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Can We Please Stop Pretending that Christianity is Anti-Socialism? Please? Pt 2

By       Message Gregory Paul       (Page 2 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink    (# of views)   8 comments, In Series: Can We Please Stop Pretending that Christianity is Anti-Socialism? Please?

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What I do not get from a sociological perspective is why the likes of Maddow, Olbermann, O'Donnell, Schultz are not having a field day with this stuff. Even better would be a mainstream interviewer posing these questions to Bachmann herself.


Aside form the damage this sort of exposure could do to the right, there is the simple truth that folks should know what theocons are thinking as a matter of public record. This requires a hard search of the sort the staffs of Maddow, The Daily Show and the like, as well as mainline journalists, are renowned for to figure which theocons are into Rand et al. Earlier this summer, for instance, a Republican congresswoman was on one of Book TV's short "What Are You Reading?" segments when she cheerily included Atlas Shrugged. Who was she and does she go about claiming to be a Godly anti-socialist? How many other Christian Repub members of Congress, state legislatures, governors, judges and the like are fans of Rand and Mises?   

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We do know that congressional members Ron (perpetual presidential candidate) Paul and son Rand as well as Ron Johnson are open Rand enthusiasts. And Paul Ryan not only waxes rhapsodic about the morality of Ayn R. (, the Randian inspired low Federal budget, low taxes for the wealthy, low regulations, anti-union scheme he proposed was embraced by a huge swath of the theocon movement, so the influence the late philosopher-novelist enjoys extends far beyond her open admirers.


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And there is the biggest theocon fish of them all. Ronnie. Reagan that is. He has become, of course, the idealized great icon of the right. The Repub conserv who could do no wrong. But it was he who appointed two notorious Ayn Rand groupies, the irreligious Milton Friedman and similarly nontheistic Alan Greenspan, to high financial positions. And Reagan himself was a devotee of Friedrich Hayek, who aside from being an agnostic was buddies with the infamous free market dictator Pinochet. Why not beat his heritage over the head with these unBiblical acts and opinions?


Logically Stewart, Maddow, Olbermann, O'Donnell, Maher et al. should on a regular basis challenge Christolibertarians on how Palin, Bachmann, Coulter, Beck, Limbaugh, Gingerich, Perry et al. can reject as ungodly evil the very socialism that is enforced by their God in the Bible they profess to read and believe? Just how can one claim the believe in the Bible and then go on about taxation without representation is against Christ? And how can those economic libertarians who manage to be devout Christians fawn over Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises whose entire philosophy is a condemnation of Christian doctrine? Push O'Reilly and Bennett to explain how they can continue to be in opposition to their Pope who issued the newest encyclical reaffirming the churches opposition to libertarian economics. And ask Ann Coulter and fellow theocons who oppose evolution as demonic because it leads to ungodly societal chaos how they can at the same time endorse the economics that most closely replicate biological evolution? If one really wishes to push matters to the limit charge   theocons who deny Biblical socialism with committing blasphemy. It does not make practical sense for progressives to fail to use the deep, hypocritical conflicts that mar the right to try to split the movement at its weakest links. The right cannot reply in kind because progressives are less internally conflicted -- although liberals too range from devout to atheist they share a secular sense of social tolerance, concur that the gospels include economically progressive sections, and agree that organisms have evolved over geological time.


The next recommendation is crucial. Labels matter. So it should be de rigueur to tag Libertarians atheist and especially theist with labels that accurately describe what they are, while maximizing their embarrassment with what they are. As a matter of course financial libertarians and their ilk should be labeled social Darwinists, or social evolutionists, to maximize public understanding of how they are adherents of the kind of economic system that most replicates the amoral biological evolution so many on the right condemn as ungodly. That will be awkward for them. Take the term libertarian. It sounds cool to many because it incorporates liberty etymology wise. Take Rick Perry. He wants to be President. Might get the Repub nomination. Sounds good to those on the right when he is labeled libertarian. So make the policies he advocates sound less appealing, even to the right. A term that describes libertarianism is social Darwinism. So does social evolutionism. It's not just Perry. All the potential GOP nominees qualify as social Darwinists (albeit least so Romney who did put in semi-universal health care in Massachusetts). There is no excuse for progressives to not take utmost advantage of this reality and attach the name of the discoverer of the biological theory theocons hate the most to their economic ideology. It will give them fits. The other label for libertarianism is Ayn Randism. So glue that tag to the libertarians. Again and again, when folks hear names like Perry, Bachmann, Limbaugh, Gingerich, Coulter -- you know the list -- it should be proceeded by Ayn Rand libertarian and/or social Darwinist or social Darwinist. It should be the standard on MSNBC and Current TV in the evening.


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Progressives with differing world views can take advantage of The Great Theocon Libertarian Contradiction in ways most suitable for themselves. I'm an antisupernaturalist (click here) so I do not care all that much about contending that Christ was a socialist (and probably was not assuming that he actually did exist because he was not concerned with the order of future human societies, the soon coming end times being what he was all about). All the more so since citizens of the most successful progressive hybrid economies of the world are not in the habit of asking what Jesus would do because they are the most irreligious democratic societies yet seen - to see just how little most western Euros care about matters theological check out Phil Zuckerman's Society Without God. But as a social researcher I ponder why progressive Christians are not far more aware of and promoting the progressive aspects of their book -- mainly because few Christians left or right actually bother to read the thing (doing the latter is how I became fully cognizant of Christosocialism). Letting theists know that parts of the Bible are socialist tracts will go far to undermine the Christian right's blasphemous claim to godly authority. It's the obvious thing to do.  


Full exposure of The Great Theocon Libertarian Contradiction should go considerable way to better flummox and delegitimize the conservative movement. Some principled Christians will be shocked and disillusioned to learn how deeply the thinking of notorious atheists has infiltrated their Godly cause, causing some to lose some enthusiasm. Others will accommodate their views -- Glen Beck used to praise Rand because after the not particularly well informed pundit learned about her antireligious Christophobia he backed off his support for the novelist. Perhaps Rush will too. Or maybe not. Exposure should make it more difficult for many Christians whether they be elite politicians and pundits or grassroots supporters to continue to laud and promote Randian style ideas, and to collaborate with dedicated Randians, boosting the divisions within the movement (including the Tea Party variant) to its detriment. Perhaps most important, making Christian right wingers aware of the pro-socialist sections of the Bible they profess to follow threatens to gut the very core of their world-view based on ignorance of the same book, and that has got to be a good thing.  

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Gregory Paul is an independent researcher interested in informing the public about little known yet important aspects of the complex interactions between religion, secularism, culture, economics, politics and societal conditions. His scholarly work (more...)

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