Christian Fundamentalists – The Village Idiots

Frank Schaeffer, who with his father practically founded the Christian Fundamentalist movement in America, has some scathing words for the vacuous Jesus freaks:

Schaeffer: … The mainstream not just media but culture doesn’t sufficiently take stock of the fact that within our culture we have a sub-culture, which is literally a fifth column of insanity, that is bred from birth through home-school, Christian school, evangelical college, whatever, to reject facts as a matter of faith.

And so this substitute for authentic historic Christianity, and I may add as a little caveat here, I’m a church-going Christian, really brings up the question:

Can Christianity be rescued from Christians?

And that’s an open question and when you see a bunch of people going around thinking that our president is the anti-Christ, you have to draw one of two conclusions: either these are racists looking for any excuse to level the next accusation, or they’re beyond crazy, and I think beyond crazy is a better explanation.

And that evangelical subculture has rotted the brain of the United States of America.

We have a big slice of our population waiting for Jesus to come back, they look forward to Armageddon, good news is bad news to them.

When we talk about the Left Behind series of books that I talk about in my book Crazy for God, what we’re really talking about is a group of people who are resentful because they know they’ve been left behind by modernity, by science, by education, by art, by literature.

The rest of us our getting on with our lives; these people are standing on a hilltop waiting for the end. And this is a dangerous group of people to have as neighbors and they’re our national neighbors and this is the source of all these insanities that we see leveled at the president.

One way or another they go back to this little evangelical subculture… it’s a disaster.

Maddow: … How do you work to move people off of that position? It doesn’t seem like facts are relevant in trying to move people away from these beliefs.

Schaeffer: You don’t work to move them off this position. You move past them.

Look, a village cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot. It’s as simple as that, and we have to understand: we have a village idiot in this country. It’s called fundamentalist Christianity.

And, until we move past these people, and let me add as a former life-long Republican, until the Republican leadership has the guts to stand up and say it would be better not to have a Republican party than to have a party that caters to the village idiot, uh, there’s gonna be no end in sight.

The next thing they’ll do is accuse Obama of being the anti-Christ and then who knows what comes next? On and on it goes.

There is no end to this stuff. Why? Because this subculture has as it’s fundamentalist faith, that they distrust facts per se.

They believe in a young earth, six-thousand-years-old, with dinosaurs cavorting with human beings. They think that whether it’s economic news or news from the Middle East, it all has to do with the end of time and Christ’s return.

This is la-la land, and the Republican part is totally enthralled to this subculture, to the extent that there is no Republican Party.

There is a fundamentalist subculture which has become a cult. It’s fed red meat by buffoons like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and other people who are just not terribly bright themselves, and they are talking to even stupider people. That’s where we’re at. That’s where all this is coming from, and it’s becoming circular, it’s becoming a joke, unfortunately a dangerous joke, because once in a while one of these loony-tunes as we see, brings guns to public meetings. Who knows what they do next?

It’s a serious thing we all have to face, but the Democrats and sane Americans just have to move past these people, say ‘go wait on the hilltop for the end, the rest of us are going to get on with rebuilding our country.’

Maddow: … Is there anybody on the right who could be constructive here if they wanted to be? To the extent that people could be moved off of these conspiracy theories? I understand your point that it’s true that not all of them could be, but is there anybody who could be influential to try and stop the impact of these conspiracies?

Schaeffer: Look, in the year 2000 I worked for John McCain to try to get him elected in the primaries instead of George Bush, but John McCain sold out by nominating… Sarah Palin who comes directly from the heart of this movement and carries with her all that baggage, so he sold out.

I don’t see anybody on the Republican Side of things these days who has the moral standing to provide real leadership or who will risk their position to do so.


10 Responses

  1. The only solution I can see – if there is one, which I doubt – is to implement mandatory testing for intelligence and sanity, and to establish minimal levels as a prerequisite for voting.

    However, I think it’s already too late. America is finished. We aren’t coming back from this. Due to the interconnected nature of the global economy, when we go, we’re taking everyone else down with us. It’s almost certainly the end of our global civilization; it may very well be the end of our species.

    The situation in which we now find ourselves has as it’s most direct causal factor the behavior of the criminals and lunatics the evangelicals have spent the past thirty years voting into office. They turned out to be far more dangerous than the Islamic fundamentalists have ever been.

    Francis Schaeffer was mentor and role model to an entire generation of their leaders. Frank, when you get to heaven, tell your Dad I said, “Good job!” He fucking destroyed humanity.

  2. Where does one start… when I told my husband what Frank Schaeffer has been saying to to attack evangelical Christianity, he immediately said that Frank must have grown up in an abusive home. Based on other interviews, this turned out to be the truth. How sad.

    However, we cannot condone the vitriol he spews against evangelical Christians. To denounce an entire group of people by calling them idiots and crazy is the same as racism. We should denounce it as forcefully as we denounce racism.

    Once society accepts that ridicule and name-calling against a particular group is acceptable, it becomes easier to attack them and treat them as “sub-humans”. This is a very dangerous road to travel. Calling all Evangelical Christians members of a cult is frankly beyond the pale.

    • False equivalency.
      Racism is based on traits over which the target had no control and which have no bearing on the person’s ability to either contribute to (or cause harm to) their community.
      Fundamentalist Christianity is a choice people make (or which is inflicted upon them by their parents) which directly affects what they believe, how they behave, how they judge others, and on which side of public policy issues they will vote. It is utterly dogmatic, based on fantasy and never alters its position in the face of better evidence or stronger arguments.
      Ridiculing a certain group is not a problem. What one chooses to base that ridicule on, however, might well be.

      Take, for example, the statement, “Those are typical Englishmen.”
      These words are fine when one is talking about folks eating poached eggs on toast for breakfast. They take on a rather uglier perspective if one if talking about a gang of soccer hooligans in a riot.
      In terms of ridicule, the later group warrants it. I would trust you do not object to the statement “English soccer hooligans (an identifiable group) are criminal louts who commonly exhibit severely anti-social behaviour.”

      Fundie Christians are not only expressing a personal belief in a magical sky wizard (among other patently foolish assertions), but seek to enforce their stupidity on others through legislation, political advantage and pure bullying. They ARE a cult, and they ARE dangerous.
      Yes, Frank DID grow up in abusive home. His father inflicted Christianity on him.
      But YOU don’t get to equate pointing out the hypocritical, backward, immoral and borderline mentally ill behaviour of the X-tian right with RACISM. It’s a foolish thing to say on its face, and both incorrect and wrongheaded.

  3. You are right. This is a false equivalency. Please forgive me.

    However, my concern in this regard is that calling a person a village idiot, a joke, crazy, etc. can, in the minds of some, may give tacit permission to attack Christianity also, and maybe not just Christianity, but the Christians themselves.

    We are not talking abstracts here. We have seen in this world that incendiary words can hurt more than just our feelings. For some people, the leap from name calling to direct action can be small. Is this acceptable to you?

    • Calling religious people a form of gang stupidity similar to a cult is not inaccurate. In fact, sadly, it’s all TOO accurate.
      No secular people are killing doctors, strapping bombs to their chest, committing genital mutilation, honor killings, refusing to promote condoms in AIDS ravaged Africa, engaging in a protection racket designed to shield pedophiles, or any of the other distasteful crap the believers get up to.

      People get killed all the time BY religious people shouting names: Baby killer, fag, nigger, Jew, infidel, whore…there’s a long list. The odd thing is that huge numbers of the people doing the shouting and killing are following some sort of profound religious conviction.
      I’m not sure Christians are commonly targeted by anyone BECAUSE they’re Christians, and if they are it’s by someone who accepts Allah. Sharks versus Jets.
      You just don’t see atheists out there doing these things. God – fundamentalist faith – seems to be a fairly common motivating factor.
      Of course ALL believers aren’t killers. ALL junkies aren’t thieves, either. But they’re still junkies…and that tends to get weighed on the scale of things that determine what level of idiot someone gets ranked.
      Jesus + Junkie…well, let’s just say it’s unlikely I’ll be seeking their advice unless I need an emergency injection of scripture.

  4. Remember, the dude is talking about a religious sub-species here, not even the entire Christian religion, or even the entire right for that matter.

    But the most important feature is not the religion, but their complete lack of intelligence. They are first and foremost, idiots. Yes, they have congregated around a religious sub-group, but even if you eliminated all religion off the face of the planet, they would probably find something else to flock around. (The Habs?)

    Part of the reason they flock around religion, especially this Christian sub-group, is because it caters to them. It is simple. It requires no critical thinking, only obedience. It is old fashioned and reminds them of a less complicated time where their backward thoughts were mainstream. Modern life is just too demanding of their limited mental function.

    This is why the only growing religions are the ones that attract idiots. The pimps of these religions have realized that more and more of society has -as the dude said- “moved beyond them” and their target audience is now…idiots. On the upside, idiots make great parishioners. They’ll buy whatever your selling without asking questions. They’ll loyally obey your every command and they’ll give you what little money they have. As Jimmy Swaggart proved, you can be caught fucking dimestore whores like Liskula Cohen, cry a little, and it’s back to business as usual.

    And that’s the problem. These idiots are being catered to by religion, government and business for similar reasons. They are easy to fool, easy to manipulate and easy to make money off of. Smart people are a harder sell, but idiots are great customers.

    As a result, America has been turned into an idiot factory. Its entire culture now promotes stupidity, so that the Powers That Be can take advantage of them. Combine this with the fact that they breed like rabbits, and it’s no surprise that the idiots have taken over.

    For fuck’s sakes, people like Glen Beck are put on the public airwaves and treated -not as clowns- but as if what they have to say is important! Look at the town hall shouters. Idiocy and mental illness gets airtime, not rational intelligent debate.

    Like the dude says, unless we want to be trapped in a time bubble perpetually ruled by idiots where nothing changes for the better, the rest of us have to stop paying attention to them, catering to them and -above all- treating them as anything but idiots.

  5. “The next thing they’ll do is accuse Obama of being the anti-Christ and then who knows what comes next? On and on it goes.”

    Because this isn’t happening already? I have heard it over and over and over, from just the type of folks referenced above, whole on a job (contract) at a major Christian para-church organization.

  6. There are people within the Republican Party who really do oppose these people. Lots of them. Unfortunately, they just don’t pipe up. To speak out is to get labeled a “RINO” (Republican in Name Only”), which apparently is something very bad to be. So they remain silent as their leaders pander, seethe a little, and comfort themselves knowing that the Left has its own crazies.

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