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(1,779 posts)
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 10:02 AM Jan 2017

Great article on the rigidity of Christian fundamentalists and their racism


The above article seems incredibly insightful regarding the beliefs of small town Christians and their refusal to accept ideas and evidence that conflict with their religious views.

"As the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump is being sorted out, a common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: “Democrats failed to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”

"Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete bullshit. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to throw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t east coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is rural America doesn’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of choices they’ve made and horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe."
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(29,247 posts)
1. excellent!
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 10:27 AM
Jan 2017

"When a 3,000-year-old book that was written by uneducated, pre-scientific people, subject to translation innumerable times, edited with political and economic pressures from popes and kings, is given higher intellectual authority than facts arrived at from a rigorous, self-critical, constantly re-evaluating system that can and does correct mistakes, no amount of understanding, no amount of respect, no amount of evidence is going to change their minds, assuage their fears."

Yes, and even worse is that these morons in rural uneducated America use the "self-critical, constantly re-evaluating" scientific method against itself... saying things like "in the seventies, climate scientists told us about the coming ice age!"


Trust Buster

(7,299 posts)
2. You absolutely nailed it. Democratic policies have been supportive of rural America. Republican
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 10:39 AM
Jan 2017

policies have not. Rural America won't take the time to learn and understand these basic facts. It is more pain free to blame the educated Democrats than it is to look in the mirror.


(24,780 posts)
3. That may be the problem but
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 11:40 AM
Jan 2017

As long as its looked at like "they have a problem not us" they'll continue to vote like they do and we lose.


(14,860 posts)
6. Sharing knowledge should be an act of love.
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 11:56 AM
Jan 2017

I also don't necessarily have a problem with people who are "stuck in their ways" as long as they aren't hateful or controlling.

I know the article touched upon that aspect of it, but I'm referring to some negative comments that I've seen about them not sufficiently "adapting" to the almighty, capitalistic global markets.

Just like I don't care if the San Bushmen want to maintain their way of life. They'll continue going about their business like nothing happened if the Earth is struck by a huge coronal mass ejection from the Sun (which we've thankfully avoided since the electrical age), looking up at the beautiful lights in the night sky while our electronics-dependent, "civilized" society will be screwed.


(16,155 posts)
8. They will never vote with our side
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 12:45 PM
Jan 2017

Never. It doesn't matter what we do, their religious leaders preach hate from the pulpit and they honestly believe that the hate is righteous and that anyone who doesn't hate the precise way they do is not only wrong, but actively trying to keep them from their after-death reward.


(26,467 posts)
10. Well, keep in mond, the rethugs wim those states, but not with 100% of the vote...
Mon Jan 16, 2017, 02:41 AM
Jan 2017

Theres plenty of food dems in those areas being hung out to dry by us if we just pretend they don't exist!


(14,600 posts)
4. A lot of things make me want to pull my hair out
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 11:42 AM
Jan 2017

I am not a religious person, but what just defies any reason is this thing where a LOT of black people are VERY religious, and frankly more genuinely religious than their white counter parts.

But, somehow, they aren't included in the sainted great american christian country club.

brer cat

(24,684 posts)
5. That is a great article.
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 11:48 AM
Jan 2017

The author has a clear understanding of the issues, and the futility of the argument that democrats would win if only we tried to "understand" wwc rural America.


(16,155 posts)
7. Religion, especially the fundamentalist type
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 12:43 PM
Jan 2017

twists people.

It renders them unable to think beyond what they are told to think.

Churches (perhaps not all, but most) eradicate critical thinking and leave a bunch of easily led people who want to do as they are told because they truly believe that they will be eternally punished if they vote for the wrong person or are decent to their gay nephew or whatever.


(4,452 posts)
12. No, it doesn't necessarily do so.
Mon Jan 16, 2017, 04:18 AM
Jan 2017

I've put a lot of thought into this. I think it's more a case of religion amplifying people. People who are rigid, inflexible, authoritarian by nature, are fundamentalists. Rule followers. People who want to impose their particular religious code on others. On the other hand, people who are compassionate, empathetic, kind, and care for the rights of others are not - they become Methodists, Presbyterians (USA), Unitarians, etc. In the absence of religion, fundamentalists would focus on something else (probably patriotism or regionalism) and find a different way to tell others how to live.

The article wasn't about Christianity. It was about fundamentalism. Christianity, in and of itself, is not bad. Last time I went to church - PCUSA - there was a female pastor, several same-sex couples, a transsexual clearly in transition, and everyone was welcome. It's something much more rare than it should be, but I don't think it will be as rare in another generation.


(16,155 posts)
14. Over my 50 years on this planet
Mon Jan 16, 2017, 11:14 AM
Jan 2017

I've been harmed multiple times by very religious people.

I've seen them do harm to others, both on the evening news and in my personal life.

Yes, there are good religious people, but my point is that when they put some guy (human, not always male, but usually) at the top of their hierarchy to interpret their beliefs, it tends to turn into a net negative for society as a whole.

I just find that religion is a very divisive factor in human interaction. It separates people into us (our small religious sect) and them (other religious sects and other religions). Heck, my husband grew up not even being allowed to play with the Catholic and Methodist kids!

YMMV, but I've found that avoiding the extremely religious just makes my life better and easier.

More liberal people tend not to be excessively religious, perhaps because they are not wired for authoritarianism in the first place. This holds true for adults, but children raised on a steady diet of religion based hate tend to believe it and make it part of themselves.

