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Confessions of a one-time religious right icon


Howl

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While wandering the interwebs reading about the polygamist Kingston clan in Utah, the stalkerish interwebs read my mind and thought I'd like this article by Frank Schaeffer: My horrible right-wing past: Confessions of a one-time religious right icon

Yeah, THAT Frank Schaeffer.

Now

ex-evangelical

ex-right winger

humanist

atheist

believes in God

and writing some very interesting commentary about the history leading up to the current Teavangelical religious flash-mob right-wing mash-up.

Frank and I are both 60+ and I'm quite familiar with the political history he discusses. I was recalling a conversation with a friend some years ago discussing my general angst over the Moral Majority movement's influence on politics at the time. She thought it was a movement that was no longer in ascendency and would have no continuing influence on political dynamics.

Fast forward to the end of 2014:

This zealous negativity has a long history. I was part of it as the nepotistic sidekick to my religious-right evangelist father. The 1970s Evangelical anti-abortion movement that Dad (Evangelical leader Francis Schaeffer), C. Everett Koop (who would be Ronald Reagan’s surgeon general) and I helped create seduced the Republican Party. We turned it into an extremist far-right party that is fundamentally anti-American. There would have been no Tea Party without the foundation we built.

The difference between now and then is that back then we were religious fanatics knocking on the doors of normal political leaders. Today the fanatics are the political leaders.

You can’t understand why the GOP was so successful in winning back both houses of congress in 2014, and wrecking most of what Obama has tried to do, unless you understand what we did back then.

Full text of this thoughtful essay here on Salon.com

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this was really interesting. i got really confused at first because of frank schaefer (the pastor who performed the marriage ceremony for his gay son and was defrocked for it). i hadn't heard of this frank until now. :P

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What really intrigues (and discourages) me about today's right wingers is the extent to which they seem to be so akin to the left-wing nihilists of the 60s.

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What really intrigues (and discourages) me about today's right wingers is the extent to which they seem to be so akin to the left-wing nihilists of the 60s.

gustave, I'm intrigued! I was a college-student hedonist (in retrospect, of course) during the late 60s and missed out on the nihilists. Could you clarify?

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gustave, I'm intrigued! I was a college-student hedonist (in retrospect, of course) during the late 60s and missed out on the nihilists. Could you clarify?

I'm thinking of the fringes of the '60s left, such as the Symbionese Liberation Army in the US and the Red Brigades in Italy. Perhaps I overstate when I use the word nihilist, but it seems to me that any group whose purpose is to destroy might be deemed nihilist.

The Tea Party's goal seems, to me, to be destruction, rather than retrench and rebuild. However, perhaps their notion of returning to simpler times appears to be destructive, because they seem not to acknowledge the era in which we live.

Nor do I think you missed out on the nihilists; they were the fringe. Hippies were not nihilists. The counter-culture was not nihilist; rather, it was an acknowledgement of the wish to simplify one's material footprint.

Today's nihilists seem to me to be the mainstream; yes, they have loyalties and beliefs, but they want to destroy, rather than remake. JMHO

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