Right-Wing America: Racism And Religion

“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” – Sinclair Lewis

There are struggles and challenges with race relations and understanding across just about every demographic of American society. Even at its best it is a learning process much like the inspirational story shared by Shirley Sherrod. With civil rights legislation only forty five years old, the entire current population of African American seniors over 65 years old have had the experience of being denied the legal right to vote in their own country. Race relations in America, among a society of equal citizens, is relatively new.

In this stage of relative infancy growing pains are to be expected. Trying to figure out how to implement and enforce equality has been a challenge that requires discussion and at times debate. Debate as cooperative fellow citizens is necessary, but there is a preponderance of malicious and racially controversial rhetoric emanating from a particular area within the body politic. The same population of political and social conservatives that espouse their Christianity, and wish to impose it on the rest of the nation, are the instigators of much of the current, racially divisive, rhetoric.

Tea Party Express rallies, that have been instrumental in campaigning for Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Scott Brown, and several others, have featured at least as many signs demanding that America become a Christian Nation, as they have mocking the President based on his race and ethnicity. Aside from their vague platform of ‘smaller government’ and ‘lower taxes’ that lacks any proactive alternatives, the message of their signs and slogans present an overwhelming impression that the Tea Party attendees make a clear correlation of non-white = foreign = non-Christian = un-American.

This isn’t a misinterpretation based on observing a minority fringe at the otherwise multicultural and pluralistic events. These are identifiable truths, with well documented photo evidence, of a predominantly homogeneous group of individuals who claim to have unified values and beliefs. From these same events that featured Palin, Angle, Bachmann, et al, who claimed their guidance from God to make America a Christian nation, came invitations for Obama to return to Kenya, with placards showing the President as both a witchdoctor and a monkey.

Mark Williams, the purportedly dethroned leader of the Tea Party Express, who has stood shoulder to shoulder with almost every Tea Party candidate on the November ballot, including Palin and Angle, penned the disgustingly insensitive and racist sounding parody letter to Abraham Lincoln, written as if it had been authored by NAACP president Benjamin Jealous. Although it has been claimed that Mr. Williams was fired by some authority within the Tea Party hierarchy, which claims to have no such centralized hierarchical authority, his letter, and conflict with the NAACP, has sparked a firestorm of activity from the Conservative Religious Right claiming to be victimized by ‘reverse racism’ from the White House.

Much of these sentiments seem to originate with Glenn Beck who, when not insisting that America become a Christian Theocracy, has repeatedly accused President Obama of being a racist with a deep seated hatred for white people. This unscrupulous fear-mongering is as fallacious as Beck’s entire Christian Reconstructionist campaign, and has had an equally deleterious effect on our current national conversation and political climate.

Andrew Breitbart, the infamous Tea Party activist and propagandist who spearheads a large portion of the Internet component of the right-wing echo-chamber, was the architect behind the recent smear campaign of USDA official Shirley Sherrod. Fortunately, Mr. Breitbart was foolish enough to underestimate Mrs. Sherrod before attempting a character assassination based on trumped up charges of racism.

Although Mr. Breitbart has re-represented his motivations several times, ranging from an attack on Mrs. Sherrod and the supposedly racist Obama Administration, to an expose of NAACP racism, the fundamental truth remains the same; Mr. Breitbart attempted to use material that he knew to be an incomplete and misleading representation of the facts in order to support false claims of racism and inflame racial tensions and divisiveness.

In the same manner that Fox News blends overtly Christian dogma with revisionist American history and anti-Obama propaganda, Conservative politics have become synonymous with Christian Reconstructionism and deliberate racial divisiveness. O’Reilly, Hannity, and Beck present a consistent ideology and theology on these matters, relinquishing First Amendment rights to the supremacy of Christianity while defending their own race-baiting by playing victim to the very tactics they employ.

Thursday evening past, on Sean Hannity’s Fox cable show, in the aftermath of Mark Williams’ letter and Andrew Breitbart’s smear campaign, in a segment with Pat Caddell called ‘Media Fueled Racism(?)’, Anne Coulter stated that there is “no racism in America.” Believe it or not, whether it’s profound ignorance or deliberate denial, it runs that deep. The same woman that claimed that Jews needed to be ‘perfected’ by becoming Christians claims that there is no racism in America.

Their own bigotries seem to be completely invisible to them. Combined with the delusion that, as white people, they are subject to the oppressive bigotry and racism of non-white Americans, their psychosis would be laughable if it wasn’t so damaging. The ingredients and motivation for their revolution of Angry White Christians wanting to “take their country back” is, whether they realize it or not, a model of transparency.

