Sunday, July 12, 2015

Has The Republican Party Destroyed Christianity?

Christendom's End
Not by siege, sword, catapult or mace,
but rather by ambition's poisonous embrace.

It's usually a good idea to introduce whatever shards of history might be readily available -- without any regard whatsoever as to likely credibility -- about such an incendiary topic. Facing this necessity, we may as well, quite reasonably, begin with Pope Urban II's declaration of war over the real estate matter of Jerusalem's ownership in 1095. That decision led to countless illiterate European farm boys tediously walking from slave-like servitude the feudal fields of the day's Christian Kings to the Ottoman border in one bloody Crusade after another for the next several centuries.

Of course Pope Urban's fatwa was almost certainly not the beginning of this blood drenched nonsense, but it does represent a convenient point of departure for use as a "date anchor" in this discussion. By the final collapse of the Third, Fifth or even Seventh Crusade, there were plenty of folks thoroughly disgusted with the idea of unending religious wars being fought to the death by hundreds of thousands of peasants who knew very little about the conflicts beyond what their priests and muftis had told them.

The Islamic armies of the Ottoman Empire, at one point or another, captured Spain, most of the Middle East and North Africa, Venice and Constantinopolis [modern Istanbul]. These "Turkish" troops were better educated, better fed and better equipped that the peasant armies of the Christian Kings. They also enjoyed generally superior, college educated field commanders. After a few decades of bloody conflict with the Europeans, the citizens of the Empire had little sympathy or respect for the Christians and very little appetite for co-existence.

Christian religionists reveal an arrogant side of themselves as they, reviewing this grisly account, applaud what they clearly perceive as the apparently supernatural durability "the old rugged cross" Any mythology less narcotically enervating would have been history before the first drips of "infidel" blood had clotted in the Judean dirt. 

Unhappily, this old scam is not over -- by a "long shot." The GOP's "trailer park" voting base is eager and ready to launch their sons right back into another repetition of this mayhem. The unemployed "Christian hating" boys in Syria are taught to dream of a future Islamic caliphate; the unemployed "Muslim hating" boys in the dreary swamps of the deep South are taught to dream of a modern US theocracy --  the Western version of the same dream.

The oligarchs have no interest at all in whether or not such a theocracy ever materializes. Their interest is entirely with the advantages of exploiting a voting block perennially mesmerized with the dream of a theocracy.

One of George W. Bush's more egregious faux pas occurred in Jordan just before the invasion of Iraq when he referred to his wet dream of the impending military adventure as "a Crusade." [Think of a fart in a spacesuit.]

In any event MeanMesa already can anticipate that a post like this one will have the email buzzing like mosquitoes at a blood bank in no time at all, but that expectation is no reason to hesitate even for so long as "a New York minute."

The Rise and Fall of the "Moral Majority"
Jerry Falwell's Ultimate Old Testament  PR Scam and
Reagan's Very Useful 20th Century Political Fatwa

It's never been considered "Constitutional good taste" to claim that one political pitch or another was exceptionally embellished by "God's grace." However, likewise, not a single day has passed since the Boston Tea Party when some dirty shirt preacher has not "blended" his political ambitions and aspirations with an implied "authorization" which arrived from the divinity in a sacred note dispatched exclusively to him.

Although President Ronnie definitely had more than his share of "foggy" moments, his handlers made sure that a crack team of public opinion manipulating, high grade, psychological experts were constantly on hand to steer the "Gipper's" otherwise wavering course. THOSE guys were the ones who spotted the "unexploited resource" of disgruntled, restive Christians populating the ranks of Ronnie's most fervent proselytes.

Further, those disgruntled Christians were, in fact, disgruntled for the very reason that "things" in the US were simply not going along the lines described in the Old Testament. Confused? Maybe this will help: "Facts meant nothing."

Jerry with homosexual
Tele-Tubby Tinky Winky [image]
Joining the mindless ranks of the "Moral Majority" almost instantly provided precisely what was needed to assist these proselytes to emerge from these "conveniently Biblical" doldrums of theirs. For starters the President's manipulators convinced them that they were being "oppressed" by the less Holy -- mainly Democrats and liberals. This sentiment was especially pervasive in the states of the Confederacy following the Civil Rights movement.

Nationwide, Republican "Holy Men" [Billy Graham, Pat Robertson and others, but especially Jerry Falwell.] instantly snatched the momentarily dangling tail rope of the thing, embellishing and reaffirming every one of these Old Testament complaints with a constant tide of incendiary evangelistic rhetoric.

