Death Cults “R” Us

I’ve been referring to the GOP as a death cult for years now, but over the last few weeks it truly has completed its metamorphosis.

Back in the early days of the madness that has now taken full control of the party, it only venerated the death of people it considered to be bad or evil, and this manifested itself in strong Republican positions favoring the death penalty and wars that killed people of color. But during Ronald Regan’s second presidential campaign, the conservative political movement decided to marry a conservative religious movement:  fundamentalist Christianity.

The GOP promised this bigoted, racist (fundamentalist Christianity was the guiding force of Jim Crow) voting bloc the Moon:  to outlaw abortion, to only appoint anti-abortion judges, and to fight against civil rights for people of color, women, and LBGTQ people. And fundamentalist Christianity sowed the seeds of its deep hatred for post-civil rights era America into the fabric of the Republican Party, seeds that would mean the death of the post-60s culture.

This unholy alliance was in turn led by politicians, exclusively white males. who had no interest in or use for fundamentalist Christianity:  the Bushes were/are Episcopalians, Bob Dole is a Methodist, John McCain identified as an Episcopalian until it was more convenient for him to identify as a Baptist (i.e., he moved from identifying with a mainline denomination to identifying as a fundamentalist because he was the GOP nominee), and Mitt Romney is a Mormon.

Donald Trump is not religious at all, which is eminently fitting as he is the apotheosis of the Reagan campaign’s cynical embrace of fundamentalist Christianity:  he embraced a group of people he has zero actual interest in and in turn they embraced someone who transgressed all of their taboos because they believed he could help them impose their worldview on the rest of us.

This approach is highly problematic, and not just from a moral and ethical stance. When you promise revenge to people who feel disenfranchised and cut off from their society, you also have to justify hurting other people, which is pretty anathema to Christianity. The language of dehumanization and hatred led to a terrible series of race-, faith-, and gender-based mass shootings which the GOP absorbed without an ounce of compassion for the victims or sorrow for so much death wrought by their words.

The GOP gleefully took away abortion access for women, even if that procedure was needed to save women’s lives. It allowed medical professionals to refuse to care for LBTGQ people. Republican governors refused Medicaid expansions–that they would not have to pay for–because the lives that would be improved and/or saved would be poor people who were unlikely to make large financial donations to their never-ending campaign war chests.

When Covid-19 paralyzed the country, the GOP fully embraced its calling and gloried in the pandemic’s sorrow and pain, refusing to take any precautions, spreading lies about the disease, and culminating when the cult’s leader told people to inject bleach into themselves—AND PEOPLE DID. Even after the cult’s leader fell critically ill, the party kept pushing its agenda of death. No one’s life was valuable enough to save from Covid-19.

Not being an organization that sleeps on its laurels, and not content with 600,000+ Americans dead from Covid-19, the GOP broke new ground this week. The state of Tennessee is stopping all vaccine outreach to children and teens. It may even do away entirely with the state health department.

In his official bio on the state government website, the governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, is described this way:

The governor and first lady are people of strong faith.

I don’t know what to say. I am a person of strong faith and I know it’s wrong on every level to neglect and abandon vulnerable people, and especially children. The idea that professing Christians could be so indifferent to the sickness and death of children, or so cynical that they would be willing to sacrifice their health and lives for a Pyrrhic victory, is unthinkable.

I’ll let the psalmist have the last word, writing about the Israelites wandering the desert with Moses and falling in with other religions when times got tough instead of sticking to their own teachings:

They sacrificed their sons

    and their daughters to false gods. (Psalm 106)

6 thoughts on “Death Cults “R” Us

  1. What Tennessee is doing is criminal insanity. Is there any way the courts or the executive branch can intervene?

    1. i would think the governor is fine with it. the courts will have to help out imo.

  2. This and Texas officials deciding to put a bounty on pregnant women (private citizens can get $10,000 to snitch on women wanting to get an abortion), …

    p.s. A while back you mentioned your husband was having knee troubles, did he get any relief?

    1. yeah, that abortion law is awful and is going to lead to violence against women.

      thanks for asking about my husband—he’s getting PT and it’s really helping.

  3. A good analysis, and I largely agree with it. I do have a quibble with your point, “When you promise revenge to people who feel disenfranchised and cut off from their society, you also have to justify hurting other people, which is pretty anathema to Christianity.”

    The people you’re referring to feel that they’re the only ones deserving to be enfranchised (Is that a word?), as befits God’s latter-day Chosen People. The only society they recognize is the one where they’re in the dominant position, and if people are hurt, it’s because they’re not right with God. (Unless it’s them or one of their own that’s hurt, then it’s Satan testing them, not any moral or ethical failure on their part or even the random working of an indifferent universe.)

    Also, it’s not so much revenge on everyone else, but the due recompense for those others for having offended God. They tried to warn us! But no, we just had to continue your sinful ways, and God finally got around to smiting us. Not their fault at all. Now, be God’s best friend or He’ll smite you again or torture you for all eternity. Since I have enough psychos in my life already, I don’t subscribe to their vision of the Almighty.

    1. c c o-signed that that’s how they feel, but imo they aren’t facing actual reality.

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