The white, conservative, racially biased, religious right, has embraced a theology that unsurprisingly creates their God in their own image; a white skinned Jesus, wrapped in a flag, carrying a cross, and packing heat.

This version of Christianity is nothing more than part of the definition of exclusivity that bolsters the mindset of ‘Us versus Them’. It is a theology based more on identity than doctrine. It is an only slightly watered down version of white Christian nationalism, and a not so distant cousin to the White Citizens Council or the Ku Klux Klan. It’s the sentiments, the desires, and the anger, without all the messy honesty. It provides them with what they think is a cloak of credibility for their otherwise distasteful prejudices; sheltering them from political backlash as well as personal admission.

The same motivations that drive the religious right to impose their Christian dogma on every citizen of this country fuels the underlying racism they are struggling to deny. The only things deemed acceptable to them are those things that agree with them, and appear to be like them. It is an affective community of insecure individuals intent on creating a homogeneous society to provide their weakened self-esteem and faltering self-image with the comfort of conformity. If you want to be accepted or even tolerated by them, you must be just like them. You must look like them and believe like them. They are the schoolyard bullies of American politics. There is no room for difference or dissent in their America.

America’s Religious Right is a community that craves exclusivity. They insist on exclusivity from anyone that is not just like them. They claim the exclusive right to have guaranteed rights, and the exclusive right to decide who is worthy to have those rights. In order to achieve this, they claim Divine prescription for their manifest destiny and ordained authority over others, The Constitution be damned.

Their religion, other than part of the construct of their identity, is a medium for the expression of their hatreds and biases. This is not a Christianity of love and charity designed for personal enlightenment and growth. This is a dogmatic Christianity of White Nationalism to be imposed on others. Calling themselves ‘Real Americans’, to the exclusion of all the ‘Fake Americans’ that don’t look, act, and believe as they do, is the proof they offer of this point.

Perhaps some day Christian Conservative Nationalists will realize that their theology, as well as their social views, are based on fear and ignorance. Perhaps one day they will realize that acceptance, tolerance, and enlightenment, are not synonymous with bias, exclusion and control. Perhaps, but until then, America will only be “One Nation Indivisible” if it manages to keep out from under them and their God.

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37 Responses to Right-Wing America: Racism And Religion

  1. Ole Ole Olson
    +10 Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
    July 25, 2010 at 12:27 am

    I wish I could say that christian nationalists (or right wing religious extremists in any culture) will ever learn, but I think history teaches us that they will always be around. Their influence can be minimized with a good education system, strong social networks, and a culture that prides itself on the importance of tolerance (like many European countries), but that is going to take a couple generations at least here in America.

    • +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Liam Fox
      July 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      You’re right. Let’s just make sure they stay out of power then. ; )

    • Vote -1 Vote +1rom417
      July 26, 2010 at 11:26 am

      This model has certainly worked well in Europe, just look at Greece and Spain!

      I do agree Christians should promote the love of Jesus Christ and stay out of politics which is what I believe you imply. The pandering of politicians to whoever would keep them in power has brought us to this point just as our Founders warned. That said, our fight is no longer political, the vast majority of politicians have already been compromised and no longer work in the best interest of the people; our fight now is for our very existence as a free republic founded on Judeo-Chrisitian principles endowed by our Creator. That one is being done our knees in prayer. God wants His people back and we are slowly and humbly returning and this is what scares the “hell” out of many, as it should.

      I strongly recommend we all be on Jesus Christ’s side of this issue.

      A voice in the Wilderness

  2. +9 Vote -1 Vote +1Cgayton & Umatsuda
    July 25, 2010 at 2:14 am

    This was a great piece, Liam.

    Please get this syndicated everywhere. Lately Ann Coulter’s insane nonsensical violent ramblings recall something out of the real national socialist party, but without the intelligences. Very scary, indeed that group mentality becomes gang mentality when listening to those who lack brains but have more than enough venom to cause genocide. Cgayton

    Hi
    Im her sister and also hope many can read this. So true. umatsuda

    • +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Vanessa
      July 25, 2010 at 10:55 am

      I agree with you 100%. The Ann Coulters of the world should be taken very seriously. The influence of venemous extremists on the blindly uneducated could very well lead us to the place where Hitler led Germany in WWII — to exterminate an entire race. Many people say that it could not happen today — well, it can — and does — everyday in Africa.

