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FEBRUARY 25, 2011 1:06PM

Why Right-Wing Christians Claim Obama As "The Antichrist."

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As a Jesuit-trained Catholic, I can tell you in no uncertain terms: President Obama is not the Antichrist, although that's what about 25 percent of Republicans believe. 
 
2010-04-06-Obamaandboyinorleans.jpg 

For those who like to make false comparisons, you might recall that there were some secular liberals who didn't even believe in an Antichrist but who nonetheless metaphorically expressed a similar sentiment about George Bush. But let's be clear: many on the religious Right literally believe Obama to be the Antichrist, just as they literally believe in the Rapture and Armageddon and that scapegoating Obama is their path to both.
 
Rachel Maddow has been exposing how Fox news and populist authors with huge followings (like those behind the hugely successful, Left Behind book series and movie spinoff), have been exploiting this "antichrist" theme against Obama to great effect:
 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And a key narrative being constructed by these people, essentially, is summed up perfectly in the title of the following timely article:

The Rotten Heart of White Conservatism: The Nonsense Argument That Is White People Are Oppressed in the Age of Obam  

And how we need to respond to this type of extremism I cover in my new, August 2, 2011 article: "CRUSADER CHRISTIANITY, TEA PARTY CULT, & THE LEFT " (please read also) http://open.salon.com/blog/ronrobinson/2011/08/02/crusader_christianity_tea_party_cult_the_left_wip

The political consequences of such extremism and the differences between the Left and Right in this regard are enormous. We see all over the world the consequences of violent political and/or religious extremism. And we felt it on our own shores on 9/11 and, lest we forget, in Oklahoma City. 

Let's also remember that we never saw liberals dressed up in Ku Klux Klan regalia, bombing churches, showing up to anti-Bush rallies with guns, or threatening the Republican Congress with death. Nor is it liberals who planned a march on Washington to coincide with the date Timothy McVeigh and his conspirators blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building. But that is what certain conservative groups did as they marched on Washington on April 19th, 2010, the fifteenth anniversary of McVeigh's terrorist act. As Rabbi Ben Kamin cogently noted, McVeigh's likely calendar inspiration for  choosing April 19th was that it coincided with Hitler's birthday. According to Rabbi Kamin:
"A thousand ghastly and genocidal plots are imagined, and a few attempted, every springtime around the world by aberrant men and women, fascists, neo-Nazis, every year on or about April 20--Hitler's birthday."
And just what was the grievance of these conservative McVeigh sympathizers? The totally fabricated and paranoid fantasy that Obama plans to take away their guns. In other words, they seem poised to provoke a pretext for that to possibly happen and eventually create the kind of springboard for other McVeigh-type terrorist attacks.

Provoking pretexts is what they do best. Glenn Beck everyday is trying to provoke a move to shut him down with his dangerous extremist and paranoid rants. In the wake of Gabby Giffords shooting, and as the protests in Wisconsin seemed poised to spread, we should  expect the Right to engage in  "Reichstag antics." They badly need a Rove style disinformation campaign to make the Left look like it's the real violent threat and create a false comparison with right wing extremism in the public's mind. 
 
In fact, as the now famous prank phone call to Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican Governor, shows (made by a reporter impersonating rightwing billionaire, David Koch), Walker was ready to have thugs infiltrate the protests and engage in actions that would discredit the protestors! This is the old "agent provocateur" maneuver used by the Right against Civil Rights and anti-war protestors. They create an offensive or violent act to project an image of violence and intolerance onto the protesters to discredit them and divert the public's attention away from the issue.
 
So watch for Fox News and the right-wing blogosphere to find some Wisconsin protestors with some offensive placards and slogans and then focus on them to death. Those "protestors" and posters might possibly be part of the troublemaker strategy Walker envisioned. In any case, you can bet Fox and the Right will carry out an aggressive disinformation campaign to discredit the protests and falsely equate them with the actual gun-toting, hate-filled protests against Obama that have gone unabated for the past few years.

But why is Obama being portrayed as the Antichrist by so many "Christian" conservative demagogues, and why is this view and those who espouse it being given credence, encouragement, and protection by the right-wing media? Is it to cultivate what the militia movement and racist groups portray as  "Christian soldiers," who like McVeigh and Scott Roeder can be mobilized against the president and progressives, to terrorize us with their hateful extremism and at gunpoint scare us away from implementing the positive change we need in this country? Remember, Roeder was the "Christian" activist convicted of first degree murder for killing a Kansas doctor because he provided legally protected abortions.
 
And why do Conservatives continue to falsely tie health care reform to baby-killing and murder? Could it be to help rally their troops and put boots on the ground for an even bigger, potentially more violent battle? To terrorize the electorate and the media into acceding to right-wing demands in order to avoid the violence? 

There is much research on what is called the "scapegoat mechanism" by psychiatrists like Arthur Colman and historical scholars such as Rene Girard. It shows that scapegoating, shunning, or demonizing others outside your "clan," "family," "religion," etc., or even someone within it, increases bonding and trust among the others in the "in group" and/or provides immediate emotional benefits for individuals who engage these types of ancient "survival instincts."

However, when both individual and collective benefits are combined, and the urge to scapegoat and demonize stoked by others (e.g. Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, friends, co-religionists, etc.), you get contagious transmission of these "survival instincts" and resonance between the transmitters. This amplifies the effect. Demonizing Obama as the Antichrist triggers this instinct among the believers, inspires and amplifies extremist behavior, while inducing the "high" of togetherness and superiority among the in group.

But what about the silent majority of us Christians who look upon these decidedly un-Christian deeds with horror? What lessons does our faith provide for us to put this into perspective?
 
I'm sure you've heard this gospel story: it's the one where Jesus was greeted by the crowd as a liberator and was showered with Hosannas and Palms as he rode into Jerusalem on the back of an ass. But the crowd craved what I call a "Messiah high." They saw Jesus as an easy solution to their suffering who was also growing in fame and popularity. 

So they did what many -- but not all -- do today: they jumped on the bandwagon hoping for an easy ride, simple solutions, and a feel-good high. We see this played out today in some of the prosperity-gospel-preaching megachurches, at Tea Party demonstrations, and, yes, even at rallies supporting Obama during his 2008 presidential run.

But in his day, Jesus taught tough and complex truths that challenged many of the crowd's most cherished beliefs and their corrupt and compromised leaders. So when things got tough, he became their scapegoat, and the mob and their leaders threw him under the bus. His final words as he hung from the cross: 
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Well, 2000 years later it seems as though they know exactly what they do. In fact, they appear to be experts at scapegoating and inciting mobs to violence.

