lunadelcorvo: (Foucault Power)
[personal profile] lunadelcorvo
In commenting on the upcoming Day of Reason announcements (which have popped up in a number of places, but the one in question was Charlotte, North Carolina), Penny Nance, the CEO of Concerned Women for America, a right-wing women's policy group, said on FoxNews:

"You know, the Age of Enlightenment and Reason gave way to moral relativism. And moral relativism is what led us all the way down the dark path to the Holocaust…Dark periods of history is what we arrive at when we leave God out of the equation."

I kid you not. CWA boasts approximately 500K members. It was founded by Beverly LaHaye, long-time right-wing activist and wife of Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series, a violent fiction series about the struggles of Christians against the anti-Christ's world government. They consider themselves the opposition to National Organization For Women, and are explicitly not only Christian dominionists, but overtly anti-feminism.

Given my familiarity with the group (read their profile here) this comment from their CEO does not surprise me. It seems to be just the most recent in a string of outright inversions of reality of "black-is-white" magnitude that have become part of the discourse lately. It happened gradually, but it is deeply significant, and goes a long way to explain how the rabidly faithful constituents of the Religious Right/GOP consistently, repeatedly, proudly vote against their own interests.

The Right has been stunningly, bafflingly successful at convincing incredible numbers of people to not merely believe, but staunchly defend and act upon things which are demonstrably, factually false. And I'm not talking the kind of demonstrably false that requires an advanced science degree, I'm talking things that are quite easy to verify. The following it a list of core principles in the right-wing, and each of them is simply false:
  • Abortion causes breast cancer
  • Birth control is abortion
  • Abstinence only education prevents pregnancy and diseases
  • Condoms don't prevent STDs
  • Atheism is the same as moral relativism
  • Climate change isn't real
  • Obama has taken more vacation days and spent more money than any other president
  • Homosexuality is a choice, and 'fixable'
  • Hitler was an atheist, and the Nazis were atheists (or gay)
  • Rape does not cause pregnancy
  • The bible/Jesus is against the minimum wage
  • America was founded as a Christian nation
  • Public schools 'teach' homosexuality
  • Obama was not born in America
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The problem here is that this is not the radical fringe, this is a HUGE chunk of the population. (Remember, less than half of the US population thinks evolution is true.) They believe a huge array of things that are just flat-out not true, and they believe them passionately, militantly. Even aside from any opinion you may have about the dangers of religious thinking (itself based on belief in factually indefensible claims), these people have gone far beyond even religious credulity to inhabiting an entirely unreal world.

The implications of this are terrifying. A population that will believe anything...well they will believe anything. They can be made to do anything, accept anything, regard anything or anyone as evil. And the people who construct the messages then have virtually unlimited power.

Date: May 2nd, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Isn't CWA the one that was founded by Phyllis Schaffly? I know we always referred to them as "Ladies Against Women", but that it's not their actual name. (And now I have that Mojo Nixon and the Toad Liquors song about having fifteen commie babies in my head...)

Date: May 3rd, 2013 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I believe Schlafly founded the Eagle Forum, and she may well have founded other anti-feminist groups as well. I would not be surprised to learn she had some part in CWA as well, but Beverly LaHaye founded it.

Date: May 2nd, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The one "Birth control is abortion" Many mainstream Catholics believe this and of course many fundamental groups. Even a morning after pill can unknowingly kill a life. One reason the Catholic church is against artificial means of birth control. This thinking is another reason birth control was not allowed in the US until the late 50's. Even for married couples. The other one is Atheism is the same as moral relativism. For believers (not just Christian) that is a justifiable mantra. Humanism is frowned upon compared to a faith in a super being. So while many religions permit secular education for men and women, it is still secondary to a religious belief.

Not all religions are against abortion. In Judaism for instance, abortion is permitted for any reason up to the first 40 days (or to quickening) If the mother's life is in danger, abortion is not only allowed, but required.

The rest of these most mainstream religions do not believe. This right wing thinking is OK for Fox audience. But they will believe anything they see on Fox. Thankfully, it's a relatively small audience.

Date: May 3rd, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
To your point RE the RCC: First off, the purpose of hormonal birth control is to prevent ovulation; the prevention of implantation is something more akin to a failsafe or backup. However, they are against ALL forms of birth control, even barrier methods, which prevent fertilization of the egg and therefore don't prevent implantation (the argument used in calling the pill abortion: that it prevents a fertilized egg from implanting). They even reject use of condoms to spread HIV/AIDS. I think it is disingenuous to suggest that Catholic opposition to the pill is any different than their opposition to condoms/diaphragms: control of female sexuality.

Lastly, no offense, but don't kid yourself that "most mainstream religions do not believe" these things, or that those who do represent a "relatively small" anything. Do the research, look at the numbers, and follow the money. The right has gained as much power as they have precisely because too many people have assumed that they are a lunatic fringe, and that "real Christian" or "most people" don't "really" think that way.

Date: May 3rd, 2013 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I'm a Quaker, which counts as 'most religions' and we don't believe these things or hold the prejudices displayed by this insane group.

Sometimes I despair for the nation my nation went a long way towards creating. :o(



Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities