Religious Fundamentalism, Non-Muslim Style

From The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted by Mike Lofgren (former Republican Congressional staff member):

“Having observed politics up close and personal for most of my adult lifetime, I have come to the conclusion that the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism may have been the key ingredient in the transformation of the Republican Party. Politicized religion provides a substrate of beliefs that rationalizes—at least in the minds of its followers—all three of the GOP’s main tenets: wealth worship, war worship, and the permanent culture war.”

It’s clear that the Democrats are often ineffective, but I‘d argue that they aren’t useless if they sometimes stop the Republicans from doing crazy things. 

In similar fashion, Avram Burg (former speaker of the Israeli parliament) argues that religious fundamentalism is destroying Israel’s democracy:

“The winds of isolation and narrowness are blowing through Israel. Rude and arrogant power brokers, some of whom hold senior positions in government, exclude non-Jews from Israeli public spaces. Graffiti in the streets demonstrates their hidden dreams: a pure Israel with ‘no Arabs’ and ‘no gentiles’. They do not notice what their exclusionary ideas are doing to Israel, to Judaism and to Jews in the diaspora. In the absence of a binding constitution, Israel has no real protection for its minorities or for their freedom of worship and expression.

If this trend continues, all vestiges of democracy will one day disappear, and Israel will become just another Middle Eastern theocracy. It will not be possible to define Israel as a democracy when a Jewish minority rules over a Palestinian majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea — controlling millions of people without political rights or basic legal standing.”

4 thoughts on “Religious Fundamentalism, Non-Muslim Style

  1. umm, not sure what msnbc show you write for but the flagrent violence done to the constitution is the real problem. If it makes you feel better to set up the straw man of crazy republican jesus freaks as public enemy #1 to ignore the lawlessness of the current administration,It exposes the obvious bias. And anyone who believes anything the new york times has to say is both a dupe and a fool.

    • Thanks for providing an example of Republican craziness by sharing a few of your thoughts.

      Here in the real world, we understand that Obama is a moderate Democrat with two major accomplishments. Without any help from the Republicans, he has been able to get the economy moving in a better direction (after a Republican president left us with the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression). And he was able to push through a beneficial but limited health care bill (which includes a proposal from the right-wing Heritage Foundation, the “individual mandate” that will encourage more people to take responsibility for their own health care).

      Obama clearly isn’t a socialist. He doesn’t hate rich people. He’s not trying to take away your guns. He isn’t opening the floodgates to illegal immigrants. He doesn’t want to put anyone in concentration camps (unless you count Guantanamo). He isn’t trying to destroy America.

      Most Americans understand this, as do people around the world (you know, in places like Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, etc.). Unfortunately, we are beset by a minority that is filled with fear and hatred and is seriously misinformed. For many on the right, religious fundamentalism greatly contributes to this dangerous mindset, as Mr. Lofgren argues in his book.

      • what flavor is that kool-aid your drinking ?
        Epic unemployment, failed stimulus, job killing policy after job killing , fiat exective orders changing existing law, etc, etc ,etc..
        Umm , you lose.

        • Epic unemployment that would be worse if the Democrats hadn’t been able to stimulate the economy a little bit over Republican opposition. It was obvious from the beginning that the stimulus wasn’t strong enough and was too much focused on tax cuts. Nevertheless, private sector job growth has been good — it’s state and local government employment that has mainly suffered. Restoring federal aid would have kept those people working and made the economy better. But that’s not what the Republicans want — their priority is to get rid of Obama, not help the economy (they only worry about cutting the deficit when a Democrat is President). All Presidents issue executive orders, which is a good thing if you agree with that particular President (for example, Bush II).

          So we have a dysfunctional Congress and the country loses.

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