Each and every one of us considers their point of view sacrosanct. Nobody but a willing slave would judge their opinions worthless. Yet when it comes to a matter of debate we have a tendency for introspection, evaluating the validity of our argument. One exception to this rule is of course religious conviction.

Set in stone and considered unquestionable, the religious argument admits no doubt. Two thousand years of propaganda has resulted in it being taken as given, conventional wisdom. The cracks have always been there to see; it’s just that indoctrination has conditioned most not to look. Anybody that remembers Marlon Brando’s famous line from ‘the godfather’ ‘I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse’ need look no farther than the bible to find the inspiration for the subtle threat behind the remark.

Abortion, contraception, gay rights, Sunday shopping, Sunday drinking. Having to oppose so much social progress on account of a predetermined doctrine is the weakness inherent in all ideologies, religion being the prime example. Collective bigotry is a ball and chain shackled on progress. It’s no insignificant detail that the years when religion held sway in England are called the dark ages.

How long it takes for biblical scripture to be set in its proper place alongside Greek mythology only time will tell. In the meantime religious communities will have to be dragged, bucking and screaming, towards a future that’s just too real for them to contemplate.                                                                                                                      

 

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I think you're right. The fundies I've met all showed signs of fear for lots of different things - on top of the list was HELL. Moderate believers are less fearful.

Hypothesis: fear motivates conservatives, anger motivates progressives, guilt motivates liberals.

Evidence: years of fund raising mail from the two major parties and from organizations working for political change. All of this mail uses emotional appeals.

 

Conservative organizations use fear of change such as marriage equality, economic class warfare, socialism, and all kinds of “slippery slopes”.

Progressive organizations use anger at corporations harming the environment, and at past or present injustice such as police violence toward minorities.

Liberal organizations use guilt at seeing innocent people suffering as a result of poverty or lack of good schools.

 

Could be a straightforward political ploy Tom?

Hi Gerald (I like your name, but it is obviously misspelled:). I think you make excellent points. I am a retired clinical psychologist, active atheist, humanist, freethinker, etc. I agree that for a number of religious conservatives [RCs] they are motivated by fear. But, it is not just a fear of the wrath of their god. With the advance of science & technology--particularly as they help to explain many mysteries by applying natural law—many RCs see the beliefs they have held for a lifetime (individually) & for millennia (collectively) under attack & are fearful that all they assumed & were told were true could be wrong. So they become "fearful- aggressive."  The fear & anger we can understand. The aggressiveness & disrespect is unacceptable.

    

In addition to fear, there are far too many RCs, especially fundamentalists, who are arrogant. They are certain of their beliefs, & feel entitled to claim & pursue a “Christian Nation.” Many religious people in general don’t understand why “liberals” have attacked traditions that have been widely accepted for centuries: religious displays on government property, bible recitations in school, prayers before meetings, etc. They truly don’t understand that for all these years they have been in violation of the Constitution—if not in words, then in principle. It has taken numerous Supreme Court decisions to make some realize how they were wrong. Unfortunately, there are many who know their practices violate the Constitution or court law, but are defiant & will continue their violations.

The Religious Right has a lot of money, they are well organized, they are relentless, & have seen the value of buying politicians with money & votes to use the law to get their way. Religion, politics, & corporate power are the modern “Axis of Evil.” We have to be smart, well organized, relentless, & find wealthy support in order to prevent this unholy triumvirate from destroying our democracy.

The American People cannot afford to lose this battle.

Jerrold Gilbert

Well said.

Amen.

Jerrold, a cousin spelled his name as you do.

You did state the issues well, but I regularly tell people we Americans have democracy only on the days we elect our oligarchs.

In the 1787 Constitutional Convention, the federalists:

  • Alexander Hamilton said he wanted the rich and well born to govern, and
  • James Madison said he wanted the government to protect the "opulent minority" from the minority

A minority of delegates predicted an aristocracy or monarchy. The word "fascism" and its various forms would appear a century later.

I think we are witnessing the birth of an aristocracy of the rich Tom.

Whoops, a typo. Madison wanted the government to protect the "opulent minority" from the majority.

Too many Dems are helping Repubs create that aristocracy.

During the long conflict between the English and the Irish, the English once bribed the Irish parliament's members to go home.

In the US of A, money sometimes succeeds and sometimes fails to influence voters.

Yeah, Gerald.

Descartes' I think therefore I am was a half-truth.

He didn't feel; he only half-was.

This is true. All groups have their shibboleths, and pet beliefs. And most see themselves as doing good.

It's easy to laugh at concerns about 'slippery slopes' but in law, that is EXACTLY what often happens. In my 65 years I've seen freedom eroded continuously by well meaning  people who constantly turn to the government to coerce others to behave as they want them to. Progressives see themselves as trying to help, but often their 'helping' is more and more government regulation, and standardization, and denying of the individual. Liberal guilt can be just as manipulative as Catholic guilt.

Religious conservatism is a very specific component of conservatism in general, but the more broad definition is better put by Roger Scrotun (whom I believe is basically atheist)

 Conservatism starts from a sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created. This is especially true of the good things that come to us as collective assets: peace, freedom, law, civility, public spirit, the security of property and family life, in all of which we depend on the cooperation of others while having no means singlehandedly to obtain it. In respect of such things, the work of destruction is quick, easy and exhilarating; the work of creation is slow, laborious and dull. That is one of the lessons of the twentieth century. It is also one reason why conservatives suffer such a disadvantage when it comes to public opinion. Their position is true but boring, that of their opponents exciting but false.-

...well meaning  people who ... turn to government to coerce others....

jay, the conservative xians that Pres. Reagan invited to join the Republican Party outnumbered its Libertarians and also turn to government to coerce others.

I regularly ask Repubs if they favor big gov't or small gov't.

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