evangelicals

Conservatism Cannot Make America Great

by Pitt Griffin on November 27, 2017 · 0 comments

in Politics

Conservatism is not the future of America. It is instead a backward-looking philosophy – which dreams of recreating some imaginary Edenic past in today’s America. But thinking folk know that today’s America will never be yesterday’s. And besides yesterday’s America wasn’t so good for millions.

Things have changed. We’re not nearly as white as we used to be. And that is not a bad thing. America owes an inestimable debt to people who looked different and spoke differently. But conservatives’ stock in trade is scaring the bejeezus out of white people for no nobler purpose than getting their votes.

Trump’s support is strongest in the whitest suburbs and small towns – in other words, among white folks who haven’t run across minorities. People who live in mixed neighborhoods and big cities rapidly realize that Ramon, Rasheed, and Rayansh are no more or less threatening than Roger, Robert or Ruppert.

We also aren’t as Christian. ‘Nones’ are America’s fast-growing ‘denomination’. And even among self-professed churchgoers, you have to wonder how many are doing so out of habit, family pressure, and social mores.

Nevertheless, Christians still represent overwhelming majorities in government, and every President has been at least nominally Christian – except for Thomas Jefferson, a deist, and Abraham Lincoln, likely an atheist. But despite this, conservative white Christians consider themselves the most persecuted group in America. I suppose it is just another instance of believing something for which there is no evidence – the foundation of faith if you will.

And then there is the conservative belief in coal. The rest of the world is moving on. Even the ecologically callous Chinese think that burning stuff is a dead end. But in America, there is faith in something called ‘clean coal’ – the chemical symbol for which is a unicorn. Regardless, coal jobs are gone for good and the only thing being saved is coal profits.

Then there’s science. The only way you can give coal any credibility as a fuel of the future is to deny global warming. Which is to fly in the face of facts. Despite contrary claims, there is no scientific controversy om climate change. It exists. It’s man-made. And it isn’t going away unless we do something. But dyed-in-the-wool conservatives deny it? Why?

My best guess is that many Americans enjoy a streak of paranoia. There is a belief that someone somewhere is trying to ruin their lives. They believe scientists have an agenda, just like gays. Although it’s hard to imagine what it would be. If scientists were in it for the money, they would take the climate-denial lobby’s cash and sprint for the bank.

And let’s not talk about the intelligent design stupidity.

It’s worth noting that science got a lot more credit in yesterday’s America. There was a time when Albert Einstein was probably the world’s most admired man. The science of the space race led to enormous strides in consumer geegaws. And it would never have occurred to most Americans to think that scientists had a political agenda.

And talking about an agenda, while politicians of all stripes have had their complaints about their coverage conservatives never used to claim the media was fake. But our founders knew the value of an independent press to keep them honest. And that was in a time before journalistic ethics.

Conservatives love the past – even if they can’t be honest about it.

 

{ 0 comments }

It’s not just Moore, Alabama Has a Long and Dishonorable Political Tradition.

November 14, 2017

Everybody is following the Roy Moore teen molestation saga and wondering if all the backwoods stories they have heard about Alabama could possibly be as bad as they dared not imagine. And yet the more we hear, the more we realize that Alabama is “you might be a redneck if…” territory. Let’s consider how we got into this […]

Read the full article →

Roy Moore Is Still Alabama’s Most Likely Next Senator.

November 12, 2017

Republicans have to deal with a Senate candidate, Roy Moore, who has been accused of plying girls with alcohol and touching them up. In Alabama the local GOP’s answer is simple. They deny he did it and besides most of the accusers were at least 16 – so fair game for a 30-something. And that’s if the […]

Read the full article →

Michigan Rapist Gets Joint Custody of Child.

October 7, 2017

Raped and impregnated at 12, she must now permit her rapist to visit her child. If you thought this was a story out of Pakistan or some other Islamic theocracy you would be forgiven your error. Surely this cannot happen in America — in 2017? Apparently, it can. As reported in the Detroit News: A Sanilac County Circuit […]

Read the full article →

After 2,000 Years Evangelicals Should Have Come Up with a Better God.

September 15, 2017

When you look at the evangelical’s God, you have to ask: Is that the best we can do? With all the invention, discovery and intellectual advances since the birth of Christ, you would have thought they could have come up with a better model. The God of the evangelicals is no more than an old brick […]

Read the full article →

How Religion Uses Hate to Make Money

March 12, 2017

Years ago I went to rural Ohio years ago because my girlfriend’s family lived there. It depressed me. It was flat, and there were holes in the stop signs that someone told me were bullet holes. It was also winter – so that didn’t help. Her father was a hospital administrator, and her mother played golf. They […]

Read the full article →

The Total Destruction of the Johnson Amendment, a Simple Plan from a Simple Man.

February 3, 2017

The ‘Johnson Amendment’ prohibits churches with tax-exempt status from endorsing politicians. As so-called Christians favor Republicans, conservatives hate it. So Trump, the evangelicals’ unlikely knight in tarnished armor, is cynically all-in for its demise. Not just repeal, but its “total destruction”. What can he mean by this hyperbole? Perhaps he is speaking in biblical terms – […]

Read the full article →

Nationalism Isn’t Patriotism – But It Is Politically Useful.

January 3, 2017

Conservatives spanked President Obama for not wearing a flag pin. Which raises the question, what does a flag pin signify? The wearer believes it’s patriotism. It isn’t. The pin is no more than a biker patch – his ‘colors’ if you will. The pin wearer declares himself to be no more than a nationalist wearing […]

Read the full article →

Religion Poisons Everything. Even Atheism.

December 29, 2016

The is nothing more annoying than a debate between an atheist and a true believer. I’m an atheist, and I can feel within myself the smug and poisonous intellectual superiority of being a ‘critical thinker’: a dispassionate observer of the world. Not for me the magic of superstition, the prison of rote, the mindless surrender of intellect […]

Read the full article →