Why The Right Needs Religion
We’re all aware that religion provides some individuals with comfort and solace, as a surrogate for understanding, when faced with harsh realities and difficult challenges. Religion provides people with the sense that they have a script to follow when they are unable to divine meaning or direction themselves. Someone, or something, external takes responsibility, to help bear the burden, to blame, for the things that impact their lives.
Religion circumvents the risk of accountability for the decisions we make. To be called by God to do something is both much more aggrandizing as well as much safer. If things don’t go well, it was His idea not yours, right?
To be called by God to run for office or advised through the secret communication of prayer, as it seems is the case with most conservative politicians these days, provides an immediate trump card of authority to bolster an individual’s ambition. It preordains any loss or rejection as either the will of God, or the work of his evil arch nemesis. The fragile ego of the individual remains intact and unblemished.
Likewise is the case when one has no idea what to do. The lack of a plan or platform is a very frightening prospect. It’s much easier to put the burden on others, by telling them to have faith, than it is to take accountability for leadership. By charging others to have faith for the desired results, while abrogating responsibility to an invisible third party that answers to no one, those that would wish to lead insulate themselves from their own incompetence by refusing to provide the leadership needed from the position they coveted. It’s much easier for them to simply “let go, and let God.”
Conservative politicians have spent a year and a half proving that they have absolutely nothing to offer, and no idea what to do. They’ve been wearing thin an anti-Obama platform of ‘No’, with no abatement in sight. Minority leader Boehner has even proposed a full moratorium on any and all government regulation for the next year or so. Seriously, he actually proposed that the government should do nothing to fix the regulatory disaster that exists regarding Wall Street, Banking, Campaign Finance, Mineral and Mining, Big Business, etc, etc. The conservatives purported alternatives have shown that their full creative spectrum ranges from ‘keep the status quo’, to ‘let’s not change anything’. When this is all you’ve got, divine intervention, imaginary or not, becomes necessary to fill out your play book.
Smaller Government. Lower taxes. Deregulation. The Christianization of America. This is the constant verbiage emanating from conservative politicians, both incumbents and candidates. What is the goal of this platform? What will their ‘trust in God and corporate America’ platform do for, and to, America?
The American government is of the people, by the people, and for the people. This is not a dictatorship, or a Monarchy. The government is not a ‘them’, it’s ‘us’. Should that be smaller? Do the American people deserve less of a voice and less control over their own country? Government of the people, by the people, and for the people comes with responsibilities. In order to execute those responsibilities, ‘we the people’ need the resources and strength of the government we form and participate in. We manage the government. We hire them, and we fire them. It’s called voting.
If a corporation puts a toxic landfill half a mile from your children’s school you call your representative and you get the collective power of the people to represent you and your small community against the monolithic weight of a multinational corporation. The government is the people’s government. The government is the collective voice, power, and resources of the people. They are your elected representatives. Their power is your power. Conservatives want this weakened and quieted while simultaneously freeing their corporate beneficiaries from the burdens of safety and environmental regulations, consumer protection, equitable taxation, and so on and so forth.
Taxes; the money we all throw into a collective pot to tend to our collective needs; the money that our elected representatives are charged to be good stewards of on behalf of the people that put the money in the pot and them into office; the money that the conservatives under Bush took from a substantial surplus to a massive deficit until the people finally kicked them to the curb. Taxes; your money, our money. Taxes are not taken from you. That money is still yours and it’s used to provide things for you that we can only afford collectively, such as roads, military, medicare, environmental protection, emergency response and management, and advocacy for each other against corporations that would pollute our waters, rape our land, and pay us just enough wages to keep us dependent on them. If our representatives manage the money poorly, as the conservatives did under Bush, we fire them.
The new staff we hired/elected are making some progress, maybe not as much as we’d like because of the obstruction they face, but they’re making some progress. The free-fall in the markets has slowed and there’s been some recovery. Things are a bit shaky still, but at least we’re no longer up a creek without a paddle, in a leaking canoe skippered by a moron.
Many Americans, too many, are still out of work, but the job market is starting to rebound. Conservatives are blocking every attempt to help those that are out of work, but our new staff/elected representatives are working at it despite the best efforts at sabotage of the old, conservative, corporately leased, staff that still need to be replaced.
Most Americans paid less in taxes over the past two years than they have in close to sixty years. Citizens still demand all their necessary services from the government such as medicare, police, fire, road maintenance etc., and they also want their government to be able to stop things like oil spills, rogue corporations, terrorist attacks, and epidemics, but they’ve been convinced by corporate interest that they stand a better chance alone, than united. The only ones in danger of paying higher taxes are the corporations, and the extremely wealthy, that organize and fund the Astro-Turf ‘movements’ that, under the guidance of rented politicians, want the people to have less collective financial resources to defend against the will of the corporate juggernaut.
