Saturday, June 21, 2014

Persecution Complex

What is it about religion -- most of them, anyway, and, of late, especially right-wing Christians in the US -- that requires a sense of persecution and martyrdom in its followers? Corollary question: why do they feel the need to impose their beliefs on everyone else; and, when met with resistance in the political arena, why do they equate that with attacks on their faith?

I think I know the answer to the second half: for some people, their need for faith of the most rigid kind demands that whenever they open their eyes there's no sign of discordance, anyhow, anywhere. To the extent that others might believe differently from themselves, they'd feel threatened. Their kind of faith is about maintaining, at all costs, walls between themselves and their fears.

Well, I know the answer to the first part, too. Here's Ted Cruz, on a political mission, fiercely fanning the fires of the frightened faithful for the furthering of his fevered fakery, fomenting fear like the fker that he is:
"The idea that our federal government is going after our religious liberty now is just astonishing and heartbreaking," Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told the crowd gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. "No time in our nation's history have we seen threats like these to our religious liberty." 
Cruz said he was "honored to defend" the display of the Ten Commandments on the Texas state Capitol grounds, the Pledge of Allegiance and a veterans memorial cross in the Mojave Desert. .. 
... The tea party favorite said religious liberty is under attack abroad — and he blamed the Obama administration for that, too. 
"We see our foreign policy collapsing every week as the world is getting more and more dangerous," Cruz said. As a result, "Christians are being persecuted in stunning numbers."
(Conveniently forgetting that before Bush's invasion, Iraqi Christians and those in other parts of the region were treated much better than after.) It's such a great rallying cry that of course Mr Cruz is hardly alone:
Earlier, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — who, like Cruz, is on a short list of possible candidates for the 2016 GOP nomination — urged attendees to protect family values. 
"We must reinvigorate the role of values in this country," Rubio said. "The good news is we still have time to reclaim the American dream."
Oh wow. The guy is nothing if not original.

Republicans have been using this trick very effectively ever since Ronald Reagan began their scorched-earth policies of cutting taxes on the rich and paying for it by screwing everyone else. What better way to keep those most affected by such upside-down policies in line than by playing on their inborn sense of religious persecution? How more effectively to hide the fact that their polices are as unChristian as they can be, than by getting their voters to look fearfully over their shoulders instead of straight ahead? 

Well, of course it works. Even as our country becomes ever more theocratic, with more and more legislation on state and national levels promoting religious-based ignorance and prejudice, right-wing leaders claim their religion is under attack.

It's kinda the opposite of their much-loved "stand your ground" laws, isn't it? As they march into our public squares, our schools, our bedrooms, our uteri, waving their bibles and calling us unAmerican and threatening to their values, if any of us stand up and say, hey, wait a minute, you're scaring us and we don't like it, they say back off, you have no right to protect your space. If you don't want our religion in your life, too bad for you. Protecting your religious views is the same as an attack on ours.

And it's simply foolish to expect their voters to wake up and see how they're being played. It's their nature to want to feel aggrieved. It erases the need to feel guilty about their short-sighted selfishness.

[Image source]

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