God’s Political Addiction

After World War II the faith market in the United States quickly recognized the then-new technological wonder of television as a godsend for spreading their pious propaganda. By the 1950s enterprising soul-savers still clutching their newly minted bible-mill diplomas, and sniffing the gold to be made through the far-reaching media, latched on to electronic ministry with holy lust. In those early days of TV the divinely driven were complaining bitterly and loudly that the media ignored them—which was not exactly true (surprise!)– for if it had not been for the media few persons across the nation would have known that such a wide array of moral champions existed at all. To garner attention, one scheming servant of the sacred launched the so-called “Coalition for Better Television,” the real purpose of which was to impose upon the gullible public the religious right’s particular version of “moral code.” Thus religious extremists embarked upon a political power grab in the name of religious devotion.

In 1961 an attention-grabbing faith-based, politically inspired group was parading under the banner of “Moral Majority,” which sponsored its first seminar on “Understanding Politics.” The training session had absolutely nothing to do with making oneself spiritually worthy of god’s blessing: rather the ideas being eagerly shared were on how to shove their particular version of religion into the workings of national government.

As is common among the faith-driven, other divinely inspired keepers of god’s word were receiving slightly different instructions from heaven. Oddly, the governments of the world–especially the government of the US–seemed to trouble god much more than did the conduct of his strange array of messengers. And stranger still was the emphasis placed on their attainment of materiality for the sake of spirit’s advancement! So to advance this seemingly contradictory means of attaining spiritual worthiness, various rightwing movements showered the faithful with an endless assortment of manuals and pamphlets. Titles of these propaganda texts always implied that only they held the keys of salvation. The advice, however, ususally pivoted on taking over national management.

The movers and shakers of the religous right groups–although not exactly chummy–sought to establish a modus operandi to achieve political power. Topping the list for achieving a power base was the necessity to recognize the givers and takers–meaning, in other words, go after those who will donate the most cash. To implement this drive they had to have a plan which would include:
    1) have a focal-point candidate or invent some supposedly urgent issue;
    2) be organized and keep it organized;
    3) establish a means of keeping money flowing, which meant finding easy-to-sway persons who would get personally involved in collecting money for their movement.

To effectively siphon money into their temporal cause, the advice was:
    1) project the income necessary for the operation and expansion of their rightwing bloc;
    2) define the levels of donations to be aimed for;
    3)devise programs for attracting donations;
    4) implement the plan.
The advice on how to pursue collection of donations stressed the necessity of never emphasizing with a contributor: learn all you possibly can about potential donors, but never, never emphasize with them. The reason for this was the fear that to emphasize with a contact might inspire the donation seeker to pass judgment on whether or not a contact would donate.

Always the mantra was think big, and that necessitated keeping the path open for people who might be inclined to give thousands of dollars. How should they pursue this? The most effective way and the least costly way to reach the most people and raise money was determined by the holy schemers to go direct response–which meant use the Postal Service. They then drew upon persons with writing talent to compose fund raising spiel letters, and the principle thing the obsessed authors had to remember was the basic psychological quirk that inspires people to release their grip on money. That ignoble idiosyncrasy is that people tend always to be most willing to lend support against something than they are to show willingness to support something!

And that may be why neither organized religion nor hard-right politics seem capable of any genine integrity.
(See also related entry, God’s Henchmen.)

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