Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Christian Right VII 77

Synopsis of John W. Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience Chapter 3 (conclusion)
Religious Authoritarianism

The “acceptance of traditional religious beliefs appears to have more to do with having a personality rich in authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, and conventionalism than with the beliefs per se,” as Dean quotes Altemeyer in The Authoritarian Specter. Altemeyer notes that this means, as Dean notes, “Authoritarian parents transfer their beliefs to children through religious instruction. Christian conservatives tend to emanate from strict religious backgrounds, and often prevent their children from being exposed to broader and different views by sending them to schools with like-thinking children, or by home schooling them. This, in turn, results in an authoritarian outlook that remains strong during adolescence – the period when authoritarian personalities are formed and then taken into adult life.”

Dean uses Pat Robertson as an example of a “double high” personality. Since 1987, Robertson has advocated that the U.S. Bump off those leaders in the world who annoy us, such as Saddam Hussein and the leader of North Korea. His view toward women is cold: “There's never been a woman Grandmaster chess player. And if, you know, once you get one, then I'll buy some of the feminism...” although Zsuza Polgar, at age 21, was already the first woman ever to earn the Grandmaster designation, and she was followed the next year by Pia Cramling and then by Zsuza's little sister, who earned the designation at age 15.

Robertson has said the “feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”

As for seeking power, Robertson state that God told him He wanted him to run for President. Although this attempt failed, and Robertson's goofy book, New World Order, is a mishmash of impossible conspiracy theories, he and his minions can block candidates for Republican nominations at the local, state and national level, especially if they appear untrustworthy on the topic of federal judicial nominations.

Packing the Federal Courts with Judges Who Will Do God's Work

The laundry list for the Christian right regarding American laws is to instill:

control of a woman's right to abortion
ban all forms of gay marriage
prevent the teaching of safe sex in schools
encourage home schooling
ban the use of contraceptives
halt stem cell research with human embryos
stop the teaching of evolution and/or
start the teaching of “intelligent design”
bring God into the public square and eliminate the separation of church and state
overturn the legality of living wills
control the sexual content of cable and network television, radio, and the Internet
eliminate an “activist” judiciary that limits or impinges on their agenda
place God-fearing judges on the bench who will promote their sincerely held beliefs

Republicans must take this agenda seriously. The Christian right remember their disappointment with the half-hearted support of Ronald Reagan and the elder Bush. The modern unspoken quid pro quo has been that Republican appoint judges and justices whose views are compatible with Christian conservatives to do what neither Congress nor the president can accomplish: make the agenda of Christian conservatives the law of the land. Dean, himself a lawyer and former associate deputy attorney general, notes, “By constitutional design the federal judiciary is authoritarian, with lower court judges bound to follow higher court rulings. Thus, any five conservatives on the Supreme Court can make the law of the land, because all lower federal judges are bound by their decisions.” He adds that “A partisan judiciary does not deliver justice...”


  1. All of this is accurate and true. but who's really paying attention besides us? The Republican party? No. they need the cooperation of the christian right so they form an unholy alliance with them? The left? No. They already know it and are more less the same thing but on the end of the spectrum. The average American voter? No. They don't read books like this.

    Unless this blog goes viral, not many people will act on the insights here.

  2. No, I don't think this blog will attract the respectful attention of modern Republicans. The left won't like this blog by the time I get done performing essentially the same analysis on them. Nor will the libertarians.

    The point of the blog is the question that I raise at the end of those analyses.