White evangelicals grew up on a theology that trains people to be those who can’t tell the difference between reality and make-believe. They then opt for make-believe again and again because fantasy is kinder and more malleable than reality. No wonder they embraced Trump’s lies.
White evangelical Trump supporters are now addicted to their ignorance, doubling and tripling down on it, digging in their heels, unwilling to surrender their inner fantasy-land and clinging to fantastical certainties utterly unarmored from any verifiable reality.
Here’s what is at stake in beating back Trump’s supporters’ anti-reality: Our instinct to survive and thrive in the real world is being attacked by the evangelicals’ instinct to dismiss the real world as the enemy of their magical thinking that thrives only by branding facts as ‘fake.’
Evangelical Trump supporters’ dissociation from reality is the enemy of civilization that depends on orienting citizens to a common fact-accepting reality. American civilization circa 2018 is thus fighting an uphill battle against white evangelicals’ tendency to choose make-believe as a self-justification for their well-honed ignorance.
Civilization used to be a bulwark that kept us from rolling faster and faster toward self-justifying ignorance of the kind evangelicals now have perfected in order to believe the unbelievable about everything from the universe, to Trump, to sexuality, to climate change.
What drives evangelical Trump supporters’ magical thinking is self-insulation from hard truths and an appetite for pretending they are “dealing with” political problems by saying, “Only people who don’t believe as we do have those problems! You must become like us or burn forever! Convert!”
Evangelical Trump supporters’ personal burden of inner proof gets lighter and lighter through a vicious cycle. Evangelicals’ theological make-believe magical thinking bolsters their general ignorance which, in turn, liberates them to… indulge in more make-believe magical thinking. As such they are the greatest threat to American civilization we face.
Without white evangelical voters’ support:
Trump is just another mobster crook whoremaster con-artist selling gold-plated failure as success to the gullible.
With white evangelical support:
Trump is the president of the United States of America, busy tarnishing our country forever.
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That is why I got out. I had reached the threshold where I couldn’t keep lying to myself.
When you are raised to know nothing else – it’s hard to recognize other truths. I remember vividly when I first recognized others did not believe as I did. I attended a class at a traditional church after Desert Storm, where my son was serving. Having been raised on Middle East Armageddon, the New Babylon and rapture, I asked an innocent question and was laughed at. It embarrassed me and I really started delving into my and other denominations beliefs and never again was caught in religious ignorance. Since that time, I’ve studied and read many translations (approx 18 times) of the Bible and found nothing to support my earlier beliefs.
all evangelicals should read…THE MIND OF THE BIBLE BELIEVER by Edmund Cohen to learn how the born again mentality can warp clear thinking…
He said this
One must love the other
That is basic truth
Only evangelical I could be
i agree that the religous right (and this group aint just evangelical) is more suseptable to believing falsehoods because religion trainted it in them but we still have to be able to talk to them and get them to understand us so they vote differently. that is our challeng in a democacy. we have to realize that some religous folks voted democrat because they where also bluecollar and pro-union. the iberal agenda pushed trans bathrooms at the sametime as ignoring them politically. the way to most voters ballet to their wages and feeling that they are being heard. the future is scary with robots set to take jobs this guy promised people whos jobs have already been taken that theybwould get them back. even with evangelical fairy dust they are not comimg back. you know what to them that doesnt matter because that is how ignored they felt. in this country we are rural vs urban. the rural way is to hold on to an idealized past that never existed and promis that. we should have argued for family bathrooms not bathrooms for trans people who arguable make up .02% of the population. liberals have been off message and off task and that is why trump is a pied piper that these people follow like entraced zombies. news flash you cant ignor union workers and expect them to vote for you! there were lost of things at play here and a lot of the reason for loosing a mess like trump were unforced errors. why was the dnc broke and dependant on hillary for money? liberals can bash trump for sooooo much but he can win again in a good economy if the liberals cant critize their own mistakes and change their tune.
And it is their Beliefs that are destorying this plantet and its civilations.What did animals and humans that may come after this
do to deserve this?
A good Vox article on evangelicals and racism:
>> But these sympathetic critics fail to grapple with the idea that Trump’s racism and misogyny might actually resonate with the evangelical base, which happens to constitute about 35 percent of the GOP coalition. In fact, racism and intolerance are more woven into the fabric of evangelicalism than these Christian critics care to accept. <<
Thanks for the link. The article resonates with my experience as a person of color within the White Evangelical subculture. I was a volunteer in several college campus Evangelical groups but I didn’t last long. White Evangelical leadership didn’t like Black Christians who didn’t share their Republican politics. And they could be just as politically correct as any liberal they liked to accused of identity politics. No doubt racism played a small role in my eventual deconversion from Christianity and religious mythology. It definitely helped me to realize something was terribly wrong with Christian theology especially the myth that Christians were “new creatures” in Christ.
