In pandering to the fanatical and the fearful -- both religion and Republicanism may have compromised their future.
First, the Republican Party seems in an awfully big rush to implode with Rush Limbaugh as its mercurial mouthpiece. The GOP's other savior, Michael Steele, is just a big mouth who seems more suited to Limbaugh's talk show gig than chairman of the Party. The GOP's first African American leader, Steele, promised a "hip hop makeover" that would attract even "one armed midgets." It is Steele, however, who is the incredibly shrinking chairman, with his promised "Big Tent" turning into a circus act.
This carnival of "conservatives" has led the once-mighty Republican Party to O.J. Simpson-like popularity levels. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll this past week put Republican approval at just 26 percent, compared to Barack Obama's 68 percent.
The state of the modern GOP was best captured on CNN's D.L. Hughley Show, when the host interviewed Frank Schaeffer. A former member of the Religious Right and author of Crazy For God, Schaeffer said the GOP had created a "hard-assed neo fascist kind of direction in America."
He went on to say, "The Republican base is now made up of religious and neoconservative ideologues and the uneducated white underclass with a token person of color up in front of the TV to obscure the all-white, all reactionary, all backward, and there is no global warming, rube reality."
The Republicans Schaefer is referring to have lately come out of the woodwork in Utah, where State Sen. Chris Buttars called GLBT advocates, "the meanest buggers". A right wing organization, America Forever, placed full-page ads in the Salt Lake dailies comparing gay men and lesbians to "druggies" and "hookers." Of course, Utah Republicans might know about these things. A new study reveals that the conservative state leads the nation with 5.47 Internet pornography subscribers per thousand.
Similar to the Republican Party, religious organizations have catered to the crazies for far too long. The "ex-gay" organization, Exodus International, is a perfect example. It travels the world to proclaim its "love" for homosexuals. Yet, a Board member, Don Schmierer, spoke at a Ugandan conference that pledged to "wipe out" gay practices. Schmierer joined Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively to urge Uganda to continue its persecution of gay people, including life prison sentences for the "crime" of homosexuality.
Last week, the Vatican defended the excommunication of a 9-year old Brazilian girl's mother and doctors, who helped abort the pregnant child's twins. The procedure was recommended because delivering these babies might have killed the 80-pound girl. The local Archbishop, Jose Cardosa Sobrinho, justified this despicable decision by saying, "God's law is above any human law."
Such transparently vindictive versions of "love" is why Christianity has lost followers in Europe and is now draining them in the United States. A new survey by researchers at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. documents that the percentage of Americans identifying as Christians has dropped to 76 percent of the population, down from 86 percent in 1990. Fifteen percent of Americans now say they have no religion at all.
It may be that socially conservative churches and their anti-gay pastors are directly responsible for much of the erosion of Christianity. Sure, their mega-churches may be growing. But, for every new person they attract, they likely turn off ten others to all religion with their vituperative sermons.
Focus on the Family's "ex-gay" road show, Love Won Out, is a perfect example of how the radicals are ruining the image of Christianity. The conference may lure a few self-loathing dupes who briefly claim they have "prayed away the gay." But, for every temporary convert (It rarely, if ever, lasts a lifetime) they turn off thousands of gay people to all religious belief. How does Focus on the Family justify this as a "win"?
Even as the Religious Right rapidly contracts, conservatives are foolishly demanding that Republicans veer further right. Come to think of it, Rush Limbaugh may be the perfect leader for a party intent on alienating the majority while talking endlessly and aimlessly to itself.
Churches are not "places of worship," but simply "social clubs for religious Narcissists." They have one true talent, and that is showing their true colors. Finally, America is waking up to this fact and is apparently learning a simple truth: Just because someone shows up wearing the vestments of holiness doesn't mean they're holy.
Quite the opposite; it usually proves that they have something deep, devious and dark to hide and simply need a good cover. But the Emperor has no clothes. America is poised to dump Christianity, and what a glorious day THAT will be.
Christians have always treated people like garbage. They have allowed our country to pollute the world because "Jesus is coming soon" anyway. Why are we all so afraid to say that it's bullshit? The Jesus story is bullshit. Why is it so wrong to say that? Since when did speaking the truth become a sacrilege?
Radical Muslims fly planes into buildings in hopes of "paradise," and "God's chosen people" line their pockets with filthy, stolen lucre because, of course, they are His Chosen; they cannot hide their sense of entitlement.
Even the "mainline" Protestant sects still can't agree, in the year 2009, that gay people might actually be able to serve God as well as straight people can and might even bring their own special gifts to the faith. The Episcopal church is in trouble because someone dared to say that maybe a gay man could bless people, too. These aren't "people of God;" they're people who think they ARE God, and, like their version of the Almighty, they need someone to look down upon.
In the name of "morality," religious people have behaved like savages. And now, people's eyes have been opened, and there is no turning back. Joseph has lost his dreamcoat.
