9 votes

GOP Insider: How Religion Destroyed My Party

In the new book, "The Party Is Over," veteran Republican Mike Lofgren writes about the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism and how the GOP devolved into anti-intellectual nuts.

Having observed politics up close and personal for most of my adult lifetime, I have come to the conclusion that the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism may have been the key ingredient in the transformation of the Republican Party. Politicized religion provides a substrate of beliefs that rationalizes—at least in the minds of its followers—all three of the GOP’s main tenets: wealth worship, war worship, and the permanent culture war.

Religious cranks ceased to be a minor public nuisance in this country beginning in the 1970s and grew into a major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson’s strong showing in the 1988 Iowa presidential caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. Unfortunately, at the time I mostly underestimated the implications of what I was seeing. It did strike me as oddly humorous that a fundamentalist staff member in my congressional office was going to take time off to convert the heathen in Greece, a country that had been overwhelmingly Christian for almost two thousand years. I recall another point, in the early 1990s, when a different fundamentalist GOP staffer said that dinosaur fossils were a hoax. As a mere legislative mechanic toiling away in what I held to be a civil rather than ecclesiastical calling, I did not yet see that ideological impulses far different from mine were poised to capture the party of Lincoln...

[Click to Read the Rest of This 6-Page Book Excerpt]




Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Denise B's picture

Nice propaganda piece!

There are so many falsehoods asserted in this article, I really don't know where to begin....so I won't bother.

I hadn't heard anything about anyone claiming that dinosaur fossils are a hoax, but I have heard a lot of people claiming that macro-evolution is settled science and that is so far from the truth it is almost laughable. In fact, there is scientific evidence which shows it to be impossible:

http://www.icr.org/article/3140/)./

A typical progagandist tool is to label the specific group of people they wish to demonize (more and more that target has been anything Christian) with a derogatory label (Fundamentalist) and then repeat that term over and over again until it starts to stick in people's minds. Seems you've mastered that one pretty well....

Your link is to a propaganda piece.

It is rife with logical fallacies. It presents several straw man arguments claiming that evolutionists contend something they did not. I saw no evidence given in the article.

Evolution, from the latin volve to roll. Evolve literally is what is 'rolled out'.

Man discovers things long hidden under millions of years of sediments and tries to make sense of what he has found.

There is no "Theory of Evolution" but there are many hypothesis or guesses.

The Bible reports the authors hypothesis of how creation was rolled out over time.

More importantly we were warned, but Adam and Eve apparently wanted to be like gods judging good and evil.

What is more important? How we came to be here or what we decide to do with the time we are given.

Free includes debt-free!

They may be of equal importance

My response is based solely on your comment, Paul S. as that is what caught my attention. You asked, "What is more important? How we came to be here or what we decide to do with the time we are given."

My response is that if one can know how we came to be here, then one can know where we are going. This is probably the most important issue of life. Why are we here and where are we going?

If you come to believe the Bible is true, you will want to spend the little time that you have here as best you can as we are told to "redeem the time" and that life is but a vapor, etc. etc.

I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war. Ps 120:7
--
Better to be divided by truth than united in error.
--
The local church(not a building -a people) is the missing link. The time to build is now.

Get over it secularists.

We religious cranks aren't going anywhere. Go bury your Jacobist politics in the CPUSA.

What a bunch of

hooey. It is the swing to the left that is destroying the GOP. If it is "anti-intellectual nuts" who are destroying it then why didn't the democrat party fold long ago?

The PTB are smiling at how their plan of domination is going just fine with the help of useful liberal idiots.

Just as the Roman's created "Christianity" to control the masses

The "Gospels" came from the Flavian Imperial Court.

Gospels = Evangelical = "Good News-Victory of War"

http://caesarsmessiah.com/index.html

The Gospels are simply a literary version of the Arch of Titus. You can see on the Arch the concepts that were worked into the Gospels – God the father and the son of god

Who wrote the "Gospels"?

http://caesarsmessiah.com/blog/2011/10/the-true-history-of-t...

lets consider this

When the constitution was being debated the fundamentalist where the ones who pushed for the government to not fund churches.

