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1 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 3:50:21pm
Both seem to believe that Christian fundamentalism has growing influence in the Tea Party movement.

I have to agree.

Tea Party anti-abortion ad too graphic for YouTube but not TV


Warning: The footage shown in these two political advertisements is sickening and contains extremely graphic images and may be too disturbing for most viewers.
2 Bob Levin  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 4:04:27pm

I think this election, most elections, are ultimately about the economy. No matter what happens on election night, the clock will begin ticking for the winners.

Sharlet's observation about co-opting is accurate, because Washington has a tendency to grind politicians into a mold of simply wanting to get re-elected. And so there is this odd master that they must serve, a combination of campaign money and popularity polls. If they become unpopular, then the money goes to someone else. If they generate enough money, they can generate popularity.

The factor beyond their control, which truly determines their popularity, the factor that ultimately wins or loses elections, is current events tied to the economy. Or, they can say things so astoundingly stupid that they embarrass their constituents.

For the Christian Right to gain real political momentum, a lot of folks have to become enthusiastically religious, so much so that they lose perspective on how society works and the institutions that keeps society stable. There is only so much momentum that can be generated here, especially since we love new technology more than we love religious beliefs.

You cannot theologically remove debt, although people try. Nor can you theologically reduce unemployment, or theologically control the stock market.

If there is a real danger sign that signals the possibility of the US becoming a theocracy, it is when people, en masse, avoid going to their doctor when they are sick and go to their clergyman instead. I don't see that happening in the US, ever.

3 Curt  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 4:34:18pm

re: #2 Bob Levin

I think this election, most elections, are ultimately about the economy. No matter what happens on election night, the clock will begin ticking for the winners.

No matter the letter behind their name, they must face it realistically, which results in positive results, or they will be gone in 2/6 years...fact.


For the Christian Right to gain real political momentum, a lot of folks have to become enthusiastically religious, so much so that they lose perspective on how society works and the institutions that keeps society stable. There is only so much momentum that can be generated here, especially since we love new technology more than we love religious beliefs.

Concur. Also know that the desire for traditional Christian churches is waning, so, this "argument" is really a strawman. Fear of nothing that will have the impact they are projecting for it.


You cannot theologically remove debt, although people try. Nor can you theologically reduce unemployment, or theologically control the stock market.


Yep...as obvious as the nose on the face or almost everyone, if they were to critically consider life, the universe and everything.


If there is a real danger sign that signals the possibility of the US becoming a theocracy, it is when people, en masse, avoid going to their doctor when they are sick and go to their clergyman instead. I don't see that happening in the US, ever.

Hasn't before, and the prayers before places like even the Senate, haven't seemed to cause a vote for the Pope to become King over the President. Once more, manufacturing of a hobgoblin, and then associating it with anyone who is conservative/Republican.

4 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 4:50:13pm

re: #3 Curt

Why overlook the fact that fundamentalist Christianity has resulted in actual laws-- like the terrible one in Oklahoma that mandates women who have been raped and are seeking an abortion, be raped again?

How can you overlook the Texas schoolbooks fiasco?

How can you overlook the denial of AGW, which is in large part inspired by fundamentalist Christianity?

5 Curt  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 5:10:28pm

re: #4 Obdicut

Why overlook the fact that fundamentalist Christianity has resulted in actual laws-- like the terrible one in Oklahoma that mandates women who have been raped and are seeking an abortion, be raped again?

A law that mandates rape? I think you're using more than a little hyperbole, as a law that mandated the commission of a felony actually wouldn't stand, nor would any lawmaker seriously consider this. I would submit there are those on the far opposite end of the discussion that would try to make others believe that is the case, but it's a stretch of too much for any thinking person to believe, unless you're under the another set of fundamentalists, those of the Islamic faith, who's culture does make women a lesser person in the eyes of the law, and that of property of men. Rhetorical question: Just which fundamentalists are you really afraid of an why? Certainly the discussion on the allowance for abortion under some circumstances still goes on, and yes, that law is one to be worked on.

BTW, you mention one law. How many others?


How can you overlook the Texas schoolbooks fiasco?

To ask for balanced views? Just because there is a group who doesn't want it in in school books doesn't mean it's a "fiasco." Once more, it sure doesn't look like there will be mass praying in schools, forcing of people to accept Jesus or be stoned, is there? Maybe I missed that. Still strawmen. OTOH, if you have links as to how this has actually forced school aged children to convert, please post it.


How can you overlook the denial of AGW, which is in large part inspired by fundamentalist Christianity?

Do you have a scientific survey pointing at this, or is this your perception? Link, please....and a few people saying it doesn't make it lead by the Christians. There are still the scientists who signed the paperwork saying that "consensus" didn't sway them. Thankfully, many scientists are still working this issue.

I hope you're not living in fear of being forced to become a fundamentalist, because I'd suspect that's not the case. If you are approached by those sharing their faith, try telling them "No thank you." It may actually reduce your anxiety levels and they will respect your request and leave you alone.

6 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 6:24:42pm

re: #5 Curt

A law that mandates rape? I think you're using more than a little hyperbole, as a law that mandated the commission of a felony actually wouldn't stand, nor would any lawmaker seriously consider this.

You're ignorant of the law, then.

If a woman who has been raped in Oklahoma seeks an abortion, it is mandated that she have a vaginal wand inserted into her to produce a sonogram, and then have the fetus (such as it can be) described to her in detail.


