Neil Carter, Patheos blogger of Godless in Dixie,posted this article. Carter notes that two climate change deniers (Rubio and Cruz) are now chairing two science committees in the Senate. He asks, “What is the agenda, and where does it come from? How did men who openly deny scientific consensus get to be in charge of government oversight over that field? Why do they oppose the consensus and why did the people who voted for them do so? And who is Jesus Galt?”
…Jesus Galt is the offspring of the unholy union between two diametrically opposed ideologies: one which favors the resourceful and affluent, and one which champions helping the poor and the helpless. He is the blending of Ayn Rand’s iconic hero John Galt, who refused to help anyone who would not give him something in return, and Christendom’s Man of Sorrows, who once told a man to give away everything he owned with no thought for his own well-being. These two personages should have been impossible to mix, but somehow a generation of evangelical Christians have grown utterly convinced that the party of the wealthy represents God’s Own Party in modern American political life. They are the party of biblical values, which evidently has nothing to do with helping the poor and has everything to do with telling people when and how and with whom they can have sex.
Jesus Galt loves to hunt, and he’s a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association. Jesus Galt loves freedom, and he supports invading any country that doesn’t have enough of it (especially if they have large reserves of oil). He’s also a wee bit racist. He thinks gays are yucky, and he wants boys to be boys and girls to be girls. He endorses only one specific model of family and everything else is illegitimate. He also believes that hard work should see a person through, and anyone who doesn’t succeed must not have worked hard enough. He won’t countenance government benevolence because it promotes laziness and learned helplessness. People should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, because Jesus Galt only helps those who help themselves. This is the man Republicanity wants us to worship. He is a champion of small government, of big business, and of loud, demonstrative faith. He’s truly an ideal American deity.
What Part Does Religion Really Play in All This?
I don’t think the evangelical church made this happen. The truth is that they really never had much political power themselves until the people with really deep pockets figured out how easily this voting bloc could be led. Pastors were certainly flattered to be given a place at the grown-ups’ table of American politics, and they eagerly accommodated its less savory elements so that they could enjoy their promoted place of importance. Sitting right there, ripe for the picking, was a massive throng of well-organized, dutiful citizens with a penchant for conformist thinking and an eagerness to please those whom they felt God had put over them for their own good. They were perfect, frankly, and the wealthy snatched them right up. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. I am convinced that the trusting nature of this subculture built around faith played a huge role in the winning of the white evangelical world to the cause of conservative politics.