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1984
closeup_02192005
vanaabegra
Yes, I am a bad geek. I am finally reading 1984. I read Animal Farm a long time ago, and lots of other distopic lit, but I am finally getting to this classic.

It got me to thinking about some of the recent things bouncing around in my brain. The right, the religious right, revisionist history, and the rest of the world.

Just a note before I launch into this. I am going to generalize. Deal.

The fundies seem to think that we had a utopic christian state at some point in time and are determined to return to it. I don't seem to recall that time in the history books. They seem to also declare that the country was founded by good christian men. Well except that plenty of them were Atheist, Agnostic, and Deists. Which by my count mean they are wrong. So, we have revisionist history that includes beliefs that people did not have and a time that did not exist. That is what we call delusion.

What government did we overthrow in Afghanistan? A fundamentalist theocracy. We decried them. We invaded, we destroyed. Fundie Theocracy Bad. What do they have in Iran? A theocracy. Which we deem bad. We threaten them, tell them they can't have the weapons that we have. What are we trying to avoid in Iraq? A theocracy. So why the fuck do these dumbasses want one here? This country was founded because we did not want our government tied to the church. And these people are trying to make that happen. They say it is not a specific church. So that makes it ok. NO. FFS, No it does not. You're right, they want it tied to christianity. They want prayer in school. They don't see why the Pledge of Allegiance should be altered. Maybe because it was changed 50 years ago out of paranoia and McCarthyism and because we had to differentiate ourselves from Stalinists?

Prayer in school. Seems so innocent doesn't it. Let the little christers pray. Oh, wait. Then we have to have time for the muslims to pray six times a day? And maybe meditation time for some other children? Burning incense for others? Spirit houses in the classroom? Ok, suddenly it doesn't look so good to the fundies, since their children would be exposed to other religions. And those fundies do not like seeing anything that does not mesh with their world view.

Which brings me to my last point. Many of the fundies I have met are hypocrites. That is right, I said it. They pick and choose passages from the bible which itself was picked and chosen from various scrolls written at the time and then translated and translated again. And those scrolls were based on oral traditions. Which morphed over time as stories are wont to do. So they quote hand-selected translations of committee-chosen spoken stories with a self-righteous fervor.

Ok, I think that is all for now.
Deep Breath.
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Coming from my "fundie" background, I enjoy reding these rants.

Oh, and I am a bad geek too. Still have yet to read 1984. *ashamed*

At least you are reading 1984 now! Better late than never.

Have you read Huxley's Brave New World? If not, I suggest that as your next book. The two books are excellent nice companion pieces. Different angles on the same subject.

Good Suggestion!

I read Brave New World back in college, and I think I still have a copy around the house somewhere.

Good rantyness. I read 1984 back in high school. Another read would be Margaret Atwood's Hand Maid's Tale, has some very interesting parallels.

Your tax dollars at work.

I like the rant (well, of course), and I love that book. I'm interested to know what you think of it when you're done.

What government did we overthrow in Afghanistan? A fundamentalist theocracy. We decried them. We invaded, we destroyed.

In 2001, we overthrew the theocracy that we helped install back in the 80's. Back then, the Soviet Union had gone in and given the women access to birth control and made it illegal to stone gay people to death. Ronald Reagan put a stop to that nonsense.

A friend sent me this:
Fundies Say the Darndest Things
http://www.fstdt.com/

Many of the fundies I have met are hypocrites.

Um... yeah. Of course.

I don't actually think you're surprised by it, but the best explanation I can think of is this:

"Faith" is ideology based on a deliberate avoidance of empiricism that must be adhered to without question. There is no surprise that the most devout followers have trouble working their "truth" into how they interact with other people. They got that way by avoiding honest interaction in the first place.

Just to pile on some more books that you should read that are highly relevant to what's going on in politics and religion -- "What's the Matter With Kansas?". Interesting insights on how the intersection of religion and capitalism got us to where we are now. I also second the reading of "The Handmaid's Tale". I haven't read it since high school, so I might have to go back and reread it one of these days myself.

Generally I don't think full-blown theocracy is anywhere close to happening. We have at worst "creeping theocracy", born part of cynical and power hungry politicians latching onto the fundie base, and part from good old honest lunacy. I think politicians like GW are both, and I think very few, if any, are 100% loons. The loons tend to get relegated to demagoguery, a la Pat Robertson. Dangerous and influential, but no real power.

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