Blessed Are the CEOs, for They Shall Enjoy Uncapped Profits!

Everyone’s linking me to this article, which claims that support for torture is higher among self-described church-going evangelicals.

Survey: Support for terror suspect torture differs among the faithful

The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

These results (flimsy as I suspect they are) hit with about the same level of surprise as “Cold water found to be wet, cold”, not because I think Evangelicals are inherently hateful and evil — or not just because of it — but because of the bizarre relationship between the actively religious and the far right.

Even though I disagree with it, I understand the opposition to abortion and (I guess…I’ll be generous) stem-cell research, but why is loving Jesus now equated with loving whatever the GOP wants? Why does American Christianity involve free markets, trickle-down, tax breaks for the wealthy, opposition to ecological concerns, profit-driven health-care, plenty of guns, hostility to immigration, torture of enemies, etc? The original draft of that sentence read “also involve” as though those things are on top of the teachings of Christ, but the truth is, they pretty much replace them. There really isn’t much New Testament in modern Christianity at all, with the rest of the emphasis being on the “literal” interpretation of Genesis, hating gay people, and worshiping the Ten Commandments (following them, though, not as much). And making sure everyone else does it as well. About the only thing kept from the New Testament are some juicy bits about how awful women are and Revelation, and they just pile the whole thing on to Jesus as a mascot.

I’ve read What’s the Matter With Kansas and I see how the Republicans basically roped in the evangelicals with promises of ending abortion. Surely by now there must be the realization that abortion is far more valuable to the GOP as legal than illegal, so they have no intention of ending it. What I don’t understand, though, is why Christ’s ministry supposedly meshes so well with the desires of Corporate America.

Is it because the GOP are so adept at framing everything in a religion-vs.-antireligion way? Not long ago I saw one of these weird YouTube videos about how Christians in America were being persecuted blah blah blah and it involved the phrase about “dangerous and radical environmental agendas”. How is environmentalism anti-Christian? I don’t even think those that believe it is could state why, other than some vague mutterings about “only God can harm the Earth”.

How is it that the Republicans, who resemble in almost every conceivable fashion, the actual enemies of Christ (greedy, power-hungry, petty, judgmental, wrathful) manage to have values that are supposedly in line with Jesus’ 10 out of 10 times? It makes absolutely no sense.

Oh, and here’s a flashback from 2006.

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One Response to Blessed Are the CEOs, for They Shall Enjoy Uncapped Profits!

  1. Joe says:

    When growing up, children are taught that parents (and adults in general) know best. This is a good thing, to a degree — I *want* my daughter to trust me that (eg) washing her hands is important, and not necessarily testing the hypothesis by seeing how long she can go without washing before she gets sick.

    Most of us, as we grow older, naturally begin to question what we’ve been told, and to seek to verify or discard those bits of wisdom we’ve been handed. Especially the ones that we decide are important to us, one way or another.

    Unfortunately, it’s very much in the interests of organized religion to postpone that growth for as long as possible. There’s (obviously) a fundamental, unprovable central conceit to every major religion: “Trust us, the deity we worship exists. And don’t worry your pretty little head about it.” From an early age, children in hyper-religious environments are taught the mental gymnastics necessary to stave off crippling cognitive dissonance.

    It’s really not that much of a leap when the people to whom you’ve essentially abdicated your critical reasoning change their message from “God exists and can do no wrong” to “I can do no wrong” or even “This other guy can do no wrong”. If the listener chooses to disbelieve that last statement, it begins to prompt the question: What else was I lied to about?

    It’s much easier to simply go with the flow, and continue to trust uncritically.

    At that point it has no more to do with religion than, say, video games or pop music have to do with school shootings. It’s simply a matter of conditioning, which just happens to be delivered often in the package of religious upbringing here in the States.

    I don’t think this is limited to the rank-and-file, either. I think there’s a fair chance this (at least partially) explains why the boards of megachurches continue to push the Republican line — to admit that they’ve been duped, *even to themselves*, is simply too difficult.