Personally, I make no bones about the fact that I hope for the demise of religion. Once religion is gone, maybe people will finally concentrate on goodness for a change instead of dogma and discrimination. Maybe they'll treat everyone like a brother or a sister then.
posted by Chris L., at
3/10/2009 7:09 PM
It's no surprise that Utah has a high internet porn rate, this is what always happens when people are so repressed and oppressed that they're scarcely allowed to be human. I mentioned to a woman I know from Lebanon, that I had read that the Muslim countries have some of the highest rates of internet porn usage in the world and she said that didnt surprise her at all.
posted by gary, at
3/10/2009 11:45 PM
I am personally pagan and I look forward to seeing the decline and eventual downfall of monotheistic religion, espcially Christianity. They have done nothing but persecute LGBT people and others who don't buy into their hypocritical bullshit. If the Repugs support them, they, too, deserve to go down with the ship.
posted by Merlyn, at
3/11/2009 1:43 AM
Maybe the right wing within the Grand Obstructionist Party should take a look at the very interesting article below. Their days are definitely numbered if what this article states is to be believed. I only hope it comes to fruition, not fast enough for me personally.
Robert, I love that article. The amazing thing is that the fundamentalists have had their chance. They have a right to their beliefs no matter how offensive, but they have never considered changing their BEHAVIOR. They persecute LGBTs and many others. They actually hate the American way; they do not want equality for all or participation by all. They would lash people if they could, don't kid yourself.
The homophobes quote seemingly anti-homosexual passages from those books of scripture that they themselves, centuries ago, chose as holy while avoiding the fact that Jesus said, "Do unto others as you would have them do until you." Jesus didn't say "some" others. Who are these people kidding?
This shows that they don't actually believe in Jesus or his teachings. They simply use the fundamentalist construct as a vehicle with which to employ their bigotries, prejudices and feelings of self-superiority. It's psychological "personality identification" with God. They think they are God. Haven't you ever wondered why they hate psychology? :)
The country really is onto them now. There will be a vast falling away from Christianity. They have brought the Apostasy upon themselves. Everyone deserves respectful treatment, even "the homosexuals." Just because they disagree with us doesn't give them a right to abuse us in person or in the law. Their behavior has alienated the whole world. Just look at Proposition 8. They have behaved, and continue to behave, in disgusting ways.
posted by Chris L., at
3/11/2009 10:25 AM
IMAGINE NO RELIGION
And..as Mark Twain said: “I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious--except he purposely shut the eyes of his mind & keep them shut by force.” -- Mark Twain, Mark Twain's Notebooks and Journals, Notebook 27, August 1887-July 1888, edited by Frederick Anderson (1979). Cited by James Haught in 2,000 Years of Disbelief.
And also, "Faith is beliving in something you know ain't so!"
Maybe the Limbaughs, Dobsons, Buttars and christianity should open their eys...goodness...one would think they would get tired of walking backwards into that good night....or is that holy good night...whatever!
posted by Walter L., at
3/11/2009 11:19 AM
Chris, yes, its a good article and very welcome news. I just hope it really does happen. Already, Europe has seen a significant decline in worship and I think that's why we're now seeing the Vatican for example lashing out at Obama's recent lifting of the ban on stem cell research.
I read a news article yesterday that stated that Governor Paterson honored Cardinal Egan with an award for services to the state, whatever that is. Several bishops and more than 1,000 catholic activists are now lobbying the legislature about marriage equality and abortion issues. Looks like they're trying to get some kind of Prop. H8 going. I think if anything, the right wing cultists are going to be even more galvanized once they realize they're losing power and control. One way to nail them hard is to take away their tax-exempt status for starters. Imagine if we had a national movement from coast to coast, gay and straight allies alike intent on making that a reality.
To digress just a bit, I received the following article from the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) regarding Rush Limbaugh's imminent conversion to Judaism. I hope this is a hoax, I can't imagine him converting to Judaism with so much hatred and right wing ideology he espouses. Here's the article.
Robert, no self-respecting Jew would ever have anything to do with Limbaugh.
Come to think of it, no self-respecting person of any sort would have anything to do with that man. :-)
posted by Chris L., at
3/12/2009 7:28 PM
Chris, unless they are orthodox jews or right wing evangelicals and extremist muslims. All of them have one thing in common, hatred of gay people and in some instances call for our deaths. So I would assume that the National Jewish Democratic Council includes right wing jewish members too. Its a crazy world for sure. I emailed them to find out if its a hoax, but haven't heard back from them yet.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
3/13/2009 9:34 AM
Chris, I found out that the NJDC article on Rush Limbaugh was indeed a Purim joke! Pretty dumb either way if you ask me and what was the point in doing that?
posted by Robert, NYC., at
3/14/2009 10:17 AM
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