The Fundamentalist where the ones who fought for home schooling, and have shown over and over how awful our public schools are

The fundamentalist always push for smaller government.

Fundamentalist are against welfare of any kind.

My only real problem with fundamentalist is that since 9/11 they have become pro war.

Honestly the fundamentalist would probably have nothing at all to do with government if it wasnt for abortion. I am assuming this is the moral issue that this guy is talking about.

The fundamentalists push for

The fundamentalists push for small government until the issue is the government's place in your bedroom, or your womb.

The fundamentalists push for home schooling because public school teachers aren't allowed to corral their students into an opt-out prayer session, or allowed to teach kids religion in the guise of "intelligent design".

The fundamentalist will push for smaller government only so long as church and state are separate.. but they wouldn't prefer that, would they? They figure, "Well shit, all the founders are clearly Christian, sooooooooooooooo...." Ask a fundamentalist if they even think Islam is a religion (and therefore protected by the first amendment), and if they've been listening to Herman Cain or some other bigot, they might try to tell you it's a political system rather than a religion.

As for pushing for government to not fund churches, that's not true across the board. The sort of fundamentalist who (correctly) insists that a church is not necessary for any Christian may feel as you say, but the Christian duped into the KJV's mistranslation of "congregation" to "church" would probably try to tell you that govt church funding's A-OK because "the wall between church and state does not exist".

Let us define some of your broad assertions

As has already been established fundamentalist are against abortion, and as its an issue of protecting life it should be protected against.

As far as outlawing what happens in the bedroom, what exactly do the fundi's want to outlaw, I am not talking about one that said they fantasized about outlawing, but what law have they actually pushed? Honestly a lot of the people on the left could be accursed of not leaving the bed room alone considering sex ed.

I know of a fundi (Jack Hyles), who was certainly for home schooling, but knowing that not all people could do it had a Christian school at the church. He said often that none of his teachers was certified. He would then say why should his teachers get state certification considering that the teachers with the certification could not even teach their students to read. He said his teachers were far better because they did not have state certification.

Islam is a religion, I have friends that go to the middle east to give them the gospel.

Your last paragraph shows you dont know what church and state separation is. Separation of church and state is simply the state does not fund the church, america was the first place in the west where that happened, and one of the big reasons for liberty. Heck when the founding fathers were debating the constitution they were going to have four state churches one of them being baptist, until the baptist showed up and told them that they would not be a state church, and if it passed would change the name of their churches so that they could worship God as they pleased, and trust God for their funding.
By the way I am one of those KJV fundamentalist, and I know a lot of guys with ministries that are very eligible for government funding that will not take a penny of it. I dont know a KJV fundamentalist that takes state money.

This is a discussion I'd love to have.

but what law have they actually pushed
Do you realize that "sodomy" laws existed in 14 states until the US supreme court struck them down in 2003? Fundamentalists throughout the history of our country have pushed for their idea of Biblical law where it is relevant to their sexually repressive culture.

Baptists even reckoned for awhile that blacks bear the mark of Cain, so it's not surprising they wouldn't be OK with interracial marriage. In fact, interracial marriage was still against the law in many states until the 60s-80s. According to Reuters, a majority of the country wasn't even OK with interracial marriage until 1993.

And then there's all that outlawing of the terrible theory of evolution. And that brings us to legislation for teaching creationism / intelligent design in school as if there were a shred of science to it.

The list goes on and on. Ron Paul's right, you can't legislate morality, but fundies have tried.

Honestly a lot of the people on the left could be accursed of not leaving the bed room alone considering sex ed.

I'm not completely sure what you were getting at with this statement.

Speaking of sex ed, though, that brings me to another kind of legislation fundies push for: abstinence-only education. In nearly every case, non-contraceptive sex ed curricula have upped the teen pregnancy rate.

