The more time that passes and the more books I read, the more I realize how dangerous the religious right is, and how pointless it is to try to reason with them. You might as well be trying to argue with a brick wall.
The Christian Nationalist movement (also known as Dominionism - which both Bachmann and Perry appear to have some ties to) is a subset of the evangelical community that is highly mobilized, extremely efficient, well financed, and extremely dangerous.
For many who do not know much about them, they are often dismissed as quacks that have no influence, and those who raise the alarm about them are accused (even in the liberal community) of being "alarmist over-reactors."
However... this is one of the most dangerous things about the Christian Nationalist movement.... their chameleon ability to appear harmless and even beneficial. Make no mistake! Those of us who watch them like hawks are NOT alarmists! They are more powerful than most people know, and they often lack any sense of moral decency. They are willing to lie, cheat, threaten, bribe, and even occasionally murder to get their way. They will hide their true motives from the American public with deceptive language, that often they have one message for the public, and another for their own kind.
Knowing how dangerous they are, I wish I knew what to do about them. They are determined to take over the country and forcibly subdue it to biblical law. They are raping and rending the Constitution on their way there.
I have tried using logic, reasoning, and modern scholarship to make them see that what they are doing is wrong in more ways than one. But as I have learned, this is pointless.
Atheists can debate all they want. We can write books or throw books at them. We can point out logical fallacies or laugh at them. We can make youtube videos or send letters. We can flash our degrees at them and demand they recognize that we know what we're talking about.
There is no point to this at all.
Christian Nationalists live in their own parallel universe. And certain aspects of this "universe" make it quite obvious that there is nothing we can say that will convince them that they are wrong.
Michelle Goldberg lays out the immunity that the Christian Nationalist delusion has devastatingly clear in the book "Kingdom Coming."
1. Most of the "warriors for Christ" have been brainwashed from infancy to believe only what their cult tells them to believe. They are denied public education and herded into either homeschooling or special fundamentalist christian schools... where like any cult, they are cut off from the outside world, until their brainwashing is so thorough that there is no escaping it.
2. They are trained to believe that mainstream science and academics are part of a liberal agenda, corrupted by professors and scientists who push an anti-christian religion. They will therefore, refuse to believe any of modern scholarship no matter how stacked the evidence is against them. In fact, the more the evidence is against them, the more they believe that they are the only pious people, the holders of the real truth that is being suppressed by evil anti-christians. There is no way to get through to them... so don't even try.
3. You can't use liberal christians to convince them because they believe mainstream christians are deluded agents of satan.
Basically, nothing we can say will ever get through to them.
However it is absolutely essential that we stop their drive to push christianity on the country by force. My question is... what are we supposed to do? They cannot be reasoned with. They are relentless and enraged. They are well financed and have many "friends in high places" within our government.
What can we do to stop them before it is too late?
I am English and only just realising the scope of Fundamental Christianity. It is very alarming. Because of the violence to and oppression of American atheists and non-christians I have been hearing about and because of the impact this can not help having on the rest of the world. Fundamentalist Christians seem to mostly reject global warming because 'God will not let us destroy the world.' The fact that African people are already dying in droves because of a lack of rain (and are largely Christian) does not seem to shift them from this or make it any more likely that they will try to reduce their carbon footprint.
I find hope in the number of American teenagers on Yahoo Answers asking advice on how to tell their parents that they do not believe in God and making it clear their parents are fundamentalists. I also see fundamentalists talking about the teenage rejection of theism and worrying about it or saying it is just an immature phase. I suspect they are wrong because once you have questioned your faith in deities it is very hard to accept them again. Hopefully the next generation will change the balance considerably. It does seem that Christianity is decreasing.
At the moment I am working on the mocking of dyed in the wool fundamentalists and the encouragement of young atheists.
Oh yeah... they're a bunch of deluded and dangerous cult members. Living in "Jesus Land" is not easy. I'm highly involved in the separation of church and state war. And, they are relentless. The dominionists are wearing me out. Their latest antic... trying to make a "cross" found in the rubble of the World Trade Center towers a "national monument" while explicitly refusing to allow other religions to display their symbols in the memorial. American Atheists is currently fighting a heated legal war about this:
Oh yeah! I forgot... they were screaming death threats at us because we dared to challenge their unconstitutional act:
Fundamentalism is a delusion and an offspring of the Trinitarian Tree and descends from the strong spirits of delusion sent to Rome and Constantinople for it's martyrdom of the faith and true servants of God as it imposed Orthodoxy by the sword. And at long last, once again Europe is coalescing into the Roman Beast, Turkey and Russia at it's steps. "Who is like the Beast and Who can make War with it?", as the Beast decimates autonomous rulers around the world. (Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq etc.) and impose it's peace and religion by the sword.