      • -4 Vote -1 Vote +1rom417
        July 26, 2010 at 11:52 am

        Hitler was a Socialist

        • +12 Vote -1 Vote +1ratski
          July 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm

          Hitler was a FASCIST you dumas. He destroyed the Marxist and Socialist parties when he took over. Read a book.

  3. -6 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill W
    July 25, 2010 at 7:07 am

    ” unscrupulous fear-mongering”

    Of which this article is a wonderful example.

    • +4 Vote -1 Vote +1CeeCee
      July 25, 2010 at 8:19 am

      “Of which this article is a wonderful example”

      And your non-sensical response validates this wonderful article. Run, Forest, run.

  4. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1oneStarman
    July 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    LIBERAL CHRISTIAN – We DO exist; although most like to refer to themselves as the less ‘dangerous’ label ‘Progressive’. I know I greatly resent those who claim to speak for Christians in America spouting Racism, Xenophobia and an unflinching lack of Compassion for immigrants like their own ancestors. They believe that the only REAL Americans are those who belong to their segregated country club – whose members are also the members of their all white church.

  5. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Shiva
    July 25, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    There is no doubt in my mind that is we had no right wing we would have no race problems

    If we had no religions we would have no race problems. In fact we would have peace.

    Why do Christians always need guns and war and racism, and the supposed atheists not concerned with any of the three?

  6. -9 Vote -1 Vote +1jwpegler
    July 25, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    What a hoot.

    First, there isn’t anything that “originates” with Glenn Beck. Beck is merely educating the masses on what the educated have know for decades. Go google the book “None Dare Call it Conspiracy”. I read it in the late 70s. I think it was written in the early 60s. 90% of Beck’s material could have been sourced from that book. It’s amazing to me that after all of these years, that the masses are being informed about the totalitarian nature of the left. Bravo to him.

    Second, Beck is certainly not insisting that America become a theocracy. This is nothing more than hyperbole designed to scare your simple-minded friends.

    Third, the “right” consists of a hodgepodge of many different and often incompatible views. Many, including myself are much more interested in the free market than “racism or religion”.

    • +9 Vote -1 Vote +1ratski
      July 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      First: Since he’s clearly not original, why do you claim to know so much about a hack who, according to you, has plagiarized 90% of his material from a book written 50 years ago? If it were that good, I’m pretty sure someone rational would have been able to promote these ideas better by now.

      Second: Anyone with an IQ over 70 and more than one channel on their television can see he’s desperately trying to convince the retards who watch him that “we surround them (weep, weep).” Not that he’s doing a good job of it, but it’s pretty clear he’s trying to convince anyone who can stand to listen that we need a brainless hipoChristian talking head in power. Demanding a ‘leader’ who enforces religious rules on others is pretty much the definition of “insisting that America become a theocracy.” Kind of like the one they have in Iran. If he had more talent, he’d be like Goebbels – or more like a Baby Goebbels, crying his way to fascism.

      Third: If your assertions were true, why would you post this?

  7. -6 Vote -1 Vote +1kijafha
    July 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Ann Coulter is HOT! My idea of an attractive woman. I think that’s why commies hate her, cause she’s sexy and she’s an unapologetic white American woman. That’s just against everything the subversives are working for.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Anne's a Tran
      August 1, 2010 at 11:55 pm

      Are you kidding. Google witch, ugly, insane, hag, rabid nd Anne Coulter comes up overtime. If she were coming my direction I’d runnnn.

      Some guy on some of the blogs describes her as a man. Without the blonde wig I dunno if it’s male or female.

      But if your a Repub it’s expected you’d like the tranny domineered types. Ugly doesn’t do justice. Scary, now that’s more like it. But You go boooy. You only have ta look at Sarah Man Jaw Square Whiskered Palin and her sis Suare Big Jaw BachMan to know how sick you extremist really are.

  8. -5 Vote -1 Vote +1rom417
    July 26, 2010 at 3:39 am

    The history of abortion in the United States leads directly to the feet of left wing racists who’s primary goal was the extermination of “inferior people” (people of color). I believe sir the real racists in this country have no left or right political leaning. Rather, this type of thought eminates from the hearts of all men who desire to raise themselves above their Creator. If Martin Luther King were alive today he would be labeled by the ruling left wing class as an “Uncle Tom, rightwing Christian zealot.”

    We (including me) must all learn to take a look in the mirror first before we start writing such hurtful words.

    A voice in the wilderness.

