Religious Right: Racist? or just Crazy?

Can Christianity be rescued from Christians? Are Fundamentalist Christians Crazy?

We’ve all seen some pretty bizarre behavior from a sub-set of the right since election day: marches on Washington, cries of poverty from people driving expensive SUVs, louder cries of discrimination from the largest religious movement in the country, cries that the President is not a citizen even though it has been as conclusively shown that he is, cries during … well, a lot of crying. And very little in the way of facts. No facts at all, in fact. Why? What explains all the anger and baseless accusations?

Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God, in an interview on the Rachel Maddow show says they’re either racist, or crazy, and he thinks crazy is the better explanation. They do, after all, see everything as being a sign of the “end times” that was predicted two thousand years ago.

Best quote: a village cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

Truthfully, there is a real inability to ever reach these people since they assume any fact that opposes their world view is made up by Satan. It’s almost like they just have to be ignored until they decide they want to be part of society again.

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One Comment on “Religious Right: Racist? or just Crazy?”

  1. Benjamin Steele Says:

    I enjoyed the video. 🙂 It’s a scary world, but I appreciate that guy telling it like it is.

    I think he might be focusing too much on extremists. That is an important focus, but it’s like focusing on terrorists. What you have to worry about is the mainstream people who are easily swayed through fear towards the extremist position.

    The extremists wouldn’t have a voice if people in the mainstream didn’t support them. The author does mention it a little bit speaking in terms of the Republican party. It takes careful analysis to understand why otherwise normal people would be drawn towars extremism.

    My dad is a Republican and a Christian, but he has always had a moderate and libertarian bent to him. He is very much an intellectual and isn’t an evangelist, but as he ages he seems to be more easily swayed by emotion (especially the fear-mongering of Fox pundits). He still is very rational and capable of logically arguing his positions, but more pivotal are the motivations behind those positions.

    What worries me isn’t whether Glenn Beck says something that may have a kernel of truth but rather the presentation (however, the kernel of truth can give an appearance of justification to the presentation). I saw a video where Beck seemed to be trying to rationalize homicide and it was, believe it or not, O’Reiley who was the voice of reason that argued against such a rationalization.

    My dad, in the past, practically considered me a traitor because I said I wouldn’t fight in a war if I considered it immoral. Recently, my brother told me that my dad had said he would pick up arms and fight against the government if it came to that. The difference between those two statements is about 10 yrs.

    Why this change? My dad was never a conspiracy theorist and has always considered himself patriotic. I’ve been listening to the conspiracy theorists for years and I’ve never trusted the government, but I’m a liberal and even in my mistrust I’m a moderate. However, people like my dad and Beck act like converts to paranoia, and converts always make the worse extremists.

    It isn’t that I necessarily disagree with all or most of what my dad believes. It’s just I mistrust the emotional persuasion of a Glenn Beck as much as I mistrust big government.

    Even though Beck is a Mormon, he sounds like an evangelist and I suspect he resonates with most evangelists. I saw another video of Beck where he spoke of America being found on Christianity, but he also spoke of his belief in Randian libertarianis. Basically, this translates into a Christianity of individual freedoms and punishments but no social moral duty or compassion.

    This evangelical-like libertarianism is precisely what my dad ascribes to. My dad supported the Rand corporation and he was a business profesor, but in the past decade Christianity has slowly become the center of his attention.

    The odd part is that I’m drawn towards some libertarian vaues and so it’s not as if I’m in polar opposition to Beck’s values per se. I respect that he understands the idea of separation of church and state (at least he understands it in theory). I’m a bit mixed in my response to this new breed of conservative. I can’t say that I fully understand what Beck is aiming for, what his ideal nation would like.

    The weird thing is that the entire definitions of liberal and conservative are shifting. I’ve recently noticed many liberal turned neo-cons agreeing with conservatives on certain issues. As for libertarians, they’re a mixed bunch. I suspect the alliance between the Randians and the evangelists is a very uneasy alliance. Some libertarians see no useful alliance at all between themselves and evangelists, but people like Beck are trying to sway the non-Christian Randians to their side.

    My ultimate disagreement is with the libertarians (Christian or not) is if we take away big government then all that is left is big business. Capitalism only works to the degree it’s based on a moderated freedom rather than free-for-all. Big government may be bad, but I don’t know if it’s the worse thing to fear. Anyways, what is this strange connection between Godless capitalism and God-fearing fundamentalism?

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