ETA: Also the most religious people I know voted for Trump because he is "godly" and "christian" even though he and his life embodies ALL the things that they claim to be against. But, he hates the same people they hate (or appears to), so they are good with it.


(4,452 posts)
15. You have to do what's right for you.
Mon Jan 16, 2017, 11:59 AM
Jan 2017

If that means avoiding the extremely religious, then by all means, avoid them. Frankly, I do, too. I've got relatives who are "there was a storm, but the Lord Jesus kept that tree from falling on our house" religious, and they make me very uncomfortable. Almost like they're aliens, to be honest.

Your last sentence is the really sad one. As long as fundamentalists appeared to try to be consistent, I could have a modicum of respect for them. But now we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they're more about having power than they are following their own stated beliefs.


(10,500 posts)
18. Your last paragraph is very important.
Mon Jan 16, 2017, 07:54 PM
Jan 2017

The right-wing sees Trump as the Christian candidate. And 100 percent of the reason is because he hates the right people--the liberal enemy.

I remember hearing about a conservative Republican woman who was elated after Reagan beat Carter because "now we would have a Christian president."

It was easy for these people to believe that Barack Obama was a Muslim because no true Christian could be a liberal, which is what he was to them.

Hillary actually is a Christian. But to right-wingers if you have a "D" next to your name then you are faking it, by definition.


(14,567 posts)
9. Those who voted for trump have accepted his actions and words, I as an Atheist, would never think...
Sun Jan 15, 2017, 03:07 PM
Jan 2017

of doing or saying ...you know my Ethics* and all.

* no where in the definition of the word Ethics does it use the word elitist.


(100,166 posts)
11. NAILED IT: "Because rural, Christian, white Americans will not listen to educated arguments, "
Mon Jan 16, 2017, 03:46 AM
Jan 2017

This is why we lose election after election. Since the 80s and Ralph Reed, white Christian America was taught not to listen to anybody but themselves. This is a very dangerous line of thinking. And it's also very costly.

Dark n Stormy Knight

(9,776 posts)
13. This was posted here ages ago. Be prepared for the blowback.
Mon Jan 16, 2017, 09:39 AM
Jan 2017

Loads of DUers got very pissed off about this article.

Personally, I think it's dead on.



(5,272 posts)
16. It is not complete bullshit. The media's version of it is. They don't want to promote class warfare,
Mon Jan 16, 2017, 03:11 PM
Jan 2017

so they are pretending that we paid attention to social issues rather than what matters to these white rural Christians, and in-fact that the former contributed to their alienation. And of course this is how the media would mangle the point.

Religions actually have to change with the times or die. Yes, the bigger churches are often regressive, because their power comes from the status-quo, so they tend to try to hold onto that power or to even deepen it, by controlling and even devolving their constituency's independent thinking...so they are a force to be reckoned with, but again, at the end of the day, they are as much a reflection of the times and attitudes as they are the progenitor of them. The question to ask is why is that regressive message appealing? What are they giving people with it?

The big ones are always safety and security. It is true that some people will hear nothing. They are far too committed to their world-view to either be the first or second wave of change, or to change their way of thinking at all. But even if this is true, how many? Would you say 33% of the voting public? If we assume 33% are entirely unreachable(and I don't really), that would still leave 13% of last elections voting public that we can reach with the right messaging. And that messaging is economic, for a reason. I don't care what people say on a form. I don't care that they don't understand the nature of their belief system or their vote, the right economic message can change their paradigm.

One of the key components to inciting revolution is to get people to realize they are getting less than they deserve and could have. For instance, revolutions do not happen in places of abject poverty very often when that abject poverty is what the people have always known.

The language of class warfare can change that, and what's so significant about it is that it can do so by undermining the propaganda that scapegoats people of color and immigrants.

Oh yes, I know that people can be entirely unreceptive to hearing. Particularly so when they need to justify what they have and why others have less. That's all loss avoidance oriented. They've invested their lives into this belief system, and on top of that they have the misguided impression that if they get empathetic to immigrants or people of color that they will have a hard time justifying to themselves their better circumstances, or that they may actually lose that edge...that the government is going to come and take from them in taxes and distribute it away.

I say focus on getting them to justify why they don't have more. I say focus on getting them to explain to you why the media, wholly owned by corporations, has a librul agenda that is trying to get the government to tax corporations more and make immigrants into citizens so that they have to pay living wages rather than to bring down the market value of labor. I say ask them to follow the money. Do the immigrants have it? Does welfare account for it? NO! But guess who has 80% of the world's wealth? Guess who is playing us for fools.

Lets take away their defense mechanisms already...stop making it dangerous for them to reconsider their racism and make it imperative to their own economic well-being to do so.


(31,149 posts)
17. Great article, especially this:
Mon Jan 16, 2017, 06:14 PM
Jan 2017
The honest truths that rural, Christian, white Americans don’t want to accept and until they do nothing is going to change, are:

-Their economic situation is largely the result of voting for supply-side economic policies that have been the largest redistribution of wealth from the bottom/middle to the top in U.S. history.

-Immigrants haven’t taken their jobs. If all immigrants, legal or otherwise, were removed from the U.S., our economy would come to a screeching halt and prices on food would soar...

-No one is coming for their guns. All that has been proposed during the entire Obama administration is having better background checks....

-Government has not done enough to help them in many cases but their local and state governments are almost completely Republican and so too are their representatives and senators. Instead of holding them accountable, they vote them in over and over and over again.
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