This is where it becomes quite handy to peg Obama as the Antichrist. For example, we have three nationally recognized conservative Christian pastors -- Stephen Anderson, Wiley Drake, and Peter Peters -- calling on conservative Christians to pray for President Obama's death, literally! We also have the Tea Partiers and their conservative Republican supporters in Congress crying out, "Kill ObamaCare!" Black congresspersons who supported the health care bill are being spat upon and called racial slurs; others are subjected to homophobic slurs; and still others are threatened with violence and death.

So this is what I ask of the silent majority of Christians horrified at such defilement of our faith: let us pray for President Obama and our better angels and against Christian-cloaked conservative extremism.

Let us pray that we have the courage to stand up and push forward a realistic and positive agenda of change.

Let us pray that we have the courage to confront those misled by right-wing media and political demagogues, and that we not let our country be weakened by those who see Obama as the Antichrist and hate America's rich diversity. 

Let us pray that those idealists who sought an Obama "Messiah high" but later turned against him learn that there are no simple solutions, that he is our best hope right now, and recommit themselves to the cause.

Let us pray that, collectively, we are successful in bringing forth an agenda that is humane, and that Christians re-root themselves in the true Christian ethos, which Jesus described as: 
"Love thy neighbor as thy self and as I have loved you."
Many people who legitimately feel dejected and disillusioned are being rallied like never before by Sarah Palin and other demagogues, by hate-mongering "Christian" conservative pastors, by militias and other racist groups, by the right-wing media, and by powerful interests with lots of money. And the internet gives them unprecedented capabilities to raise money and mobilize boots on the ground.
 
They are looking for scapegoats and willing to encourage and/or use violence, just as they did during Jesus' time and have done over millennia. They have perfected the art of getting others to do their dirty work and do so with plausible deniability. And then when groups like the Hutaree militia are caught in the act of planning a "Civil War II" of terrorism against our Union, they deny any responsibility for stirring up the very fear and hate that fuels these groups, while giving them political cover. 

Sadly, many of them call themselves Christians, doing an incredible disservice to our great faith and the silent majority of us Christians who accept the New Covenant of the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount, not Old Covenant calls for violent stonings, death, and revenge. 

These latter practices and beliefs were the ones favored by the mobs and their leaders during Jesus' time, as well as by those who now pretend to worship his name yet cry "communist" and "baby-killer" and throw F-word and N-word bombs against congresspersons who only want to extend a helping hand to those who need it. Yet they will take the helping hand themselves in the form of unemployment benefits, social security, Medicare, police, fire and other public services. They maintain that life begins at conception, but for them it seems to end at birth; after that, it's every man for himself. "The devil take the hindmost" is what they practice and they preach, except when it comes to themselves and their in-group.

That's why they must be confronted now, by the secular and non-secular alike, before they gain any more momentum, further defile true religious faith and spirituality, and pervert our precious Union with their secessionist and fascistic fervor.

To all my secular friends on the Left, especially those who battled in Seattle and Copenhagen and against the Iraq War but look down their nose at the "messiness" of the political process, I plead:

Stop scapegoating Obama and ceding the political process and media landscape to mobs whose fascistic fervor is successfully moving the media and subconscious minds of the electorate to the right. Stop for a minute and consider that it may well be a form of white privilege to so steadfastly maintain the supremacy of a type of ideological purity and idealism that will exact a heavy price on all of us if the Republicans, this time with Tea Party and militia support, take over the government again. The price? Drastic, if not permanent, erosion of our freedoms, civil rights, and dignity as human beings, not to mention violence and intimidation by force of arms.

I'm asking -- no, I'm praying -- that you get out there like you did in Seattle and Copenhagen and confront face-to-face the real threat. Cease your fire on Obama. Remember, the Secret Service has more that it can already handle without additional fuel being added to the fire. 

Finally, I offer this prayer to my fellow Christians: that we follow the New Covenant and let the words of Jesus as expressed in the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, and the parable of the Good Samaritan guide us, as well as his condemnation of the Tea Party types in his day, whom he called "serpents," "vipers," and "hypocrites," whose rewards  "await them in hell;"  that we follow his example when he drove the Koch brother billionaire money changers of his time from his "Father's House" - that we too drive these RepubliKlan/Tea Party serpents from the sanctuary of religion behind which they hide their true agenda. Let us call out and stand up to their terror, apostasy, slander, and false witness, which they bare against the very Christianity they dare to claim to uphold for ALL of us! And as we stand up to their terror, let us remember that even Jesus asked that the cup be passed from him before he finally accepted his difficult fate as an act of supreme love. 

We, too, "have difficult days ahead," much like the Rev. Martin Luther King prophesied in the very last speech he gave  before he drank from that very same cup, offering his life as a gift of love, that we might one day reach the mountain top and fulfill the promise that could be America. 
 
But we too must accept our fate and restore our faith as we confront those caught up in the fervor of FOX-encouraged, fact-free fundamentalism, which daily stirs up the hate of those cloaked in a false Christianity that bears no resemblance to the teachings of Jesus and are hellbent on tearing asunder the potential of "beloved community" and "more perfect Union."
 
May we do so with a vigorous love for the best in ourselves and humanity with its multiple faiths, and strive to thrive together, even in the midst of malice and religious threats.

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The situation you describe is altogether too scary! And you make a very important point here: "Many on the religious Right literally believe Obama to be the Antichrist, just as they literally believe in the Rapture and Armageddon."
Exactly. This is where the so-called Right is at an advantage: they have the power of their convictions. These slogans aren't just rhetoric, they actually believe in all this stuff. They genuinely believe that God wants them to destroy their enemies. Once they decide to act on these beliefs, and not just preach them, there will be no stopping them. Progressives have nothing that compares with this, aside from a naive hope that their antagonists, who hold some of the most reactionary and misanthropic beliefs ever seen on earth, will somehow make nice in the end.

I really don't see how Jesus is the answer here - remember what short work his enemies made of him! Yes, yes, maybe not in the long term, but, as they say, in the long term we'll all be dead.

Rated - with horror...
Thanks Alan. great points. You're right. Jesus is not the answer. We are. And it's time we stop ceding the religio-political battle to these extremists who've highjacked Christianity in the name of the Old Covenant that he himself said had come to an end.
I pray in agreement with you:

Let us pray that we have the courage to stand up and push forward a realistic and positive agenda of change.
------Lord hear our prayer!

