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Death of the GOP, and Subsequently the GOD

Death of the GOP, and Subsequently the GOD October 7, 2021

It was only a matter of time that America, a nation filled with immigrants and rich with cultural diversity, would finally secede from the colonial proclivities of its founders who floated over on the Mayflower.

For I seriously doubt that the puritan settlers at Plymouth had any idea that in the span of 400 years their way of life would become so threatened that they could see but one recourse: VIOLENCE. And this monumental transformation in history came to a climax in the insurrection at the Washington State Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

I am speaking, of course, to revisionist history. Let us offer our respects . . . For a country that has already been found can no longer be founded. By the time the Pilgrims arrived in 1620 North America was already filled with diversity by way of its native inhabitants. It was also well travelled by numbers of tribes to the far north as well as people from South America, long before our government started building walls to keep folks like them out.

If you were enraged by the assault on the Capitol building on Jan. 6 or decry the demise of our democracy under Trump and current members of GOP today, perhaps it’s time to think about the attempted coup in a new light: as signifying the dying days of white, patriarchal, puritan and Americanized colonial rule.

What happens when you force a beast into a corner? What does the beast do when it knows that death is nigh? Adrenalin pours into its system, it loses all objectivity, and it fights for survival at all costs. Which is precisely the reaction we are witnessing within the GOP today. / Image by Rob van der Meijden from Pixabay

What happens when you back a beast into a corner?

According to a recent Brookings’ article on data related to the 2020 U.S. census:

“. . . the 2010 to 2020 decade will be the first in the nation’s history in which the white population declined in numbers.”

“On the surface, these numbers suggest a bleak future for the Republican Party, which finds its strongest support among Whites.” Writes Justin Gest for CNN.

What happens when you force a beast into a corner? What does the beast do when it knows that death is nigh? Adrenalin pours into its system, it loses all objectivity, and it fights for survival at all costs. Which is precisely the reaction we are witnessing within the GOP today.

Yet, the human animal is quite different from a wild beast. A human animal is a social creature with a reputation to keep and a legacy to preserve. And the price that most republican senators and members of the house seem willing to pay is the loss of both their reputation and legacy as evidenced by their ongoing participation in the big lie. As such, the GOP and Republican Party in general has revealed that it possesses a salacious appetite for violence at the expense of fellow Americans. For I personally credit the GOP’s unwillingness to acknowledge the integrity of our elections as the primary reason for the current animosity and divisions in our country.

(Well, that and the algorithms Facebook and other social media platforms use to spread the big lie.) 

As if these characterizations of the Republican Party weren’t awful enough, we could add to the laundry list its assaults on voting rights, assaults on women’s rights, assaults on healthcare, assaults on minority and immigrant rights, its attempts to eliminate social programs, its denial of climate change, its pro gun policies, and its legislative efforts to widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

None of this is hyperbole. I’m merely stating the obvious; that the Republican Party does not support “We the People” anymore. It may have had a hand in drafting these words into the constitution, but it no longer serves in the best interests of its citizens. What we are witnessing today is merely the death of a once vibrant political party making a last-ditch effort to remain in power.

Question is: Is the GOP taking down God along with them?

Yes, they are, but only the version of God that most Americans are familiar with: The kind of God that is characterized in the modern, super-politicized version of Christianity. And when you look at the overall political policies of the GOP, you can see how their policies pair nicely to those of the religious right who also champion this version of God and faith.

Here’s a the most obvious of these connections:

  • The reason the GOP doesn’t support women’s equality and rights, is due to the patriarchal attitudes towards women as expressed in the Bible.
  • The reason the GOP and a vast number of Christians are unconcerned or deny climate change, is due to the belief that God is in control of what is happening on earth, not humans. And as I’ve alluded to many times in previous posts, Christianity teaches that the earth is cursed, and God is going to remake earth. So, why would we expect the GOP to care about climate change?
  • There is a reason the GOP is anti-abortion, but hypocritically, anti-just-about-everything-else when it comes to offering social assistance measures to citizens after they are born. The reason is, the GOP buys into the creation narrative that God created everyone equal. They think that no matter who you are in America everyone has an equal chance at prosperity and success just like they did. So, if anyone doesn’t succeed it’s because they’re not working hard enough, they don’t deserve to be helped.

Newsflash 1) People aren’t created equal. Christian tradition may say so, but it ain’t so.

Newsflash 2) There is no equality in America. (If anything, for 400 years politicians have been creating a way of life that favors the rich and the powerful.) Those who fail at succeeding within the framework of success they’ve administered really do need social programs and other financial remedies to survive.

Finally, there’s a biblical reason why the GOP is pro gun and tolerates an alarming amount of violence in our society. Our pilgrim forefathers rebelled against English rule, and Jesus was a rebel who rebuked the ruling forces of his day. In a quirky sort of way, the GOP embraces a certain amount of rebellious machismo within its party. So, it’s no small wonder that the party aligns itself with say . . . science deniers like the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. Many of which are becoming increasingly violent. But more significant, the GOP has also thrown their full support to the violent insurrectionists who attempted to overthrow our government.

Time to circle the wagons and bring my thoughts to a conclusion . . .

From day one America has been governed predominately by white men using a Christian-based form of theocracy as a ruler’s guide. Today, 400 years after the founding fathers set foot in this country, the lineage of this ruling class falls on the current members of Congress and the House of Representatives. In many respects, it’s the GOP, not the Democrats or Independents, who continue to govern in ways which they believe our forefathers intended. Namely, in the way that I just described. That the ruling class shall mainly consist of white males; who are educated and well-connected men of wealth, power, and influence; whose primary governing agenda is to support business and corporations; and who are also men of loyalty as signified by their allegiance to the nationalized religion of the land.

