How the Religious Right Corrupts Christianity

As we’ve said before, the religious right isn’t really a religious movement. It’s a political movement that uses religion as a weapon to divide Americans and push an agenda. And that agenda often promotes a peculiar version of political Christianity.

So we weren’t surprised this week to see a fundraising letter from a California-based group called The Center for Cultural Leadership that offers another example of how religious-right groups are corrupting Christianity. Key excerpt:

“When the Western intellectual elites offer high-sounding arguments that fetuses are not really humans, that ‘gender’ is ‘fluid,’ that Islam is a peaceful religion, that Jesus was nonjudgmental, that politics should engineer the New (anti-Christian) Society, that ‘hurtful’ religious speech should be suppressed, that law is what law professors decide it is, that porn is harmless, and that interventionist economics protects against market fluctuations, we counter with a distinctly Christian intellectual demolition.”

According to this group, apparently, being Christian requires buying into a litany of arguments about abortion, Islam, LGBT people, etc. But especially revealing is the suggestion — highlighted in bold above — that there is a “distinctly Christian intellectual” argument against “interventionist economics.”

What? Have Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman taken their place alongside the Twelve Apostles?

Kevin Kruse, a professor of history at Princeton University, has written about how corporate interests essentially created the religious right in the 1930s and 1940s to oppose President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and other government programs. It’s a fascinating piece and well worth the read. Letters like the fundraising appeal noted above illustrate how successful those efforts have been in turning faith into a weapon to promote a political agenda.

13 thoughts on “How the Religious Right Corrupts Christianity

  1. I have said it before, and I will say it again and again and again. The real Christian faith and Jewish faith, with a right dividing of the spiritual truth therein, are the greatest single threat posed to the excesses, injustices, and predation in American business. To push forward their agenda of evil, American business recognized that they absolutely had to find some way to castrate those two faith traditions in the United States. The rife ignorance in the pews and the foolishness of Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism were their keys to doing it—and they have taken full advantage of it. And the fundies become part of it like lemmings in a line to see who can drown first.

  2. There are some things the Bible does speak about with clarity. There are other things that it isn’t so clear. Unfortunately, too many make assumptions about what should be or shouldn’t be. (Legalism). When humans start playing God that is when the trouble begins.

  3. So Tom tell me about the time before all these right wing religious fanatics took power and Christianity embraced Islam and was accepting of abortion as well as gay marriage.

    Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

      1. Interesting lecture, however it didn’t answer my question. In fact if you watched the whole thing, his point was none of the goals of the Religious Right were achieved, basically that they were wholly ineffective in their attempts to change public policy.

        But it still remains that Christians have always opposed abortion, gay marriage and never embraced Islam.

        The authors point that the Religious Right are corrupting Christianity is an overt non sequitur. Christianity is practiced by a myriad of persuasions and their members run the gamut from ultra orthodox like the Mennonites to ultra progressive like the Unitarian Church.

        The notion that Christians should not take positions of power (his point near the end of the lecture) should disturb any citizen of a Democratic state. That one should be excluded either voluntarily or otherwise based on their religious convictions is anathema to the very concept of a representative republic, but then again, not all fascists have armbands and funny mustaches.

        1. Unitarians aren’t technically Christian, since most don’t believe in Jesus’s divinity.

        2. No. His point was that the whole fabric of the Religious Right’s creation and opposition to abortion were largely a clever and contrived political trick that occurred at a time when their was no solid groundswell of opposition to abortion in religious quarters except in the Roman Catholic Church, which Christians fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals hated anyway and thought was irrelevant because of it.

          Christians should not be allowed to take power when their leaders have already made it clear that they want to get rid of our constitutional Republic and replace it with a theocracy based on the Old Testament law. You must be some sort of Christian Reconstructionist or Dominionist moron. What you want. It ain’t gonna happen. Millions of us out here are determined that you will never see your theocratic dreams come true—and we have guns too. Just remember that:

          “Oh, but Rushdoony told us that that by God’s grace the American people would simply elect us peacefully when the time is right.”

          Wrong!!! Rousas Rushdoony was a pig’s ass pretending to be a Christian.

        3. Daniel. Randy Balmer was raised as a Christian fundamentalist. You know as well as I do that Christian fundamentalists and many conservative evangelicals reject the notion that anyone who claims to be a Christian outside of their own circle is NOT a “true” Christian and is automatically an enemy of God. When Randy uses the word “Christian,” he is restricting it to the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical mindset.

  4. Charles, I understand what you mean, however methinks that when you talk about the Jewish religion you have to say which branch you are talking about.
    I’m a Reform Jew which simply says live and let live. We in no way judgmental. We even embrace atheist Jews as not believing in a deity does not strip them of their Jewish genes.

    You’re right on about the “right” is destroying everything sane Americans do and say.

    The so-called RFRA laws are simply an attempt to turn this country back to before 1964 when people who were open to the public could no longer discriminate against people who were not like them.

    I call the Religious Right the TEAliban because they want what the Taliban want, the total destruction of our Constitutional Republic.

    As was mentioned above, corporations wooed the right wingers and they, together, formed the Fascist states. That is their goal. They want to destroy us within the next two decades. While that doesn’t seem like a long time, consider that a child born today will be 20 years old.
    The Republican parties are cutting back on eduction and making sure that what they learn is NOT what you and I learned, they are teaching them fascist ideas.
    We’ve got to wake up NOW or sit back and watch our country go down the tubes.

    1. There is a very good reason for the RFRA in it’s original format.

      Originally the law was created because in Oregan, or maybe Arizona, some First Nations people took part in a ceremony that involved using Peyote.

      Some of the First Nation people lost their job for failing a drug test, and were also refused employment insurance for failing a drug test.

      The RFRA was set up as a direct reaction so that people practicing a religion in this way couldn’t be punished by the gov.

      In this application I am all for the law and I am an atheist.

      The law isn’t the problem, like with all things the Republicans get a hold of, it has been perverted to be something it wasn’t meant to be.

  5. “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” ~Barry Goldwater [Barry Goldwater’s War Against The Religious Right

  6. Interesting lecture. My own observation having left the GOP and the Church is that the religious right uses what all fascist leaders use to gain and maintain power. First create fear among the ignorant then maintain that fear through propaganda. The Republican party Republican party made a pact with evil to gain a reliable base of voter because their message was failing. Now that they have lost control of the religious right the once conservative political party is now well positioned to destroy democracy as we thought we knew it and replace it with a theocracy.

    1. I also left the party after 30 years when I realized that the GOP & religious right was the old Confederacy rising it’s ignorant ugly head again. You are correct the greedy GOP enlisted the religious right thinking they could take advantage of the votes. Well, the inmates have taken over the asylum.