“We have civil laws, but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law.” – Rick Santorum
The religious, god-bothering batshittery that we are being inundated with by the GOP (Gagging Oblivious Psychopaths) is not a recent upsurge out of seemingly nowhere. I totally understand the general reaction of “where the hell did these people come from” that is commonly heard by the more rational among us in response to the uber-religious conservative puke that is regularly vomited across our televisions and computer screens by the likes of Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich and friends. This includes Rick Santorum’s recent open advocacy for American Sharia Law.
However, the current state of the GOP is no accident. It is a carefully designed strategy that started a long time ago for the express purpose of capitalizing on a growing dissent among the religious conservative aspect of our population, an aspect that was created using another carefully designed strategy. The Dominionist movement has taken over the GOP and has been working for decades to bring about a desired change for their own nefarious purposes.
While the sentiments can be traced back to the end of the 1950’s and through the 1960’s, the real efforts to transform the United States began in 1973 with a man named Paul Weyrich. He organized a group called “The Heritage Foundation,” which he referred to as “The New Right.” In 1973 he also founded the “American Legislative Exchange Council,” which had the dubious purpose of coordinating the work of “New Right” state legislators. ALEC served to give businesses help in writing bills for consideration by state assemblies, and they did so by the thousands.
The Unification of Church and State…
A few familiar names that were part of this “new birth” of conservatism are still heard in the legislative halls. It was 1979 when we first heard the term “Moral Majority,” which was coined by Mr. Weyrich. One of the two most influential members of the Moral Majority were Tim LaHaye (author of the “Left Behind” book series) and Jerry Falwell, who eventually became their leader. Things didn’t start to see real momentum until 1980, when speaking in Dallas, Weyrich catapulted the movement by stating,
“We are talking about Christianizing America. We are talking about simply spreading the gospel in a political context.”
From that point on, thousands of fundamentalist preachers were attending training seminars designed to integrate them into politics. Powerful lobbies were being formed in addition to the Moral Majority, such as the American Coalition for Traditional Values and the Council for National Policy. Tim and Beverly LaHaye founded “Concerned Women of America.” The CWA is very powerful to this day and active in the fight against women’s reproductive rights. Others who were involved include James Dobson (Focus on the Family) and eventually Pat Robertson.
A Bit About Pat…
Pat Robertson ran for President in 1988, and although he lost, he beat George Bush Sr. in the Iowa Republican caucus. Suffice to say, members of these fundamentalist groups worked precinct by precinct to take over party leadership until they controlled the entire state party system. But how did he succeed?
Robertson was so successful because he had a simple plan, and it was outlined in a memo that was distributed to the Iowa Republican County Caucuses that was titled, “How to Participate in a Political Party.” It gave the following instructions:
- Rule the world for God
- Give the impression that you are there to work for the party, not push an ideology
- Hide your strength
- Don’t Flaunt your Christianity
They used underhanded tactics, such as to tie up meetings for hours on end. They took this long so that people would get tired and just leave. Once alone, they appointed themselves leaders and proceeded to make important decisions. They repeated this process until they controlled the entire state. Their goal was to see as much of the Republican Party controlled by fundamentalists as possible. Pat Robertson then formed the Christian Coalition, which had over 100,00 churches as members and was headed up by Ralph Reed, Robertson’s main minion, and a political genius.
They distributed Christian propaganda at astonishing rates, including voter guides that reached saturation with over 40 million distributed copies. Not to mention telemarketing campaigns. The fundamentalists were quietly strategizing how they were going to rule the world, or at least the United States. Their plan started with getting a fundamentalist in the White House, and George Bush was more than willing to take the job.
The religious right has advanced far enough into the mainstream that the only part of that four-fold memo on how to participate in a political party that is still valid is the “Rule the world for God” part. They have abandoned the “Give the impression that you are there to work for the party, not push an ideology,” as they are clearly pushing their ideology. They are now touting their strength in numbers and are definitely flaunting their Christianity. My, how far they have come…
The last twenty years or so of United States history has seen a steady increase in what appears to be a grass-roots fundamental activist movement, but it is actually being fueled and financed by the “new” and very organized religious right and a few very wealthy sympathizers (Koch Bros., etc). While there seems to be infighting within the confines of the Republican party between those who are conservatively loyal to the literal interpretation of the Bible and the more moderate/mainstream Republicans (with the sprinkling of Mormons here and there), the primary target of the religious right in general has been and continues to be atheists. It is because of their efforts that we remain arguably the least trusted people in the entire country.
They decided right out of the gate that they were not going to be friendly about it, either. The religious got their first puppet in the oval office in the form of that walking caricature that was our 41st President, George Herbert Walker Bush. The Elder Bush was notably hostile to atheists. He thought nothing wrong with making statements such as,
“No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”
This type of smear campaigning had been so successful that the religious right have since been using it at every possible turn. Atheism, Humanism and Secularism are touted as Satanic and un-American, as are Socialism and Liberalism. The religious right lumps all of these together and lobs them freely and very effectively at any politician who does not fit their mold. Sometimes even at other members of God’s Own Party.
The President of the United States is not supposed to be a religious leader like those in Islamic nations, but it is plain to see that this is the primary goal of the religious right. One would have to be living in a proverbial cave not to realize the effects of strong religious leaders such as Billy Graham having the ear of the Oval Office. By the time George the Younger occupied the Oval Office, he was making speeches touting the “Wonder-Working Power” that “spoke to him” in matters of war and national security in general. Just like the Taliban.