Let us pray that we have the courage to confront those misled by right-wing media and political demagogues, and that we not let our country be weakened by those who see Obama as the Antichrist and hate America's rich diversity.
----Lord hear our prayer


Let us pray that those idealists who sought an Obama "Messiah high" but later turned against him learn that there are no simple solutions, that he is our best hope right now, and recommit themselves to the cause.

--Lord hear our prayer


Let us pray that, collectively, we are successful in bringing forth an agenda that is humane, and that Christians re-root themselves in the true Christian ethos, which Jesus described as:
"Love thy neighbor as thy self and as I have loved you."
---Lord hear our prayer!
I think you have made an important point: scapegoating is linked to shunning, and increases the bond of those inside the circled wagons. Once it is perceived that those outside are the enemy and those inside are the righteous, civil discourse disappears. We on either "inside circle" can only see an imminent attack from "outside" and respond accordingly.

Thanks for message that brought me over this waytoday.
@Torrito: you are absolutely right that religions are culturally based and bred and represent humanity's aspirations in its many incarnations. Sometimes its grounded in "terror management," sometimes in the awe of the stardust we all are. I prefer the latter to the former :)
@Anne: thank you so much for your "intercessionary response!" It makes the prayers so much more meaningful the way you've framed them. These are prayers that I actually offer out loud during the "intercession" of the Catholic Mass. Another one I offer, which has gotten me into trouble at times, but at other times even the priests thanked me afterward is:

"May the Church be as outraged over State sanctioned murder in the form of the death penalty and war as it is over abortion, we pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer."
@alsoknownas: thanks for coming over to this side. It is true that we must be mindful of "inner circle" dynamics, which we are all involved in to one degree or another. When one "inner circle" just wants to be left alone to live their lives in peace and freedom, but another "inner circle" seeks to impose their will on everyone, including what they do in their bedrooms, well, then the normal give and take between circles is no longer bilateral and subject to the norms of reason and negotiation. Rather, there is on the one hand, the drive towards "full spectrum dominance," and on the other hand the need to strive together in the midst of malice and the threat of such dominance.
The historical parallels of fanaticism are obvious to anyone who's looking, but there are differences in motivation that are uniquely American. That is true of the movement on the right as well as why it has been accepted as a benign viewpoint by what I think should be called, in this instance, the Mainextremism Media.
The Teapeeps et al are a minority, but they're the only motivated political group in America. As history teaches, it only takes an active minority and an inactive majority to allow ideological fanaticism to destroy a country.
The flip side is that Obama needs to offer an alternative. Elected during an economic crash by Americans looking for a hero, he's turned out to be Mr Low, Slow and Status Quo. The Democrats have become reactive -- running on being the Not Those Crazy Republicans -- instead of proactive--We Represent Your Interests.

There does need to be a religious counter-force to the Right's toxic populism, but it can only work well if there's an economic counter-force as well. Americans are still, like most people throughout history, more motivated by economic subsistence and the desire for opportunity than any fanatical religious doctrine.

You only have to offer the choice.
@Paul: You make a key point: "The Teapeeps et al are a minority, but they're the only motivated political group in America. As history teaches, it only takes an active minority and an inactive majority to allow ideological fanaticism to destroy a country."

I feel we need to create a "bottom-up" movement to both counter Teapeeps and offer an economic alternative grounded in a mass movement tied to working people, like hopefully is beginning to happen in Wisconsin. Then and only then will there be movement from the top, just as during the Civil Rights movement and Johnson, etc. Otherwise, the corporations with their trillions run the table, buy everyone off, including the Tea Party Express activists, who understand how this.
The #s in
Ronald Wilson Reagan's name =
666

Where is that in Revelations?
@old new lefty: Lol! The Tea Baggers scrubbed it from Revelations, just like they scrubbed any allusions to slavery from the Constitution :)
Wonderful...one of the best things I've read in a while...I love your empahsis on Jesus's words and actions and finding that path in this extremely tough time as a Wisconsinite out picketing and fighting for those less fortunate and knowing that I don't have to follow that Old Testament mentality that I grew up hearing about (and my Grandmother sadly still adheres to) - God put your leaders in charge and you need to respectfully follow.

BULL.

Jesus was a rule breaker.

"But what about the silent majority of us Christians who look upon these decidedly un-Christian deeds with horror? What lessons does our faith provide for us to put this into perspective?"

Church leaders all over Wisconsin are finally voicing their opposition to Governor Walker's bill...standing up for the poorest and most vulnerable.

Glad to have found this - thanks so much
While I agree with some of the non-violent aspects of this article, overall I feel this is way off track.

First, Obama is as much of a war criminal as G. Bush. He has ordered the increase in drone bombings which the State department admits kills 98% civilians, including little children. If you want to spout off your religious beliefs, whether you are Jew, Xtian, or Muslim, than please go back to sunday school and go over the 10 commandments. One of them says "Thou shalt not Kill". It is not saying sometimes or saying "except..." It says thou shalt not kill. What part do people not understand about this?

Obama is not a democrat. He follows the dictates of the right. Obama has double-crossed his "base" and has alienated himself by choosing to stick with Wall Street over main street. He has continued and in some instances increased the illegal, immoral goals (which are to decimate the entire middle east and steal the resources) of the Bush wars.

He has lied continually. One of his latest was during State of Union. He had just signed the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals in the nation (which he campaigned saying he would not). Not only was this a slap in the face, but then he had the audacity to stand on the People's Floor and declare (again) that he will not in anyway extend the Tax cuts for the rich when they come up again. UNBELIEVABLE....is all I could say.

He has declared that he has legal right to order the Assassination of ANY American citizen, just like good dictators do.

The man is a slime bag. Unfortunately, too many people on the left are still enamored by this man's "charms".

Chris Hedges had a great article about how the left is destroying the nation by its continued complicity in voting and supporting these phoney lefts like Obama.

There is much more.

Please do not BLAME the hard Right for Obama's coming demise. He has insured it and has insured that this nation will most likely be taken over by another a-hole that will most likely finish the nation off. Obama is one of America's (as we know it) last presidents.

What a shame he pulled on the African American community too. But please do not make the mistake that this guys was ever genuine. He fooled a lot of people. WAKE UP!!!

PS:
He has dismissed any possible means of bringing the Bush Admin to justice for all their crimes. He says we need to "move on". While over 1 million people are dead, we are suppose to move on?

You are SOOOOO out of line with your thinking, just as the hard right is. Shame on all of you who continue to support this mass murderer just because he is "your guy".

People here in America are idiots. I have to now agree with so many people around the world that say this.

Either party, whether it was McCain or Obama, it does NOT matter. Why is this so hard to understand? BOTH parties are co-opted by same people and both parties first allegiance is to the phoney nation called Israel......Another big lie and scam!!
Very well said. I always wonder how people who say they are Christian can hate so strongly and feel no compassion for those less fortunate.
I like your ideas.
rated with love
Just a reminder folks (and I am not a tea-partier....):
Many of the Tea Partiers are not even religious. The Tea party was quickly co-opted by the billionaire Koch brothers, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, Michelle ??? and many others with an agenda.

It goes to show that ANY meaningful organization at the grass roots will shortly be co-opted in order to "control the opposition".

Even some of the Tea Party members said that they did not agree with the many ugly voices rearing their heads once the movement got off its feet and was starting to make headlines.

It is all designed to make sure that this nation continues on its road to forming the most unique and great MODERN DAY FEUDAL SYSTEM the world has ever known.....Authoritarian. But it will remain in the control of the Corporate State (which is fascist)...for now.

Any "revolution" that actually has substance and potential to change the direction of America for the better will be stamped out with all that military hardware and personnel that all of you are supporting by continuing to vote for one of the two candidates we are given to choose from.
@Y Heron: Thanks so much for you kind words of appreciation. You also warm my heart with this quote from you:

"Church leaders all over Wisconsin are finally voicing their opposition to Governor Walker's bill...standing up for the poorest and most vulnerable."
Thanks Romantic Poetess :)
@c okeefe: If I might just respond to one thing you said regarding Obama:

"What a shame he pulled on the African American community too."

Well, as a bi-racial African American like our President, I would say that the overwhelming majority of African Americans are not ashamed. Nor do we feel we've been hoodwinked, betrayed, fooled, etc. Perhaps more than most, we understand the forces that are aligned against not only us, but most Americans. We understand that the true power in this country has always been Conservative based, and the protection of private property has always come before civil and human rights. We understand that no one man as President can change this. It's only we that can.

And when organizations like ACORN, which was an advocacy group for low income people, especially African Americans, was so successful in mobilizing the "get out the vote," in 2008, the Republicans made sure to destroy them.

Yes. We know the powers that be. And to associate Obama with them is in my view to have a conception of power that is very abstract and does not fully account for just how strong a grip they've had for the past few hundred years and how much it will take from the bottom-up to give people like Obama the "troop strength" he or any one else needs to take on the true power in this country, and the troops they have mobilized (e.g., Tea Party, militas, think tanks, media, etc.)
The Republicans fielded the last president who met the standards for an Antichrist:

Bush won through deception and was the father of all lies.

In fact, the Republican extremists are the deceivers, the inhuman ones, the immoral ones and the liars.

If we don't stop them, they will rule for the rest of our lives. How? They will change the laws to accommodate themselves and to oppress the rest of us.

Two terms with Bush was worse than watching the third installment of the "Omen" and it scared the hell out of me.

Zumapick.
I don't understand how people can believe nutty stuff that has no evidence (or logic), and to the point of being willing to kill and/or die for it.

Good and sane Christians (tho I think even they believe in nutty stuff that has no evidence or logic) damn well need to rise up and repudiate their nasty colleagues. Just as Muslims as a whole get thought of as terrorists, there's a lot of us who think at least would-be-terrorists when we think of Christians.
p.s., xenonlit: just figured out what you meant by Zumapick. Thanks!

@Myriad: Amen regarding whom the more immanent threat to "our way of life" is :).
Well done. Your "Messiah high" --and its reference in scripture--gives name to a personally important learning about the president. Being personally familiar with Trinity church, where the President developed his own Christian thought; that he was not a Christian was a simple manifestation of the Goebbels like "Big Lie"

I know from friends I trust that the President is very aware of his own sinful nature and struggles with it as any thinking Christian does. And on a MUCH lesser plain I disagree with the President a lot.

But that he is not a Christian I can only see as absurd. And racism is an obvious part of the equation.

Your "Messiah High" though is a huge and largely undeveloped part of the picture. If you ever write more on that---please let me know!
Thanks Chicago Guy! I've been working with the concept of,
"Messiah High" also in reference to a phenomena that I have observed in the so called, "New Age Spirituality," and "Self-Empowerment" movements regarding the relationship between followers and leaders, who to often promote what I've dubbed, "The spiritual path of the sociopath."
After the 2004 convention speech, I sent Obama a letter urging him to consider running in 2008. I was elated that he was elected and I am sure I suffered somewhat from your Messiah High. I still support him in some ways but his strategy of compromising before the discussion of important issues and his appointment of foxes to lead us hens out of the burning hen house (economically speaking) has not been very popular with me. The contiunance of the war is also not popular with me at all since the expenditure of precious capital for war had the effect of making more enimies than it has gotten rid of.

That said, I am appalled at the Right wing tactics and their open support of violence against the President and others who disagree with them. This is a shameful excuse for debate! I am also appalled by the governor of Wisconsin having gotten the concessions he wanted continuing to destroy those in the opposition especially after giving tax breaks to corporations and wealthy people in his state that nearly equaled the supposed budget shortfall that HAS to be made up by workers. I am afraid that this attack on the unions and the coming Federal government shutdown will also be used to take the homes of those who do not receive their salries, thus adding to the overall wealth of the upper 1%. These slimeballs apparently believe they do no need to compensate those who do all the little disgusting things they believe are beneath them to do for their labor. I firmly believe we need and extended work stopage so some of these people find out what it is to clean their own toilets!

In the meantime, I am one of those Federal workers whose pay Obamma has frozen for two years in the wake of rising costs of living. As Federal workers, we have been given many promises over the years and they all have been broken.
@Ira: Thanks for your well considered thoughts and reflections.
Speaking as a bi-racial African American like our President, I made a comment above about African Americans and Obama that I think incorporates some of your concerns. Here's what I said:

"Perhaps more than most, we understand the forces that are aligned against not only us, but most Americans. We understand that the true power in this country has always been Conservative based, and the protection of private property has always come before civil and human rights. We understand that no one man as President can change this. It's only we that can.

And when organizations like ACORN, which was an advocacy group for low income people, especially African Americans, was so successful in mobilizing the "get out the vote," in 2008, the Republicans made sure to destroy them...

Yes. We know the powers that be. And...just how strong a grip they've had for the past few hundred years and how much it will take from the bottom-up to give people like Obama the "troop strength" he or any one else needs to take on the true power in this country, and the troops they have mobilized (e.g., Tea Party, militas, think tanks, media, etc.)."