Lower taxes and smaller government, with unregulated laissez faire capitalism, is nothing more than a recipe for corporate dominance over a disenfranchised, disempowered, and vulnerable citizenry. Without regulations such as minimum wage, health insurance, worker safety, to name just a few that the conservatives have proposed cutting, the majority of the population would be relegated to the life of early twentieth century camp workers forced to shop at the company store. The disparity between the very few rich and the impoverished masses would grow exponentially, and the smaller weakened government would not be able to offer any recourse.
Add to this the supplantation of the democratic principles of the constitution with the authoritarian hierarchy of fundamentalist Christian dogma, and social policy dictated by self-serving interpretations of religious writings based on a stone/bronze age desert God. The weakness of the conservative platform, and disregard for the Constitution, becomes abundantly clear.
Is the Democratic Party, and their politicians, perfect? Absolutely not. Are they overly influenced by special interests and Washington lobbyists? Most definitely. Do we need some serious reform in our governmental processes, policies, and procedures? You bet your hind end we do. But, until we affect those changes, we cannot allow the conservatives to weaken, usurp, and bankrupt our government to a point that those changes and innovations are no longer possible.
Should the conservatives get another chance to once again tip the apple cart? Is the answer a weaker government with less resources? Definitely not. Can corporations be trusted to act in the best interest of the American citizens? They’ve proven, most effectively, no. Should domestic and foreign policy be based on the vague, self-serving, interpretations of ancient mythology? Not unless we want to return to the stone age from where the teachings originated.
When people are lost they look to religion. When people are unable to govern themselves, they rely on religion. When people don’t have the answers, they take the ‘in-lieu-of-answers’ answers that religion offers.
America is not a country founded on the Christian religion. Don’t let the fanatics fool you. It’s a country where it is as safe to be a Christian as it is a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or Atheist, but it is not any one of these. It is a country with religious freedom, not a country with a religion. Ask yourself this question. If a Christian nation was the true intent of the founding fathers, why didn’t they just say so? If, as the Christians would have you believe, a Christian nation was what the forefathers ‘intended’; why did they leave Jesus, Christ, or even the mention of Christianity, out of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or the Bill of Rights? If this was so important to them, how could they possibly forget to mention it?
Don’t give me the ‘National-Treasure-esque’ decodified extrapolations from the secret vault of ‘new’ info in Glenn Beck’s scrambled little brain either. The man is horribly deluded and increasingly dangerous to others, if not himself. There’s an old saying that “a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” Mr. Beck has proven that just a little bit of knowledge, with a microphone and a national audience, can be a very, very, potentially dangerous thing.
If America was intended to be a Christian Nation, why the Separation of Church and State? Why do more than half of the State’s Constitutions specifically ban the funding of religion by the State? America is a pluralistic society based on equal rights, not a theocracy to be dictated by one religious sect over others. Case closed; or at least it should be.
The founding fathers had seen what happens under state religions, like the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, and they wanted nothing to do with it. They created a secular framework to provide the parameters for free individuals to govern themselves, for themselves. They agreed that individuals should have the right to believe, or not, as they saw fit, but that no one could dictate the religious or spiritual conscience of another, nor have the laws of the republic undermined by religious perversion. Christian reconstructionists like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Sharron Angle and a host of other constitutionally challenged conservatives are lying. They’ve found something to fill the void in their platform, America’s soft spot, and they are exploiting it.
Religion is nothing more than the sugar and spice that the conservatives have latched onto in order to sell an otherwise completely unpalatable, one dish, menu. Who would be stupid enough to sign on to an already failed platform that goes directly against their own self interest, as well as the interest of every other American, save the rich, unless they find a way to sugar-coat it and hide its bitter taste and lack of nutritional value.
The conservatives are lost and they want to take us all with them. Their only ideas benefit those that exploit the American people, rather than the people themselves. As able governors, they’re not much further along than our ancestors who invented the mythology that they espouse, and whose cross they hold high, while they cloak themselves in the same flag that they willingly auction off to the highest bidder.
In the past two years the Conservatives have done everything they can to undermine the government and social fabric of this country. They’ve worked diligently on behalf of corporations to obstruct any chance at progress or benefit to the American people, including unemployment benefits, while doing everything possible to protect and aid their Big-Business handlers. They’ve race-baited the country with manufactured controversy and set out to rewrite the history of this nation to fit their own non-democratic and unconstitutional agenda.
The Conservatives have nothing of meaning, or substance, to offer. This is why they need religion. They’re lost, they don’t know where to turn, they have no ideas, but they really, really, really want to be in charge. Don’t be fooled. Even if you’re a Christian, you no more want these jackals involved in your religion than the tens of millions of non-Christian Americans want Christianity forced on them through their government. Look past their religious rhetoric and try to find a platform. You will likely find that these very pious, would-be Emperors, have no clothes, except the ones the corporations have given them.