This might sound radical but I am reconsidering all of my current friendships as the most radical of my Fox News friends are out as I have made no bones about my feelings for them as to continue in seeing them will lead to violence so separation will keep the peace!
We have a two party system in America as our current republicans are domestic enemies and the difference between the two parties is huge in this time in history.
I make economic choice based upon how radical the business owner is towards republican policies!
Other than family if you are a conservative republican I will simply boycott you and I will publicly shame you and if threatened by you will use force against you…
Sad that it has come to this but the war has come home.
Time to reasses those relationships if they are not healthy!
Dear Frank Schaeffer:
The struggle is class based primarily, and while the Washington Post claims that the rhetoric has reached its vile peak, the reality is that this class struggle is only in its initial stage.
Working class unity is only beginning to emerge around the world, and in the many teacher struggles across the US, which you have avoided studiously.
The US is building toward a general strike. The state is going to turn guns on its own people. The repression now being actively prepared will recall the worst horrors of the 20th century.
There is no gracious way to say this, Frank, but unless you forsake your petty bourgeoisie allegiance, you will support those horrors.
I thought the working class (at least the white working class) are big Trump supporters? Some middle class teachers maybe striking, but a general strike? I see little support for it. A revolution needs a revolutionary situation. We’re not there yet. Not even close. IMHO 🙂
Dear John Norris:
The working class owns no property that it can convert into profit [such as factories, mines, fields, forests, etc.]; it has nothing to sell but its own labor. Among those, many do support Trump, and by no means are they all white.
The thing to note here is that they act AGAINST their own class and economic interests because they are sorely disoriented and confused. This shows how low the position of the working class has fallen.
You are entirely correct that a revolution requires a revolutionary situation. And yes, we’ve a long way to go to get there. Yet that by no means tells the whole story.
First, teacher unrest is but an initial expression of emerging working class self-awareness and unity.
Second, this is happening on a broader scale than you may realize. May Day 2018 was accompanied by mass protests against war and austerity across Europe, in France, Spain, Greece and Russia. There were various protests, strikes, pickets, occupations and demonstrations across Canada and the US. In the Middle East, hundreds of thousands marched in Turkey, defying President Erdogan’s repression. In countries across Africa there were marches and rallies. In Asia, there were protests in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Korea, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Third, understand that while the petty bourgeoisie [banking/investment/finance class — the next 9% represented by the Democrat Party and Frank] discounts such things as a flash in the pan, the bourgeoisie [the 1% that DOES own corporations, factories, fields, mines, etc.] takes all this VERY seriously. The reason is …
Fourth, this unrest [including teacher unrest] is but the most initial stage of emerging working class self-awareness. For decades, the bourgeoisie has been able to depend on trade unions to repress, isolate, contain, defuse and otherwise betray the working class. Those days are coming to an end with the result that mass unrest and demonstrations are on the horizon. These things are coming sooner, rather than later.
Fifth, this is why the ruling class works ambitiously to impose censorship, repress civil rights, and is promoting war against North Korea, China, Syria, Iran and Russia — in short, WW III. We are at a point where the ruling class perceives unrest as a compelling reason for war — to contain and defuse rising anti-ruling class sentiments. At the moment, the ruling class is shifting toward the intelligence community/Democrat Party as the party of choice for promoting imperial US interests around the globe. The Democrat Party prefers the Syria/Iran/Russia route, and intel_com/CIA/Democrat Party pressure is why things are temporarily cooling in North Korea the better to focus on the Syria/Iran/Russia path to war.
Sixth, understand that truly mass protests [numbering in the millions] occur only in the very late stages when the working class is fully awake and very aware. On the other hand, know that this development can unfold rapidly.
Seventh, there is more support for building working class unity than you may realize. Communication has occurred between teachers and miners/communications workers and others. Workers are discovering that as people who have nothing to sell but their labor, they have COMMON INTERESTS. Amazon workers have made a statement of solidarity and support for striking teachers even as unions work feverishly to shut down teacher strikes.