There have been setbacks, to be sure. Carter was a very minor setback, but Bill Clinton posed more of a problem for the religious right. However, his philandering didn’t help the Democrats at all, and his waffling resulted in the DADT policy regarding Gays in the military, which the GOP used and abused for years until it was redacted by another setback President, Barrack Obama. Even if Obama wins a second term, which at this point seems likely, we have not seen the last of the religious right, and we have not had our last fundamentalist President. While there is undeniable evidence that race is a factor, the religious right’s agenda for installing another puppet in the Oval Office is the principle reason why the GOP has become….
The Party Of No…
There is a method to the madness of the GOP seeming to be bent on destroying the United States economy. An overtly fundamentalist President (Little George) who was more than willing to salt patriotic speeches with religious rhetoric was replaced by a man (Obama) who has a funny sounding (read: terroristic) name that was and still is more than willing to acknowledge unbelievers, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews and everyone else that is not a Christian as viable, equal citizens. This was not just unacceptable, it was a battle cry. The efforts to vilify Obama began before he was even sworn in…
I have no doubt that Obama is a Christian that was born in the United States. But he is not an evangelical fundamentalist, and his immense popularity during the last election upset the apple cart of the religious right. The GOP has been working very hard to make sure he is not re-elected, not for the benefit of the country, but for the agenda of turning the United States into a Theocracy. This is the reason the GOP has become the “party of no,” and has, in spite of immense unpopularity, chosen to risk the destruction of our economy rather than work with a President whom they clearly view as everything from a “false Christian” to the anti-Christ.
Sometimes it IS a Conspiracy…
While the law is constitutionally on the side of secularists in these United States, the reality is different. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, because I am just as prone to poking fun at the tin-foil-hat society as the next rationalist, but one cannot dismiss the concerted efforts between the religious right, the conservative media machine, the proliferation of historical revisionists and the presence of neo-conservative religious fundamentalists that have risen to power on boards of education.
Because of the efforts of these factions, there are many millions who believe that Fox News is actually a news program, that the United States was founded as a Christian Nation, that evolutionary theory is the product of a drunken guessing game that Satan himself has chosen to use to usurp the divine truth of God’s creation, and a plethora of other batshit crazy ideas.
There is still almost an entire year until the next Presidential election, and a lot can happen. Chances are pretty good that this go-round will not see a true Dominionist in the Oval Office, but every election cycle they get closer and closer. Twenty years ago someone like Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich or Santorum would have been laughed out of their campaign a long time ago. Robertson came close in 1988, but as I have already explained, his role was more of a “behind the scenes” one. His candidacy was only a test, and it received a passing grade. In twenty years from now, we may be several steps closer to the successful integration of…
American Exceptionalism and World Domination…
Dominionists have one very obvious goal. To rule the world <insert evil, Vincent Price-ish laugh> and have control of everything in and on it. This is not a ragtag ideology, but a very complete and concise method to achieve their goal. Most of the intellectually retarded GOP Presidential candidates are either overt Dominionists or support Dominionist theology. When Dominionism is integrated with Patriotism, the frothy mix that results is known as “American Exceptionalism.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with Patriotism on its own. There are patriots in every aspect of American (US) life. There are Patriots among every religious, ethnic and philosophical group in the country, including unbelievers. It’s great to have National pride, but the Dominionists do not consider the advances in medicine, scientific research and humanitarianism that the United States is responsible for as the source of their pride.
Instead, their source of pride is their belief that the United States has been chosen by God to be a blessed nation and the purveyors of the figurative Ark of the Covenant, thereby granting us the right to trample on whoever we must to gain the control they desire. This is what gives them the moniker of “American Taliban,” or even “American Zionists,” depending on your point of view.
When “American Exceptionalism” becomes a matter of foreign policy, it results in things like “The Bush Doctrine,” which allows for the United States to invade and bomb the living shit out of sovereign nations because there is a possibility that they may strike first. This “foreign policy” is not the result of trained and educated military strategists. It is something that has been taken right out of the bible. Bush had no problems being very clear about the role God played in his military decisions.
This should scare the living fuck out you:
Where Do We Go From Here…
The days of simply maintaining vigilance are over, my friends. We can no longer be satisfied with just sitting around and bitching about the religious right. We have some fine activist groups such as American Atheists, Inc., the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. We have excellent advocacy organizations as well, such as Rock Beyond Belief, the Secular Student Alliance and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. There are literally hundreds of local Freethought Groups. We have a plethora of Atheist Activists such as those of us on here the Freethought Blog network, and an awesome array of authors who expound on the need for the proliferation of reason over the poison of religion.
But it is not enough…
We need to start getting more involved in politics. It’s time to let go of the “herding cats” mentality and realize that if we do not get involved in running our country because we are insistent to remain individuals, then we are going to end up even further down on the shit end of the stick. Our diversity may be one of our greatest strengths, but it is also the main reason why we cannot get ourselves organized.
I know it is a bitter pill to swallow, but we are at a crossroads where it is very apparent that the major political parties cannot run a candidate that will not allow their personal delusions to interfere with decisions that affect atheists. Even when some of these candidates have some very good ideas, they are overshadowed by their religion, and no matter how often they say they will not allow their delusions to sway their decisions, their beliefs are so much of an integrated part of their being that they cannot help it happening.
Dominionist law, the Sharia of Christianity, is no joke. It is not something from Science Fiction. It is a very real goal of people and organizations who have had decades to plan and even longer to finance.
I, for one, do not want to drown in that frothy mix. The time has passed where accommodating religion is accomplishing anything other than putting bullet holes in our own feet. We need to abandon political parties that will not consider running anyone who is an unbeliever and start aligning ourselves with parties that will run openly atheist candidates…
We cannot afford to stay out of the political game any longer…