This is what I mean by repressing human sexuality. You can't just tell teenagers to wait until marriage and expect your mere words alone to quell human nature. The best you can do is hand out contraceptives. Every single human on this planet shares in common that at least half their ancestry either liked or loved sex, and most of that sex has been out of wedlock.

Abstinence-only education was such a failure that 20+ states actually opted OUT of the federal funding the Bush Jr. adminisration was offering those that'd adapt it.

Separation of church and state is simply the state does not fund the church

The separation of church and state works both ways: the state can not benefit or demerit a religion, and a religion can not make the church its vehicle. Without the second half, you enable the first, and vice versa.

I won't hate on home schooling, it can certainly outperform general ed (which isn't saying much to begin with), but I do think it's sad when home schooling produces kids that hate or fear the notion of modern science.

Consider your argument for a second

For some time sodomy was considered a mental disorder, unless you can prove fundies were behind it then your argument has no merit.

If a majority of people in the country thought that interracial marriage was wrong, until 1993 then that means it wasnt a fundie or religious thing, but a culture thing in america, that I am glad was fixed. Please note I know several fundies that are inter racially married and was so before 1993. I think it shows a lack of critical thinking on your part to say it was a majority opinion and then blame the fundies for the opinion.

On the mark of cain comment I have to ask which group of baptist, and when? Because if they think that they are showing a complete and utter ignorance of the Bible since cains line would have ended in the flood. That said I certainly have known people to say that but it wasnt exactly regular church goers that said it in my presence.

Most people who want evolution out of school want it out of school because the evidence has been proven wrong fifty or more years ago. For example 13 years ago, when I was in 8th grade in public schools in S.C. we got brand new books that showed henkals drawings as proof for evolution. Honestly if atheist do want to get somewhere with this argument there needs to be a list drawn up of things that should be taken out of the books and the universities and atheist should hammer the schools for leaving inaccuracies in the text books.

Do you actually have evidence that the teachers teach abstinence only education. I know for a fact that places that are supposed to teach that just teach regular sex ed. Second I am not for abstinence only education, I find it morally wrong for the school to teach anything about sex, and should just tell the kids to ask their parents. Furthermore there has to my knowledge been no statistics on teen pregnancy where they have shown how many teens got pregnant on purpose. I would imagine that would open a lot of peoples eyes on the teen pregnancy rate.
Furthermore the school system changed the average age of someone getting married throughout history of 14 or 15, to what is now 26 for the women, and 28 for the men. So I would say that most of the sex in human history has been in wed lock. Please note in my grandpas day he could and did drop out of high school at 16 work a job, that gave him enough money to get married, get an apartment, get a car, and afford a kid, and within five years afford 5 kids, with no government help.
by the way I hate george bushes idea of abstinence only education. and am in no way defending it. it is made in such a way to be counter productive on purpose, like the dare programs.
You know in your first paragraph you mentioned america as a sexually repressed culture. I feel that man was made to be monogamous but that man was also made to get married young, and that the biggest culture factor right now in the way of that is the public school system. So in a way I agree with you, but I would imagine I would disagree with you in the how and why and what.

Religion

Rum, Romanism and Rebellion
http://www.ralphmag.org/BH/rum-romanism.html

The GOP has always been heavily religious.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Zionism has always been a political movement...

but it's seeds were sown in many Evangelical churches.
Strong belief can bring about anything from Olympic gold, personal victory, suicide bombers, the theft of a nation.

I don't think the churches sowed the seeds...

...but they certainly watered, fertilized, and incubated them.

Cuimhnigh orm, a Dhia, le haghaidh maith.

First of all the Social and

First of all the Social and the Neo conservatives are way different. if anything lets kick out the Neo's and have the libertarian and the social conservatives have are own party. I would have no problem with A Paul and Santorum ticket. Yes i know that the Social's and the Libertarians have diffrent views on alot but both can't stand the Neo's look at the santorum supports they came to us because we were really conservitive where the Neo's arnt

you dont think santorium

is a neocon?

or probable child molester?

