Mudcat Café message #3228845 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #139416   Message #3228845
Posted By: Don Firth
25-Sep-11 - 04:14 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Tea Party- New & Improved Thread...
Subject: RE: BS: The Tea Party- New & Improved Thread...
Stringsinger definitely has a clear view of the situation the country is in.

Regarding the Tea Party, religious fundamentalism, and Ayn Rand:

Even though, to any rational person, there is a blatant, head-butting contradiction between the religious fundamentalism that the Tea Party folks embrace and their acceptance of Ayn Rand's ideas of how the country should be run, this kind of contradiction actually permeates the thinking of these people. And this, in itself, explains a lot about them.

Christian fundamentalists, when it comes down to it, are not Christian at all. Claiming that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, they pick and choose the verses that support the view of life that they favor. What George Lakoff calls the "strict father" cultural principle:   father lays down the rules, and woe be to the child who transgresses or disobeys. "Thou shalt not—" with dire punishments to the transgressor. Stick and carrot. The carrot, of course, is everlasting life, blissfully drifting around on a pink cloud, playing a harp, and praising God (the stern Father – not the endearing "Daddy"). The stick? The threat of Eternal Hellfire if you disobey! Or even question!

An acquaintance of mine, who "defected" from a fundamentalist church after he sat down with his Bible and actually read it, rather than merely looking up selected, out of context verses assigned by his minister, commented about the church he had just left, "In addition to trying to control everybody's lives and being angry and vengeful toward anyone of falls short of their expectations rather than being understanding and forgiving as Jesus says one should be, their minds are so selfishly set on their own personal salvation and getting to heaven that, instead of being good Christians in this life, they are no earthly good whatever!"

This, as contrasted with Lakoff's "nurturing parent," the parent or parents who raise a child with love rather than fear and do their best to help their children achieve their own best potential. And to be loving and giving. And forgiving!

Simplistically put, the Christian fundamentalist's God is the angry, lightning-bolt hurling Patriarch of the Old Testament.

What my acquaintance did was to read much of the New Testament—greatly neglected in his church, save for the Book of Revelation—especially the Gospels, seeking out what Jesus (presumably) actually said (much neglected by his church). And THIS, to him, was a revelation. "The Beatitudes" (Matthew 5:3-12) were never mentioned in his church, nor was the passage in Matthew 25:35-40 ever talked about. These passages, to many liberal, open Christian churches, are the very (if I may use the word in this context) CRUX of genuine Christian belief.

Now.

Here are Ayn Rand's political ethics in her own words:
"Men must deal with one another as traders, giving value for value, by free, mutual consent to mutual benefit. The only social system that bars physical force from human relationships is laissez-faire capitalism. Capitalism is a system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which the only function of the government is to protect individual rights, i.e., to protect men from those who initiate the use of physical force. Objectivism rejects any form of collectivism, such as fascism or socialism, and it also rejects the current 'mixed economy' notion that the government should regulate business and the economy in general, nor should it redistribute wealth."

"When I say 'capitalism,' I mean a pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism – with a separation of economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as a separation of state and church."
Ayn Rand on environmentalism:
"From the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilizations, man has had to manufacture things; his well-being depends on his success at production. The lowest human tribe cannot survive without that alleged source of pollution: fire. It is not merely symbolic that fire was the property of the gods which Prometheus brought to man. The ecologists are the new vultures swarming to extinguish that fire."
She goes on to say,
"Environmentalists should get down on their knees before the dirtiest smokestack they can find and give thanks for the benefits that the Industrial Revolution has brought to them!"
(Give thanks to who or what, I wonder.)

Ayn Rand categorically rejected any idea of God or a Creator. In fact, she was downright hostile to the idea of religion, exceeded only in her atheistic zeal by Madeline Murray O'Hare.

So--How does the Tea Party's embracing of Ayn Rand's philosophy, despite her militant atheism, square with their "Christian" fundamentalism?

It doesn't. But they either will not, or are incapable of, acknowledging that fact.

Just like their cherry-picking of religious ideas in the Bible. They can splinter their minds and adopt only what suits them, AND totally ignore the contradictions that are obvious to any rational person who takes a good look at them.

This, in itself, is a symptom of minds that are irrational.

Don Firth

P. S.   No, GfS, Obama does not come anywhere near the level of "shittiness" that Georgie Porgie did. It was W, who will probably go down as one of the "shittiest" (to use your incisive, if juvenile term) presidents in American history. He took the budget surplus he inherited from the Clinton administration, pissed it all away, and managed to get the country into the deepest hole it's been in since the Great Depression.

The only problem with Obama is that he is not doing ALL of the things he could do to dig us out of the hole faster. Part of that problem is that the Right Wingers in Congress won't let him do what is necessary—and they're blocking his efforts out of sheer, mindless spite.

DO try to reason with your brain (if any) rather than your spleen.