Friday, September 18, 2009

Frank Schaeffer: The GOP's Evangelical Subculture is a Fifth Column of Insanity.

Frank Schaeffer sums up the current madness which afflicts the Republican party better than anyone else on Earth, partly because he was one of the people behind the movement which formed it, before he saw the light. And, like all converts, he speaks with a clarity that other people shy away from when describing them as they actually are.

Maddow: I do not know what possessed this polling firm to ask whether or not that people think the President is the anti-Christ, but they did. Does the response rate among conservatives surprise you? More than one in three saying yes or they don’t know.

Schaeffer: Well I was a child when President Kennedy was assassinated and my mother thought that because he died of a head wound foretold in scriptures of the anti-Christ he would be resurrected as the anti-Christ. She thought this might be a possibility. So those of us who come from the evangelical subculture have been weaned with our mother’s milk on a changing case list of villains. It might be Kennedy to one generation, Obama to the next.

But the larger point this brings up is that the mainstream - not just media - but culture, doesn’t sufficiently take stock of the fact that within our culture we have a subculture which is literally a fifth column of insanity that is bred from birth, through home school, Christian school, evangelical college, whatever to reject facts as a matter of faith.

And so this substitute for authentic historic Christianity, and I may add as a little caveat here, I’m a church-going Christian, really brings up the question. Can Christianity be rescued from Christians? And that’s an open question. And when you see a bunch of people going around thinking that our President if the anti-Christ you have to draw one of two conclusions.

Either these are racists looking for any excuse to level the next accusation or they’re beyond crazy. And I think beyond crazy is a better explanation and that evangelical subculture has rotted the brain of the United States of America. We have a big slice of our population waiting for Jesus to come back. They look forward to Armageddon. Good news is bad news to them. We talk about the Left Behind series of books that I talk about in my book Crazy for God.

What we’re really talking about is a group of people are resentful because they know they’ve been left behind by modernity, by science, by education, by art, by literature—the rest of us are getting on with our lives. These people are standing on a hill top waiting for the end and this is a dangerous group of people to have as neighbors. And they’re our national neighbors. And this is the source of all these insanities that we see leveled at the President. One way or the other they go back to this little evangelical subculture. It’s a disaster.

Put simply, the Republicans have tied their fortunes to a bunch of crazies. For a while, during the administrations of Nixon and Reagan, this helped them electorally, but, during the administration of Bush it all started to unravel.

The problem being that one of their own was actually in the White House, starting wars because God told him to and actually asking other world leaders to help him fight Gog and Magog.

As Schaeffer rightly points out, the rest of us simply don't understand just how much these people have been raised to reject facts as a matter of faith. And yet, the Republican party have tied themselves to the views of the village idiot.
The Republican party is totally enthralled to this subculture. To the extent that there is no Republican party. There is a fundamentalist subculture which has become a cult. It's fed red meat by buffoons like Rush Limbaugh , Glenn Beck and other people who are just not terribly bright themselves and they are talking to even stupider people. That's where we are at. That's where all this is coming from and it's becoming circular, it's becoming a joke. Unfortunately, a dangerous joke because every once in a while one of these loony tunes brings guns to public meetings; who knows what they do next?
Obama and the Democrats need to stop trying to appease these people. Simply ignore them and move on as one can't appease people who think the way they do. There is no way to rationalise with someone who is waiting for the end times.

The Republican party deserve to be eaten alive by the insane tiger which they have spent the last thirty years riding.

For example, Alexander Zaitchik has just published a devastating account of the man who helped to form Glenn Beck's mindset. I would challenge anyone to read it and come to the conclusion that anyone coming from such a mindset would ever respond to reasonable arguments.

They're fruitcakes. And Schaeffer has done well to say so loudly.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.

No comments: