Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How Christian Fundamentalists Disempower Themselves and Help Empower the Top 1% to Exploit the 99%

How Christian Fundamentalism Helped Empower the Top 1% to Exploit the 99%

As the Occupy Wall street movement spreads across the country and the world, we must bring attention to the enablers of the top 1 percent exploiting the 99. Fundamentalist religion made this exploitation possible.

Evangelical fundamentalism helped empower the top 1 percent. Note I didn't say religion per se, but religious fundamentalism.

Why? Because without the fundamentalists and their "values" issues, many in the lower 99 percent could not have been convinced to vote against their (our) economic self-interest; in other words, vote for Republicans who only serve billionaires.

Wall Street is a great target for long-overdue protest, but so are the centers of religious power that are the gatekeepers of Republican Party "values" voters that make the continuing economic exploitation possible.

Fundamentalist religion -- evangelical and Roman Catholic alike -- has delegitimized the US government and thus undercut its ability to tax, spend and regulate.

The fundamentalists have replaced economic and political justice with a bogus (and hate-driven) "morality" litmus tests of spurious red herring "issues" from abortion to school prayer and gay rights. The result has been that the masses of lower middle-class and poor Americans who should be voting for Democrats and thus their own economic interests, have been persuaded to vote against their own class and self interest.

This trick of political sleight of hand has been achieved by this process:    

    Declare the US government agents of evil because "the government" has allowed legal abortion, gay rights, etc.
    Declare that therefore "government is the problem," not the solution.
    The government is the source of all, thus anyone the government wants to regulate is being picked on by satanic forces. The US government is always the bad guy.
    Good, God-fearing folks will always vote for less government and less regulation because "the government" is evil.
    So unregulated corporations, banks and Wall Street are always right and represent "freedom" while government is always wrong and represents "tyranny."

Like most evangelical/Roman Catholic fundamentalist movements in history, from the Bay State colonies to the Spanish Inquisition, the American Religious Right of today advocates the fusion of state power and religion through the reestablishment of the "Christian America" idea of "American Exceptionalism" (i.e., a nation "chosen" by God), the form of government adopted by the Puritans' successors during the age of early American colonialism.

Thus the division between "real Americans" and the rest of us is the "saved" and "lost" paradigm of theological correctness applied to politics. Thus President Obama isn't a real American, or even a born American, he's "Other," a Muslim, an outsider, and above all not "one of us."

In other words you're not just wrong, but evil if you disagree with the Elect over abortion, or for that matter peace in the Middle East because you're "not supporting Israel."

"Bring America back to the Bible" is really no more subtle than the claim of the Iranian Mullahs to rule in "God's name" so that Iran too can come back to God. And if you can get Americans to worry about the Bible and not fairness and justice, then you have handed a perpetual victory to Goldman Sachs and company.

How Did We Get Here?

The unstated agreement went like this: Republicans will pander to the Religious Right on the social issues -- abortion, gay rights, prayer in schools, creationism in textbooks, and not so subtly the endorsement of religious schools to help white evangelicals and Roman Catholics avoid integration -- as long as the Religious Right turned a blind eye to the fact that the Republican Party would sell the soul of the country to corporate America, a country-within-a-country where 1 percent of the population have more wealth than the 99 percent.

Deference to religion masquerading as politics must end, now.

Religion masquerading as politics is not true religion or politics-- it is a theocracy-in-waiting. This charade of power grabs in God's name needs to be exposed, and destroyed.

Democracy will not survive the continuing dirty combination of theocracy and oligarchy. That's where we're headed: bankers running the world backed by preachers who don't care about God but care about power.

The timely destruction of the economic elites and their religious facilitators begins by calling fundamentalist/evangelical/Roman Catholic "religion" what it is: a political grab for power based on literal madness of the sort that makes many terrified of modernity, truth, science and facts and leads them to deny evolution and global warming while believing that Jesus will come back any day now.

There are obviously lots of decent hard working Americans who call themselves Christians. Most of them live physically and spiritually in the 21st century. They don't let their faith get in the way of behaving like rational adults. The fair and decent free market vision they have is largely ignored. They are this generation's silent majority. While the loony right-wing Christianists get first priority on their backwards agenda.

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