Nothing compares to the Koch brothers and what they have done, not to mention Richard Mellon Scaife, Carl Lindner, and a bunch of other billionaires and the corporations with their trillions. That's why Fox News and the Right keep scapegoating George Soros and the unions, whose combined assets are outnumbered by over a factor of 1000 to 1 by those who support and bankroll the Right.

That the Right continues to make Soros out to be the "bad guy" and the unions to be more influential than the corporate sector indicates the degree of sociopathy that has overtaken their perception of reality and why taking them on is not anything that Obama could ever do alone without power from the bottom, which the Right is seeking to destroy as we speak, whether in Wisconsin or as they did with ACORN. These predators will stop at nothing until they control everything.
Which is the ultimate goal of any unregulated corporation: 100% market share. That is done by slicing and dicing the opposition into manhy parts and setting each against the other.
In my Bible, it says "you will know them by their fruits". And if the tree be poisoned at its roots, so shall the fruit be poisoned. I am, at heart, a pragmatist, but a pragmatist who hopes. Still, given the poisonous atmosphere that surrounds us, I fear (there's that word) that the Rabid Right will not be brought to their senses even by bloodshed.

More than five centuries after Columbus initiated the American Holocaust, and more than two centuries after this nation's founding on the principle that all men are created equal, and a century and a half after an awful war was fought to begin to live up to that founding principle, and half-a-century after this country was torn apart yet again in pursuit of that principle -- after all that, yet some refuse to submit to that principle, refuse to accept the promise of the Founders -- just as they refuse to acknowledge the paramount message of the prophet whose name they falsely claim, the message that all men are brothers.

It's fair to say I am a Doubting Thomas; but if there is a God, perhaps he has placed a curse on Columbus the same as he placed a curse on Cain, a curse unto the generations that followed. If that is so, surely much of this madness can be explained. But if that is so, the words of Lincoln apply as surely today as they did in the midst of the Civil War:

"Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.""
I see the "troll patrol" has arrived. All you have to do is click on the blue link I provided in my article for Scott Roeder, which comes from ABC news, and the very first line in the article reads:

"A born-again Christian who said he killed a prominent United States abortion doctor to save the lives of unborn babies has been found guilty of first-degree murder. Scott Roeder had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Dr George Tiller in the foyer of a Kansas church in May 2009..."

Regarding McVeigh, I NEVER said he bombed the building for religious motivations. I used, in quotes, the words, "Christian Soldiers," in connection with the kind of people that right-wing religious extremists are trying to recruit. That term comes from a famous song called, "Onward Christian Soldiers," and is a term frequently used by militia and racist groups as a way of suggesting that their cause is "righteous."

The statement was made that if I don't bother to fact check my article than it shouldn't be read. Well, only somebody motivated to try to illegitimately discredit my article would so deceptively twist the meaning I attempted to convey to suggest I said something that I didn't. In that case, they never intended to really READ my article, but rather IMPOSE their false, misinterpretation on it and attempt to spread it that deception to others. Shame!
Ron,
There's a pastor on OS I think you should know:
http://open.salon.com/blog/tea_tom/2011/02/22/jesus_wept

Also, there's a recent post by Rw005g, one of the best writers about political theory and political history on OS, that you might also appreciate:
http://open.salon.com/blog/rw005g/2011/02/24/jesus_christ_from_bias_to_brotherhood

One of the biggest mistakes we on the Left made was to cede religion in politics to the Right. Because we were so worried about separation of Church and State, we didn't get around to noticing that the guys who had co-opted religion in politics were actually getting their religion wrong. There is simply no way to conclude that Jesus was more worried about, say, homosexuality than about helping the poor and disenfranchised by reading existing accounts of what he said and did. This isn't a question of interpretation, which would be understandable; this is blatantly a question of what he is quoted as saying and what he's not quoted as saying. We know the abuse of wealth and the ignoring of the plight of the poor infuriated him to the point where, after seeing one more rich person stroll blithely past grinding poverty while ignoring it, he in essence threw his hands up in disgust and muttered (paraphrasing only slightly and it's in translation anyway): "It would be easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than to get one of these guys into Heaven!" In that he was echoing just about every prophet in the entire Old Testament; widows and orphans etc. was probably their most popular topic.

So what do these people think Jesus really worried about? Taxation? (When the Romans taxed, it wasn't typically to help the Israelite poor so, even if he did worry about it, that worry would have been for entirely different reasons.) Abortion? (What makes abortion an issue in the first place is an argument about a definition, not morality: When does human life begin? We don't have a whole lot of evidence that Jesus thought the answer was "at conception"; the Jewish answer is "at birth" and Jesus was Jewish, so it's a bit of a stretch to be sure what his answer would have been.) Government interference? (Uh, Jesus wasn't American. There is zero evidence that he was some sort of Libertarian.) Gun control? (Are you kidding???) Sexual morality? (Uh, how'd he react to Mary Magdalene again? and what exactly do they think "Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone" means?)

I'm Jewish and I know this stuff. These guys are nominally Christian and they don't seem to. Antichrist?? Maybe, just maybe, before they figure out who the Antichrist is, they ought to figure out what being Prochrist means. Up to now, there isn't a whole lot of evidence that they have; in fact there's substantial evidence that they haven't.
Welcome to OS, Ron. Thank you for a very thoughtful post. I've never been a fan of blind, unthinking obedience. Although I'm an agnostic myself, I do respect the faith of those who are on a quest to find the answers to honest questions in their souls. That to me suggests wisdom, and not only faith, but the abillity to think and sort things out on their own terms, trying to answer the question "What do I truly believe and why?"

Christians who emphatically believe they've found all the answers because the Reverent Whosis SAYS so, and that's that, there's no need for THEM to do any further mental spade work scare the bejeebers out of me. "Those who make us believe absurdities can make us commit atrocities."

Your post shows me you are very much a Christian of the first and better sort.

I love your term "Fact Free Fundamentalism." You have put a lot of things I think about often into words, and that phrase captures it perfectly.

Emphatically rated.
I just posted on this my elf
I don't usually comment on US politics, but this post was so moving.
It is sad what is going on in the US, and sadder still that it's being done in the name of Christianity.
@Tom: I love your quote: "you will know them by their fruits". And if the tree be poisoned at its roots, so shall the fruit be poisoned."

