The Christian Right's Shutdown of Government

Polls show that Democrats and independents blame Republicans for the government shutdown; Republicans blame Democrats and Obama; and the media in their desperation to report a 50/50 false equivalency above facts, spread the blame equally. So, who’s right? They’re all wrong. The nation’s economy is on the brink of Armageddon thanks to the most morally and intellectually stunted segment of the American experiment: the Christian Right.

The resurgence of the Christian Right began the day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United. A ruling that determined money equals free speech and corporations equal people. That was the moment that enabled billionaires and corporations to sweep the pro-corporate religious know-nothings into congressional seats across the land. The country is now paying the price.

The Christian Right has rebranded itself under the Tea Party Republican banner. In fact, a Pew Research poll shows that Tea Party voters are more religiously conservative than those who identify themselves as social conservatives. The Christian Right doesn’t care for the Republican Party or the Democratic Party or any other party. They just want one party – theirs. It’s a party that seeks out to transform America’s secular state into a Christian theocracy. It’s a movement that yearns for a biblical utopia – a nirvana absent gays, liberals, immigrants, Muslims, and science books.

Of the 80 Republican congressmen who sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner demanding the government shutdown, 79 are white. 76 are male. All are in lock step with the Christian Right movement, with an overwhelming majority representing constituencies in the South. The Confederacy rises again.

In states where the Tea Party has taken unilateral control of the legislative and executive branch, such as North Carolina, we’ve seen aggressive anti-abortion legislation; bills that declare Christianity the state religion; legislation that prohibits Sharia law; removal of obstacles to the death penalty; efforts to re-introduce Creationism into the classroom; and the disenfranchisement of minority voters. These laws and actions are as soothing as gospel music for their constituents.

To soothe their billionaire backers, however, the Tea Party must be the water carrier for their sponsors’ pro-corporate agenda. An agenda that includes repealing every federal program this country has ever accomplished, and, in turn, replacing it with a corporate owned equivalent. That way, corporations and billionaires, like the Koch Brothers, can profit from our lives - from the cradle to the grave. Their profit driven agenda includes the elimination of Social Security, Medicare, public schools, the Environmental Protection Agency, the minimum wage, and the unions and the National Labor Relations Board. Also, the repealing of Obamacare, which is why we are where we are today – facing a constitutional crisis, because 80 religiously motivated crazies are enacting the wishes of a few billionaires and a handful of mega corporations.

The partnership between the Christian Right and pro-corporate interests is truly a match made in Heaven, for the most politically agitated group of voters in America today are the evangelicals. Throw some red meat to their holier than thou rationalizations and they won’t care what big business does to this great nation. They care for only one thing - turning America into a theocratic regime. In other words, fascism with a religious face! And don’t be fooled by the flag-waving and the obnoxious jingoism; the Christian Right does not love America unconditionally. They love America on the condition that its political agenda is being carried out and by a president they elected.

Their strategy is to control state and federal legislatures, and the courts – in a way that says, “We don’t care what the people want. We write the laws, and those laws will not reflect the wishes of the centre majority but will cater only for the fanatical Christian Right and its corporate cronies.”

Senator Ted Cruz is now the Tea Party’s spiritual leader. His father is a radical right-wing Christian preacher whose political ideology is rooted in the radical ideology of Christian Dominionism. It’s an ideology that calls on Christians to take control of the state, with the objective of transforming America into a Christian theocratic republic - one that is governed by biblical law.

In an article titled “The Radical Christian Right and its War on Government,” Chris Hedges writes:

“Dominionists believe they are engaged in an epic battle against the forces of Satan. They live in a binary world of black and white. They feel they are victims, surrounded by sinister groups bent on their destruction. They have anointed themselves as agents of God who alone know God’s will. They sanctify their rage. This rage lies at the center of the ideology. It leaves them sputtering inanities about Barack Obama, his corporate-sponsored health care reform bill, his alleged mandated suicide counseling or “death panels” for seniors under the bill, his supposed secret alliance with radical Muslims, and “creeping socialism.” They see the government bureaucracy as being controlled by “secular humanists” who want to destroy the family and make war against the purity of their belief system. They seek total cultural and political domination.”

For now, the Christian Right holds only one-half of one branch of government, and yet they’ve brought the world’s greatest superpower to an indefinite halt, and on the cusp of defaulting on its debt. Something that Warren Buffet warned to be akin of a “nuclear bomb,” and something that economists have said could trigger a global Great Depression. In 2011, their refusal to raise taxes on the wealthy resulted in the nation’s credit rating being lowered for the very first time.   If you think they’re dangerously uncompromising and intransigent now, wait till they hold two, or all three branches of the U.S. federal government. If, or more likely when, that happens, this country will be on its way to becoming a full-blown theocratic plutocracy. God help us all.

CJ Werleman is the author of God Hates You. Hate Him Back and Crucifying America. Follow him on twitter @cjwerleman

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