Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The American Berserkers

"Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn." Alfred Pennyworth - The Dark Knight
That pretty much sums up dealing with religious fundamentalists and hardline political ideologists. Whether it is the Tea Party, Christian Dominionists/Reconstructionists, Al-Qaeda or the Taliban; you are not dealing with rational, sane people who can be negotiated with. These are people who make demand, after demand, after demand and then still execute the hostage once it is over. They are not motivated by money, they are motivated by the looney idea that they are on a mission from God and only the complete destruction of the enemy is an acceptable conclusion to the crusade. Like a Viking berserker, folks like Rick Santorum set off political rampages that have the end goal of installing theocracy, dismantling the parts of the Constitution they don't like and replacing it with their strict (and surprisingly inconsistent) interpretation of the Bible. The only real difference between them and the Taliban is one wears sweater vests, the others wear suicide vests.
These are the people responsible for grabbing the wheel of the GOP bus every election year for the past 3 decades and steering it as hard to the right as they possibly can. The mistake the GOP and Wall Street made in 2010 is letting them drive, thinking they could be controlled and making concessions to them. They played to the hard right like never before last cycle because they knew they had to in order to get their votes. Evangelicals and fundamentalists had been repeatedly given just token pieces of anti-abortion legislation and if they weren't given what they wanted this time around, they were going to walk and take their Tea Party with them.
I remember standing on the floor of the Virginia state GOP convention in 1993 and listening to the likes of Ralph Reed and Michael Farris thunder on about how we were a "Christian nation", while watching the homeschool lobby act like we were at a Pentecostal service. Even "middle of the road" candidates (by evangelical standards) like George Allen or Oliver North knew they had to at least pay lip service to the attendees who showed up in their 15 passenger family vans and raised their hands towards the sky like God was going to handpick the nominee right there and then. This isn't a group that can be usually bought off with earmarks, special considerations, or anything like that. They want the end of government as we know it. They want a "Christian" version of Afghanistan under Taliban rule. They would have their own version of the "morality police" to ensure that only married heterosexual couples were having sex and probably only for the purposes of procreation.
I know it sounds nutty to some people but if you've been behind the lines, which I was up until around the age of 17, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I know the inner workings, I know the unwavering faith that these useful idiots have that they are doing what God wants. And if they don't get what they want, they'll be happy to watch the world burn.


  1. Everyone is expecting Rick Perry of Texas to throw his hat into the Presidential ring. Rick and Bachmann are both Christian Dominionists. It would not surprise me in the least if we see Perry/Bachmann on the repub ticket this cycle.

  2. I was part of that club until 1993 or so. I could just as easily been Michele Bachmann. But my marriage fell apart and in that mess I discovered what a vile pit of vipers that crowd is. They are DANGEROUS. And honestly, I don't know how to stop them. Maybe they've put something in the water, because people who you would normally expect to be rational, thinking people, are going gaga over Perry/Bachmann/Palin/etc ad nauseam. Anyone who thinks Texas is in good shape needs to have their voters' registration revoked and their head examined.

  3. The sad truth is, there are some people whose neurophysiology is such that they feel alive only when they are in a fight. By taking what they see as the moral high ground, these "Christians" can add nobility to their fighting urges.

  4. I think many, if not all, of these fanatics are tools of unscrupulous 1%ers. Check out for some scary info. Follow the money.

  5. Holy cow! If anyone is crazy, it's you guys here. I cant believe the drivel coming out of your mouths. Even more unbelievable is that you believe every word. Talk about happy watching the world burn? Go take a good look in the mirror. As you point fingers at Christians and blame them for what's going on....take a look at the other fingers on your hand and see who they're pointing at.

  6. Dear Sharon, your incredibly predictable and cliche comment went into our spam folder. I went ahead and pulled it out so your ignorance could be shown for all to see. Remember, I grew up in the midst of your kind, so don't try to deny what you folks believe.

  7. Amen, Brother!

    I grew up in a Pentecostal household and have seen that Old Time Religion up close and personal. I think faith based religion is one of the greatest existential threats to the continued survival of humankind. I long for a world where reason prevails and the kind of nonsense Sharon is no doubt fond of can't get any traction at all.

  8. American Christianity is a unique beast that grew out of a very decentralized beginning during our expansion period. Church leaders were often the ruling authority figures in loosely knit communities of farmsteads and entire areas were settled by single religious groups, shunning all new comers who didn't "convert". The one thing that they all had in common was a long period of isolation from normal society with higher education and social graces.

    You can see remnants of this as you travel through the midwest. Small towns of less than 5,000 people will have 5, or more, churches which are different from each other only in minute details of how services are conducted. Each of these groups gather several times a week to assure themselves that they are God's chosen, and that the rest of humanity, including their 4,000 neighbors, are going to hell.

    Should they ever achieve the Christian nation that they desire, the battle will have only just begun. This is a collection of snake handlers, rollers in the aisles, and speakers in tongues, who believe that Romney's Mormon religion, probably second only to Catholicism in financial holdings, property, and membership, is a "cult". If they weren't so dangerous to modern society the idea of them achieving any cohesive power in any political arena for more than an election cycle might have some entertainment value.

    There is some glimmer of hope that the bulk of the membership of these insane conclaves is slightly less insane than their leadership. Each of those small towns with their 5 Christian churches has, at most, 2 bars.