Brain Curdle.

Written By: - Date published: 4:37 pm, December 9th, 2017 - 75 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, politicans, Politics, religion, Social issues, us politics - Tags: , , , , , , ,

This was one of those news articles (The Independent)…yeah,  I don’t even really know how to begin unpacking it.

I’ve done a quick check on Kim Sengupta, (the author of the article) and they don’t seem to be given to penning complete bullshit for The Independent.

So apparently one third of Republicans are white evangelicals. And 80% of white evangelicals believe that “God gave Israel to the Jewish people”. A number of them further believe in End of Days prophesies whereby there will be a “war of civilisations” (that phrase ring any bells…ISIS…bullshit right wing commentary on terrorism perhaps?) that will result in Jews either embracing Christianity or face being used to wipe the floor by Gods wrath.

Oh, and I missed the bit about those End Day prophesies foretelling Jewish control of the whole of Jerusalem. That bit’s kind of important.

So according to Kim Sengupta, they received their ‘Prayergram’ and the topic was the “Jerusalem Prayer”. And it contained the following –

“God bless Donald J Trump! He understands the real principles behind success. It is not being good at what you do or understanding theory and practice. It is being on the right side of the blessing of God. Whoever blesses Israel shall be blessed: whoever curses Israel shall be cursed.”

&

 “If we bless Israel, regardless of its faults, lack of faith, both personally and organisationally, God bless us. While the world cries out, Donald J Trump who learned about the blessing on his mother’s knee, masters the simple, plodding art of doing the right thing regardless of consequences.”

That’s not a joke…apparently that’s not a joke. People sign up to receive their “prayergrams”, and journalist who’ve been critical of Donald Trump and/or “the right” don’t even need to sign up to get theirs.

Now I can’t quite work out from the numbers given in the Independent article just how many white evangelicals there are in the USA, or how many of them would likely be favourable to the notion of Christian Zionism (wiki). But if one third of Republicans are white protestant evangelists (RNS), and Donald Trump (with enthusiastic backing from Pence and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley) is pulling this Jerusalem shit to pander to a section of that one third, then we have to assume the proportion of Republican who buy into this End Day shit is quite large.

So some politics in the USA is sold on religious grounds that encourage those it entices to vote a particular way to not think about politics….because far better to concentrate on  “gods work” etc. Now that’s crap on any number of fronts.  But (and can this be for real?!) for a President to then pander to this “gods work” guff by proposing something insanely reckless in the political sphere, when the basic idea (surely!) is just to “jolly the nutters along” and keep them ticking that Republican box, it’s…well, I don’t know what that is exactly.

If you think your sanity can handle it, throw those prayer passages into a google search, and once you discount the Independent article and any obvious further pieces based on it, you have yourself a rare old time exploring a whole world of what appears to be popular, money spinning madness. I’m not recommending that you do. I’m just saying that you “could“.

75 comments on “Brain Curdle. ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    money spinning madness

    Let’s hope that’s all it is: that the preachers’ worship Mammon.

  2. timeforacupoftea 2

    Yes funny.
    I had a Jehova Witness here this morning telling me armageddon is very close.
    The wee power will win against the big powerful USA.

    I said you mean wee rocket man ?

    Yes.

    Why ?

    Because China and Russia will come to North Korea’s defence.

    Help I thought.
    Goodbye see you next month thanks for your awake magazines.

    Bye

    • Ad 2.1

      They came to North Korea’s defence last time, and very nearly handed the U.S. a real hiding. The JeHo’s were right, because they have their eschatology down to a fine art.

      • adam 2.1.1

        We could go down a slightly worn path with the jeho’s that being theologically speaking they are the descendants of Arianism.

        A heresy which was effectively ended with the Second Council of Constantinople.

        The fact they are back shows how far outside the faith they are.

        If you want to go there.

        • Ad 2.1.1.1

          JeHo eschatology is more art than closely coded science, and like most low church splinters, emerged in the 19th century and immediately split faster than you can say Juedean People’s Front. They won’t have heard of any of those nasty Roman things like the big Church-founding Councils.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses

          Open Brethren types have similar millennial impulses – including the Gospel Chapels that we still have here.

          • Sumsuch 2.1.1.1.1

            Where you go when truth doesn’t involve proof. Scandinavia is the best manager of human psychology. The Scots and Irish and imperial influenced USA is engrained with violence. Govt born of democracy is vital.

        • rhinocrates 2.1.1.2

          how far outside the faith they are.

          If you want to go there.

          You just did. “The faith”?

          • Richard Christie 2.1.1.2.1

            +1

            one man’s seriously considered heresy is another’s dearly held delusion, and vice versa.

      • Sumsuch 2.1.2

        Eschatology you say.

  3. Andre 3

    I reckon The Independent is giving Dolt45 too much credit for strategic thinking. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem to appeal to evangelical end-times fruitloopery? That’s a somewhat complex line of reasoning.

    The piece doesn’t mention that Netanyahu is a family friend of the Kushners. Close enough that Bibi stayed at the Kushner family home on at least one visit, in Jared’s bedroom (no juicy story, Jared got shoved down to the basement).

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.771134

    I don’t reckon you need to look any further than that connection, and that he had promised it during the campaign so it was an easy “see I keep my promises” and something he can call a win.

    But it wouldn’t surprise me if Kushner and/or Bibi were aware of the evangelical views on it, and used the idea it would boost his popularity to sell the move to the Chump.

    • Bill 3.1

      Seems you missed these passages from the article Andre.

      Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who is leading the Israel/Palestine peace initiative had apparently also urged caution initially.

      Kushner is said to have changed his stance after talks with Adelson.

      Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire and Republican donor, who had given $20m (£14.9m) to a PAC (political action committee) which supported the Trump campaign and another $1.5m to the organisers of the Republican convention. Adelson has been lobbying the President persistently on the embassy transfer

      • Andre 3.1.1

        I didn’t miss it. But I did discount it. I reckon the Chump wouldn’t have any difficulty ignoring Adelson if he was of a mind to. But Kushner is reputedly influential, at least as much as anyone else is.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37986429

        Also note that Adelson is a strong Israel supporter (not an evangelical) and seems to involve himself in Israeli politics as well.

        https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.798593

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          I didn’t suggest Adelson was an evangelist.

          The point is that people (for whatever their reasons) wanted Jerusalem recognised by the US Admin. The Admin would not have made that call without looking to their support base and the effects it would have there.

          1/3rd (or thereabouts) backing a political party on the basis of larger religious considerations is a big green light.

          • marty mars 3.1.1.1.1

            the dump just wanted a win on the scoresheet imo2 – for him it was easy, cost nothing and reinforced biblical stuff with his christian supporters. I think it really is as simple as that. He cannot see any bigger picture without his oversized portrait in it.

            • Bill 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Unfortunate image of something orange coming down from a crack in the sky…

              • I wonder if these ‘endtimers’ as doomers are also a recognisable major impediment regarding climate change – doomers – we are all doomed so who gives a fuck – endtimers – we are going to heaven so who gives a fuck.

                • Bill

                  Them wants that rapture (they see the signs and are a bit excited!)

                  Climate change? So what? Rapture!
                  (Enter any really bad shit of your choosing) So what? Rapture!

                  It’s all Gods greater scheme and them’s is the rapture babies pushing Gods scheme along when and where they can. Because rapture!

                  • rhinocrates

                    I am reminded very much of the 80s and the prominence of the evangelicals then, seeing a war with the Soviet Union as a necessary part of the expected apocalypse.

                    Trump may not believe any of this (belief in any force outside himself of any sort is probably not part of his psychology), but he sees it as a lever he can jerk, and like one of those rats with electrodes connected to the pleasure centres of his brain, he can’t help but pull it.

                • Sumsuch

                  Peculiar these pricks are always sad at funerals and the prospect of their own deaths. Their philosophy is all about it being an elevation!Subjectivism meanders it’s own way to the sea with zero scruples.

                • Macro

                  Yes marty millienialists are very much a part of the problem wrt to climate change and have been for some time. Here is John Cook of Skeptical Science on the matter:
                  https://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-Weightier-Matters.html
                  at 29:14 mins into the video
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61shBfzGCQw&feature=youtu.be&t=029m14s

          • Macro 3.1.1.1.2

            Bill – it’s not just the “End Time” that these Milliennialist” boof head “religious” nutters are concerned about.. Oh know! It’s the women’s rights (particularly abortion) and LGBT rights that need seeing to as well – and the Chump is delivering on these as well.
            If you have any doubt as to the percentage of voters who are from this idiot bigot group – look no further than Alabama where Roy Moore the truly repugnant candidate and serially alleged paedophile is close to winning a seat in the Senate – granted to him by the good citizens of Alabama (which has been described as the Buckle of the Bible Belt) because he espouses the same bigotry of Trump and their good selves and is a regular church goer. Moore has a history of saying controversial things. He’s argued that slavery was the last time America was great and that homosexuality should be illegal; he also doesn’t believe that Obama was born in the United States, and he blames drive-by shootings on teaching evolution.
            On the bright side – Trump’s approval rating continue to fall – now down to around 32% overall – and that include loosing support from white protestant’s
            (who may not all be extreme “fundamentalist”)

            Trump’s job rating has declined among several groups that gave him relatively high ratings in February, including older adults (38% of those 50 and older approve today, compared with 47% who did so in February) and whites (41% now, 49% then), as well as white evangelical Protestants (61% now, 78% then).

            My bold
            http://www.people-press.org/2017/12/07/stark-partisan-divisions-over-russia-probe-including-its-importance-to-the-nation/#views-of-muellers-investigation-into-russian-involvement-in-2016-election
            For a truly mind blowing look at the spiritual advice being given to the Chump – look no further than this video:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aAY23nr0Fo

            • Richard Christie 3.1.1.1.2.1

              For a truly mind blowing look….

              also watch this CNN interview and weep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtyLvKNNhbM

              The interview with Roy Moore’s spokeswoman begins at 13.40

            • D'Esterre 3.1.1.1.2.2

              Macro: “….Roy Moore the truly repugnant candidate and serially alleged paedophile is close to winning a seat in the Senate….”

              There is speculation that the Jerusalem move was designed just to boost Moore’s election prospects with the evangelical constituency. It’s unlikely to be anything more Machiavellian than that on Trump’s part, I’d say, no matter what others may read into it.

              The notion that the prospects for peace between Israel and Palestine are now much better – as I heard an Israeli say on radio – is illusory. As somebody in this household has pointed out, Israelis are motivated only by the prospect of further favours, never by gratitude for previous ones, which they see as their absolute natural right. That’s certainly what the history of the conflict tells us. Any peace would be on Israeli terms.

            • Wensleydale 3.1.1.1.2.3

              Heh. Resurrection seeds. You’d think she’d be asking a little more than just over a grand for the ability to raise the dead. And raising the dead — isn’t that necromancy? Which is a form of black magic? Which, last time I checked, was somewhat frowned upon in Christian circles…

              How much of a dupe do you have to be to actually fall for this shit? I just can’t get my head around it.

    • D'Esterre 3.2

      Andre: “The piece doesn’t mention that Netanyahu is a family friend of the Kushners. Close enough that Bibi stayed at the Kushner family home on at least one visit, in Jared’s bedroom (no juicy story, Jared got shoved down to the basement).”

      That’s in the comment thread.

  4. Ad 4

    The political influence of U.S. evangelicals in the White House is well past its peak, although still present.

    It was astoundingly strong under G.W.Bush, and you can hear the Attorney-General John Ashcroft in full swing in this rendition of Let The Eagles Soar:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woLQI8X2R6Y

    President Trump is pretty consistent with George Bush and G.W. Bush on eschatological direction, but in particular on protecting Israel from growing foreign aggression from Iran.

    This kind of thinking was also powerful in New Zealand evangelical circles throughout the 1970s and 1980s, with one particularly influential book being Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Late,_Great_Planet_Earth

    Charlton Heston was a particular fan of it, and the original Planet of the Apes end-shot with the Statue of Liberty half-buried in sand gave the right shudder to the base.

  5. Andre 5

    Evangelicals are about a quarter of the US population

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelicalism#United_States

    Evangelicals went 81% for Trump in the election. The latest poll has their support down to 61%

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/poll-trump-support-evangelicals_us_5a29fdece4b073789f689db9?section=us_politics

    • Bill 5.1

      Yeah, but that 25% is black and white evangelists?

      That’s what I meant when I said I couldn’t quite distill the numbers and why I referred specifically to white protestant evangelists – those being the ones all wrapped up in this end times stuff. And they (the link was provided) account for about 1/3rd of the Republican voter base and (apparently) those numbers, of the (even) more nutty brigade, are holding steady against a backdrop of a general decline in ‘believers’ across all iterations of evangelism.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        The Black millennialist end times variant is Rastafarianism.
        Babylon will be destroyed, and a new age ushered in.

        For them, as for many white evangelicals alike, it came to a fever pitch in the early 1980s. There’s still a few New Zealand reggae bands that have this strain through their lyrics.

        It’s only nutty if you’re not from that culture.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          It’s only nutty if you’re not from that culture.

          Bullshit. It’s not the culture, but specific beliefs held by some within a culture…some of which can sometimes, it’s true, make sense by reference back to the culture they’re embedded in (it affords understanding)

          But some stuff is just fucking nutty…some harmlessly nuts, some not so much.

          • Ad 5.1.1.1.1

            You just need to take the time to understand it.
            It might help you understand politics a bit better.

            The impact of millennialist religion upon Jerusalem has been going for a wee while Bill.

            For example, try being in Jerusalem on any major Feast Day, or any of the big Jewish festivals, or at Ede. Sit back and just let the language and the rituals intersect with each other. Each faith expects their guy to come back any minute now.

            • Bill 5.1.1.1.1.1

              You are trying to be a patronising arse-wipe, right?

              A stupid belief is a stupid belief is a stupid belief.

              Does that mean the ramifications of a stupid belief (where there are ramifications) can’t be understood by anyone not bowing before the supposed intelligence or logic inherent to said stupid belief?

              Of course the fuck not!

              Understanding doesn’t entail denying stupidity.

              • Ad

                You are pretty clear in your post that you don’t understand the phenomenon of religious belief at all.

                You don’t make any attempt to understand the phrase “God’s work” within Christianity, which is pretty pertinent to what you are commenting on.

                You’re clearly not at all familiar with any millennial prophecy from any Judeo-Christian religion, or about how they view Jerusalem differently.

                You also made no attempt to contextualise evangelical Christianity’s influence into the modern history of U.S. foreign policy in Israel, which again would be pertinent to the current President’s actions recognizing Jerusalem as the capital.

                You also seem pretty unfamiliar with the language of Christian prayer, which seems odd in the context of writing a post about it. I looked at your links, and they were pretty familiar territory to me in their intent, in their references, and in their language. Come to a Bible Study and prepare to learn.

                I’m sure it’s fun to sneer at people praying about stuff, and then donating, and how this relates to U.S. politics. But it just shows that you you don’t understand it, and can’t, so you have a “brain curdle”.

                You should take the time to really understand this stuff. It will help you get to grips with what President Trump is doing.

                • Bill

                  The post revolves around an article by Kim Sengupta that was published in The Independent.

                  It does not revolve around any understanding I may or may not have about “the phenomenon of religious belief”. The phrases I reproduce are from the article and re-presented in the context given them by the article.

                  Obviously you’ve got a bee in your bonnet. Not my problem.

                  See, I wouldn’t know about sneering at people who pray. You think that’s what’s going on when the content of an emailed prayer is commented on? And Ad, if you’re familiar with the two religious links I provided, that are both evangelical and toxic, then bully for you.

                  Religious extremists and religious extremism most definitely and quite sensibly induces “curdling” when it’s married to proselytising and has apparent influence on political decisions being made by people in positions of quite extraordinary power.

                  Seems all of that (like the post itself) will just shoot over you head though. C’est la vie.

                  • Ad

                    You’re great on climate change, Bill.
                    Stick with that – if you reflected on all your multiple posts on that topic you would see that you will see that you are the most millennial believer posting to this site, by a long way. You have a lot in common with Christian eschatology, if you would only see it.

                    You yourself acknowledge that you are a deeply cynical person. That predisposes you against understanding faith and evidence of it.

                    I have no bee in my bonnet – on the contrary, you wrote the post about it. Own up. We can see your disposition to tho phenomenon here:

                    “That’s not a joke…apparently that’s not a joke.”

                    And here:

                    “So some politics in the USA is sold on religious grounds that encourage those it entices to vote a particular way to not think about politics…”

                    And here:

                    “(and can this be for real?!)”

                    And here:

                    “well, I don’t know what that is exactly”

                    And here:

                    “If you think your sanity can handle it,”

                    Nothing but a series of dripping sneers.

                    You are self-acknowledged as a cynical person, who does not want to understand why this kind of prayer is happening, or indeed anything beyond a link to one small opinion. Sneering is the wrong way to try understanding.

                    If I get a bit of time next week I’ll start mapping out these Jerusalem links.

                    • Bill

                      You seriously don’t understand the difference between (say) being fairly pessimistic about our collective prospects in light of inaction around AGW and people who are positively welcoming the prospect of some “end of the world” because they think they will be swept up in some rapture??!!!!

                      And you don’t see the difference between basing thoughts and/or opinions and preferred action on real and observable phenomena (AGW) and basing thought/opinion and preferred actions on utter fictions that would welcome what might be termed the epitome of misanthropy?

                      I’ve nothing to own up to Ad.

                      The sick and bereft sentiments expressed in the prayergram are for real apparently. I commented on that. Maybe you’d have them given a free pass just because they come wrapped up in prayer?

                      The next three quotes you take are (in turn) a description of the intent and form of some political messaging; a comment on a US President pandering to dangerous shit; an inability to find words to express my reaction to that; a comment on deeply disturbing material that hides beneath claims to piety.

                      I don’t care one way or the other about people signing up to have prayers delivered to them by email. The post was about one article and the thoughts and opinions therein.

                      And Ad. You never fuck out threads beneath my posts with personal bullshit again. You can disagree with my opinions or arguments all you like, and that’s all good. But this has been three straight comments aimed directly at me; that do not address the post that was written, and that reference it only insofar as a snippet here and a snippet there might add up to worthwhile ammunition for your ad hominem tirade.

                      Finally. You want to write a post justifying dangerous “end of the world” evangelical teachings and explain why we should be relaxed or understanding about their influence on political power, then no-one’s stopping you. I’d much rather a descriptive angle, but hey.

                    • ropata

                      Ad: I agree that Bill’s interpretation of the religious concepts is rather coarse and he doesn’t seem theologically inclined, but the important point is that Trump and the moran wing of ‘Murican Christianity are trying to blow up the Middle East.

                      There are plenty of sane Christian voices out there that utterly repudiate this militaristic consumer cult that is fanned by Fox News/ Breitbart/ Alex Jones. But they don’t get much press coverage, especially here in NZ we just hear the craziest, worst clickbait news.

                      related tweets:

                      The gospel according to Trump. pic.twitter.com/IK6SqKJBCH— Neal Curtis (@NealCurtis) December 9, 2017

                      Just a super quick reminder that Trump's evangelical supporters want him to declare Jerusalem the capital because they believe it well help advance THE LITERAL APOCALYPSE AND THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST— Anna Merlan (@annamerlan) December 6, 2017

                      Heal the sick (John 9:1-11).Provide for the poor (Luke 14:13).Disparage the rich (Matthew 21:12-17).Welcome immigrants (Matthew 25:25-36). https://t.co/a6LPRqLtqd— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) December 3, 2017

                    • Richard Christie

                      Groan, now get bible quotations thrown at us.

                      Bill is at perfect liberty to decline to “understand” the internal mindsets of the hand-wavers and the magical thinkers, he probably doesn’t bother “understanding” of chem trail believers etc as well.

                    • ropata

                      Fine, if you want to write an article mocking religion be my guest. That might make you feel better, but it doesn’t shed any light on the subject.

      • Andre 5.1.2

        Seems that the numbers of black evangelicals are fairly small. About 14% of blacks identify as evangelical, and about 13% of the US population identify as black. So that makes around 2% of the population are black evangelical.

        So less than 10% of evangelicals are black. I’ll take a wild guess that 10ish% skewed heavily away from Trump, making up a hefty share of the 19% of evangelicals that didn’t vote Trump.

        http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/racial-and-ethnic-composition/black/

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ethnicity_in_the_United_States

        • Bill 5.1.2.1

          The numbers are all broken down in the RNS link provided in the post that’s based on a sample of 101000 people across 50 states with a margin of error of 0.4%.

  6. newsense 6

    There is an interesting Andrew Denton (enough rope) piece visiting a trade fair of Southern religious businesses. The travel section is entirely Israel due to the reasons you’ve mentioned.

  7. rhinocrates 7

    Longish examination of Pence’s evangelism here:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/gods-plan-for-mike-pence/546569/

    It offers an interesting insight into why Pence is so sycophantic – not merely because he is power hungry, but how he believes in the centrality of servitude to one’s life and that, here’s the doozy, God’s plan may use ungodly people (Trump) to achieve His aims. Pence has apparently come to believe that he is fulfilling a divine purpose, which as the article points out, is hubris. Gott mit uns and all that.

    • Ad 7.1

      Yes Trump made a very, very smart choice there for his people.
      Pence is a voter-turnout mah-chine that is going to serve Moore very well indeed in Alabama.

      And of course Pence would never characterise serving the President as “servitude”; his term for that would be the evangelical noun “servanthood”.

  8. rhinocrates 8

    A few articles here:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/democrats-have-a-religion-problem/510761/

    A conversation with Michael Wear, a former Obama White House staffer, about the party’s illiteracy on and hostility toward white evangelicals

    https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/514691/why-dont-democrats-take-religion-seriously/

    Why haven’t liberals tried harder to reach the broad percentage of Americans who identify as religious? “Democrats in Washington often have trouble speaking in religious terms, and they reflect a broader liberal culture that doesn’t take religion seriously,” she explains. But this is an uncomfortable shift, one that has a political costs. Previous progressive figures have actively relied on religious rhetoric to move policies forward. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Carter, for example, framed their ideals in religious terms and audiences were receptive. Is it time for Democrats to incorporate religious identity back into their outreach and politics?

    Point being, religious faith and practise is not a Republican monopoly and has been behind many successful progressive movements. Moreover, you cannot wish that America will separate religion from politics, despite its constitution. The Dems need to engage with their electorate and they’ve failed.

    • Ad 8.1

      Great links.

      Bill Clinton was outstanding at relating to evangelicals. Hard core Alabama.

      With the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the failure and decline of secular politics to understand global political dynamics in most spheres outside of Europe, Canada and Australasia is being stronger felt.

      The mainstream media from these countries have very, very few religious commentators of any note or penetration, and it really shows in their bewilderment at events.

    • Sumsuch 8.2

      The left seeks truth, the right declare it. Can you wonder the truth-seekers can’t doff their heads to drongos. Even if they are ‘our’ drongos’.

      Malheureusement, unlike in India, there aren’t evangelical rationalists here. This is where a likeable left figure steps in. The likeability leaching the left usually.

    • Bill 8.3

      My first impression is that there’s shades of a Mens Rights Activists pattern of protestation going on there. (Evangelical concerns have been ignored. Evangelicals are being put upon. Poor evangelicals) Now, given we’re talking about a fairly privileged section of society who would impose their ‘concerns’ on others…

      Anyway. They could be courted by the Democrats. And the Democrats could court white supremacists while they’re at it, but yeah, the Republicans have got those constituencies all tied up, right?

      So is it up to the Republicans to stop accommodating and/or gaming fairly base sentiments in society for electoral gain, or should the Democratic Party roll out a better welcoming mat than the Republicans?

      The Republicans, of course, won’t stop leveraging one of their principal routes to power, but the Democrats could always get down off the fence and Berne the political landscape of the US as an alternative to this game of pandering to very unpleasant and/or dangerous sentiments and lowest common denominators.

      Just a thought.

  9. Sabine 9

    you might want to aquaint yourself with these movies 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_Behind_(2014_film) – by this guy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_LaHaye

    or this for a bit of a fright

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Camp

    or this guy who is the founder of quiverfull

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gothard

    might want to read up on this one here Daddy of the Mrs. Huckabee Sanders

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Huckabee

    this guy, VP Pence

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Pence

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/gods-plan-for-mike-pence/546569/

    also Blackwater aka Xe aka what ever
    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/17/notorious-mercenary-erik-prince-is-advising-trump-from-the-shadows/
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/gods-plan-for-mike-pence/546569/

    there is more on these guys if really you want to go down the rabbit hole. But yes, there has been outspoken support for US policies that would ‘unify’ Israel to bring about the second coming of Christ, praise be.

    Luckily for myself, i won’t be raptured but rather will be left behind, so i am looking forward to getting all that shit left behind by these twats. Also i will adopt any non raptured animals, cause someone has too.

    last, these Nutters also exist in NZ.

    • Ad 9.1

      Rapture culture was really strong here at the same time as the big liberative movements grew in New Zealand in the late 1970s and early 1980s – for very similar reasons. There’s definitely still a good few around, but it’s much weaker than it used to be.

      Jesus Camp was a nice little taster for that culture.

      • Sumsuch 9.1.1

        Thankfully, it’s only 5% of us. Though I’ve had far too many of these applied subjectivists up close over the last 37 years. So glad so few, unlike poor America. Pity our middle middle class. The lack of brains and the generic human need.

  10. D'Esterre 10

    Sabine: ” these Nutters also exist in NZ.”

    Yup. I know a couple; which is remarkable, given that I have for many years moved in non-religious circles. One of these people told me about this end times business when Trump was elected; this person said that they are part of a prayer or study group or some such, which is part of their church, and that they all believed that he would be elected. His election is also a sign of the end times, in their view.

    I have no idea whether such folk are a small lunatic fringe here in NZ, or whether they are a significant and well-organised group. But even if there are many of them, they don’t appear to have any influence with any political party. And if they did, it would more likely be the Natz, I think, were they to follow the patterns of evangelical political support in the US.

  11. Cinny 11

    Using religion as leverage for power is nothing new, but it’s a worry that such a large percentage of americans are still happy as to be brainwashed for their money, their minds, the basis on which they make decisions.

    Really interesting stats Bill, thanks for posting, makes perfect sense re their beliefs around Israel and resulting response, easy peasy for Trump to manipulate agendas with religious narrative to his crowd.

