Listening the the 538 Politics Podcast, the recent episode, What Could the GOP’s Future Look Like? Very interesting, quite right-leaning panel. One of them (I think Henry Olson) said that the clear center of the Republican Party included religious people who wanted to fight for a country where they did not feel cast out into the wilderness. They want to express their beliefs openly and in public. I paraphrase, I don’t have a transcript.
My first thought was, who’s stopping them? Anyone who wants to pray can pray, they want to tell everyone their beliefs, they can. They already have that. I suppose what they don’t have is the reaction to that that they might prefer, which is of course approbation. Not everybody will react and think, What a good person — they’re a fervent Christian, so they must be good and I’ll listen to what they have to say and (if I can get over my inner wickedness) maybe even be persuaded.
So they’re not getting the reaction they want. This is a fairly common whinge on the right (though not exclusively), where they say, What about my freedom of speech, as they’re speaking freely. What they mean is they don’t like the reaction they get to their speech, which, I emphasize, they are doing freely. The speaking I mean.
Another component is they want to feel differently. That I can’t help with. They want a country in which they feel differently… more in charge, perhaps? I would say they’re too in charge as it is. But I think that the sentiment that they want to feel less cast out is code for, they want to be more in charge and inspire subservience, if not fear, on the part of others.
I can see how a tribe held together by a belief in their ultimate victory in an eternal sphere, in which their Big Boss (God) defines morality by burning it into the very fabric of the universe, so that all those who believe differently then they are, by definition, to one degree or another, immoral. And what kind of world would it be, I ask you, if the moral did not try to impose their beliefs, by force if necessary, on the immoral? This is not a new stance. We’ve seen something like this since the dawn of religion, or with the dawn of cities, which is where this unitary punishing God took shape as a necessary adaptation to get groups greater than 150 to cooperate.
And it was a successful invention! The partisans of these religions took over in a Big Way.
So, when someone complains about not having something, and you give them the thing, and they still complain, something else is going on.