Readers of LSS, tending to come from the intelligent, informed section of the population, will be assailed daily by streams of news from platforms, media, websites and plain old gossip in the supermarket. That’s why we think this little forum should be used to pick out things which may-may-have a longer term significance. Please indulge us, because we think we’ve found one.
You may have noticed that we at LSS make no judgements on the rights and wrongs of someone’s beliefs. We welcome all faiths, and none. But we reserve the right to observe the consequences of those beliefs, just like events in the weather, the stock market, or geology. Particularly when they play out in the political arena. And nowhere has faith played out so strongly as in the last few decades in the United States of America. Since at least the late Carter years, the power of the Religious Right has been taken for granted. For better or worse it has undeniably delivered a huge voting block for Republicans. This in turn has consequences in the economy, pulling the equilibrium towards a general pro-business, low tax, anti government agenda. The social and intellectual consequences are subtle but profound, with persistent hostility towards things like evolution, abortion and environmental regulation. Preachers like Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and Jimmy Swaggart can catch the ears of Presidents and the allegience of powerful media barons.
But has the movement has passed its peak? Writing in The Guardian, Adam Gabbat * describes how Americans are starting to turn away from religion. The reasons are complex. But one is particularly fascinating. The Religious Right has been overplaying its hand, angrily forcing its agenda on groups like the LGBT minority, which has particularly offended millenials. It’s a funny thing, but have you ever worked in a place where the power of the bosses’ favourite is starting to wane? Feeling insecure, they lash out more and more, looking for tokens of submission. Which just makes it worse for them. It’s a lesson that could be learned in certain other countries. How ironic if one of those countries was Iran.
#evangelical #religiousright #unitedstates #religion #secularism #ethnonationalism #religiousright #christianity #islaam #iran #fundamentalist