To ask for balanced views? Just because there is a group who doesn't want it in in school books doesn't mean it's a "fiasco."

Okay, are you just unaware of what's been going on with Texas, or do you honestly feel that it's not a fiasco?

Maybe I missed that. Still strawmen. OTOH, if you have links as to how this has actually forced school aged children to convert, please post it.

How does it work in your head that I'm constructing a strawman?

I never maid the claim that anyone was forced to convert. You made that up. That would, in fact, be a strawman.

And yet you accuse me of making one.

Fucking amazing.

There are still the scientists who signed the paperwork saying that "consensus" didn't sway them. Thankfully, many scientists are still working this issue.

Can you explain what you mean by this part, please?

7 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 6:38:53pm

re: #5 Curt

BTW, you mention one law. How many others?

Oh, and about fourteen states have imitated that law, by the way.

8 freetoken  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 6:55:14pm

re: #2 Bob Levin

There is only so much momentum that can be generated here, especially since we love new technology more than we love religious beliefs.

I agree. I've long argued that the net effect of having the SoCon movement on American politics, when it is rising to the surface, is more to disturb the effectiveness of the political system and ultimately the ability to govern. Because we are such a diverse nation I do not see the hard-core theocrats ever succeeding in their goals. However, along the way they can cause damage, as we now see in the GOP with the ongoing breakdown between the SoCon elements and the non-religious "libertarian" wings of the party.

What we are likely to face is a bit of electorate chaos, where a lack of consensus on time-critical issues leads to the inability to govern. We see that now on energy issues, where the much needed investments to reduce our dependency on oil are never undertaken because of too many conflicting interests. We're seeing also emerging is the hostility towards the educational systems in this country, with the more rabid elements of wingnuttia labeling teachers as "enemies", and such.

Religious fervor almost always leads to disaster, wherever it occurs.

9 theheat  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 7:53:33pm

re: #2 Bob Levin

For the Christian Right to gain real political momentum, a lot of folks have to become enthusiastically religious, so much so that they lose perspective on how society works and the institutions that keeps society stable.

It's called the Tea Party. You may have heard of it. It has candidates running in several major races, complete with their anti-science, anti-gay, anti-woman, conspiracy-ridden, anti-government, bigoted, religious, dogma.

I'd say it's a lot more likely than you think. I say that because there's an active movement to accomplish those goals, right now. There are immensely popular pundits and television networks dedicated to propagating this mindthink. Limbaugh, Beck, Fox News, Buchannan, Huckabee, Palin - they're certainly anything but low profile. These are core elements of a political party that represents about 50% of the voters.

And while Obdicut may have used the word "rape" to describe an indelicate medical procedure, several states have cracked down on women's legal reproductive rights, and more are on the slate. For example, Colorado is currently considering giving zygotes personhood status. South Dakota tried to make abortions illegal, altogether.

This is fundamentalist horseshit, being sprayed like a firehouse from several directions. Effectively, it soaks everyone that way. Don't think you won't get any on you.

10 dragonfire1981  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 7:56:16pm

re: #9 theheat

I think you forgot anti-non white people in there somewhere...

11 Bob Levin  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 8:35:34pm

re: #8 freetoken

We're probably not disagreeing on all that much. I've seen this before, years ago, and the first time through I was very alarmed. Now, I see that as long as the economy is in bad shape, power will keep shifting back and forth. The Right frequently overestimates the depth of its support. Folks are angry at the state of the economy--that's as deep as it goes.

I think that electoral fights have been a constant since the beginning of the country. And there were several times in our short history when the fights have been much worse. Another constant, and the saving constant, has been our desire for technological growth and change.

The GOP had always been a very weak party when I was growing up, and only until 1980 did it get any kind of strength. The problem, in terms of government, was always whether the Democrats had enough sense to make the right decisions, since they controlled Congress for so many years.

Having Congress tied up in knots is not something that worries me--in fact, it's something I wouldn't mind seeing because I don't see anyone in Congress who is stepping up with any ideas that I think will be effective.

I think the GOP's seeming power is mostly due to the lack of effectiveness in the institutions that they attack. So, because the school systems are either A) ineffective or B)facing bankruptcy, they are susceptible to right wing attacks. There are moments when the schools actually do a good job--and I've found this to be the case in AP classes. What if the schools began to prepare kids for the AP courses for a few years before they take the course--instead of making the course a one year cram for the exam? They could do this. In other words, curricula are designed backwards from the standardized test the district deems most important. For years it was the SAT. Why not the AP? It is possible to make the textbooks, uh, weird, and still have kids do well on the SAT. Not so with the AP. Parents do not like their kids to do badly on tests. It's a small adjustment, but it would be very effective.

The country has no choice but to make a change in energy infrastructure. And this will also be the right medicine for the economy. It is a crisis, and the people who will come up with the solutions are not doubting it or minimizing it. The US has come through moments like this more than once.

12 Michael Orion Powell  Sun, Oct 24, 2010 10:37:33pm

re: #6 Obdicut

You're ignorant of the law, then.

If a woman who has been raped in Oklahoma seeks an abortion, it is mandated that she have a vaginal wand inserted into her to produce a sonogram, and then have the fetus (such as it can be) described to her in detail.

Whoa!


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