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Saturday, August 28, 2010

What are YOU going to do about the Neo-Theocracy movement?: Glenn Beck & His Fellow Zealots Strike Again

I am trying to find the intelligent humor in the Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin "Restoring Honor Rally." The following link is immature and NSFW - but it is one attempt to make heads or tails out the Glenn Beck phenomenon: Glenn Beck is a penis. Warning - that site will do nothing for civilized dialogue - but sometimes we have to start at the bottom.

Instead I'm going to turn to you.

First - Watch as much of the Rally as you can. Get it while it's hot!

Restoring Honor Rally from C-Span's Video Library (transcript included)

Glenn Beck does his self-ordained zealot bit toward the end. Plenty of other pastors and preachers and Jesus songs along the way. Please - watch it. Some people are upset that C-Span broadcasted it live - gives him and his hypocrisy too much power - but if they hadn't I would only have heard about it filtered through others. You have to see it to believe it.

Can't stomach it? Then maybe we do deserve the stereotype of bleeding-heart, spineless liberal.

Second - My questions for you:

  • What are YOU going to do about this Neo-Theocracy in the making?
  • Where do you stand on this? Do you think the Tea Party/Theocracy Party will implode sooner than later - or explode?
  • Do you think it deserves the fear & trembling visceral response that some non-believers, skeptics and progressive Christians have?
  • Do you feel that this will do more to rally the troops for or against the movement?
  • Is there anything We The People can do to insure Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement remains a minor blemish and doesn't turn into a gangrene-infested sore that begs for amputation?
  • He wants us to speak "The Truth." In what way can your knowledge of "Truth" counteract his understanding of "Truth." What The FUCK does "Truth" mean? I used to use it all the time as a Christian - but now -... seriously - How do you define "Truth"?
  • What God/Goddess would you pick to head a Theocracy? This is inspired by an online conversation with Tyler:
i'm all for a theocracy
i like krishna
something to do with the kama sutra makes me think we'd all have fun

Finally - Tell me - what can be done? - or am I over-reacting?


krissthesexyatheist said...

I didn't watch it. I think it might make me puke..or depressed. I guess all we can do is speak out and people will listen. Glad I don't live on the E. Coast, I probably would have went and been pissed. UR not overreacting.


Seeing Eye Chick said...

Now I am going to shock you.

Just because Glenn Beck is a dipshit extraordinaire, doesn't mean he is necessarily wrong.

Yep, America needs to restore it's honor. Although, after that, my perception and Beck's diverge wildly.

As far as NeoTheocracies go, I have been locking horns with the Dominionist Creepos for over 20 years now. The question you should ask me, is What Haven't I done?

What I notice is that people don't get it. They don't understand. And they won't get it til one of these Goons for Gawd, does something that directly, negatively impacts their life.

Which--well that is pretty much how all activism seems to go in this country. People let shit slide for y ears, they don't like it but they don't do nothing til someone steps on their crank, and then all of the suddent they are an activist.

Personally, I am worn out. There are so many good fights that need to be fought and not one is getting the attention it needs. And the thought has occured to me that it is because Liberals are spineless.

And it sickens me, because I don't want to be trapped with the others.

Between the Wing Nuts and the No Nuts, we seem to be doomed.

I don't know what else to tell you.

Christine Vyrnon said...

Kris - the puking is just a sign of the devil leaving your body.

SEC: I totally agree - his idea of restoring honor and our idea is quite different. For starters - I would like to see the military/government actually treat the "psychological scars" of those returning from war. Telling a wounded, internally and externally mutilated soldier to get right with God is demeaning.

I did learn a little about standing up for what is "Right" while i was right-wing - but they have it down to even more of science than they did back-in-the-day - so I feel like i literally need to take some courses on Civil Disobedience... or how to get stuff done beyond bitching and moaning and voting. I could probably learn a thing or two from you?!

What I'm becoming more and more interested in is how sad Beck is ... as in - good for him for overcoming addiction! - but like so many addicts have gone elsewhere for a fix - and not necessarily a healthy one. One could say he is also deeply mourning other people in his life - o - but there I go - talking about psychological scars... totally irrelevant, right?

