Friday, September 13, 2013

Fundamentalist Christian conspiracy theories

From AlterNet, these are supposed to be the "10 Weirdest Fundamentalist Christian Conspiracy Theories":
For the Christian right, having a “faith-based” worldview extends far beyond claims about demons and angels. Unsurprisingly, the world of fundamentalist Christians is absolutely crawling with conspiracy theories, urban legends, and just plain bizarre beliefs about how the world works.

And they are weird. After reading the first one, you wonder how they could get any weirder:
1) Same-sex marriage is an elaborate scheme concocted by lesbians to entrap men. David Usher of the Center for Marriage Policy managed to cough up a theory that is an outstanding blend of homophobia, misogynist myths about the mendacity of women, and paranoia about the supposed gravy train that is child support. He argues that women will marry each other and conscript men into supporting them by “pretending they are using birth control when they are not.” The men will then “become economically conscripted third parties to these marriages, but get nothing in return,” presumably because the only reason a man would want to care for his own children would be in exchange for sex and housework. He also assumes that the only sources of income women have access to are child support and welfare; the possibility that women hold jobs doesn’t seem to occur to him.

Usher is trying to find a way to justify the increasingly ridiculous right-wing claim that same-sex marriage is somehow undermining “traditional” heterosexual marriage. He has zero-evidence for his claim outside of his belief that women are generally sleazy liars, and will “cheat” men out of the straight marriages they’re entitled to by sneaking off with women.

Of course, some of these are just... expected in today's batshit crazy world:
6) Obama is the Antichrist and plans to rule America by sharia law. Even though you’d think Obama would be getting on with this plan already instead of wasting time talking about bombing Syria, the belief that any day now a combination of sharia law and the apocalypse will be brought on by Obama still rules in Christian right circles. Public Policy Polling found that an alarming 13 percent of Americans are sure Obama is the Antichrist and another 13 percent entertained the possibility. Christian right-wingers are always on the lookout for “evidence” that Obama’s secret sharia plan is about to take off, leading to headlines likes this one from “Obama administration paves the way for sharia law.”

Barack Obama has been president for four and a half years now and has been killing Muslim terrorists - not just Osama bin Laden, but notably him, too - for all that time. And if he's got Satan in his pocket, he's being remarkably slow at demonstrating that, don't you think?

Yet more that one quarter of Americans still think he might be the 'Antichrist' (with half of them sure of it). This is hardly a tiny fringe! What does it say about America when more than one-quarter of us are batshit crazy?

Still, as I say, you'd have to expect this one. It's no less crazy than the others, but you just knew that it would be on this list, didn't you? So I guess some of the others here just strike me as being weirder. Like this one, for example:
10) Birth control pill turns your uterus into a grave littered with teeny-weeny corpses of fully formed babies. Kevin Swanson, Christian right talk show host, expelled this one recently, claiming that “certain doctors and certain scientists” are finding that women on the pill have, “these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb.” An evocative image, albeit one that requires not only falsely believing the pill “kills” embryos (it works by suppressing ovulation), but also simply refusing to believe that menstruation actually exists.

But this is what happens when you're faith-based, when you're both anti-science and completely ignorant of it, when what you want to believe is all that matters. Reality means nothing to the faith-based.

In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if faith itself is simply a sign of insanity. The more faith you have, the less connection to reality. And keep in mind that if you believe by faith at all, you're supporting faith-based thinking. You might not be this crazy, not yet, but faith-based thinking leads to this kind of thing (on the left, too, I assure you).

There are seven more crazy conspiracy theories on AlterNet's list, but I know that's not all of them. Yes, we can laugh at these people, but there's a lot of them. They may not completely control the Republican Party, but they've got a frightening amount of influence in it.

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