I would like to do a piece on my blog, Releasing Religion, regarding mixing God & government.  And I'd like to know what opinions people have here about doing such a thing.  Some points to mention are:

Glenn Beck is well known for arguing that we have misunderstood that founding fathers & their desire to keep church & state separate.  Holding his rally on 8/28, he gathered 150.000 people to hear him talk about bringing out country "back to God".  What do you think it would do to our country to "get back to God"? 

The Tea Party has been called racist Chrisotcrats. In their recent convention, most conference sessions began with prayers.  What do you think of the Tea Party?  Do you know very little about them?  Do you know a lot?  Please share your thoughts here.

The piece will be posted on www.releasingreligion.blogspot.com

Tags: 8/28, Beck, Christocrats, Glenn, Honor, Party, Rally, Restoring, Tea

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All I know of the tea party is what I've seen and read on the popular news. I'll admit to not having studied them in great detail.

But from what I have seen they do terrify me. Even Rupert Murdoch and Karl Rove oppose them. Michael Bloomberg calls them a temporary fad comparing them to the Ross Perot supporters in the nineties. He has been very vocal in supporting the opposing democratic candidates (Andrew Cuomo and Harry Reid) and also speaking against their platforms (Immigration Reform and a repeal of the 14th Amendment). Not bad for a moderate republican, even if goes by the title of independent.

The word irrational doesn't seem to fit, we need something more extreme. Take health care for example: They feel that insurance companies should be prohibited in denying health care in cases with pre existing conditions and want to increase the drug benefits for medicare patients. Both of which they opposed while the bill was being debated. It is a major point of theirs to repeal the health care bill even though it contains provisions which they are arguing for.

Take a look at some of their main players,

Glenn Beck, called Obama a racist with a deep seeded hatred for white people or white culture.

Sharron Angle, "If we don't win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?"

Christine O'Donnell, "Please remind me what the fourteenth amendment is" (even though it was in the news almost every single day).

Sarah Palin, Too many to list, you could actually write a book of her political mishaps.

The tea party has made this liberal agree with the likes of Karl Rove, in thinking they're nuts, Rupert Murdoch, they are not good for America, and also with Bloomberg in waiting for them to disappear.
Climate change and the Tea Party:
Stupid is the common denominator.
This is great perspective, Fred, thank you. Haidt has a video presentation of his theory on the TED website.

My only question for you is, does Sweden have any room for American immigrants? I'm thinking you may get 17% of our population (the atheists) trying to join you if the Tea Party takes over our political process. I would consider moving there myself if only my wife could put up with the cold and darkness, which she can't. It looks like I'm stuck living with the nutjobs.
Will it be that bad if they win? I don't really know, but I suppose we'll find out shortly (assuming some win, which is likely).

There always has and always will be ignorant people among our elected officials. It's just that these particular ignorant people are very good at hijacking and aborting the political process (through filibusters and other political hi-jinks). They also have an emotional "Mob" of more ignorant, and very loud, people supporting them, so they get a disproportionate voice in the media and public discourse. Hell, they even have their own media network (Fox and right wing radio)/

It is very discouraging to me to see as a citizen to see my countrymen celebrate ignorance while dismissing intellect and competence. Where will this lead?

It is somewhat comforting to know that the US isn't alone in the move to the right, although I bet we are several magnitudes of order to the right of where Sweden or the other Nordic countries are starting from.

I'm glad we are providing some amusement value to the Swedes. A disaster in the making always makes an interesting show.
Hopefully the "Rally to Restore Sanity" will have a really good turn out and media coverage. That will begin to restore my hope for this country.
My parents and brother are going. I am so proud of them.
I'll be going as well joining my brother and sister in-law who are travelling from Alaska. My brother said he needed a good dose of sanity.
Larry, what do you think it will do to our government if the election predictions are correct and we get all these massively conservative politicians in Congress?
well, some would say that we have had massively conservative politicians in govt since 1980. Read this blog post for the perspective of another AN member.

I guess it's all a matter of perspective. There are some that don't even consider the current tea party candidates as conservative enough, while others, me included, think Obama is conservative - or at least he is governing in a conservative manner.

Re what will happen, I hope they get embarrassed and shamed by their simplistic solutions - like Kansas did when they tried to teach creationism in school. It's going to be an interesting carnival show to watch for the next couple of years.
Fantastic blog post, Larry. There is no doubt that Conservatism/Tea Party have been creations for the rich. Yet I know so many middle class people who follow the ideals as well, and I can only chalk it up to these reasons:

1. Religious Ideology (They are devoutly Christian, and want to see more of god in the government).
2. Family (They were raised this way and don't know how to think for themselves)
3. Fear (Just as the author of that blog mentioned, there is an air of change in conservatism).
4. Self-Preservation (Why should I bother helping the little guy? Why shouldn't my own hard work pay off?)

While in a discussion with a conservative friend of mine, I asked him what he thought of the health care reform. He absolutely thought it was a terrible thing, and that we should all make do for ourselves. Then I told him about my nephew, who has hemophilia, and how he will probably struggle his whole life to get decent medical care due to his pre-existing condition. What about people like him?

There was no answer to that. I shrugged, saying, "Life's not so black and white as you make it out to be."
I think you have it right on, but as a former conservative, I'd have to add 4 additional reasons that might apply:

1. Social Conformity: Nearly all my family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers and former church members were on the conservative side of the balance sheet. Just like a religious affiliation, it's hard to be different when nearly everyone you know and love has the same views

2. Pride: Let's face it "Conservative" sure sounds good doesn't it! If it were actually a true description of the ideology, it would be a label one could proudly wear. But just like a religion, once you peel back the skin, it's rotten to the core.

Those two reasons are what did it for me. At the time, I just didn't have the critical thinking skills to overcome the need to be like everyone else.

The final two reasons are what I think sucked a dear friend into being a hard core Tea Party member:

3. To defer blame away from oneselfs own shortcomings (help me with a better word for this if you can): "John" is a small business owner. I won't go into details, but the businesses are suffering. Why? Certainly it could not have been because of the business strategy, execution, competitive pressures or economic environment -the failure must be because of "Big Govt".

4. Emotional Gullability: He has listened to right wing radio for years, decades perhaps. Rush and gang are very good at what they do. They use their mouthpieces to rant and rave on all of the reasons you mentioned in your original post. I don't think the Tea Party or conservatism would exist in it's current state without the televangelists preaching the sermon to the sheep. again, it's very similiar to the megachurches. where would christianity be without Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard and Joel Olstein?
All good points, Larry, though I maintain that the right-wing bullshit-o-sphere is actually really bad at propaganda. It only succeeds because so many people are so bad at critical thinking. Any five-minute snatch of "persuasion" from Rush, Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, ad nauseum, is so full of huge holes it's ridiculous. Only those who don't know or care about logical flaws would think it makes sense.

It all comes down to fear. Fear of being different, of not belonging, of foreigners, of complex and/or large things. Government debt and deficit are not any more frightening than a mortgage, unless we don't have enough to pay them off. We do. We're just unable to tax the idle rich (and I mean to say that the rich are not that interested in creating jobs or value in the economy) because the rubes have been frightened into thinking that their own tax bills will go up.


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