The "marriage" between the Republican Party and the wandering, disgruntled, stumbling, evangelical base was consummated before sundown of the first day. It has remained a "marriage made in heaven" since then, even though things have not necessarily been "roses, simply roses" at all times. It turns out that Republicans had been taught during their earliest childhoods that "competition is sacred," and predictably, given that they were already neck deep in this unquestionably quite abnormal religious-political hodge podge, they began competing with each other to determine which among them was MORE Holy than the others.

The nature of these Old Testament complaints also became more and more important. Although the lives of these proselytes were, over all, quite pleasant when compared to the lives led by folks in the biblical past, and, in fact, also quite pleasant when compared to other people living else where on the planet, Ronnie's "psych experts" gradually convinced them that instead of being quite pleasant, their lives were, instead, a living torture being fomented upon them by, you guessed it, the "less Holy."

When any natural occurrence such as a hurricane or a drought came along the Republican "Holy Men" would, without fail, promote the idea that God was punishing these already diligently suffering proselytes for violating certain "rules" in which God was extremely interested. Of course, although there was no way for anyone to particularly know anything about such "rules," the Republican "Holy Men" turned out to be experts who knew the details of almost everything important that was on God's mind -- particularly if this or that "rule" turned out to be politically useful.

As "things" moved along a new "idea" began to be incorporated in the political side of the religious-political hodge podge. This was that Republicans were, in fact, obviously God's "chosen ones," and that Democrats, poor people, liberals and minorities of all sorts were, well, not "chosen ones" at all.

Elections became "re-affirmations" of faith.

WIKI has a fairly good article on the Moral Majority. [Read the entire article  here WIKI/MORAL MAJORITY] The WIKI sections titled "Dissolution" and "Organizational goals and composition" are of especial interest for this post. While going to such depth in the historical basis for what we see today may seem a bit academic, please pay careful attention to the structure [highlighted in darker red] of this original form of the organization with respect to similarities in the more modern case. [Footnoting in the original WIKI article is disabled]

Dissolution [Moral Majority]

By the end of Ronald Reagan's presidential administration, Christian Right organizations were generally in a phase of decline. After Reagan's two terms in office, donations were decreasing, possibly because after eight years of Christian Right-supported leadership, the nation did not appear to donors to be in the same state of moral peril as they perceived it to be when Reagan first took office. The Moral Majority's financial base seriously eroded when it became part of the Liberty Federation and financial difficulties ultimately were a major factor in the decision to disband the organization. Falwell, though, gave a more optimistic public opinion about the Moral Majority's dissolution. Announcing the disbandment of the Moral Majority in 1989 in Las Vegas, Falwell declared, "Our goal has been achieved…The religious right is solidly in place and … religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration."

1989 - Las Vegas

Organizational goals and composition

The Moral Majority sought to mobilize conservative Americans to become politically active on issues they thought were important. A variety of tactics were used to garner support. These tactics included direct-mail campaigns, telephone hot lines, rallies, and religious television broadcasts. Although the Moral Majority existed for only a decade, it became a visible political force very shortly after its founding and was relatively effective in its mobilization goals. According to Robert Liebmanand Robert Wuthnow, common explanations for this success include:

The Moral Majority was founded with strong financial backing already in place.
The Moral Majority’s leaders were in frequent communication with its constituents, enabling consistent messages to resonate throughout all levels of hierarchy.
The Moral Majority’s leaders generally had previous organizational experience.
The general public was amenable to the issues the Moral Majority emphasized.

Some issues for which the Moral Majority campaigned included:
Promotion of a traditional vision of family life
Opposition to media outlets that promote an "anti-family" agenda
Opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment and Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
Opposition to state recognition or acceptance of homosexual acts.
Outlawing abortion, even in cases involving incest, rape or in pregnancies where the life of the mother is at stake.
Support for Christian prayers in schools
Marketing to Jews and other non-Christians for conversion to conservative Christianity

[Emphasis added]

At this point the Owners of the Republican Party were ecstatic. Of course this clutch of craven billionaires couldn't possible care any less about the "salvation" of the country. That had never been any sort of priority for them, but when the real prospect of easily manipulating a majority block of GOP voters with this style of propaganda arose, it was as if every last one of them had suddenly been handed a "free heroin and cheap sex sandwich."

The Moral Majority's Unsurprising Resurrection
The long dead are even less attractive when they once again begin to talk.
The corpse had "matured" by 2015.

Of course the official "end date" of the Moral Majority amounted to little more than a minor notation on the thing's tax exempt IRS filing. It had become far too politically valuable for the billionaires financing it to simply let it drift off "into the sunset."

