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

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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.
I have a Canadian significant other and British Columbia has always been our Plan B. It only snows two days a year in Victoria.
Okay, here is the deal. What will our government allow them to do beyond what they already allow? That is the tipping point for conversation. There beliefs you see specifically with the Tea Party will show up everywhere you are today. Any efficient thought you have to make life progressive for good there is someone out there to challenge it. That is the world we live in. Can you believe any court in the nation would allow the continuous injustice of "don't ask don't tell"? It still exists! Prejudices sometimes has to be treated as road blocks, You can't always change it and fix it to go through it, sometimes you have to take another road.
Prejudices sometimes has to be treated as road blocks, You can't always change it and fix it to go through it, sometimes you have to take another road.

woa! Should we have tried another road when trying to abolish slavery? Women's right to vote? Civil Rights? It may take a while, but I don't think we should ever stop correcting societal wrongs.
That is not my point of view. I am just saying do not throw yourself under a train because you don't like what it is carrying. My concept in words is a voice of when you are confronted by the immense totality of the crowd. You should never cowar your beliefs but you should choose your battles.
I see what you're saying, Earther. On the other hand, seems like the only change that has been made in this country (such as the list Larry's talking about) have been with aggressive pushes for change. Perhaps what you're saying is knowing when to take that push. Am I correct? And if so, are we there yet?

Now it seems to me like that's exactly what the Tea Party is doing. They found a moment to launch themselves into (an attempted) massive overhaul of the government and the way our system works. They picked their time perfectly, it seems. And the sad part is, they have more aggressive voters. Sadly, I couldn't even get my husband to register to vote. :( So the change is coming from the far, far, far right. When is the right time to stand up to that and put a stop to it? Or is that an impossibility to achieve with moderates, independents, and liberals? Are we aggressive enough to make that change?
I think we need to speak the truth and then step aside. Why?, you may ask. Because it does you no good to argue with a fool. These politics are spinning like a tire going down the interstate. This tire also has a bunch of holes in it. Sooner or later the tire is going to either blow or just go flat. Meantime you should continue living your life the best way you now how. It does no good to watch the tire, fuss at the tire, or try to change the tire while it is at full speed. People who want your advice about the tire will listen and change it and the ones that don't are going to end up in the ditch. I am a visual guy so I use a lot of metaphor. You know Larry said would I just stand aside while we have all the injustices of civil rights, the civil wrongs of racism, sexism and every other "isms". The truth is no, I say what I believe, the other truth is that these injustices are all over the world. Sex slaves are rampid among children, people are racially repressed, people cannot get fairness in the work place. The list is long and horrible as if the fight never existed to correct it. Read my "prejudice atheist" blog because I point out our own prejudice at being atheist. My point there is I do not believe my atheist views are wrong. We atheists all believe we are correct. That said, we have to survive, not kill. In order to survive you need to have the laws work correctly and written clearly by our law makers so they continue to be reinforced. Then we have to do it again and again and again.




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