And the rest of your insights are fantastic. thanks so much for sharing them. I just commented your terrific post, "Miraculous" which resonates with the practical approach to religion that I also feel is called for on the Left.
@kosher: Wow. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment and insights into the teachings of Jesus, which accurately put them into the context of his being Jewish and the times in which he lived. Like you say you're Jewish and you know these things about Jesus, so how can these so called Christians run around making the crazy claims they do about the teachings, etc? That's because they didn't have great teachers and examples like you!
@kosher: Wow. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment and insights into the teachings of Jesus, which accurately put them into the context of his being Jewish and the times in which he lived. Like you say you're Jewish and you know these things about Jesus, so how can these so called Christians run around making the crazy claims they do about the teachings, etc? That's because they didn't have great teachers and examples like you!

p.s., I commented earlier on RW0056's great post, on "Jesus Christ: From Bias to Compassion." It was his post that helped inspire me to post this one at this time.
@shiral: thank you for welcoming me to OS and your great comment. I'm glad that you resonated with my conception of "fact free fundamentalism," which Fox and the right-wing media spew non-stop.

@a. walrond: Thanks for coming over and your kind comment. I loved your great post on Carnival in Trinidad and wonderful pic of the little girl.

@Douglass: really enjoyed the flow of your article. thanks for joining in here.
I know first hand that this is true. My mother is an eighty-two year old far right wing religious republican who wants Obama; the Antichrist; gone from this earth. She spews only hatred toward anyone not Republican. I'm a closet liberal in her presence and am not allowed an independent thought so it does no good to try and reason. Amazing how those who profess to follow Jesus don't seem to understand the peace and acceptance he taught but instead seek only strife and war.
@hotskoz: thanks so much for sharing from your own personal, family experience. The idea of having to be a "closet liberal" around someone of your own blood who professes to be a follower of Jesus is profoundly troubling and speaks to how terribly so many have strayed from his teachings.
What about Waco & Ruby Ridge federal approved killings?
and what about the Trail of Tears, Wounded Knee & Sand Creek Massacres?
What about the good catholic christian school in pa where Tribal Children were beaten and raped by priets and nuns after being forced to attend 9-10 months per year off the Rez?
Why don't christians, jews & muslims have one final great battle over your fucken phony temple/wall/hill in jerusalem, and leave this Sacred Land to one of the 4 original peoples.......
@28spirits: I definitely empathize with your sentiments, or as is said by the youth, "I feel ya." I feel that one of the reasons the Catholic Church leadership has taken such an aggressive stance against abortion is to divert people's attention away not only from the crimes of priests (and nuns) against children, like the example you gave, but also of the crime of covering up those crimes. Thanks for offering your words.
Like zuma, I think the reason they have to portray him as the anti-Christ is because they know their guy GWB was in fact an anti-Christ. But scapegoating has been around forever, from witch burning to age old anti-Semetism.

But I don't have any sympathy for those who fall for such shenanigans, because it's their willingness to close their own eyes that makes them blind. As Moses said, "The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it."
I'm not a Christian, but I like the way you write, and I like your message. If more of the moderate Christians out there - and more of us secular folk for that matter - would speak out as loudly as the Tea Party and its fellow travellers it would arrest this swing toward ruination we're experiencing. The problem, or one of them, is that many people have bought into the belief that the system is so compromised and broken that their voice doesn't matter. Apathy and despair and fear lead to a form of self-disenfranchisement which reactionaries and corporofascists encourage, and so far it's working for them.
With all due respect, if the Antichrist ran for office and had a sound platform that wasn't full of empty promises and compromises I'd vote for him or her. Or it. The opposite of the antichrist is Christ and the president is neither. This isn't North Korea, where the president is supposed to be a deity. This nonsense of politicians having to stress how often they go to church and how "Christian" they are, to pander to a certain segment of the voting public, sickens me. And I'm Catholic. Why doesn't anyone in a position to do so have the nerve to stand up and say it? Making inflammatory statements like Obama being the antichrist only deflects from the real issues and as you succinctly put it, it cedes "...the political process and media landscape to mobs whose fascistic fervor is successfully moving the media and subconscious minds of the electorate to the right." And no one knows what a mob can do better than Jesus.
Religion was invented when the first fool met the first charlatan.

Those who confusedly sit there mumbling to an imaginary entity while their house burns down around them are of the same desperate mind set.
Those who live in the legitimacy of the real world are called doers.
They get up and take real action to put out the fires.

So, this goon, walker rides into Madison on the backs off ALL the asses/suckers(read repiglican'ts) who were conned into voting for him.
The liar needs to be dragged by his puppet strings all the way to the koch's castle on dropped into the moat.

The lesson which needs to be learned is that, if you actually want something to be changed, get up and DO rather than sit around mumbling into space.

Also, I voted in every election since JFK.
Those who didn't get off of their lazy, irresponsible asses to vote are the actual problem here.
And, after they do not take responsibility by voting, they sit around and whine, piss and moan about it all.
The real shame of WI is these failures.
Ron, thank you so much for seeing reality, and naming it. You are a true Christian. I left the church because of the fear, judgement, intolerance, hatred of other I saw generated primarily by the TV preachers at first, then by my own family. If there were more like you, I could do it. I have continued to support Obama, and believe he is doing the best job possible in an impossible situation. I pray for us all.
Ron, a nice attempt to see things right, but you are still looking externally, and still looking for a scapegoat, and still looking to blame someone.

The answers to the truth are on my blog and in my posts.

Look inside yourself, and as God, the god of Love and TRuth, to help us in this world, all people and all things, to see the truth, admint their wrong, and pray for God to solve and help us at this time.
Its the only way my friend, people have to be honest, and your Man God, Obama is not being honest, no man has been Honest, unless they have asked to be shown the way, through God who is love.

Man and Woman are equal, and only by working together, and Man with his power, consulting woman with her wisdom, will this problem be solved.

I send you the love of God that you will see the truth and pray.
@ Spirt-U-All: No doubt there needs to be internal focus and practice and not just external. I agree with this and do my best to abide it. And my inner guidance system is but one variation on a theme connected to the Eternal Source - and I am guided to give voice to what I have in this article because it is a voice made taboo and silenced in our society, not because I have scapegoated anyone, but because those whom I have rightfully identified here have done their best to impose their "full spectrum dominance" on the rest of us.

As an aside, I can't help but get a bit of a kick out of the syllogistic completion of your this quote from you:

" you are still looking externally...The answers to the truth are on my blog and in my posts."

Well, if I were to attempt to seek the answers to the truth that you provide on your blog and posts, I would still be looking externally :)
@Cberg: Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and acknowledgment. It is not easy to keep alive that spark that was aroused within me when I was but a child and touched the heavens in the choir loft in my Catholic Church. The leaders of the Church and of mainstream religions have done their best to crush that spark in all of us and tether us to their power trips and make us their foot soldiers for their authoritarian agendas.

