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Hand in hand: the Christian role in the Republican Party.

It may seem a bit incongruous that the Republican Party’s two chief constituencies are big business and fundamentalist Christians. However, politics, as they say, makes strange bedfellows.

The Southern Strategy was about more than just expanding the Republican base in the south. You see, there is hardly a widespread popular movement advocating for corporations to rob us blind. That was a bit of a problem for the corporate-owned-and-operated Republican Party…until it came up with an idea.

The Southern Strategy attracted a swarm of racists into the Republican Party. They brought with them their peculiar brand of fundamentalist Christianity. In exchange for the Republican Party adopting their extreme moral positions as part of its platform, the Christians would provide the foot soldiers big business needed.

In effect, fundamentalist Christians support the Republicans because the Republicans will give them what they want on abortion, homosexuality, evolution, stem cells, women’s equality, and whatever other reactionary demands they come up with. Once the Republicans are in power, they are then in a position to give big business what it demands. Corporations and the ultra-wealthy don’t care about social issues, since they will not be affected by the theocratic laws imposed on everyone else.

Fundamentalist Christian values provide the smokescreen behind which corporate interests operate without repercussion. Instead of focusing their attention on environmental devastation, mass lay-offs, corporate corruption, or any of those things which truly damage society, Christians are distracted with preventing gay people from getting married.

This association occurred to me recently while driving to Atlanta. I was trying to find a good radio station, and scanned onto a report on global warming. It didn’t take me long to realize that it was a denialist report claiming global warming is not occurring, but I kept listening anyway. At the end of the “report”, it was revealed that this had been produced by James Dobson’s Focus on the Family organization.

“What possible relationship could there be between global warming denialism and Christianity?” I thought. Sure, fundamentalist Christians are always in the front ranks of the denialist crowd, but why? Where does this intersect with religion?

The answer is that it doesn’t. However, it does intersect with corporate interests; environmental regulation would cut into their profits. Individuals like James Dobson, bought and paid for by the megacorps, are more than happy to propagandize the troops. If global warming denialism can be turned into a Christian “value”, then the foot soldiers will mobilize and demand that rising sea levels are part of “God’s wonderful plan for your salvation” – or something like that.

Hand in hand, corporate interests and fundamentalist Christians have built the modern Republican Party, and they are equally responsible for the mess made over the past eight years. The past eight years, though, point clearly to the kind of world that they want to create: everyone may have to live on the top of Mount Everest, but the CEOs at the top of the mountain have a lot of money, and women won’t be able to get an abortion.

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1 comment:

Kenneth said...

Don't forget the Christian concept of the Rapture saving them from any destruction visited upon the world. Jesus wouldn't let them drown, you know.