June 6, 2012


Last night's outcome in Wisconsin is troubling for many reasons.  From what I read, Walker used tremendous amounts of anonymous money to spread complete disinformation.  In this world, disinformation works, because so many people are low information voters.  I know several people who vote based on completely half-assed information.

These Republican voters can't identify Grover Norquist, may not have heard of the Supreme Court case Citizens United, and probably aren't aware of the Koch brothers.  I have run into several who had no idea that Norquist dominates the Republican party tax policy.

None of that stops them from voting Republican, mind you.  Just as learning about torture or cuts for the disabled didn't stop them.  And the fact that so many of them are Christians just makes it all the worse.  I know that Leighton is correct in why these people vote the way they do--I get that in my head.

But the kid who grew up going to vacation bible school and revival meetings is struggling with the fact that my Christian friends don't actually care about others outside their view.  Oh sure, all of them do some for the poor.  I get that too.  But at the same time, they vote for policies that harm others--and don't care.  Their "relationship" with God is so powerful in their life that they can't manage to give a flying fuck about some poor disabled person who just lost some assistance.  Just as they didn't care when our government tortured people to death in their name.  Their God either communicates so badly that they can't hear--OR he doesn't mind torture and poverty either.

One Christian friend told me that Jesus said "the poor will always be with us," so we should just do what we can, cut government programs, and trust that "God is in control."


Are they trying to recruit for atheism?  Because that is unbelievable.  But on every issue--women's health and pay equity; poverty; the environment; torture and war; tax policy, etc. these good Christians in prayer and "quiet time" can't seem to care.

I am trying to believe.  But you guys are not helping.


Smitty said...

I saw some polling that pretty strongly suggests that part of the failure of the Walker recall was based on the notion that some 60% of voters tend to think recalls are a bad idea unless someone is a felon. Recalling someone because you disagree seems to sit poorly with some voters.

SEIU had an interesting take: sure, Walker won. But he had to spend $50 million, and in another recall, the WI Senate flipped back to Dems. So...$50 million to stay in office and he lost the Senate? Not a total loss at all for the good guys.

Are they trying to recruit for atheism

I don't want to split hairs and take too much focus away WI recalls and the like, but just wanted to point out that for most of us non-believing heathens, the church and its actions isn't what drove us away. It's the fact that, rationally, "He" just isn't there for us. We do tend to yell and scream a lot when the church does really insanely stupid oppressive shit, but that's not our reason for leaving. It justifies it to some degree, but really, we get pissed off about that stuff because all that insane oppression and violence is being done to glorify the name of something that's not there. OH TEAPOT IN THE STARS, HELP ME SLAY MINE ENEMIES WHO DARE TO WEAR CLOTHES I DON'T LIKE...

So we don't recruit like the gays apparently do (joking, obviously). But I will say that the grass is a really pretty shade of green over here, flowers are still pretty, and the universe is fascinating. Now, where did I put our full-color brochure... ;)

Streak said...

Good points, Smitty. I had read something like that about Wisconsin too. And the senate win is not nothing. It is enough for Democrats to stop Walker from steamrolling them.

Sorry about the atheism comment. Of course, you are right.

Bottled an Anchor clone (didn't taste like that when I bottled, but who knows) the other day, and have a Chinook IPA in secondary. Both of those make me happier than reading politics.

Smitty said...

Sorry about the atheism comment

Oh, no need! Like I said, I was splitting hairs. You were making a larger point, really, I think, about the church being at risk for losing followers; maybe not so much to atheism, but certainly from a lack of interest in belonging to an abusive and oppressive club.

Bottled an Anchor clone (didn't taste like that when I bottled, but who knows)

I did one of those years ago. I hated the taste too, but after carbonation (and steam beer gets a shitload of that), it was way better. As long as the flavors you hate aren't "band-aid," "plastic," or "over-boiled vegetables," you should be just fine!

Monk-in-Training said...

On the" Poor will be with you always" comment, it is entirely possible that Jesus meant 'you' to be Judas, not all of humanity for all of eternity. Something to think about.

Below is an organization that works on the principle that we CAN end poverty.


leighton said...

I agree with Smitty's comments re: atheism. As a clarification, though, I think that in practice, faith among laypeople in the U.S. (in the sense of non-ordained, not uneducated) seems to be rarely about belief in an actual deity, so much as a belief in the power of a group or organization that preaches love and charity to breathe life into its vision. It's a faith that the church can actually make things better for people - make sure they are safe and fed, give them meaning in the midst of the crushing dullness of the present, and hope for a better future for them and their children.

Seeing so many churches and prominent people of faith going out of their way to comfort the comfortable and oppress the afflicted is a terrible betrayal for people who try to have faith in the message of hope ostensibly championed by those who are working diligently to crush that hope. This doesn't have any direct connection to God (except that for whatever reason, God is not preserving his/her message). But that betrayal of trust by people can make it harder to trust people in general. This can be a deeper and more grievous wound than losing faith in someone who was never really there to begin with.