However, rather than "resting in peace" for these interregnum years, the idea of the Moral Majority had grown even more rancid and petulant than it had been prior to its previous "demise." Not surprisingly, the old name was demolished by the think tank PR guys. The new "replacement" movement would have no unifying name at all, no bothersome theocratic tenets squawked over its own network broadcasts, and -- with that new freedom of being nameless and tenet-free -- the movement would also be free of any "authorized spokesmen" of the Jerry Falwell ilk. [Jerry had a frequently awkward case of imaginary biblical "control issues."]

For many of the years between the "Majority's voluntary self-immolation" in 1989 and the present day the "movement" occupied a more or less static position. Of course there were a few startling exceptions -- for example when the "children of the cross" were ordered to be outraged by President Clinton's dalliance with Monica. Importantly, however, the "movement" never particularly "lost steam" with respect to how many grumbling, oppressed, Christian "last days" followers it was able to attract to its ranks.

The oligarchs are calling you.
 Rise up!
With the "near suicidal" political perch the Republican Party has taken while preparing for the 2016 election, the frantic billionaires who own the Party have, once again, very predictably returned to their most dependable and obedient base -- these now nearly entirely "doctrinally liberated" and questionably resurrected, Moral Majority types. The volumes on the hate radios in American Legion beer halls across the nation were turned up immediately, and the next wave of wing nut, religious-political outrage followed just as planned.

So, This Is IT?
Really? Really?
Relax. There are two sides to every "question," right?

While one might expect the religionists turned politicos to be issuing forth with every possible kind of persuasion in hopes of, well, "leading the fallen back to the flock" and, at the same time, expressing every possible "evidence" of the deep connection between the religion and the Republican Party in hopes of "leading the fallen back to the Party," but there is nothing of this sort going on in the "discourse"  -- absolutely nothing.  In fact for the GOP and their sanctimonious, quasi-evangelical ground troops any sort of conversational discourse is now a "thing of the past."

Who needs a microphone if there is a fire hose?

The basic idea expressed by our Founders was that an "educated electorate" would from time to time "conduct the common discourse of citizens" to consider the choices to be decided in elections. Sounds simple enough, right? There is, however, among those ideas of the Founders a subtle yet inescapable mandate to consider the "pros and cons" of the types of decisions which might be decided in those elections. In a representative democracy elections communicate the will of the citizens with respect to the policies of the government.

MeanMesa has selected a few revealing examples of the "discourse" of the modern Republican Party. [If there were ever any doubt, the following examples will establish the absolute vital necessity of the Internet in these times of utterly failed industrial media "news" networks. Note the source of each of these cited here. Suspicious that these examples shown are "cherry picked" or need more examples? Fire up your own GOOGLE and have at. There are tens of thousands.]

Janet Porter: My Prayers Got Bush Elected President,
Can Also Overturn Marriage Equality Decision
Brian Tashman on Wednesday, 7/8/2015

Janet Porter, the right-wing conspiracy theorist and creator of the anti-gay film “Light Wins,” reveals today that her prayers reversed the results of the 2000 presidential election to ensure that President Bush was the victor in Florida.

In the 2000 Presidential election, between George W. Bush and Al Gore, I lived in a place called Broward County, Florida. When they declared the state of Florida–and the election–for Al Gore, I, like so many others, got down on my knees and asked for something that had never been done before. I asked for God to change the outcome of the election. You know what happened: He answered that “ridiculous” prayer. And if God can change the outcome of a presidential election, He can change the outcome of a Supreme Court ruling. Ask Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to file a motion for rehearing the marriage case at: 800-282-0515 . Then, pray to the God of the impossible.


Pastor Vows to Burn over Same Sex Marriage
By Curt Autry

[Excerpted. Read the original article here -NBC12]

"We are not going to bow. We are not going to bend, and if necessary we will burn!" Scarborough said. Although the pastor did not explicitly state that he would self-immolate in protest of gay marriage, as some have suggested.


Scarborough was also quoted saying: "The preachers need to get out front, the leaders need to get out front, out front of these ordinary citizens and say, 'Shoot me first!'" He went on to claim that same-sex marriage comes from Satan. "We now have a race of humans that don't want to acknowledge that there's a God," he said.


Right-Wing Pastors: Expect 'Gunfire' And Rebellion Due To Gay Marriage Ruling
Brian Tashman on Friday, 7/10/2015
[Excerpted. Read the original article here - RightWingWatch]

Shines told Wiles that the marriage ruling will lead to massive anti-Christian persecution, which will in turn spark a movement of civil disobedience “that is going to go beyond what we saw back in the ‘60s.”

Wiles claimed that the U.S. has reached the point where federal agents will soon move to arrest pastors and seize church buildings, sparking a violent confrontation: “You’re going to see gunfire.”


