Tuesday, November 12, 2013


This is probably a pretty good way to understand teabaggers, at least as reflected in the leaders they seem to prefer:

... In the aftermath of the great government shutdown of 2013, the Tea Party continues to cause heartburn for establishment Republicans. Consider the results of last week’s elections, which offer clues to the internecine GOP battles that lie ahead. Although it’s much too early to draw hard conclusions, Chris Christie proved that a moderate, common-sense Republican could win in deep blue New Jersey, while in purple Virginia the wild-eyed social reactionary Ken Cuccinelli failed to gain traction outside his uber-conservative Christian-right base. 
Yet the Tea Party is willing to defy overwhelming negative public opinion, wreck the government, risk plunging the world economy into chaos and invite political defeat. The driving force behind this destructive strategy is that Tea Party zealots answer to a “higher calling. 
They believe America teeters on the brink of destruction, and hold as an article of faith that liberals, gays, Democrats, atheists and the United Nations are to blame. This “end-times” world-view is a foundational precept of the evangelical movement, from which many of the so-called Tea Party favorites spring. Scholars call it apocalypticism...

Some may wonder why I rail against American religionists. Wonder no more: this is codified insanity, the end-times endgame endpoint of a kind of zealotry born of the worst of human failings. Biblical literalism -- which necessitates the ignoring of obvious inconsistencies and commands within the text -- comes from a pathological inability to reconcile oneself with reality. It's a false sense of strength born of the worst sort of weakness. This is the worst of religion: that which demands of its followers that they deny any and all of reality that fails to comport with their fearful view of god's domain. Not to mention the joy it engenders in its followers as they imagine the burning in hell of all those they find distasteful.

It's a perversion. And it threatens to overtake our country, either by perpetual obstruction as a minority or, worse, by deliberate destruction as a majority. (If there's a god, may he forbid.) Can't get to those end times fast enough, and they'll do whatever it takes to speed it along. By turning our country into everything Jesus preached against.

A friend of mine writes a weekly column for the same paper from which I recently bailed. In his most recent he enumerates some quotes from God, the sort that appear on the internet an the occasional church bulletin sign. Like these:

"Yes, I made those people too. No, I don't make mistakes." 
"I put the instructions on two tablets. Did you lose them?" 
"That 'love thy neighbor' thing -- I meant it." 
"I'll be back. That's a promise." 
"Keep an eye on the kids. They're kind of special to me." 
"What's it going to take for me to get your attention?" 
"If I'd wanted men and women to be exactly the same, I could've stopped with Adam." 
"And just who said that hating anyone was OK?" 
"I never doubted your existence." 
"I'm not sure I like what you've done to my planet." 
"Yep, I wrote those books too. I just used different pen names."...
See, that's a god I could get behind. Loving; sense of humor; gently chiding. (Wonder what he'd have to say about the Philippines... "Oops, sorry. Was talking to Tim Tebow." "Still working on my aim, but, heck, it's only been six thousand years" "Hey, once a biblical destructor, always...") Sadly, it's not the one teabaggers claim for their own, nor the one over to whom today's Republicans would turn our country. That neither exists doesn't really make me feel any better.

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