By Jason Taylor
The religiosity of the right has always been a sham. Trump didn’t kill the religious right. He has simply turned a spotlight on the evil, callous, disregard for all “others” that has been suspected, yet denied by Republicans, for decades. That evil has always been there, festering, foul, fetid and rotting in the dark corners cloaked as fiscal conservatism when used to disembowel the national safety net for the impoverished.
The only thing Trump has done (at the behest of the likes of Bannon, the Mercer’s, Steve Miller, et al.) is drag it out of the dark, place it on a pedestal and point to it as an ideal worthy of veneration.
Religion is, and always has been, just another propaganda tool for Republicans. Time and again they have made promises to the religious right during a campaign, only to abandon them once in office. “What does the GOP stand for?” is a question I started asking myself in the 90s after Clinton stole the small government planks from their platform. What I finally decided was that they stand for winning elections, and nothing more.
When a party lacks a guiding principle it must fall back on opposition and propaganda. Religion is a big part of that, and a powerful propaganda machine can make even the most impious imposter seem defendable. But once in power, there is no agenda or sense of purpose, because there are no core beliefs. The result is the ridiculous incompetence that we see on display right now. There is no common bond tying these politicians together other than their lust for power, so we are left with a governing body that operates only in the interest of retaining that power.
They spend their days attacking enemies present, past and future, rewarding wealthy patrons, and trying to install permanent or semi-permanent levers of power. Public good and, yes, religious principles are left to rot by the roadside… at least until the next election campaign.
As a blindly religious Roy Moore supporter Pamela Hicks said:
“All I really know is that Christians will always be attacked no matter what. It — — (i.e., the stalker of teenaged of girls, the pathological lying and habitual hypocrisy) — — could be true, it could be false, but he’s led by God, and that’s all that matters.”
Welcome to mindless Bible Belt and fraudulent American heartland world of Whited Sepulchers R Us.
In that right-wing fantasy world and insane asylum, you will find every intellectual, moral and economic fraud and depravity to suit your personally bankrupt needs. If you want serial Christian philanderers Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, Bob Livingston and pedophile Dennis Hastert to impeach a Democratic President for extramarital sex, the Grand Old Phonies welcome your spiritual bankruptcy.
If you want the antithesis of the biblical passages of Luke and Matthew of feeding the poor and the weak, then come learn the Prosperity and Calvinist gospel of trampling on the poor and the old-time political religion of exploiting Gullibility Of People to rob them blind over and over and over again.
It is the rich that must be coddled while the poor deserve the hell on the earth that Grand Old Poverty guarantees via God-Guns-and-Greed-Over People. Let us ‘prey’ on religious fools so we can rip off their wages, their pensions, and their healthcare and celebrate the billionaire class with yet another gilded Russian-Republican Orthodox Merry Christmas.
Many Christians wear religion around their necks like a protective amulet. For reasons I don’t understand, they feel that by simply stating that they are Christians, they are absolved from the norms our society. Yet, in my experience, they are often the least “Christ-like” and most judgemental people I have ever met. They use Bible verse when it suits their needs and avoids it when it might sting or prosecute their own actions or, like Roy Moore, the actions of others.
And so, we are left listening in utter disbelief when the far-right uses its pretzel logic to try to excuse a man who clearly, despite his protestations, is of highly questionable moral character. Jesus may be in the position of forgiving him, but that is certainly not our place. We must take on this scurrilous rogue using our laws — and let his ultimate judgment wait for later.
Moore’s voters aren’t supporting Moore. They’re resisting the idea that someone else can force them or shame them into accepting facts — any facts — that they don’t want to accept. They’ll damage Alabama out of pride rather than let someone else coerce them into admitting they were wrong. This isn’t about Moore in the first place. He’s just a case study in the epistemological question that has been cause for war in the South since the 18th century: are facts determined by self-evidence or by power? They vote the latter, again and again. Moore voters will do it now.
This will divide Alabama communities, churches, families and individuals in their own consciences. This time they won’t be taking the field together at Gettysburg or standing in the schoolhouse door or waiting to beat people crossing the Pettus Bridge. This time the ones who make the belligerent gesture will get it back on the bottom line when companies decline to open in Alabama when talented people decline to work there, when good students look to other colleges, when tourists ignore Alabama and when they’re the butt of a million jokes.
Let Alabamians decide among themselves if they want to play host to this ugly dilemma again. Those with a shred of conscience and an ounce of self-interest can stop this, defeat that old malignancy, and join the fact-based 21st century. The Moore voters can condemn the state to another generation of masochistic stupidity.
Trump believes Roy Moore because he denies the allegations against him. He also believes Vladimir Putin because he denies the allegations about Russian interference with our elections. What is there to add?