And also, it is not easy being a scientist and a progressive to attempt to communicate anything that isn't orthodoxically secular in its orientation and communication. So between the two forces, people of reason AND faith get marginalized and the extremists on the religious side will always have the advantage over secularists when dealing in the political sphere for reasons that others like Alan have articulated quite well above, or RW005g's Jesus: Bias and Brotherhood" post, Tom Cordle's "Miracles" etc.
@Cberg: Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and acknowledgment. It is not easy to keep alive that spark that was aroused within me when I was but a child and touched the heavens in the choir loft in my Catholic Church. The leaders of the Church and of mainstream religions have done their best to crush that spark in all of us and tether us to their power trips and make us their foot soldiers for their authoritarian agendas.

And also, it is not easy being a scientist and a progressive to attempt to communicate anything that isn't orthodoxically secular in its orientation and communication. So between the two forces, people of reason AND faith get marginalized and the extremists on the religious side will always have the advantage over secularists when dealing in the political sphere for reasons that others like Koshersalaami, nanatehay, xononlit, Paul J, Alan, Margaret, etc. have articulated quite well above, or RW005g's in his Jesus: Bias and Brotherhood" post, and Tom Cordle's "Miracles" etc.
@Margaret: You pointed out why the Left's adoption of strict secularism can not compete with the Right - the fact that you can't get elected anymore without stating your religious bona fides as a litmus test disqualifies the overwhelming majority of strict secularists from winning office (except in districts predominated by voters for whom such matters don' matter).

@nanatehay: you're absolutely right about how discouragement and disenfranchisement are linked. that's why there is an actual training program for conservative operatives to engage as trolls on blogs and intentionally inflict emotional and mental distress on participants - to both dumb down the debate and actively discourage participation. same is true in public discourse. i identify the study that analyzed this phenomenon in my OS post on "The State of the Union."
@Margaret: You pointed out why the Left's adoption of strict secularism can not compete with the Right - the fact that you can't get elected anymore without stating your religious bona fides as a litmus test disqualifies the overwhelming majority of strict secularists from winning office (except in districts predominated by voters for whom such matters don' matter).

@Harry: That's exactly why I included the sources I did on scapegoating, since it is historically a very powerful device.

@XJS@ I carefully watched a press conference with Walker and watched his eyes as he mechanically, yet professionally turned his head towards each section of the room. His eyes were dead and it looked like he was self-hypnotized. But he has mastered what the people fell for in Wisconsin, who voted for him (and not just Republicans), i.e., the ability to fake sincerity and honesty.

@nanatehay: you're absolutely right about how discouragement and disenfranchisement are linked. that's why there is an actual training program for conservative operatives to engage as trolls on blogs and intentionally inflict emotional and mental distress on participants - to both dumb down the debate and actively discourage participation. same is true in public discourse. i identify the study that analyzed this phenomenon in my OS post on "The State of the Union."
The evidence seems to indicate that there are those, including himself, that believe George W Bush’s resemblance to the “Anti Christ” is far more than metaphorical (you have not even met Marvin yet). I went into that in great detail on that in one of my previous posts. I have also been pretty vociferous in my condemnations of Obama starting with his genealogy and not the Kenyan part neither. Obama is related to both Bush and Cheney. Google it if you have not heard it yet by Obama's own admission, at least the part about Dick Cheney. I knew this about Obama even before the democratic primary's, when I was still learning my way around the internet. I cannot believe how many people voted for Obama without knowing this and without bothering to find out. It does not speak well for just allowing anyone over 18 to vote.


I don’t know about any of the other “socialists” on OS but for me the fact that Obama is a Cheney was a neon red flag for me. The crimes committed during the Dubya administration have not been equaled in sheer duplicity since the days of Nero himself. Since I did not think it prudent for a blood relative to be entrusted to sought them out, for the first time in my life I voted republican. I have had no regrets. Obama has continued Bush’s insane foray into Afghanistan, his economic policy's including the same personnel, a QE2 plan which stands to make the villainous Goldman Sachs even richer, and the tax cuts for the rich which in a sane world will be judged as nothing less than treason. We will not even get into the question of why an appropriate 9/11 investigation was never implemented especially in light of evidence accrued by Richard Gage, Dr Steven Jones and about 1200 other practicing Architects, Engineers and Scientists who had no personnel involvement with the incident unlike the NIST “investigators” to which they are strenuously objecting to.


I did not vote for Obama but my daughter & her boyfriend of 3 years did. They also worked on his campaign and went to his inauguration party in Washington. I gave him 2 years of my full support. I helped her write a 10 page paper for college predicting all the wonderful changes he would make for this country and its non existent healthcare (if you call that license he gave insurance company's to parasitize America a Healthcare Plan I give up). I even had myself convinced I had made a mistake and misjudged someone’s character for the first time in 50 years but now the Obamas have made the short list of people I am at war with. There was 800 billion allotted for a stimulus bill. Where are the FDR type public works programs to rebuild our nations crumbling infrastructure? Why has he let Wall Street and the Multi National Corporations convince America that paying back some artificial deficit is more important than the Social Services that hold Western Civilization together? Where is all the money that well meaning Americans sent Haiti at Michelle Obamas request?


As an objective observer I can tell you exactly when it became evident that Obama’s supporters had been drinking Bush supplied Kool-Aid. Shortly after the stimulus bill a cartoon was run in Rupert Murdoch's flagship of Capitalist treason the NY Post. It depicted Obama as a berserk chimpanzee who was gunned down in the street by the police. The caption over the smirking cop holding the smoking gun read: now who will they get to write the next stimulus bill. The Secret Service arrested no one for what was an obvious threat and racial slur from a very powerful and wealthy man, the very voice of the
Wall Street crime syndicate whom it was Obamas campaign platform to check. Excuse the expression but Obama was bitched and it was all down hill from there enter Glen Beck and the capitalist media circus was now in session.


