Very interesting article by Chris Hedges at Alternet, on how "the radical Christian right is built on suburban despair." As Hedges explains, ordinary radical fundies are not stupid, just alienated and desperate:
[S]he had found in the fight against abortion, and in her conversion, a structure, purpose and meaning that previously eluded her. The battle against abortion is one of the Christian Rights's most effective recruiting tools. It plays on the guilt and shame of woman who had the abortions, accusing them of committing murder, and promising redemption and atonement in the "Christian" struggle to make abortion illegal, in the fight for life against "the culture of death."I've already quoted too much, but there's a lot more worth sharing. Go read it all.
In the United States we have turned our backs on the working class, with much of the worst assaults, such as NAFTA and welfare reform, pushed though during President Clinton's Democratic administration. We stand passively and watch an equally pernicious assault on the middle class. [...]
The stories believers such as Learned told me of their lives before they found Christ were heart breaking. These chronicles were about terrible pain, severe financial difficulties, struggles with addictions or childhood sexual or physical abuse, profound alienation and often thoughts about suicide. They were chronicles without hope. The real world, the world of facts and dispassionate intellectual inquiry, the world where all events, news and information were not filtered through this comforting ideological prism, the world where they were left out to dry, abandoned by a government hostage to corporations and willing to tolerate obscene corporate profits, betrayed them.
They hated this world. And they willingly walked out on this world for the mythical world offered by these radical preachers, a world of magic, a world where God had a divine plan for them and intervened on a daily basis to protect them and perform miracles in their lives. The rage many expressed to me towards those who challenge this belief system, to those of us who do not accept that everything in the world came into being during a single week 6,000 years ago because it says so in the Bible, was a rage born of fear, the fear of being plunged back into a reality-based world where these magical props would no longer exist, where they would once again be adrift, abandoned and alone.