  9. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1brnfream
    July 26, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Third, the “right” consists of a hodgepodge of many different and often incompatible views. Many, including myself are much more interested in the free market than “racism or religion”.

    Well said!!

  10. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Shereen R Hart
    July 26, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I just turned 50. I entered the south when blacks were still not allowed to sit on the fronts of buses in the south, and when schools were segregated. They have since gone BACK to segregation and many blacks, particularly in S Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, parts of Texas, Florida and Tennessee still live like the 1800s never left. The southern whites seceded from the Union in their hearts even if the couldn’t do it legally and many of the black folk “down south” don’t even know what’s going on in the rest of the nation to decide whether they agree with it or not. That’s the REAL “Forgotten America” that ACORN has been trying to fight for…mistakes and all. President Obama skipped a lot of the south during his campaign for obvious reasons…I sent him a letter and told him to go take a look for himself, just like Shirley Sherrod asked him to. He’s relatively insulated from that part of this nation, and he shouldn’t be. I didn’t say he was jaded or sheltered, just insulated…the battle for Civil Rights has only taken up 10-percent of the time that it took to create racism in the first place.

  11. -15 Vote -1 Vote +1rom417
    July 27, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Racism started in the Garden of Eden my friend it is called sin. Until one receives the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and receives the Holy Spirit can racism end. Neither ACORN nor the President have the solution.
    Blessings

    • +6 Vote -1 Vote +1ratski
      July 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm

      Isn’t there a Passion of the Christ viewing somewhere you could be protesting?

  12. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Eagle Driver
    July 27, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Interesting article on the hatred of the opposing side. Being older gains a certain perspective on this football game between Left and Right, Red and Blue, Progressive and Conservative, Cain and Able. I find it somewhat amusing to read of from this article:

    “The same motivations that drive the religious right to impose their Christian dogma on every citizen of this country fuels the underlying racism they are struggling to deny. The only things deemed acceptable to them are those things that agree with them, and appear to be like them.”

    Obviously the “things deemed” unacceptable to you are to be removed in this argument. Isn’t that simply the same racism just written about in reverse? If you say I’m horrible and I say you are horrible, what positive is produced? Appears to me this is the latest version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Or more deadly – the North vs. the South of our Civil War.

    “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” I think someone said. Perspective lost.

    Food for Thought if You are Hungry

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  15. -5 Vote -1 Vote +1ugg
    July 27, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the

  16. -7 Vote -1 Vote +1Jason
    July 28, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I’m still not sure if this article is a joke or not but I couldn’t help but comment on this quote:

    “If you want to be accepted or even tolerated by them, you must be just like them. ”

    What just happened to the Georgia graduate student?

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/27/georgia-university-tells-student-lose-religion-lawsuit-claims/

    • +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Richard of Norway
      July 29, 2010 at 1:41 am

      YOU sir, are surely joking. The Georgia grad student you mention is homophobic, insisting homosexuality is a CHOICE and in no way genetic or natural. She wants to become a counselor, and that view is against their code of ethics to counsel.

      From the article: “The Code of Ethics prohibits counselors from discriminating based on a number of factors, including gender identity and sexual orientation.”

      She wants to break the Code of Ethics, and counsel people with such a discriminatory outlook. How is that a good thing? Only Fox News would attempt to paint such a view as the least bit positive.

      This is just another good example which helps prove the general point of this article.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1Richard of Norway
        July 29, 2010 at 1:43 am

        That should read, “She wants to break the Code of Ethics, and counsel people, while having such a discriminatory outlook.” Meaning she herself has a discriminatory outlook, not the people she will be counseling. Sorry, it was a bit unclear.

  17. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1True-religion-sale
    July 28, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I do agree Christians should promote the love of Jesus Christ and stay out of politics which is what I believe you imply.

  18. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Liam Isa Racist
    July 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Liam Fox is a racist hatemonger.

    I will no provide as many facts to back up that allegation as Liam did in his article:

    *this space intentionally left blank*

  19. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1pam siegel zarte
    July 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    This article is right on target. I am a person of faith. I do not want to be associated with these wacky people of the so-called “Christian right”. I am a political progressive. My feelings on hot button issues is “If you don’t approve of it, don’t do it”. I believe in civil liberties and climate change. Why is there so much “group think” going on. People need to be more intellectually curious and honest. Racism and anti-semitism are alive and well and very much in view.

