"In the early 1970s the evangelicals like my late father and James Dobson decided that the our society had fallen so far "away from God" and so far from "America's Christian history" that it was time to metaphorically decamp to not just another country but to another planet:. In other words virtually unnoticed by the media and mainstream political operatives, a big chunk of American society seceded from the union in all but name.
What they did is turn the white race-based in "Christian school" movement of the 1950s into a countercultural phenomena. As tens of thousands of new Christian schools opened, it was no longer just about "protecting" white kids from minorities and African-Americans. It was about protecting your children from Satan in other words the United States government's long reach through the public school system. The generation raised on the belief that the US government is illegitimate because it is trying to "impose" non-biblical laws on people has hit the streets. . .
Ah, helps make sense of all the people who didn't want the president talking to their school kids. GW Bush was ok because they believe he is one of them.
Linda at Celtic Diva has been running some pieces on the religious right that help explain some of the craziness that is going on in the US today. The quote above and those below are from a long piece Linda posted by Frank Schaeffer, the son of a well-known evangelist. Schaeffer has left the movement, but not before being among the architects of various evangelical campaigns including anti-abortion. He apologized publicly for his role in Dr. Tiller's murder.
These are the people who grew up indoctrinated into an alternative reality. Today they are out there waving signs of Obama dressed as Hitler. They are buying weapons and ammunition. Some are in the growing and revived militia movement. They are Dick Armey's foot soldiers. People like Armey and Beck can count on the ignorance of their dupes. It's against their religion to read a real newspaper, watch anything but Fox or go to a real school."
Basically Schaeffer's saying that the Evangelical right has pulled its kids out of public schools for home schools or private evangelical school and has indoctrinated them into a theocratic mindset where people who do not believe in their God are evil. Their interpretation of the bible, not the Constitution, are their law.
He warns that kindly liberals - Obama included - who want to rely on reason simply do not recognize what they are dealing with. These folks, according to Schaeffer, play by totally different rules. He gives the example of being ahead in a chess game and thinking you are winning when your opponent pulls out a lead pipe and beats the crap out of you. Different rules about winning.
Evangelical Red Guards
Over the last 30 years Evangelical fundamentalists have managed to do what Chairman Mao failed to do with his Red Guards: indoctrinate a whole generation of evangelical people to see their own society as the enemy and act like subversives from within the culture. These people are more anti-American than Al-Qaeda. The "Christian Reconstruction" movement is working for theocracy. Reconstructionism (of which Gary North is one leader) says that the law given for the political and legal ordering of ancient Israel is intended for all people at all times.
I was born in the United States because a man named Adolf Hitler mobilized a demoralized German youth and many of their parents after the humiliations of post World War I Germany. The most scientifically and culturally advanced nation in the world succumbed to pure emotional hate and pride in fatherland. The rational, educated Germans didn't believe that Hitler had a chance. My mother barely got out of Germany before World War II broke out. This was a real event in my family. So I've grown up understanding that the US was not immune from this sort of thing. There are structural differences between the German government then and the US government now that make the US less vulnerable. But 'less' doesn't mean invulnerable.
Schaeffer's narrative makes the people we've been seeing on television and here in Anchorage understandable. They're denial of facts, their black and white approach to good and evil, their hatred of the government. They see the world as differently from us as do Islamic fundamentalists. But they look and sound just like us (on many topics) so we're apt to overlook the warning signs. They are the product of years of schooling in this. (Note: I know that school, all schools, turn off a certain number of the students, so not all graduates of such schools turned out that way. But enough to make good footage for Fox News and other television news programs who need some action footage to keep viewers. And they are devoted. Wait til we see the first Evangelical suicide bombers in this country.) Schaeffer calls this the enemy within. We can't make the same mistake the reasonable Germans made in the 1930s. The Bible is much more powerful than Mein Kampf.
I understand people's doubts. This is the United States, we're different. Yes, so was Germany, so was every once-great nation. We aren't outside of history. I heard Schaeffer a while back on Fresh Air. You can listen to the Schaeffer interview and judge for yourself whether this guy is credible.
More immediate for us in Anchorage though is Schaefer's list of people who have got it right:
The real story of the Religious Right and their power to destroy is told by Max Blumenthal in Republican Gomorrah, and Jeff Sharlet in The Family and by me in Crazy For God. What our books have in common is the understanding that you can lose in the political system but still "win" -- according to your destructive agenda -- if your agenda is non-political but rather religious and apocalyptic in nature.Max Blumenthal will be in Anchorage next weekend to talk at a couple of venues.
The Shannyn Moore Show 5-7pm AM radio 700.
You can also make contributions to help pay for Blumenthal's visit at Progressive Alaska.(Upper right corner PayPal button.) A later post there gives a lot more information about Blumenthal.
Blumenthal's book Republican Gomorrah is currently #15 on the New York Times non-fiction best seller list.
8pm UAA Arts Building 150
Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship -