The author offers one of her periodic assessments of America’s potential to go fascist. And the news is better than it’s been in years.
Political Research Associates estimates that, at any given time in our history, roughly 10-12 percent of the country’s population has been bred-in-the-bone right-wing authoritarians — the people who are hard-wired to think in terms of fascist control and order. Our latter-day Christian Dominionists, sexual fundamentalists and white nationalists are the descendants — sometimes, the literal blood descendants — of the same people who joined the KKK in the 1920s, followed Father Coughlin in the 1930s, backed Joe McCarthy in the early ’50s, joined the John Birch society in the ’60s, and signed up for the Moral Majority in the 1970s and the Christian Coalition in the 1990s.
The conservatives know that the demographic trends are not on their side, and that whatever limited advantages they enjoy now are receding with every election cycle that passes. Right-wing America is old, white, rural, and religious — a cohort that’s shrinking with every passing year, and is even now in the process of being swamped by a tide of voters who are younger, urban, ethnically diverse, and largely non-churchgoing.
By Madison S. Hughes (05.01.2012)
Churches in general and the Catholic Church in particular, are nothing more than organized tribal cults. They give to their respective tribes, as would any primal tribe; however, these modern-day mendicants mooch off of their secular brethren through tax-exemptions and other Christian privileges purposefully to give back to their primal tribes. They give not out of a sense of compassion to their fellow human beings, but out of a sense of community to their fellow limited and literal-minded tribe members.
Religion has a way of dulling the mind and removing color from one’s life. Not true religion necessarily. Often the religious mindset causes a fundamentalist mindset. Colorful diversity becomes black and white homogeneity.
“Love thy neighbor” is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less motivated by compassion when helping a stranger than are atheists, agnostics and less religious people.
In the study, the link between compassion and generosity was found to be stronger for those who identified as being non-religious or less religious.
“Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not,” said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a co-author of the study. “The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns.”
“Overall, this research suggests that although less religious people tend to be less trusted in the U.S., when feeling compassionate, they may actually be more inclined to help their fellow citizens than more religious people,” Willer said.