Ahab said...

How do we resist theocracy? First, we need to speak out. Second, we need to ally ourselves with organizations at odds with the Religious Right -- Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a good place to start. Organizations dedicated to protecting rights that the Religious Right wants to take away, such as reproductive rights groups and LGBT organizations, are also a good place to start.

As for the Tea Party, I have mixed thoughts. The Religious Right has been around for a long time, and the Tea Party is only its most recent branch. The Tea Party won't last long in its current state, since it's all about emotion rather than concrete policy, but that doesn't mean it won't morph into something else down the road.

Seeing Eye Chick -- Good point. I agree that the danger posed by the Religious Right isn't on a lot of people's radar, but it IS impacting government policies that will affect them. We need to open people's eyes to this movement.

Ahab said...

P.S. -- Thanks for the C-SPAN link!

Christine Vyrnon said...

Ahab - no problem about the link! I'm glad to know someone is using it! Thanks for the organization suggestions - I have yet to settle into one - as in pick a non-theist group that I feel is worthy of my time and energy - not that they aren't out there - I just need to choose one or two already. Also - yes - the Tea Party is just the newest toy in town - but it's the toy we have to work with. I like what you say about all emotion and no policy. Maybe that should be a call for progressives to focus more on the policies and spend less time getting emotional...
on that note...

Riverwolf, said...

First, so glad to see you posting on this! But to answer your question(s), hell, I don't know! This little Glen Beck moments seems particularly ominous, as in, shit, this might get even worse! But worse predictions have come to naught.

I think part of what we have to do is stay calm. Refute Beck and his minions where we are able. And tear his rhetoric apart. What honor do we have to restore? What values? How have we departed from the founding fathers vision? Where have we lost freedom or liberty? What do these things even mean?

Last, I differ from some of the other posts in that I'm not getting involved with any other groups, movements or politicians. It all just grinds to a halt anyway, in my experience. At least, I'd have to wait and see if some viable opposition emerged. And no, I'm not the one to kick start it! I can work where I am with those I know, and that's how I work best. Otherwise, if everything goes to hell, I'll rally the wagons, stockpile food and head for the hills. (And I do have a place to go!) I'm a little unconcerned at the same time. If this is the destiny of our great demoncracy, if the wheels are already in motion, it may be too late to change. The best we can hope for is survival. Maybe that his its own pitfalls, but that's where I am right now.

But this all may blow over after the Nov elections anyway. These kinds of things seem to do that.

Infidel753 said...

I'm a lot less worried about the threat of theocracy than I was in the late 1990s when the Christian Right had a lot more momentum and support.

Consider what's happened over the decade from 2000 to today. The percentage of fundamentalists in the population has declined and the number of non-religious people has roughly doubled. Public support for gay marriage has risen steadily and, according to one poll, recently passed the 50% mark -- something which would have seemed incredible a decade ago. The recent NOM anti-gay-marriage bus tour had pitiful turn-out for its "rallies", and supporters were outnumbered three-to-one by pro-gay counter-protesters, even in places like Iowa and Missouri, even the day after Judge Walker's ruling in California.

(I cite attitudes toward gays and gay marriage because they're a useful barometer of how strong fundamentalist ideology among the general public actually is -- more likely to be accurate than things like self-reported church attendance, which is greatly exaggerated.)

The increasing agitation, anger, and occasional terrorism on the religious right reflects the fact that they know they're losing the culture wars. The election of Obama was the last straw, not because he's black (I don't buy the "all teabaggers are closet racists" line), but because when the Republicans lost their control of Congress and the Presidency, it meant that power had slipped from the grasp of the fundamentalists' allies.

Whenever an ideological movement is shrinking, it tends to become more and more shrill and extreme, because that's the kind of people who stay when others lose interest or give up. That's what's happening to the Christian Right.

