Ain't No Disclaimer Around Here
Let's have a little fun.
The well engineered integration of ancient evangelical patriarchy with a convenient collection of modern faux "conservative" positions has left the predictable gathering of "strange bedfellows" deeply embedded in modern GOP mythology. The resulting hybrid religion which seems to have been birthed almost spontaneously from these disparate interests is a cynical, grotesque, political monstrosity with only essentially carefully obscured ties to the ambitions of the oligarchs the thing was designed to serve.
But, "serve them" it does.
By pinning these poorly disguised, shadowy fabrications of Ayn Rand's Objectivism to the Old Rugged Cross, the right wing think tanks were able to effortlessly [i.e. at very little cost to their plutocratic sponsors] engage millions of "true believing" Americans, persuading them, in a biblical sense, that "up is down."
MeanMesa has created a term which offers a blanket definition of these types. That word is: "religionist." It designates a modern person embracing any named or unnamed religious tradition and insisting upon applying either accurate or inaccurate interpretations of ancient mythological precepts to decisions about contemporary problems.
All of this would amount to little more than an arcane "souvenir," perhaps a cock tail party "conversation starter," if the unruly phenomenon didn't dependably drag millions of voters to the ballot boxes. That is the manipulative potential which interests the oligarchs so much.
The massive adjacent enterprise of highly profitable dirty shirt preachers, filching millions from these same "followers" can be the topic of another MeanMesa post. Let's just say that whatever is left in these check books after the weekly patriotic "gift" to Freedom Works is easy prey for the "ministers'" love offerings.
Tea Party and the Right
Right-Wing is Filled with Biblical Illiterates:
They'd Be Shocked by Jesus' Teachings
If They Ever Picked Up a Bible
Jesus wouldn't have supported food stamps?
What often comes as a surprise to your average Sunday wine-and-cracker Christian is the New Testament did not fall from the sky the day Jesus’ ghost is said to have ascended to Heaven. The New Testament is a collection of writings, 27 in total, of which 12 are credited to the authorship of Paul, five to the Gospels (whoever wrote Luke also wrote Acts), and the balance remain open for debate i.e. authorship unknown. Jesus himself wrote not a single word of the New Testament. Not a single poem, much less an op-ed article on why, upon reflection, killing your daughter for back chat is probably not sound parenting.
The best argument against a historical Jesus is the fact that none of his disciples left us with a single record or document regarding Jesus or his teachings. So, who were the gospel writers? The short answer is we don’t know. What we do know is that not only had none of them met Jesus, but also they never met the people who had allegedly met Jesus. All we have is a bunch of campfire stories from people who were born generations after Jesus’ supposed crucifixion. In other words, numerous unidentified authors, each with his own theological and ideological motives for writing what they wrote. Thus we have not a single independently verifiable eyewitness account of Jesus—but this doesn’t stop Republicans from speaking on his behalf.
What we do know about Jesus, at least according to the respective gospels, is that Jesus’ sentiments closely echoed the social and economic policies of the political left. The Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount read like the mission statement of the ACLU: “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is kingdom of heaven,” “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” and “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Jesus also said, “Judge not he who shall not be judged,” and “Sell what you have and give it to the poor.”
So, when Republicans accuse Obama of being a brown-skinned socialist who wants to redistribute the wealth, they’re thinking of Jesus. Stephen Colbert joked, “Jesus was always flapping his gums about the poor but never once did he call for a tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent of Romans.”
Biblical illiteracy is what has allowed the Republican Party to get away with shaping Jesus into their image. That's why politicians on the right can get away with saying the Lord commands that our healthcare, prisons, schools, retirement, transport, and all the rest should be run by corporations for profit.
Ironically, the Republican Jesus was actually a devout atheist—Ayn Rand—who called the Christian religion “monstrous.” Rand advocated selfishness over charity, and she divided the world into makers versus takers. She also stated that followers of her philosophy had to chose between Jesus and her teachings.
When the Christian Right believes it’s channelling Jesus when they say it’s immoral for government to tax billionaires to help pay for healthcare, education and the poor, they’re actually channelling Ayn Rand. When Bill O’Reilly claims the poor are immoral and lazy, that’s not Jesus, it’s Ayn Rand.
The price this country has paid for biblical illiteracy is measured by how far we’ve moved toward Ayn Rand’s utopia. In the past three decades, we’ve slashed taxes on corporations and the wealthy, destroyed labor unions, deregulated financial markets, eroded public safety nets, and committed to one globalist corporate free-trade agreement after another. Rand would be smiling down from the heaven she didn’t believe in.
With the far-right, Republican-appointed majority on the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Koch brothers' Citizens United, the flow of billions of dollars from anonymous donors to the most reliable voting bloc of the Republican Party—the Christian Right—will continue to perpetuate the biblically incompatible, anti-government, pro-deregulation-of-business, anti-healthcare-for-all, Tea Party American version of Christianity.