Eighth, the path forward is clear. In the face of the refusal of unions to support strikes even in the face of massive support, workers must form rank-and-file committees completely independent of the Republican AND Democrat parties alike. Those committees must conduct the strike. The agenda they prepare must be followed even when they are arrested and beaten by police and other industry thugs – and they will be.
Ninth, when this occurs – when the state puts forth its hand to crush and eradicate, repress and completely subjugate the working class into a subservient, coerced labor camp on a national level – that you call the general strike.
Tenth, by shutting down the capitalists’ ability to extort endless, free wealth from other’s labor, you put the entire economic and therefore political system on the block. Those free and independent rank-and-file committees are coming. Watch what happens when they do.
I suggest that most of us in OECD countries are bourgeois. Even if we are wage slaves. We are rich.
Historically, communism has taken off only in poor, rural societies like Russia, China etc. No chance in the USA for a long time, if ever. Especially given the anti-socialist fervour to common sense measures like universal health care (“socialized medicine”).
If there are any “rank-and-file” movements, I suspect they are to reinstall Democrats in the House and Senate in November. I hope so.
Dear John Norris:
Your post attests the detachment of the petty bourgeoisie pseudo-left ‘liberal’
My standard grade school grammar assignment had two parts. An instructor announced a word orally. This was to be reproduced with correct spelling. Then a grammatically correct sentence was constructed to demonstrate an accurate understanding of the word’s meaning. To receive full value, both the spelling and its usage had to be correct. You get half credit. You spelled the word correctly; but the sentence does not display understanding of the word’s meaning.
‘Bourgeoisie’ refers not to countries, but to the most privileged layer of society in EVERY nation. Less influential although certainly privileged is the petty bourgeoisie. The first consists of 1% of the population; the other consists of the next 9%. The tiny bourgeoisie lacks the numbers to rule. The petty bourgeoisie lacks the wealth and social position to govern.
Under the capitalist system of organization, these two classes form a necessary alliance of mutual hostility. This alliance is the ‘ruling class.’ Both sections of the ruling class ‘duke out’ how best to ‘claim’ to represent a third social class, the proletariat [working class], as each scrambles over the other to seize all spoils of the working class for itself.
Usually, the ongoing struggle between these two sections of the ruling class is hidden from the public. Not this time! In the face of Capitalism’s worldwide breakdown, this hostile conflict over how to govern has broken out into the open.
You write off the US working class as a revolutionary force. But that is your petty bourgeoisie perspective. The most thoughtful sections of the ruling class are extremely concerned with a resurgence of class struggle at a time when wealth and privilege can be expanded only through war and conquest, requiring vicious social attacks and political repression.
Spain’s El País newspaper published a May Day warning to trade unions that their declining influence is registered in strikes and protests that are escalating outside union control. It demanded that unions respond to the growing class struggle, expressed in escalating strikes and social protests, which have erupted outside their control.
That is what’s happening with the US teacher strikes. It is why the ‘Arizona Educators Rank and File Committee’ page is under review by Facebook as seen here – https://is.gd/SyjvOR . They don’t consent to the leadership of the ruling class. They recognize that the working class ALONE speaks/fights/works/represents the working class and its agenda.
Fascistic movements are rising in Europe and the US. Macron is carrying out a vicious attack on the working class, as is the Democrat Party in the US, in each case in preparation for war. Germany is shifting hard to the right. All this happens because the ruling class has deserted the working class. And that is the heart of what you say.
You have written off the working class as a revolutionary force.
And now, Syria has been bombed with no discussion of the consequences of war with Russia. Conditions of workers are declining worldwide. Refugees are an extreme example, but their miseries will be heaped on us all. All the horrors of the WW II are being redacted. And no less than the Republican Party, the Democrat Party hits the accelerator.
An extremely powerful storm is in the making. The US working class is the sleeping giant of the world working class. It is going to roar. Workers will respond to acts of repression. Lessons will be learned about the role of the trade unions, the parties of the ruling class, politics of race/gender/identity that undermine working class mobilization.
I agree with John that there is hardly a unifying ideology or cause worth dying for to create a situation for massive strikes. Jobs are plenty and people are busy navel-gazing.
I pretty much agree with Frank on his observations above.
Hey Frank, I love your pic with your dad. Just beautiful.
GDD has watched ‘Reds”too many times. The gays and immigrants will be gone long before a single oligarch gets so much as a paper cut.
John Norris is a National Socialist….
I got unsaved in 1997. Ran as far and fast as my chubby little legs could take me!