    No wonder the hate of other imaginary friends and those that talk to them is rampant over there, those in power keep playing the god card for control.

    And now Palestinians are protesting, sadly two have been killed as a result and over 800 injured.

    Israel are claiming a couple of rockets were fired at them (there was no damage from the rockets), so they launch an airstrike in Gaza Strip which kills 2 people and injures many more including children. How long will it take bibi to turn off/restrict their water/food etc?

    The tangerine toddler has gifted bibi a catalyst and the world a distraction, its reprehensible.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/hundreds-injured-palestinians-mark-day-rage-171208122355917.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOxZP5xQib0

  12. garibaldi 12

    In my experience the mildly religious people would rather have the evangelicals in society than non believers in their midst. They really piss me off over their attitude that you have to have a god in your life to be a “real” person and have a reason to live. They tacitly allow all the evils done around the world by the various factions of religion and excuse them by saying “Ah but they are not of the true faith”. For this reason I hold all religious people responsible for the fucked up world we live in. Their pie in the sky belief in man made fairy tales just demonstrates how stupid humans are.

    • Grafton Gully 12.1

      Their pie in the sky belief in man made fairy tales just demonstrates how stupid humans are.

      “But we who follow the Lord and have cleansed His word from human abominations, shall leap as he-goats upon the mountains, and enter upon the heritage of the righteous from Beth-poor even unto the crossings of Jordan.”

      Muckle John Gib, a fictional Scottish prophet 1685, in “Salute to Adventurers” by J Buchan, first published 1915.

    • ropata 12.2

      If you gotta find a scapegoat, Jesus was crucified to take the blame

      • In Vino 12.2.1

        That stupid idea about Jesus saving everybody who believes is exactly the problem that you are now perpetuating.

        • ropata 12.2.1.1

          This prejudice against religion is a big part of why the Left is struggling for support. It’s too simplistic and easy to throw out all religion as rubbish, but to do so is to deny a large part of what makes us human.

          • Incognito 12.2.1.1.1

            This piqued my interest. Would you mind elaborating why you think prejudice against religion is a big part of why the Left is struggling for support? I do understand if you decline 😉

            • ropata 12.2.1.1.1.1

              The (academic) Left is associated with SJW idpol causes and tends to dismiss religious sensibilities, and those of the common man, as reactionary redneck xenophobia

              • Incognito

                Thanks for the reply.

                Dismiss, ignore, neglect …

                Forces have worked hard to break apart the intersectionality of the religious and political realms of the human condition and neoliberalism completely ignores religious or spiritual aspects – in fact, it actively opposes them. [yeah, somebody is going to ask for a link …]

                This is a crucial omission from the so-called Kiwi Dream IMO.

              • SPC

                Any attempt on the left to preach the social gospel is derided as socialism in the USA. Even universal state provided health care.

          • garibaldi 12.2.1.1.2

            The thing is ,ropata, when one studies the teachings of Jesus it is obvious he leans heavily to the left. Christians are meant to model their lives on their idol so how can they justify voting for blatant Capitalism?

            • ropata 12.2.1.1.2.1

              Abortion and the fear of “Socialism” are used to demonise any left leaning candidates. Never mind what Jesus taught and what the Bible says consistently about usury, greed, and caring for the poor.

  13. One Two 13

    ‘The Long Game’

    Another piece casually moved into position

    Who are the high priests, the rabbis, the heads of the cult…?

    What do ‘they’ really believe in

    Death and suffering appear to be a core component to ‘whateveritis’

  14. Peter 14

    I am sorry but you all have it wrong, only us Catholics go to hevan (joke)

  15. SPC 16

    “God bless Donald J Trump! He understands the real principles behind success. It is not being good at what you do or understanding theory and practice. It is being on the right side of the blessing of God. Whoever blesses Israel shall be blessed: whoever curses Israel shall be cursed.”

    Such is the thinking behind the US Congress passing legislation in 1995 to recognise JerusaLEp

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