When I was a kid, we were taught many of the things that people like Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck and the wacky right still believe today. "Facts" like the UN and Hillary Clinton were in league to brainwash kids by giving them access to the library with their own library cards, instead of having their parents check out their own books. How groups like Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, Little League and others were secret liberal plots to teach kids to accept things like equal rights for women and recruit kids into secularism and/or homosexuality. We were told over and over again that public education was an evil liberal plot to create a new generation of communists, pagans and homosexuals.
Yet, many of us who grew up in that kind of nutty atmosphere grew up and found out that *gasp*, those were all a bunch of nutty conspiracy theories and outright falsehoods used to brainwash a younger generation. As we grew up, we had experiences in the outside world that caused us to realize that gay people weren't Satan's evil minions bent on turning every child into a homosexual, that most gay people are born that way and education is a blessing, not something that would cause you to go to Hell. We learned that the Earth is more than 6,000 years old, birth control wasn't a sin against God and that masturbation wouldn't make you go blind.
Some people, like Bachmann and the Christian Dominionists, apparently never got that memo. Either that, or they have been so busy repeating the lie over and over to themselves, that they have come to believe their own pile of maniacal religious B.S. This allows them to excuse racism as something else, a rejection of evil in the world or secularism, because they can paint it as that and not a deep-seeded prejudice against people who aren't exactly like them. They go further still, into a perpetual blood-letting versus people of their own ranks who aren't as ideologically pure, who aren't as radical as they are. I believe that what finally got my family away from that nuttiness is that my mother was Catholic, and therefore not as completely "pure" as they were as Pentecostals or Southern Baptists.
This fanaticism and eating of their own will be on full display when the 2012 primaries come around and they primary members of the GOP who didn't toe the crazy line for them. As a person who grew up in a religiously fanatical environment, I look forward to this with morbid anticipation.