With the arrival of the holiday season one sees even more false piety and self-congratulatory religiosity from fundamental Christians. The hypocrisy truly goes off the charts. It's enough to make one want to vomit. But besides seeking to ruin this time of year for everyone who does not subscribe to the hate and fear based religious beliefs, these "godly folk" due much to hold back America - which shouldn't be a surprise since these folks seem at times to worship ignorance and to view logic and reason as some form of communicable disease. A piece in Salon reminds us of some of these other foul gifts from fundamentalist Christians to the nation. Here are some highlights:
Terrible Social Safety Net. The Jesus Christ of the Bible is forever going on about the need to clothe and feed the poor, but the Jesus Christ of the right-wing imagination is just as quick to kick a homeless person as he is to give him a meal. One of the biggest projects of fundamentalist Christianity of the past few decades is to create a religious justification for slashing the social safety net. That’s why conservative Christians tend to ignore the hundreds of verses in the Bible about feeding the poor and focus instead on a single verse, 2 Thessalonians 3:10, which reads, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” . . . . conservative Christians have exploited the hell out of this verse to justify all manner of starving the poor and casting them out to sleep in the cold.Megachurch pastor John Hagee interprets the verse to mean that welfare should be ended. Rep. Kevin Cramer whips the verse out to justify starving SNAP-dependent children. And Rep. Stephen Fincher does the same, even though he wasn’t against taking millions in government aid himself, in the form of farm subsidies.Creationism. One of the most peculiar ways conservative Christians try to assert cultural dominance in the U.S. is to reject the theory of evolution and instead insist on some sort of Biblical literalism that suggests humans were created by God instead of evolved over time. Because of this, only Turkey has lower rates than the U.S. in the Western world of acceptance of the theory of evolution. Unfortunately, conservative Christians refuse to limit themselves to simply believing weird stuff. Instead, creationists are forever trying to find new ways to push their religious beliefs off as “science” in science classrooms, even though the courts have firmly told them they really can’t be doing this.Battles Over Proselytizing in Schools. Creationism is just a small part of a larger, ongoing hunger the Christian right has for access to children in public schools. The First Amendment should forbid exploiting the fact that kids are required to go to school to foist Christian beliefs on them, but the lure of all that captive audience means conservative Christians keep trying.Convincing People to Vote Against Their Own Self-Interests. The 2014 midterm elections were strange, in that nearly every time voters had a chance to vote directly on legislation–such as raising the minimum wage–they voted for the liberal side, but somehow Republicans still swept the elections. There are many complex reasons for this, but one of the most straightforward is that this is the problem with religiosity. Republicans thump the Bible hard and frequently, and that causes a lot of people to believe that a vote for Republicans is a “Christian” vote. The fact that Republicans refuse to walk the walk–attacking the poor to fluff up the coffers of the wealthy every chance they get–matters little. The religiosity is skin deep, but that’s all it needs to be to get votes.The Modern Republican Party. Many political observers are prone, at times, to wonder how it is that the Republican Party of the mid-20th century seems to have disappeared entirely. Gone are Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower or Gerald Ford, who while certainly conservative, at least seemed to feel somewhat beholden to things like “facts” or “desire to govern,” and instead it seems like every new crop of Republican politicians going into office is nuttier than the last.This is almost entirely due to religion. The past few decades have been a stampede of religious fanatics into high office. The results are disturbing: Congressional panels convened to push the idea that contraception is some great moral evil, Congress forbidding the EPA from consulting actual scientists on science questions, anti-science fanatics heading science committeesRape Culture. Most of us are fully aware of how conservative Christian hostility to reproductive rights and gay rights is setting back progress, but it’s also true that Christianity plays a big role in making it hard to address the problem of sexual assault. Many conservative Christians eagerly spread the discredited myth that women make up rape in order to “cover up” for having consensual sex, which is what Rep. Todd Akin was doing when he claimed women cannot get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” But more than that, because of their hang-ups about sexuality, conservative Christians generally get wrapped up in the idea that the problem with sexual violence is less the violence part and more the sex part.Witness, for instance, National Review writer Carl Eric Scott, when he writes about the problem of rape: He assumes that the problem is not forced sex, but consensual sex, and his “solutions” to the rape problem are all centered around trying to discourage consensual sex. . . . conservative Christians continue to confuse the issue about what exactly causes rape, by leading people to believe it’s just about too much sex when it’s actually about power and domination.