  20. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1gimme a break
    July 29, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Just because someone in the media, that claims to be a Christian, offers an opinion or makes and off hand remark, doesn’t mean that they represent the larger Christian community. Christians are doing more to help for the poor and needy across racial lines than our oppressive government, atheists or Islam will ever do. The idea of spoon feeding the masses just enough welfare to keep them from needing or wanting to help themselves makes me ill. I’m fed up with the generalized attacks at me while I spend a considerable amount of time helping others make their lives better. I’m right winged and proud of it. When I ponder my moral, social and economic values, I align myself with the right. I don’t agree on everything they do or say but with the big picture stuff, it’s the right thing for me. I’m also a Christian and proud of it. I’ll keep doing what I believe is God’s will and the radical left can just keep on attacking me; I don’t care. Besides, a Christian can’t be racist just like a Catholic can’t be Pro-abortion. How can you love your neighbor as yourself if you are a racist? It doesn’t work.

  21. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1RickD
    July 29, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I’m still looking for a definitive citation that the Palin/Flag/Cross photo is real.

    Along the way I found this correction:
    http://cdevers.posterous.com/when-fascism-comes-to-america-it-will-be-wrap

    “Sadly, this isn’t a real Sinclair Lewis quote — for one thing, he was born 50 years after 1835. According to WikiQuote:

    Misattributed

    # When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

    # A misquote of Harrison Evans Salisbury’s 1971 citing of Lewis: “Sinclair Lewis aptly predicted in It Can’t Happen Here that if fascism came to America it would come wrapped in the flag and whistling ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’” ”

    Can you tell me where to see a primary source using this pic?
    Thanks!
    Rick

  22. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1walk in the word
    July 30, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    WE ARE ALL TO WORK OUT, OUR SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING!!SOUNDS LIKE TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE A GOD PROBLEM, MORE THAN A PEOPLE PROBLEM.WE ALL HAVE TO STAND BEFORE HIM , SOMEDAY!!SINCE TIME DRAWS NEARER ,EVERYDAY IT WOULD PRUDENT, TO FOCUS ON THE REAL QUESTION!! ARE YOU READY??

  23. Vote -1 Vote +1Damian
    August 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Nicely written. Well Said.

  24. -5 Vote -1 Vote +1walk in the word
    August 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    THANK-YOU DAMIAN!! I STRESSED A BIT, IN THAT OUR LORD, IS IN DEED,A GOD, OF LOVE, AND LONG SUFFERING!! JESUS ALWAYS REACHED OUT TO THE LOST, WITH COMPASSION, AND LOVE, AND I FEEL, THAT MANY THINK OF US, AS ANYTHING, BUT!! BU WE ARE SO LIVING IN THE END, TIMES!!! AND IT IS SO VITAL TO GET HIS MESSAGE TO EVERYBODY HAS,TO COME TO THE PERSONAL,POINT, AS TO DO I BELIEVE?? OR DO I NOT!! HOWEVER, THAT COMES DOWN TO WHAT DOES IT PROFIT, A MAN TO GAIN THE WORLD AND FORFEIT, HIS SOUL?? ARE YOU WILLING TO DIE FOREVER FOR THOSE BELIEFS,OR GIVE YOUR TRUST TO GODTHE ONE WHO GIVES LIFE?? LOOK AROUND YOU DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT WE ARE NOT LIVING IN END TIMES?? AND MOST IMPORTANT!! BECAUSE YOU PRETEND IN YOUR HEART NOT 2 BELIEVE, IT DOES NOT IN ANYWAY, ALTER IT COMING TO PASS!! GOD IS LOVE EVEN IF SOME OF US FALL SHORT OF TRYING TO SPREAD THAT MESSAGE!!ASK HIM TO COME INTO YOUR LIFE!!HE WILL, AND GIVE YOU LOVE, AND LIFE FOREVER!!GO TO THE SOURCE AND LET HIM SHOW YOU THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE!!GET A PERSONAL, RELATIONSHIP, WITH HIM, THAT IS WHAT CHANGES YOUR LIFE, AND EVERYBODY, YOU KNOW, AND LOVE!!STARTING WITH YOURSELF….THANKS BE 2 GOD THAT HE GIVES YOU THE CHOICE AS TO WHO YOU WILL SERVE !!

  25. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1NJGuy54
    August 2, 2010 at 9:51 am

    As with so many institutions in America, one only has to “follow the money” to figure out the Religious Right…

    Religion in America is a billion-dollar business. Who is profiting? Who has a vested interest in promoting conservative Christian dogma? As long as powerful people are making money off of conservative religious movements, they will remain influential…