Sep 13, 2022Liked by Amanda Moore

I am very tempted to ask "Are You a Turtle?" but I'm going to restrain myself. You stated that you grew up in the evangelical movement of the 1990s. OK, I predate you by better than 20-25 years. My family were pretty staunch Methodists because some fool in a Presbyterian Church besmirched my Great-Grandmother who was not a Presbyterian. Grandpa muttered some under the breath imprecations and marched out the door of the church, walked down the street to the Methodist Church and said "Howdy". But I'm getting lost in the history of the family beliefs.

In the late 1960s, the charismatic movement (evangelicals) started to infiltrate the mainline Methodist Church. And BTW, John Wesley took most of his theology from William Barkley and the Quakers. The evangelicals with their zeal pushed aside any semblance of reality in their fervor to make sure that everybody that they came in contact with were converted to think and believe like they did. When you see some poor sinner prayed (preyed?) over by teams of fanatical fundamentalistic evangelicals you begin to think of the Spanish Inquisition.

Today, the christo-fascists (the spawn of the Moral Majority) are doing their best to create a theocracy in this country. The pejorative 'christo-fascists' has been around since the 1970s. Do you want someone to tell you what you HAVE to DO lest being condemned to damnation? I sure don't. Unfortunately, Trump is acting exactly as an Anti-christ would or Benito Mussolini. His followers/sycophants are way too wrapped up in the thrill of doing his work.

Be afraid, very, very afraid. God (or his minions) are watching you.

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You know who was most responsible for the Religious Right? Jimmy Carter.

Carter was our first "born again" president. He won in 1976 a broad, multi-racial coalition as a moderate (the Dems hurting from the 72 shellacking of McGovern). At the time most evangelicals shunned secular politics. Pro-Life was largely a Catholic issue.

Enter Jerry Falwell and Paul Weirich. They wanted to turn evangelicals to the Right. They knew Nixon's Southern Strategy and wanted to put it on steroids. But their real issue wasn't abortion. It was tax exemption for religious schools that were segregated. That wasn't going to really fly, so they needed an issue they could push for religious reasons.

Jimmy Carter united North and South, Black and White, Country and Rock and Roll. He was a man of deeply held religious beliefs but did not bring that into the public sphere outside broad Christ-like ethics. And the Right HATED him for it.

The person taking the Falwell's bait was Ronald Reagan. He lost narrowly the nomination to Gerald Ford running on a Fire and Brimstone conservative that alienated the country still reeling from Watergate but reactivating the old Goldwater coalition from 1964.

In 1980 Reagan toned down his rhetoric into the familiar grandfatherly persona we now know him for. He launched his 1980 bid from Mississippi in a place known for lynching, talking about States' Rights. The Dog whistles were blaring full volume.

The election of Jimmy Carter brought into the mainstream evangelical religion but for some reason that SCARED some evangelicals. Like they NEEDED to be seen as persecuted. Carter's tolerance and openness drove them to Reagan's barely shielded bigotry.

Carter gave them a vision of a New South. Reagan gave them another. They chose Reagan.

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Frank Peretti really did mess a lot of us up...

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