Pastor Hagee: Putting An End To Gay Marriage
Is ‘A Matter Of Survival’
[Excerpted. Read the original article here - AddictingInfo]

It seems like it was just yesterday that pastor Matthew Hagee, the son of pastor John Hagee, took to his weekly “Hagee Hotline” show to claim that the legalization of gay marriage would be the end of society because same-sex couples are unable to procreate naturally. In that segment, which aired in March, Hagee said that by supporting two people’s right to marry whichever person they love legally, “you are taking away the ability of that society to survive.”

Hagee says:

“It is impossible for same-sex marriage to do what biblical marriage does: create children. Without the procreation of children, the American society economically, will fail; culturally, will fail. It is not a matter of right or privilege, it’s a matter of survival.”

Why Hagee believes that allowing gay people to marry each other will actually stop heterosexuals from having children, I have no idea. But the scary thing about this argument is that so many people use it, and believe it – despite how stupid and inaccurate it is.


Christian Pastor Explains Obamacare
[Excerpted. Read the original article here - TOPEKA'S_NEWS]

Topeka, KS – Many good Christians and Republicans out there have questions about Obamacare. Today my email inbox alone had over 90 people asking for an article about the so called ‘Affordable’ Care Act, aka, Obamacare. It goes into effect next week and up until now, there has not been an official Christian, Republican explanation for the Obamacare Act.

First, let me say that Obamacare is the antithesis of Jesus’ commandments. The Bible says not be lazy, but with Obamacare in effect all the lazy, marijuana smoking, baby-popping people who are plaguing America with crime and poverty will have better health insurance than you.


Rick Wiles: Muslim 'Avengers' Will Destroy America Thanks To Abortion Rights And Obamacare 
Brian Tashman on Friday, 2/13/2015
[Excerpted. Read the original article here - RightWingWatch]

On Wednesday’s edition of “Trunews,” End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles invited Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Chicago’s Moody Church, to speak about the threat of radical Islamists to America’s security. After Wiles wondered why “the far-left is in an alliance with jihadist Islam,” Lutzer said the “the far-left and jihadists are in cahoots” because both groups are bent on “destroying capitalism” and seeking the “destruction of Christianity.”

Wiles added that Muslim immigration to the U.S. and Europe is “part of the judgment” of God for abortion rights. “It’s like the Muslims are the avengers who are being sent in to avenge for the deaths of innocent babies,” he said.

Lutzer later explained that Obamacare is helping too many people gain health coverage, and as a result the “administration is encouraging Islamic doctors from all over the world to come to the United States.”

Since Obamacare is pushing doctors out of the practice and abortion rights are slowing population growth, Lutzer said, the U.S. now has “huge immigrant populations from the Muslim countries.”


Now to "Quantification"
Just a little housekeeping before we say "good bye"

Axiomatic set theory teaches us that logical propositions are most useful when they are properly quantified. Is one arguing that such propositions apply to everything, some things, at least one thing or no things at all?

It might be the habit, at this juncture, to begin "excusing" specific inhabitants of both the Republican Party and the newly re-imaged wing nut right evangelicals with a politically correct, quantifying "preface" such as: "Of course not all Republicans are in this embarrassingly opportunistic, rancid class, and, of course, not all evangelical [or any other known "flavor" of] Christians are predicting the end of the world or threatening to set themselves ablaze, but... "

No thanks.

While there may actually be some rare exclusions lurking somewhere in the religious-political shadows [...logical proposition with "existential quantification"] of this neo-Christian-Republican horde, such a population is now so small as to be inconsequential. MeanMesa has watched this "dog and pony show" long enough to have become a well seasoned, "old hat"  with respect to the perpetual "bait and switch" techniques constantly employed.

"Oh yes, that was, indeed, horrible, but that was them -- not us.
 We're not like that."
"No one can be responsible for the comments and behavior
 of all those supporting him."
"What did you expect? Some religions are hideous,
 and some are lovely. Mine's lovely."
"The Constitution requires that we respect 
the opinions and the 'free speech' of others."

And of course,

"There are two sides to everything."
"That's why they make Fords and Chevrolets."
"Both parties are the same."
"If it isn't one thing, it's another."

After a long, intense "logical inquiry" into this "burning question of the day," here are MeanMesa's new conclusions:

1.  ALL Republicans are hateful wing nuts. There are no "moderate" Republicans.
2. ALL Christian religionists are just a hateful. All Christians are right wing Christians.
3. The historical Republican Party and Christian religion are useless relics of the past.
4. The oligarchs are laughing their asses off watching how easily they have created all this. 

They are also salivating. 

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