As for Beck's rally specifically, he claimed he was going to get 300,000 attendees and actually got 87,000, by the only neutral estimate I've seen. Yes, he and Limbaugh and the rest of them do have an audience, but an audience of 20,000,000 can seem huge and yet still be only a tenth of the adult population.

The Republicans' prospects for large gains in Congress this year rest entirely on the fact that unemployment remains high. The nomination of extremist candidates in teabagger-dominated primaries is hurting them, not helping -- Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio may well lose races that more moderate Republicans would almost certainly have won.

What can we do? Keep doing what we're doing. Keep speaking out against religion and educating people about it. Keep telling the truth about the Republicans' extremism and obstructionism (many people are genuinely not paying attention).

And don't feel disappointed if there's no visible result. I never expect that any blog post of mine is going to convert a Christian reader to atheism in one fell swoop. That's not how it works. What I hope is that my writings may move 100 people each 1% of the way towards giving up religion. Other things those people encounter will help them a little further, and so on.

But in the long run, I feel very confident of victory.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Obama has pretty much fucked the Democrats for another ten years or so. And I can't help but wonder if he didn't do it on purpose. For all that he campaigned on liberal planks, his approach has been toothless half assed centrist leaning towards the right. Sure, Rome wasn't built in a day, but what drove it home for me, was his refusal to reverse Bush Era violations of civil liberties via the Patriot Act and similar items. And when he basically bent over on behalf of America for BP, that pretty much cinched it for me right then and there. When we have a "Democratic" president that will allow a foreign owned Company {BP} to bring onto our shores a Foreign Owned Security Co. {Wackenhut/G4S} and allow them police powers, and put them on par with Homeland Security, while they confiscate the samples, notes and works of independent scientists who are not in lockstep with BP's Corporate Agenda--You know I got to Scream WHAT THE FUCK! Over?

I am not anti-Military, I am a vet in a family of vets. But I need to qualify something here. The Military Industrial Complex sure does like its contracts. And it sure does like cheap fuel. And it don't like being messed with. And I notice that when ever it get's antsy, some invisible hand tickles the sphincter of the Religious Reich.

Make of that what you will.

Obama Aint your friend. I don't like saying that because I voted for him. I blogged for him. My own mother campaigned for him. And as bad as he is, he is still better than the alternative which ain't saying much.

Short Answer:

Military Industrial Complex
Religious Reich.

Unholy alliance that produces ugly political and economic babies.

Just saying.

And just because you cannot see the visible arm of the Religious nutters, never underestimate the amount of wealth these people have amassed throughout the years. Those Prayer groups on the hill are exclusive little huddles that often double as Lobbyist meetings.

Christine Vyrnon said...

Riverwolf: "stay calm" - yes, yes, and yes. Thank you for the reminder!

I think my response is in part because I live in a formerly progressive state. We have Michelle Bachmann representing us - and she is at the top of this whole Tea Party shindig. Maybe it's too close to home. If Minnesota reelects Bachmann - or the margin by which she is reelected - that will be one gauge of how worthy of worry this is. and 1000 years from now... this will be a blip - hopefully less of a blip than England's drama with Cromwell.

Cromwell has been on my mind a lot in all of this... could probably gain some insight into all of this by studying him...

Infidel - I totally understand the idea that the religious right was possibly more powerful then, than now. But - I'm not convinced they will give up without a major fight. The more something is cornered, the more likely of lashing out. 20 years ago religious warfare was less imaginable than it is now - from my perspective - and unlike 100 years ago - or 2000 years ago - religious zealots today who feel cornered and threatened and weakened have a lot more fire-power and capability for mass harm.

And I fully admit - part of my doom and gloom perspective is a phase. I've been more or less ignoring Beck and the Tea Party until this weekend. Part of it comes from deeply ingrained "the sky is falling" mentality of my former christian worldview. Or the fact that I'm too much pessimistic German in my blood :P - I appreciate all the perspectives calling for calm and optimism. Letting go of this type of drama is part of practice of life.

Christine Vyrnon said...

