Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Religious Authoritarians Have To Understand Their Agenda Is Doomed To Fail. Why? Because We're On To Them

 “Religions are like bullies. One feature of bullying is that attacks are often made for no reason, aside from the ease of attacking the target. Such attacks can be used to establish dominance, or at least a reputation as someone to be feared and obeyed. …By forcing obedience in trivial matters – even harmless ones- religious leaders establish a reputation for punishment that allows dominance in more meaningful aspects of life. In this view the content of rules is relatively arbitrary"  - Skeptic magazine, (Vol. 15, No. 2, 2009) 

"When we give up on reason, the only tool we have left is coercion."-   Julian Baggini ('The Edge of Reason')

According to  NY Times op -ed columnist Katherine Stewart:

"The 2020 election is proof that religious authoritarianism is here to stay, and the early signs now indicate that the movement seems determined to reinterpret defeat at the top of the ticket as evidence of persecution and of its own righteousness. With or without Mr. Trump, they will remain committed to the illiberal politics that the president has so ably embodied."

Well, she is correct that the religious authoritarians will remain committed to "illiberal policies" but that doesn't mean they'll be fulfilled. The fact is, despite these kooks and their embrace of the most despotic, debased American leader in history their reign is doomed. It is doomed because the largest "denomination" in the country right  now - at 26 %- are the "Nones".   That is, those without any religious affiliation, and their numbers keep growing. 

According to preliminary exit polls from Edison Research  28 percent of voters identified as either white evangelical or white born-again Christian, and of these, 76 percent voted for Trump.   This is not surprising given Trump is an authoritarian demagogue and evangelicals as a rule adopt an authoritarian posture - well, because they worship an authoritarian, cartoon god.  What males it so amazing about their glorification of Trump is that he's a self-admitted pussy grabber and serial adulterer, sexual assaulter.  This, of course, calls into question any morality the evangelicals might claim or espouse.   

What is also interesting about this association and the evangelicals' jihad against secular humanists, is how it also extends (in the case of conservative Roman Catholics) to attacking "Americanism" as well. (See WSJ Review Section, Nov. 20-21, p. C8).  "Americanism" is defined by the Vatican's reactionary fossils as the "belief in the separation of church and state")  

Well, uh yeah! Duh!  To his credit, JFK  in his 1960 campaign-  in one speech to an assembly of Protestant ministers in Houston - made clear his belief in an "absolute separation of church and state", e.g.


 The RC Church reactionaries would likely have Kennedy's head if he were around today and said that.   But where the authoritarian evangelicals meet the RCs is precisely in rejecting Jefferson's "wall of separation".  Hence, they have launched their "Project Blitz" - a largely covert operation to try to undermine American genuine freedoms and replace them with ersatz "religious liberties" - which are mainly hogwash.    

To their credit. Americans United for Separation of Church and State released a  a short video to make citizens aware of what these  religious fifth columnists are up to.  Anyone concerned about religious authoritarians and their game, and agenda, needs to carefully watch it.

The Blitz playbook came to wider attention in April  last year after Frederick Clarkson  (senior research analyst at  Political Research Associates) was tipped off to its existence. He also highlighted recordings of conference calls where leading figures in the CPCF set out their plans to flood state legislatures with bills.

In their responses to the election outcome, some prominent religious right leaders have enabled or remained true to the false Trumpian line of election fraud. For example, Michele Bachmann, the former Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 presidential candidate, said, “Smash the delusion, Father, of Joe Biden as our president. He is not.” In Crisis Magazine, a conservative Catholic publication, Richard C. Antall likened media reporting on the Biden-Harris ticket’s victory to a “coup d’état.” Mat Staver, chairman and founder of Liberty Counsel, added, “What we are witnessing only happens in communist or repressive regimes. We must not allow this fraud to happen in America.”

Then there was the  conservative speaker and Falkirk Center fellow David Harris Jr. who put it this way:

If you’re a believer, and you believe God appointed Donald J. Trump to run this country, to lead this country, and you believe as I do that he will be re-elected the President of the United States, then friends, you’ve got to guard your heart, you’ve got to guard your peace. Right now we are at war.

The ordinary rationalist and secular humanist, of course, will easily dismiss all of these folks as demented even if not entirely 52 cards short of a full deck.  The unseemly Trump worship, such as revealed in the  Jeff Sharlett (Vanity Fair)  article:  'He's The Chosen One To Run America Inside The Cult of Trump, His Rallies Are Church And He Is The Gospel' e.g.


Has echoes of Jim Jones' "People's Temple" cult. The takeaway for me of these authoritarian Trump worshippers is just how similar they are to the acolytes of Jim Jones.  He was also a narcissistic madman with enough charisma (and chutzpah) to get nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens to follow him into the steamy jungles of Guyana, South America.  There to live in a hell hole called "Jonestown", jumping to Jones' tune and dictates every second.  (Including that wives were not allowed to sleep with their husbands.) . 

Jones convinced his captive cultists that the "outside world" was against them and he held secrets to their identity and existence that only he could really share - but which could liberate them from the pressures, designs and "wickedness" of those "enemies"  arrayed against them.   He also imbued in them the belief that the U.S. government was out to get them (hence the move to Guyana), just as Trump has convinced his own deplorables  that a deep state "conspiracy" is out to get them and him. Like Trump and his conspiracy crappola, a theme of paranoia also ran through Jones' teachings.  I.e. that there was "an enemy within"  that had to be destroyed, echoing what Trump tells his minions now.   

The problem was that Jones' malignant madness ultimately exploded on his own followers as he had them all either drink cyanide-laced grape kool aid or had it forcefully injected down their throats with a turkey baster.

As with the "People's Temple" cult of Jonestown, the Trump cult demands we submit to them and their insane leader.  While also trying to claim the soon -to-be real leader of this nation (Joe Biden)  is not legitimate.  (Just like Jones claimed the then U.S. government was not legitimate.) That will not wash and it is they who will have to come around because, well, eventually reality bites and bites hard.  As those in Jones' pseudo paradise learned, too late. 

Meanwhile, we're on to these slimy bastards now and if we keep our eyes open, heads screwed on straight - especially anywhere that Antall, Staver,  and their ilk are trying to foist Project Blitz on an us - we will beat these vermin back. 

Again, citizens need to grasp and repeat the famous line from abolitionist Wendell Phillips in 1952: : "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance". If you're not prepared to be vigilant and attend to all nascent or active threats in the post-Trump era, you are not prepared to enjoy any liberty, period. 

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