Culture Warriors category archive
Dartmouth professor Randall Balmer tells the story of the rise of the “religious right.” It’s not what you might think, and certainly not the stories they tell themselves. A nugget:
What really happened? According to Paul Weyrich, conservative activist and architect of the religious right, the movement started in the 1970s in response to attempts on the part of the Internal Revenue Service to rescind the tax-exempt status of whites-only segregation academies (many of them church sponsored) and Bob Jones University because of its segregationist policies.
Follow the link for the rest.
Many years ago, I visited Bob Jones U. while researching a paper I was working on for some class I forget which one but most likely a sociology class my senior year.
It was one of the spookiest places I have ever seen.
The editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun is somewhat taken aback by Republicans’ willingness to believe anything. Here’s a bit:
New Hampshire state Rep. Ken Weyler was so convinced about the accuracy of a new report on the COVID-19 vaccine that the 79-year-old Republican felt compelled to circulate it among his colleagues recently.
Imagine his fellow legislators’ surprise in learning the findings of the report, including that the vaccine contains a “living organism with tentacles” and is causing the babies of vaccinated parents to be born “transhuman” with “pitch-black eyes.”
Amazing. And, of course, completely insane.
Follow the link for a litany of lunacy.
Today’s local rag took a close look at disruptive behavior, threats of violence, and even occasional acts of violence at school board meetings in these viral times. Adam Laats, a historian at New York’s Binghamton University, was one of the persons cited in the article; he pointed out that this is not a new or isolated phenomenon, but a recurring one in times of stress and change, supporting that point with numerous examples.
One phrase, in particular, caught my eye:
The full article is at the link.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Darcia F. Narvaez explores the psychology of cults and how they maintain control over their adherents.
(She uses what I consider an absurd term, “totalist,” in the piece, in order to differentiate from the term “totalitarian”; I think she does so in order to include non-governmental entities. But it’s still absurd.)
Here’s a bit:
To work, totalist structures require an isolating environment, which serves the purpose of coercive persuasion, keeping group members away from other influences. To determine whether or not an ideology or belief system is totalist depends on structure and function. The structure is exclusive, allowing no other truths, affiliations, or interpretations. No dissension is allowed against the leader’s word. The function of the belief system is multiple: to maintain the leader’s absolute control, to establish rigid boundaries between group members and the outside world, to justify loyalty, and to prevent escape.
Mind control occurs thorough an alternation of fear and love within the isolating environment. Followers are threatened by the leader at the same time they are promised love. They are entrapped within the group, glued in anxious dependency to the group, in a constant state of fear arousal but seeking proximity to the group in a failed attempt for comfort.
I commend the rest to your attention.
Tim Steller looks at the assumptions behind the voter fraud fraud and Arizona’s no-account recount. A snippet; follow the link for the rest.
That so-called audit springs from a worldview that has long tried to limit who can claim the mantle of “real American.” Anybody who doesn’t fit the preferred mold — conservative in politics, traditional in social and religious views — is discarded as illegitimate, “illegal,” a globalist, a fake American.
By logical extension, their votes should not count. And if their votes are counted, democracy itself is the problem.
In his list of characteristics, methinks he left out the one that underlies and ties together all the others: Whiteness.
In the midst of the current who-shot-john over whether students should be taught the truth about American’s history, Leonard Pitts, Jr., offers some thoughts on National Banned Books Week. A nugget:
That’s something worth remembering here in Banned Books Week, a yearly observation sponsored by the American Library Association to call attention to that crude human impulse that, with apologies to the Tennessee moms, stands against liberty of knowledge and ideas. There is, after all, a reason one of the first acts of the Nazi regime was a massive book burning — 25,000 texts consigned to the fire — and it wasn’t to celebrate freedom. The spirit of that atrocity lives on in Tennessee. And in Pennsylvania. And in America.
Sam, Emma, their guest, attorney and writer Sam Melo, discuss the history of immigration and immigration legislation in the United States.
Field seems concerned that our media and, for that matter, our polity don’t have their eyes on the right ball.
It appears that they just can’t stop themselves from showing their true colo–oh, never mind.
Robin Alcarian is also fed up with the governors of what blogger Ted McLaughlin has dubbed “The Petri Dish States.” A nugget:
Republican governors are already foaming at the mouth to sue Biden for what they see as unconstitutional overreach. They were already worked up over his directive to the education secretary to use the weight of the federal government against governors who have blocked and intimidated local school officials from imposing mask mandates. (The hysteria on display by mask-hating parents at school board meetings across the country has become a social media genre all its own.)
In response to legal threats by Republican governors like Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Biden was blithe: “If those governors won’t help us beat the pandemic,” he said last week, “I will use my power as president to get them out of the way.”
The refusal of otherwise healthy people to vaccinate is, in fact, a trampling of common sense, decency and the very idea that any of us owes a measure of respect to those around us.