While Republicans often like to act like they’re for “religious freedom,” the truth is the GOP couldn’t care less about religion. The Republican party uses Christianity as a tool to manipulate millions of Americans by playing on irrational fears often linked to their religious beliefs.
History shows us that one of the single most effective ways to control large groups of people is through religion. Looking back throughout human history, those who questioned or doubted some of the long-held belief of religious leaders were often shunned, imprisoned or sometimes even killed.
In this country, religion is used by Republicans to manipulate tens of millions of Americans into voting against their own interests. You have politicians quoting the economic teachings of someone like Ayn Rand, a woman who rejected religion while embracing selfishness, while trying to cite the beliefs of Jesus Christ. They’re literally trying to mix two completely contradicting ideologies.
But it works for them because they use religion to distract people from thinking rationally.
Right now we have millions of people who feverishly oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage, but they really have no idea why. Claiming “the Bible says…” isn’t a logical defense even when factoring in just the religious context of an argument, considering the Bible lists plenty of rules that these same “devout” Christians seem more than happy to ignore. And being that the legal aspect of marriage in this country (which is really the only one that matters) has absolutely nothing to do with religion, citing religion to oppose the legal definition of marriage makes absolutely no sense.
Abortion is another issue where the religious right gets completely manipulated by Republicans. This is the party that claims to be “pro-life,” while essentially bragging about how much they love using the death penalty. Not only that, but the GOP continually proves that they only care about “life” when it’s a fetus. After that child is born, the very same “pro-life” party is out there pushing for cuts to government programs such as Medicaid and SNAP – the biggest beneficiaries of those programs being impoverished children. I’m not exactly sure how a party can be “pro-life” while pushing for cuts to food and health benefits for children who are sick and starving.
A point that’s never made any sense to me is if Republicans are so concerned with preventing abortion to “preserve life,” wouldn’t they be the biggest advocates for proper sex education and access to birth control? Considering that unplanned pregnancies account for the vast majority of abortions, one would think that a party that so strongly opposes abortion would be the biggest supporter of anything that might help prevent someone from having one.
Except, they’re not. In fact, Republicans are almost as opposed to sex education and access to contraceptives as they are to abortion itself. In other words, they’re literally supporting policies that lead to more women having abortions – while opposing abortion rights.
But the newest propaganda tool is this ridiculous idea that “religion is under attack.” That’s why we’ve seen a gluttony of these “religious freedom” laws being pushed in many Republican-controlled states. They have actually somehow managed to bring Jim Crow-style laws into the 21st century. Only, instead of “whites only” they want it to be “straights only.”
And because Republicans manipulate these religious people so well, millions of Americans are supporting these laws that seek to legalize discrimination.
But the bottom line is, the religious right is being played for fools. Republicans realized that if they just acted as if they cared about certain social issues, they could manipulate millions of people into supporting economic policies that screwed themselves over. They realized that people would be too distracted with their opposition to same-sex marriage or abortion rights to realize that while they survive on Social Security, or their children go to public school, the party they vote for is pushing for cuts to entitlement programs and reductions to funding for public education – all while supporting more tax breaks for the rich.
Even now millions of conservatives oppose the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that they’re benefitting from the law. But they’ll never support the law because President Obama is a “Christian-hating Muslim” as far as they’re concerned.
It’s just amazing to me how these people fail to see that they’re being manipulated and used. The Republican party is using these social issues to make the richest among us even richer by getting millions of Americans to vote for an economic platform that literally only benefits millionaires and billionaires.
But I think the worst part is, Republicans don’t even try to hide the fact that they treat their voters like fools – and conservatives seem to eagerly eat it right up.