For nearly 400 years this model of governing worked out superbly for the ruling classes until America was slowly transformed into a different country through the influx of immigrants. As the immigrants arrived, they brought with them their distinctive cultures, unique traditions, inimitable values, fresh ideas—and perhaps most relevant, a wide variety of religious beliefs and spiritual perspectives about life.

This plethora of cultural diversity stands in sharp contrast to the staples of white, patriarchal and Americanized colonial rule, which the GOP is now intent to preserve at all costs. Many of its members have now ruined their reputations and political legacies and continue to support violence to maintain the reins of power.

As a personal footnote: Although I’m an atheist, I fully embrace the wide spectrum of religious and spiritual practices that exists in America. These provide a wellspring of ideas and subjective experiences to draw from. While I’m certain that the God described in the Bible does not exist, we must continue to seek out ideas that expand our sense of wonder and understanding of what it means to be human.

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About Scott R Stahlecker
Scott Stahlecker is a former minister, a proud member of the Clergy Project, and writes for Thinkadelics about the joys and benefits of living as a freethinker. He is the author of the novel Blind Guides, Picking Wings Off Butterflies and How to Escape Religion Guilt Free. You can read more about the author here.

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8 responses to “Death of the GOP, and Subsequently the GOD”

  1. They’re certainly raging against the dying of (their) light, but I think for 40 years–since Reagan–the Republicans have been encouraging their deranged base to act out. We’re seeing this in all the stories of people flipping out and attacking anyone or anything that is not exactly as they would like it.

  2. My CT relative was raging today about how the world was basically a few years from the apocalypse. I think for some people their brains just feed on the fear, negativity, anger and hatred that conspiracy theories offer them.

  3. Question for the morning: were these people’s brains carefully taught to feed on fear, negativity, etc.? I ask because I noticed something this morning.

    The local Fox affiliate tv station has the day’s weather in big numbers along the right-hand side of the screen, so it’s simple to check the day’s weather (I was wondering if it was going to rain before I ran some errands).

    While I was viewing the day’s weather, the spokesmodel was bleating about an upcoming run, an annual event in the city. It’s been going on for decades. In earlier times, I was one of the runners, and some friends of mine still run it every year. It’s a hugely-attended event and the city closes down streets along the route to car traffic because of the crush of people running.

    The spokesmodel was trying to gin up hysteria about the run being dangerous because (gasp!) there’s been CRIME in the area. Never during the run, mind you (she said that very quietly in the last seconds of the story).

    Fox has an absolute vendetta against the city and is always trying to teach people to be terrified of it. I’m sure this is planned and not random.

  4. Fear is a powerful motivator. What I’ve noticed as far as the news media goes, is that but conservative and liberal media outlets use it to get their point across. It’s worked for religions for eons.

    FOX seems to couple its fear mongering with a healthy does of violent, hateful rhetoric. Every once in a while I’ll tune into FOX, you know, just to get the opposing viewpoint on a issue, but they alway seem to be dragging some person through the dirt like they’ve just discovered him / her to be the most despicable person on the planet.

  5. You are way off the mark. And your unwarranted optimism is dangerous because it creates a false sense of security that leads to complacency and inaction. Despite the fact of shifting demographics, the Republican Party is winning big-time in the political arena (mostly through corrupt, unfair, undemocratic tactics, but that’s beside the point). Make no mistake: they are winning, and they are poised to take absolute control of the U.S. over the next couple election cycles. Republicans control at least 30 (out of 50) state legislatures. Thanks to their gerrymandering efforts in those states, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that they will take control of the House in 2022. Almost all political experts expect Republicans to gain control of the Senate as well. Conservatives already control the Supreme Court. With control of the House, the Senate, 30-plus state legislatures, and SCOTUS, Republicans will be able to pass legislation that will effectively cement their minority rule in perpetuity. They have already begun this process in Red states. The project will be completed within a decade. In short, democracy has failed in the United States. The GOP will live on in the form of a right-wing oligarchy.

  6. So, a couple of comments . . .

    First off, thanks for the comment. You seem to have a good overall grasp of what the R’s are up too, and I “pray” that you are wrong. I’d say you are being overly pessimistic, especially when compared to my “unwarranted” optimism. Given the predicament we are in within the state of politics, it’s tough to say, however, whether being an optimist or a pessimist is more effective in motivating liberal democrats to fight more for our democracy. On the one hand, like you say, being too optimistic can lead people to be complacent. On the other hand, when people are too pessimistic they have a tendency to throw in the towel and give up the fight. So, how people stay motivated is different for each individual.

    With this post, though, I wasn’t offering false hope. I believe the words I wrote. From a historical perspective, America has been getting more liberal and secular since 1620. So too have other countries and peoples from around the world. Conservatism, and its God, are dying. It’s only a matter of time before they are permanently dead.

    I personally believe we are witnessing the last gasps of the Republican Party. They are all in with their support of Trump. Every member of the GOP will forever by linked to that man’s deeds and his character. Thanks to the free press, the ongoing efforts of the Jan 6 committee, and other factors the base of support for Trump and the party is dwindling by the day. The depth and breadth of Trump’s corruption will all be exposed in short order, and the only support he and the party will have at that point is a small minority.

    I also have a great deal of faith in the American people. The vast number of Americans (to include many republicans) can see what’s happening to their country. We rallied together for the last presidential election and the Republican Party lost all power. There may be a lot of things happening in the news to lead people to believe that the republicans have the upper hand, but each action they take to take women back to the dark ages, to suppress voting rights, to continue to spread lies etc., is firing people up. Yes, people must not have a sense of false security that all will be well. But they also need to see and believe the bigger picture, that if they keep up the fight we will succeed in helping America forward.

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