaced God and become godlike to those who see the state and/or particular leaders in this way.

        As for the first part, I do not know anyone that considers Obama the antichrist, and I have friends in more than 10 denominations that most would consider extremely conservative or fundamentalist. Schaeffer either has knowledge of an extremely narrow slice of American Protestantism, or he is representing those he knows of very inaccurately.

        • gimpi1

          I feel your first point is a bit stretched. Saying someone can aid the economy is a long way from calling them a messiah. Virtually everyone I know is happy President Obama won out over former Governor Romney, but they are by no means pleased with everything he’s done. In my opinion, he takes much more heat from the left than former President Bush took from the right.

          In a secular democratic republic like the U.S., God is not an authority. You can believe in God, worship God, build your life around God and make every life decision around what you believe God wants of you, but you can’t demand that the rest of us to do the same. And that’s a good thing, because if you had that power, sooner or later, someone with a different concept of God would be making demands of you.

          As to the “Obama as Antichrist” bunch, I’m sure it’s a small group. It’s my misfortune to have a couple of cases of what I consider religious abuse going on around me.

          My husband’s aunt has, unfortunately fallen in with a rather odd splinter-group that broke away from the Missouri-Synod Lutheran Church. I believe her conversion was caused by a combination of emotional trauma over her husband’s death and a predatory group of proselytizers. She’s taken one of her sons and his family with her. They have suddenly become quite aggressive in End Times beliefs, centered in part around the Obama administration. Truly demented stuff. Frankly, we’re all worried about them.

          I’v also had a couple of friends convert to a splinter-group off the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists. Again, it seems to be a traumatic situation that a “friend” involved with the group capitalized on. They seem to have gone off the rails as well. They have cut off most everyone in their friends and family. For the few of us they still talk to, their conversation is only about Obama as the Antichrist, the End Times, and the need of all of us to follow them down this rabbit hole. When we refuse, we go into the “cut off” category.

          • Monte Harmon

            Google Obama and messiah together and browse a little. It’s part of the linguistic culture at this point, even if it does mean different things to different people.

          • JenellYB

            Monte….And pretend what you find is anything more than absurd fabrications created BY right winger fundamentalists in a lame efforts to try to convince gullible fools?

          • Monte Harmon

            Not too sure how to respond. I doubt if I fit any of the current categories closely enough to deserve the implication of your response, but the number of hits alone suggests this is probably coming from a variety of angles, not just one. I’ll follow some of them as I find time to do so.

          • JenellYB

            I agree with you gimpi1 all the way through on this one. Among my many friends that support Obama, and the ACA, not a one ‘worship him as god’ or in any other way see him as anything more than just a man trying to do his job. And most of us ARE Christians, as well. These right winger ideas both about their own ‘end times’ fantasies and how Obama/ACA supporters see him and ACA, are totally off the deep end crazy.

  • Jim Collis

    Fair enough, but Eric Cantor’s not a Christian. Sure does pander to ‘em though…


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