Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Rise of The TV Preacher and Evangelical Christianity Explains the Modern Right

Before the mid-20th century phenomenon of Evangelical TV Preacher brand of superficial Christianity, the norm in Europe and North America was sectarian division. Methodist vs Baptists vs Anglicans vs Catholics vs etc etc, if you will. Up till the late 1800's people killed others based on these divisions, and into the late 1900's people socialized based on these divisions. The founding fathers knew that a national religion would mean a bloodbath, a war between Protestant sects, or at least something like the Anabaptist persecutions in Europe.

My thesis extends to explain the rise of social conservative Right wing politics beginning with Reagan. Before 1970 sectarian divisiveness was the norm. After 1970 a new kind of superficiality rose in Protestant ranks: non-denominational evangelism. Throw in a superficial right wing view of American history and reason for existence, and boom you've got a new kind of solidarity that grows and is persistent because of its superficiality. It's strength is in its dumbness. The old time religious people read their Bibles and interpreted on an exacting precision, making them seem cranky and weirdly obsessed by today's standards. But this prevented them from bonding together into a political meme and force.

Off-topic a little, but this analogy helps see a deeper political/social construct. The Mongol Empire was a culmination of an early stage of peace and alliance between normally warring nomadic tribes. The lesson here is obvious: peace and cooperation between small militaristic bands results in a large militaristic group that can then go out and conquer weaker groups. Beware of peaceful resolution of a normally contentious people, for in their cooperative new mode they are in a better position to

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