While living in Northern Virginia in the 1980’s, I listened one evening to a riveting author’s interview on a local NPR station. The interviewee was the writer and activist, Perry Deane Young, who spoke about his engaging book, God’s Bullies: Power, Politics, and Religious Tyranny. The book was an exposé of the dark lies, corruption, and hypocrisy struggle for power among the so-called, the Religious Right.
These were the days of that old devil, Jerry Falwell, who founded the ill-fated Moral Majority Movement that fizzled out after certain corruptions in his “Church” became public. Some of us young activists at the time countered Falwell’s minions with another slogan that was turned into and bumper stickers and lapel buttons that we distributed widely during our political canvassing: “The Moral Majority is Neither.” After the interview I ran to my car and drove into downtown Washington to meet Perry Deane Young where he was still signing books. I bought a copy of his book on the spot, that he inscribed; we chatted and then he thanked me for listening and caring.
His book ought to be required reading for today’s Religious Right, that is Neither!
Given America’s awesome diversity stretching across a great swath of states and territories, and our growing population of 329.5 million, no one person nor any movement has the right to call itself a majority, especially when we consider the US has about 230-250 million Christians; 8 million Jews; 3.5 million Muslims; 5 million Buddhists; 2.5 million Hindus; and 6 million Native American. Importantly, there are about 8 billion people on Earth of which Americans are an important quarrelsome subset.
So “we’re all in this together.” sang Walter Trout in his 2017 album. The Christians in America cannot claim any moral authority and guide for the rest of us (whether the topic is abortion, a woman’s right to choose, gun rights, and the right of a trans gendered person to use a public restroom). Our founding fathers made it clear that America is not a Christian Nation. E Pluribus Unum.
As we’re all fully aware that self-centered biomass called, Homo sapiens, has repeatedly wrecked the ecology of the planet throughout our hundreds of years of evolution and emergence from jungled plains and savannas of Africa. Will the Christians, Jews, and Muslims take credit for all that carnage?
We humans are not made in the image of the Jerry Falwell’s in the world nor in the image of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Ted Cruz, and their MAGA constituents, and the false gods of the Evangelicals. Thank the Creator! Allah loves wondrous variety! These days I find much of the GOP and its ineffective leadership childish, immoral, two-faced, and repulsive. They’re a monotonous parade of Daffy Ducks screaming at the rest with their quackery and anti-science rhetoric.
Where are the Teddy Roosevelt’s John Kennedy’s, and Thomas Jefferson’s of our day? Congress these days seems a toddler’s sandbox with most of the players harping about their dirty corner in the box; not about the good of America. Our representatives seem to be drowning in a turbulent ocean of indecision and overwrought opinion.
By the way about that MAGA crap. America is now and has always been, great. I’ve traveled into many parts of the world, and I don’t want to live anywhere else – except maybe in Mexico! Much of the public MAGA movement consists of traitorous xenophobes who need to be confined behind bars for their unforgivable insurrection on 6 January 2021. Trump, Greene, and Cruz are all false prophets. Remember the so-called QA’non Shaman, sentenced to 41 months behind bars? While in prison he complained to his mother that the prison food wasn’t organic! MAGA and its so-called leaders betrayed America. There’s nothing redemptive about their murderous rampage in the Nation’s Capitol!
They are our modern day Benedict Arnold’s.
H. Bruce Rinker, Ph.D. is a forest ecologist, a science educator, and an explorer who lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He’s also the author of the 2019 book, A Pearl in the Brain: The Cancer Joueney of a Scientist in His Search for the Seat of the Soul.