SEC: I would say Obama has been a disappointment - but I think you know I've never been all that impressed with him. I sometimes am very surprised by progressives who think they would have gotten something different from him. Maybe anyone in that office has to kowtow to the moneybags, but I lost patience with him before he took the oath. Much of what Beck & company said this weekend is not that far from Obama calling for the nation to "pray" to help solve the oil spill - just one example - and of course how he has STRENGTHENED faith-based initiatives - and no one seems to give a fig. He and Beck will find much to agree with there - and his giving a nod to non-believers hardly doesn't impress me much in the grand scheme of things - but I will probably support him more in the next election than I did in the last.

I would agree - the money supporting ads like the stuff of last year's anti-choice commercials at the Super Bowl love-fest is money not to be taken lightly.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

As someone who has been in in the Academic, studying unpopular subjects, the thought of homeland security just showing up and taking all my research and notes, just chills me to the bone and pisses me off. That is bread and butter right there. That is tenure. That is professional standing. That is your voice.

I cannot beat this dead horse enough.

I know why it was done the way it was. So that this administration could avoid violating posse commitatus. That is why Wackenhut was given police powers. But no one seems to notice the national sovereignty issues that brings to the fore.

Not even those damndable teabaggers with their pretend outrage over all things government.

That level of ignorant scares the shit out of me. And what about the Fourth Amendment? No unreasonble search and seizure? You need things like warrants? I mean I knew that FISA had been done away with regarding Immigrants and I aint happy about that, but apparently this also applies to American Citizens. Even those with no previous police record and those who do not present probable cause.

What else can they snatch without so much as a by your leave?

I was originally for Hillary Clinton. I liked her better. She actually has balls. I have no doubt that she would have pissed me off at some point, but would it have been over something this egregiously in violation of our National Character?

If only McCain hadn't gone all Turbo-Christian with that Wasilla Wackadoo.

BTW a site you might want to check out: DefendScience.Com

The Clandestine Samurai said...

I really have to sit down and come back to these comments, reread them and answer them much more elaborately, but I will say this:

I'm not really sure why this is but people seem to tie their religious and political beliefs to other people who claim those labels instead of the actual beliefs themselves. A Christian person wronged you, so now all of Christianity is terrible. Some Democrats are corrupt or stupid, so people stop being liberal. This doesn't make any sense.

I think people should be trying to embody the changes they want to see in the world, not sitting and waiting for others to do it.

As for the Teabags, they've have been rallying, making noise and building support all over while things have been quiet on the leftist front. After Obama was inaugurated, people just kind of sat back and let the world turn. I would say, if there isn't a tangible counter-force to the TeaMorons, one of their number might sneak up and steal power in some important place we weren't paying attention to.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Oh, there's also something to be said about fighting to win and fighting to fight. I've noticed a lot of people are tired and disillusioned even about activism, trying to wake people up to what's wrong with the world and that is understandable. But I think it becomes an even worse crime to not speak up or be active on things at all.

Christine Vyrnon said...

TCS: I agree - people did sit back and sit on their laurels when Obama got elected - though I knew the backlash would be would be brewing - regardless of which side won. Unfortunately that is a what seems to make the world go round - backlash to the previous backlash. I think some people who are not fighting now NOT because they only fight to win - but because "fighting" requires strength and a clear head. Choosing not to fight all the time is a sign of wisdom - not weakness - knowing how to step back, regroup, redirect one's priorities - choosing one's battle... if we're going to use the warrior terminology. I agree - better to say something, sometimes than nothing ever - but people do need to be able to act - not just react.

Just to clarify when you say, "I'm not really sure why this is but people seem to tie their religious and political beliefs to other people who claim those labels instead of the actual beliefs themselves. A Christian person wronged you, so now all of Christianity is terrible. Some Democrats are corrupt or stupid, so people stop being liberal. This doesn't make any sense." ... this is not a comment on the blogger or like-minded people, right? I know NO ONE who has left Christianity because of the people - or A person. There is such a thing as leaving a belief system - or political system - or any relationship - because one grows beyond it. But correct me if I got the wrong impression - a common misunderstanding directed toward many ex-believers.

Thank you for your perspective!