Ron you have a good grasp of exactly what's going on right now so excuse me if I Quote the poet Jim Carroll here and be quite frank:

So I think it's time, because it's too easy
To rely on worshipping devils and strangers in bed,
Though they do get good drugs, and they do give good head


It's too late
You shoulda realized I was worth the wait
Ah, but you didn't hesitate
When he took you off, you let him seal our fate


So I think it's time
that you all start
To think about gettin' by
Without that need to go out and find
Somebody to love

When you follow Carroll's advice you will understand that as Stokely Carmichael once said: “no man can give another man his freedom” a man is born free but in order to retain that freedom a man must be willing to kill or die for it at a moments notice. It is the way of the world that when you have something that’s valuable there will always be someone out there who plans on taking it from you. If you are not ready, willing , and able to terminate the conspirator with all possible prejudice welcome to slavery.
Excuse the typo in the second sentence Ron never proof read something after you have proof read it
How many times does someone have to rate this post in order for it to stick
The “Anti-Christ” belief is based on the assumption that there is one individual that is all good the savior or “Christ” and he fights another that is all bad, the “Anti-Christ.” If the way to solve problems is to sort though details and the public learns to think for themselves then this doesn’t hold up. This belief evolved because many cult members almost literally beat the truth into little children before they learn to think rationally.
@ Jack: Wow. that's quite the tour de force in what you you've shared. Thank you. I like how you do the geneology of OBama and make the connection on THAT LEVEL to Bush and Cheney, but make it clear that a lot of the "socialist" rhetoric on the Left equating him politically to those two Nero's is as crazy as the rhetoric on the Right equating him to the Antichrist. If Obama was the same as Bush and Cheney, then Bush and Cheney would be the dead chimps on the cover of the New York Post. I resonate with your bottom-up approach, since clearly, NO President can change the corporate monoopolist conservative status quo from the top down without massive, organized and committed support from the bottom up. The right has people who are ready and armed to maintain that status quo. That raises the stakes of attempting to make real change quite high. Hence, the dead chimp pictorial on Rupert Murdoch's Post.
@zacahery: You hit the nail on the head. The kind of abusive, non-rational belief that results in attributing the "Antichrist" moniker to Obama was beat into their heads when they were children and now they beat it into their kids and use the media, like Fox and right wing blogosphere and radio to beat it into the subconscious minds of the electorate.
I am neither well-versed nor articulate in this subject. Your post and the following comments have been most interesting and informative.
♥R
I've linked to and embedded Rachel Maddow's recent shows exposing how Fox news has exploited the "antichrist" theme in reference to Obama. She sees Fox as helping to spread this extremist belief among Conservatives and that is a very dangerous threat.
Ron, once again, THANK YOU for speaking to this! I feel quite alone shouting on my Facebook wall about the need for secularists and progressive theists to create some kind of "bottom up" coalition, and no one really seems to care that much. You get it. Problem I have is -HOW???

Also -want to say, on one hand I agree that we fall victim to the rights tactics when we denigrate Obama, -and I 'get' that one man CANNOT do the things we might have expected on our "messiah high" when we were all so galvanized by his campaign speeches, --without a groundswell of support.... BUT on the other hand, didn't he have the support for the public option? It seems that he DID abandon promises that he could have kept...it does seem that he is in the pocket of the corporations as much as he really cares about change. Which to me makes him seem 'split....he is trying too hard to please-folks who cannot be pleased without total capitulation. So I understand the left's frustration and disillusionment.. and anger--but yes he is only human...and so much is working against him... and the bigger picture is that the right is gaining traction and we HAVE to stop that.

So...IF you are correct that the reason Obama hasnt been more proactive on progressive issues--is a lack of constituent support- how do we get it? I DO think an untapped resource is a coalition of secularists and theists who otherwise stay on separate sides of the street. BUT how do we get more moderate and progressive Christians to DO something - and not simply 'pray'? We need action now.... I am SURE I could encourage my militant atheist friends to work with theists for a common cause like maintaining separation of religion and state....but I don't know concretely how to get folks organized for action. HELP!

PS My assessment of Obama is still out because of how much he has given to the conservatives. BUT I do agree its a disservice to all our goals to demonize him

PPS I also find it incredably frustrating that so many 'liberals' I know, do not see the threat of the Christian Right as a legitimate problem. They think the american public would never allow the crazy legislation being posed -to pass- even when bills are being made into law in various states as we speak!
@Margainele: I got an idea, let's carry on this dialogue on your FB wall. You can post a link to the article and then we'll see if we can turns some minds :) I think that a lot of "liberals" and "lefties" or "progressives" are in denial about the level of sociopathy on the right and how effective they are in subliminally priming the subconscious mind, in part due to the fact that they got Koch brother billionaire money behind them.

You make a great point about this denial when you see what the Republican Governors and legislatures are doing across the country. I call it a kind of "white privilege" that prizes its commitment to "ideological purity" and "outsider" status vis-a-vis the political and economic power structure. Because it is unaquainted with how Real Power operates behind the scenes, and the extent of its control since they've never been on the inside of it or have some other knowledge base concerning it, all they know how to do is through stones at people like Obama because he hasn't taken on these powers.

This kind of childish naievete is really self destructive and its what people who voted for Nader in Florida failed to realize. They gave us George Bush, a Roberts controlled Supreme Court which gave us the "Citizens United" decision, not to mention the Iraq War etc. This naievte, denial and dissociation from the real world of power has serious consequences. On some levels, they are like the Christian extremists who pray for Armageddon so we can have the Rapture. Instead, these "progressives" and "lefties" are "praying" for fascism and a right-wing police state because they believe that only then will Americans wake up and seek an path that's independent of Dems and Repubs and follow the these progressives, presumably, to the promised land of socialism.

The sad thing about this kind of delusional thinking (I'm sure they'd never admit it's delusional) is it actually empowers the paranoia and sociopathy of the right-wing, who know how to engage the political process from the local to the national level, while the "lefties" are busy throwing stones at Obama for NOT being a socialist. The President is only as powerful as the " powers that be" let him be. That's why Republicans always have more power to purse their agenda when they control the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches of government - because the powers they represent have assets in the multiple tens of Trillions, where by comparison the Unions have mere billions. Do the math. A trillion is 1000 times a billion.

Wake up "lefties" and smell the fascism brewing on our doorsteps. Next stop - kitchen.
I hear the words but they don't make sense. I mean, other than as comedy. I know people believe this shit, and yet I can't "know" it, so to speak. It's outside my frame of reference. I have no paradigm for it. I must work on that. It's important to understand other people. The funny thing is, I understand people quite well on the fundamentals--how they're likely to behave in relationships, as parents, as friends, as bosses or employees, with respect to outsiders, and so on. But I can't parse certain beliefs. I hear the words, and they don't make sense.
So good to see you check in here Sirenita :)

I hear you about not being able to really get this stuff beyond its almost "comedic" value. It represents a delusional and paranoid psychological state. So its probably to the best that you Doesn't make sense :)

Hope you're doing ok.