Have Republicans Turned into a Weird Religious Cult? -- AlterNet

A burning question for some of us has been answered. Was the Bush administration seriously committed to the religious right or was it using them? A writer at AlterNet answers:

"For many of the people at the top of the party, this is merely cynical manipulation. One of Bush's former advisers, David Kuo, has said the President and Karl Rove would mock evangelicals as "nuts" as soon as they left the Oval Office. But the ordinary Republican base believe this stuff. They are being tricked into opposing their own interests through false fears and invented demons. Last week, one of the Republicans sent to disrupt a healthcare town hall started a fight and was injured - and then complained he had no health insurance. I didn't laugh; I wanted to weep."

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Yes, they have. But in their version of the Bible, Jeebus threw the tax collectors out of the temple, not the money changers. Hmm. That sounds vaguely like a parable. Over the heads of the Republicans, i'm afraid.
Actually, Repubs have re-translated the Booble. It now reads, "A rich man will no sooner enter the Kingdom than a camel will pass through the Holland Tunnel."
I think the Religious Right started hijacking the Republican Party back in the 80's and the party saw they could manipulate this base like the sheep that they are. Over time though, the party is reaping now what it sowed and has to pander the monster it created. We have to hope they are never in a position to elect some End-Time Rapture nutcase (like Palin) who would kill us all for some twisted, morbid fantasy of Global Genocide.
To paraphrase Lincoln:

You can fool some of the fools some of the time, but some of the fools are fooling themselves all of the time.
But why do some of us escape? Does it have to do with being raised in a "liberal" faith? (I was: Episcopalianism.) Does it have to do with parents who sometimes exhibit hints that they are not 100% convinced it's not all bullshit? (My father seemed to only go to church because my mother wanted him to.) Does it have to do with getting a liberal arts education? (I went to a church-subsidized university for my B.A. and had to take six hours of Booble; O.T. first semester, New, the second -- but then I went on and took six more hours in comparative religion, so I got an exposure to all of it.) Or are these all factors that led me to turn against faith in favor of reason?
I've wondered for a long time how people escape the clutches of the death cults. The church of my upbringing wasn't particularly liberal or fundamentalist (some flavor of Baptist). I just never could see what everyone else was talking about, despite trying very hard to believe. It just never made enough coherent sense to me, and I couldn't convince myself to just not worry about the inconsistencies. I think people have varying levels of tolerance for cognitive dissonance, which is probably partly determined by natural variations in brain chemistry. As Twain said, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." If you aren't comfortable with that, you become an atheist when you find out more about religion.
Yes, but aside from being wickedly sacrilegious all my life, how on earth did I finally, at the ripe age of about 64, arrive at the position where I say to myself, "You know, this stuff is just pure bullshit. There's not an ounce of truth to it. It ain't borne out by fact," &c. Yeah, reading Harris was part of it, but that only confirmed suspicions I already had.
I realized by the time I finished catholic high school that religions were definitely invented by man. (Infallible Pope? - Who says?) It took me about another 20 years to come to the conclusion man created god too. People are so rational about so much of their lives and then decide OK, for this faith part, I'm just suspending all reason to believe what some ignorant goat herder wrote in a book 2000 years ago. I bet you just finally realized not to believe the goat herder anymore and trust the evidence in front of you. (I wonder if you had a fear of hell also? Eternal burning is a powerful motivator.) I'm a big believer in pounding the relative ignorance of any religion's founders and waking people up to it. My 8 year old daughter knows the moon goes around the earth and the earth goes around the sun, but I bet her imagination could come up with a new religion that makes more sense.
Good point. A religious person deconverting late in life is a little different. Still, people's brains do change over time, from the waxing and waning of neurotransmitters to the crusty buildup of synaptic interconnections sometimes referred to as "knowledge". I'd guess you just finally accumulated enough awareness of the illogic to say, "Just a dang minute there, pardner!" Or maybe whatever it is that let's us hold mutually exclusive ideas to be simultaneously true wore down in your case. I'm guessing that part is more chemical. And as Jacqueline points out, there is the matter of exposure to other ideas, though that doesn't always (or even often) work. Still, it's harder to deconvert if you have to do all the thinking on your own.
But it makes ME uncomfortable.
Wrote this verse based on the article above:

Grand Old Phantoms: Cult Crisis #republicans #birthers #deathers #sonnet http://bit.ly/tRsJc
Grand Old Phantoms: Cult Crisis

The party of Lincoln becoming a cult? Oh my.

Delusions and lying hucksters are the drivers.

Appealing to the plebes darkest fears is their cry

To those seeing themselves as poor white survivors.

From birthers to deathers and tea baggers in between

The party is scraping bottom of the melting pot.

With shallow patriotic slogans and pricks to the spleen

It’s stirring nativists, militias and keeping them hot.

Republicans and the South in serious numbers

Believe the patent lies and fear enemy phantoms:

The acquiescing leadership of bumblers

Are all slipping to slimy ethical bottoms.

The danger of this is there is no distance or space

From loose gun assassins: Republicans, a disgrace.




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