From the pulpit one October ‘92 Sunday morn, Mom’s pastor
proclaimed, “A vote for Democrats is a vote against God.” I remember that day
well. Mom visited and shared those choice words of divine revelation – right
from the preacher’s horse’s mouth.
But the Okmulgee pastor wasn’t alone. Thousands of churches across the country echoed his words. Then millions of their followers, in turn, voted straight-Republican ticket.
Jerry Falwell later promoted anti-Democratic videos distributed to over 30,000 churches which were shown to congregations during Sunday and mid-week services. The video was called “The Clinton Chronicles” – where Clinton and his wife were accused of drug smuggling and murder.
A new, revised video is now being distributed – in time for
Hillary to run for President in 2016. Again, fundamentalist churches are being exploited
to spread lies about the Clintons and the Democratic Party. Dems are derelict
in their duty if failing again to respond in kind.
The religious right gradually took over the Republican Party – writing the platform and laws to restrict choice, voting rights, funding for food stamps and orchestrating government shut-downs for fabricated reasons. The radical agenda took hold of the process, and we’ve been saddled with gridlock, impeachment, made-up and exaggerated scandals, fictitious wars, and economic instability since. At least Obama hasn’t faced impeachment like Clinton. Yet.
Tea Party Republicanism is merely a progression of the religious right’s conquest of the party. Their goals are identical; their people are the same.
What the Democratic establishment seems to fail to understand – Republicanism is now a religion – complete with its pious zealotry, self-righteousness, nation worship, and firm belief that anyone not adhering to its narrow theology is of the devil and, thus, subject to be attacked and destroyed with all the viciousness one can muster by the power of God. It’s “righteous indignation” full-throttle . They believe God is on their side and they are on God’s side. It’s a vision of absolutism. Any individual or any group outside the realm is “satanic” and must be eliminated. For, Republicans are the Saviors of the American way.
Most Republicans see themselves in this religious vein; while Democrats for the most part are passive and mildly political – never wanting to appear too passionate for fear of tarnishing their logical, conciliatory image.
Which brings us to where we are – the SHUT-DOWN.
In this current episode, the Tea Party is the tail wagging the Republican dog to the nation’s peril. The unmistakable religious zeal cannot be dismissed. Congressional Republicans were visibly rejoicing when announcing the government shut down – as if they’d finally met their Number One obligation to their religious constituents. Yes, there was a hallelujah revival atmosphere as they marched out of Boehner’s chambers. The devil (Obama) is closed for business.
Observers often question why the current set of Republicans are so vehemently opposed to everything Obama does – even when suggestions may be originally theirs. It’s elementary. As seen through Republican eyes, Barack Obama is the literal devil or reincarnation thereof – the “Antichrist.” Therefore, anything he pushes is satanic and must be crushed by any means (hook or crook) in all haste with due diligence. To them, any bill or action he promotes is masterminded by Lucifer and executed by the Prince of Darkness’ emissary, Barack Obama. Hence, the rightwing and FOX attach Obama’s name to the Affordable Care Act so their religious minions will savagely reject it.
It’s not a budget battle. It’s a religious war, not political. That’s why America finds itself paralyzed. Obama can do no right because he’s an agent of Satan, while Republicans imagine themselves as the Army of God sent to destroy him. Yes, to them it is that simple. The absurdity is based on mythological beliefs owned by the Republican Party. They deny climate change yet celebrate fables, i.e., birtherism, biblical symbolism as literal, founders as saints, and national documents as infallible and divinely inspired. Science is sin as well and is dismissed as “secularism” – a world view associated with Satan.
Even in blue-state New Jersey, 33% of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen and 13% believe him to be the Antichrist. One can only imagine what the deep red-states think.
Ted Cruz, the 8-month junior Texas Senator, is leading the pack, not senior leaders McCain, Graham, and Speaker Boehner. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Cruz is the son of a Cuban Pentecostal evangelist, Rafael Cruz, who opening preaches “Democrats are of the devil,” and heads a religious evangelistic association out of Carrollton, Texas.
The religious connection is what’s significantly common. Ted Cruz wouldn’t have the fire and following had it not been for his fanatical Pentecostal upbringing. Quite similar backgrounds are ascribed to Walker, Palin and Bachmann.
Other notable preachers, like Swaggart, preach radical
rightwing politics from the pulpit – equating Democrats to devils.
His messages are not exclusive, but predominant and popular, especially in the heart of red-state America.
Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor and union-buster, is the son of a Baptist preacher. He also carries a similar charisma that persuades citizens to vote against their own interests. The spell-binding influence may be best termed the “Thus saith the Lord syndrome.” For, they (Cruz, Walker, Palin, Bachmann, Robertson, Reed and fundamentalist Republicans) are dogmatic and determined based on the notion they’re divinely directed to reshape America. Nothing like them is found in the Democratic Party; there are no counterparts, no equivalency (although rightwing media and a few centrists attempt to construct such).
America sits on the precipice of economic catastrophe as a direct result. Republican religiosity is determined to fulfill “God’s will” by bringing America to its knees. We are the laughing stock of the world. Failing to increase the debt ceiling is predicted to cause a major depression that’ll last at least a generation.
Who cares which party wins 2014? By then, we’ll all be in the poor house.
How can the minority party so delusional and accepting of its own absurdities have the power to destroy the greatest nation on earth? ANSWER: Republicans are religious and have the zeal to prove it while Democrats are not and have a lackluster attitude to confirm it.
Unless Democrats become as energized as Republicans by concerns for the economy, the environment, industry, education, infrastructure, the poor, the needy, and national unity, Republicans are sure to run us into the ground. It almost takes a religion to drive us to a better place while rejecting rightwing lunatic hypocrites.