Jackson County Georgia

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
Thomas Jefferson

No i truly believe he was a

No i truly believe he was a social conservative. he is against abortion and gay marriage and didn't care about much else

Mike - your in political land here

here's a clue.
what politicians SAY means nothing. Look at what they DO.
sanitorium SAID he was against those things.
what he DID, was sponsor a bill to FUND planned parenthood!!!

He didnt care about much else, but he is a complete farse.

After all what IS a social conservative and WHERE pray tell do their "social issue stances" emminate from??
almost always it is from a religious background, usually Catholic/Christian.
What is Christ's view of a liar?
social conservative? I think not.

Jackson County Georgia

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
Thomas Jefferson

That is a position also held by many democrats...

...which is why the appellative "social conservative" is a poor one in politics. We need more philosopher types, not reactionary types. Santorum isn't the brightest thinker and we have problems in this country that require intelligence to solve.

Cuimhnigh orm, a Dhia, le haghaidh maith.

more hatred against Christianity

... so you're saying the GOP should ignore a gigantic voting block?

I say the Christian vote is the key to Dr. Ron Paul ( a REAL Christian who ... like Jesus ... means to warn us all of the dangers of the Moneychangers and given the chance will ALSO upset their tables ) WINNING the nomination and subsequently the POTUS.

NOTE TO CHRISTIANS:

• the "Rapture" is a misrepresentation of your Bible's words
• notice that Jesus didn't sit around waiting for armageddon
• notice that many elements of your "Bible" existed 1,000 years or more BEFORE your "Bible"

The problem that happened

The problem that happened when the evangelicals got into politics was mainly due to the fact that for some inexplicable reason or other, many of those who identify with the christian faith feel a need to make people stop sinning. Even if they have to violate that person's rights to do so. The whole idea that this sort of thing is what Christians are supposed to do is antithetical to biblical christianity. And yet evangelicals saw politics as a way to do just that sort of thing. I think Christianity was given a really bad name when they got into politics. As for whether the GOP should ignore that block of voters, I think it'd be better just to not pander to them anymore like they've been doing. It's become a fairly ignorant and prejudiced group of people, all things considered, and it'd be best if that kind of Christian died out.

Matthew 10:16

I agree with that.

The attitude seems to be: "As long as we can keep killing those Godless Muzzies and legislate morality according to whatever my Zionist, 501c3 Government-Controlled Clergy Response Team Preacher tells me, Constitution be damned... except if a black guy is in the White House... then we pretend to care about the Constitution."

I agree as well

The average so-called "Christian" in today's brain-fogged brain-washed toxin-loaded iodine-deficient nation of fools is so far from God it's embarrassing, really.

Q. When did so-called "anti-war" Democrats get fooled into "humanitarian war" fraud?

Q. When did so-called "conservatives" get fooled into adopting "full-spectrum dominance" which is really "War on the American People?

I don't think that's what its

I don't think that's what its saying. I think its saying that conflating the Bible with politics is the problem. Even Dr. Paul doesn't mix the two of them up. One is the law and the other is spiritual. Even when they tried to entrap him with those questions he referred to the Constitution because the Bible is not the law of the land. Christians within the GOP seem to eschew the Constitution preferring instead to take their marching order from the Bible. This is how we've gotten the wars, etc.

Anyway, that's my take on the point being made in the OP.

Blessings )o(

The GOP plays to the

The GOP plays to the Christian kooks and manipulates their fears and beliefs for the controlled Neo-Con Agenda. These people are the reason Dr. Paul was thrown under the bus, and that's because he wouldn't bend to every one of Israel's whims. Israel was set up as a mind control tool by the Rothschilds to lead Christianity astray. This is why all of Israel's enemies are our enemies, because Israel's enemies are the Banksters' enemies. We invade all the countries who won't play by the banksters' rules on their behalf.