Much depends on where one lives here in the states as to whether one will encounter lots of closed minded Christians. The only really conservative and thus closed minded Christians I am aware of are some Assembly of God, and Baptists. And if the major media folks werent so interested in shock sound bites and ratings, they wouldnt be giving air time to the odd ball fundamentalists to begin with. So how about we call the media on this?
Sad fact is even in better off secular communities we have way to many parents who dont value math and science and are content to have their child go off to college/university where they get the easiest courses to graduate, so that as political science majors they can go to law school or some political job and add nothing to society as a whole. How about we call these parents out on this as well?
Like it or not most Americans from ALL walks of life are just to damn lazy. Lazy doesnt make for a strong country!!
I live in Canada and I've seen that anti-education attitude my whole life. " A mind is a terrible thing to waste." as the old cliche goes. I'm a retired elementary school teacher and wish I would have pushed myself to take even more courses. As dearly departed George Carlin once said, " Half the people we know are really dumb: the other half are dumber than you think."
It's like someone said about women (tongue in cheek, of course): "You can't live with 'em and you can't shoot 'em."
Michael – all Religions are based on delusions. Fundamentalists just suffer from a more acute form of it. Of course they never see it when they are suffering it. So because they are so indoctrinated it may at first appear like a waste of time trying to debate with them. That is because they are trained to be dogmatic in espousing their beliefs. Fundies tend to get much more confirmation of their biases than regular theists. They are more polarized and tend to be the ones who knock on your door to inform us that they have the one and only truth.
I debate with Christians and over the years I have had people return to me to say that they are no longer believers. This would include several regular catholic theists, some fundi born again’s and a couple of hard-core Jehovah Witnesses. So what is the best approach?
I never go looking for them. But if you start telling me that you have had a personal revelation form the creator of the universe and feel compelled to tell me about it then I am all ears man.
I suppose the first thing is that I never allow a debate to become antagonistic. If they call to my house I always invite them in and offer them coffee. I never disrespect their views but challenge them in a way that attempts to make them think about what they are saying. I also make a point of not spending too much time debating or teaching Science to them (thanks to fellow site member Heather Spoonheim on that one – no more free science lessons). I am only interested in discussing their beliefs and the (lack of) rationale behind them. My general rule of thumb is that while they are trying to convert me to their god I am only interested in creating a little doubt in their minds. It is seldom that I say that I am an Atheist. It is irrelevant. I am open to being persuaded about truth they claim to have. Of course no matter which sect or cult I am debating no of them ever offer evidence. It is the usual subjective beliefs with the same arguments as always being presented as evidence.
At the end of the visit or debate they will always offer you some publication to read. I always accept and then I use this approach which I am getting better at. The aim is to show them how subjective their beliefs are by trying to snap them out of their cognitive dissonance long enough to allow some reasoning to begin.
The breaking of both the Spire of the National Cathedral, man what an oxymoron, and the cracking the Washington monument, resulting from the 5.9 earthquake, underscores my message about falsehood and abominable pagan religious symbols in my blog post. Coincidently the event happen within a week of my blog post. When the Jews erect the standing images, spires, obelisks in front of the Temple in Jerusalem, it cause them to go into captivity. Moreover, nowadays they are adorn with the symbol of the Babylonian God Tammuz, the cross. "By this sign you shall conquer", as Constantine had his vision. In truth the vision anointing him as the rider on the white horse, conquering and going to conquer and imposing Orthodoxy and the pagan Trinity by the sword. Fundamentalism is just a Trinitarian offspring descending from Constantine and the Counsel of Nice (instigated by the pagan bishop of Antioch, Athanasius.
When the east coast earthquake happened last month, I was shocked that so few people were aware that earthquakes dont just happen here on the west coast per the ring of fire. Another example of the dumbing down of America in general.
I was in the range of the Earthquake, but in our area it was so minor that the vast majority of people in my city didn't notice anything until we heard about it on the news. I did hear that a few people downtown felt a slight tremor on the ground... but I think the statistics said that 80% of people in Cincinnati didn't notice anything (That includes me), we were just so far away from the epicenter that it was unnoticable to most people.
Sooo.. Only earthquakes in the US matter, right, because the American people are God's chosen ones?
There actually has been pretty much zero large head-line grabbing natural disasters in Europe this year. I guess atheists aren't being punished. ;)
We the West maintain the Jew's covenant with death, it's the false christian religions of the west that turn Jerusalem into an abominable pagan Christian Disney World.
Surely, there will be a tremendous shaking in Jerusalem, before the Jews are allowed to reconstruct the Temple in the midst of all the pagan symbols that caused it to go into captivity. The spires and steeples must topple first.