A Collective Hallucination

A collective hallucination is a sensory hallucination induced by the power of suggestion to a group of people. It generally occurs in heightened emotional situations, especially among the religiously devoted.”

The Skeptic’s Dictionary

ow that conservative evangelicals have lost their favorite Catholic, Rick Santorum, who was essentially crushed by Mittens’ money-guzzling campaign bus, the logical question becomes: will the right-wing evangelical movement ever fully embrace their Mormon champion?

That question was posed today to a leader of the movement to bring Christian sharia—complete with transvaginal probes—into your life, Tony Perkins, president of the Dobsonian Family Research Council.  If anyone would know what contemporary right-winging Bible thumpers are thinking, he would.

But before we get to the question he was asked and his answer, let’s look at Perkins. He was born and raised just about half an hour west of Tulsa, the epicenter of cocksure Midwestern evangelicalism.   He ended up in Baton Rouge where he won a seat in the state legislature and where he began his sharia crusade.  Here’s how Right Wing Watch characterized his earlier career in politics:

Perkin’s Louisiana legislative background includes:

  • author of legislation requiring public schools to install filtering software.
  • author of American History Preservation Act, which “prevents censorship of America’s Christian heritage in Louisiana public schools.”
  • authored legislation providing “a daily time of silent prayer in Louisiana public schools.”
  • author of the first Covenant Marriage Law.

In 1998, Perkins founded the Louisiana Family Forum due to his concern for “increasing influence of the homosexual community on public policy issues.”

So, you can see why the Family Research Council—a Christian sharia lobbying group—hired Perkins to be its president.  And if you bother to check into it, you can also see why the Southern Poverty Law Center famously labeled the FRC as an anti-gay hate group.  The short of it is that Perkins has, among other things, promoted the idea that gay men are a threat to children. Taliban, anyone?

In any case, Luke Russert on MSNBC asked Perkins if conservative evangelicals would embrace Romney or “stay home.” The Christianly Perkins, bearing false witness, said this:

No, I don’t think they’re gonna stay home. That’s not the question. I mean, you have the backdrop of Barack Obama, which clearly when you look at his policies—not theoretical but practical—that he has imposed upon this nation, both socially and economically, that is an anathema to social conservative voters, so they’re gonna vote for Mitt Romney. There’s not a question there.

The question is the level of enthusiasm and intensity. It’s turnout…will people be voting in great numbers for Mitt Romney, will they be working for him…that’s going to be the key in terms of who’s going to win this next election.

Now, that’s not exactly a Hallelujah Chorus endorsement of Mittens, but it suggests how most conservative Christians will likely approach the polls in November: with a Bible, a nose clip, and an I-hate-Obama-more-than-I-hate-the-Mormon-cultist determination.

But I want to return to what Perkins said about a fellow Christian:

…you have the backdrop of Barack Obama, which clearly when you look at his policies—not theoretical but practical—that he has imposed upon this nation, both socially and economically, that is an anathema to social conservative voters…

Obama “imposed” his policies on the country?  Imposed? That word was no accident. Perkins didn’t just misspeak.  He meant to suggest that Obama is forcing his will on the American people. He meant  to use that word because it reinforces the arch narrative about the President that conservatives never tire of pushing. Try something: type in “Obama is a dictator” into your search engine. See?

Here is one example that comes up:

THE MAN IS A DICTATOR’: BECK BLASTS OBAMA’S MOVE TO CIRCUMVENT CONGRESS 

Think that is just an extremist website pushing that headline? Nope. The Blaze is now mainstream conservative journalism.

Another mainstreamer, Rush Limbaugh, routinely uses the loaded term “regime” to describe the Obama administration. Sometimes he calls it “The Lawless Obama Regime” for spice. Here is a gem from that monologue:

Folks, it is clearly lawless. If you regard the Constitution as law, this is lawless behavior by an out-of-control, rogue executive. This is what happens in banana republics, tinhorn dictatorships.

Sean Hannity regularly—and without complaint from conservative Christians—refers to the President as “The Anointed One,” a term for the Messiah. Hannity defends himself (and misses the point) by saying that he “respects the office of the president,” but that those nasty liberals called Bush bad names, too.

Dick Morris, a very regular contributor to Fox “News,” published a video under the title,

Obama Assumes Dictatorial Powers

Introducing that video he said,

In this video commentary, I discuss how, in a March 16th Executive Order, Obama asserts his power to socialize America, even in peacetime!

What can explain this hysteria? I never much believed in the explanatory power of the term “collective hallucination,” but what else explains a movement that far and wide believes the President of the United States, whether he be a foreigner or a marginal American, whether he be a Muslim or a nominal Christian, is a despotic socialist with a Messiah complex?

1 Comment

  1. ansonburlingame

     /  April 12, 2012

    to all,

    Dems must deal with the “radical left” in their party. So too must the GOP deal with the “radical right”. Dems rely heavily on achieving high black turnout and 90% of that vote. The GOP must rely on similar partisans voting on behalf of the GOP.

    Now let’s run some tapes of recent Black Panther pronoucments related to the Martin case and see how they line up with radical rights rants against Obama and the left.

    Finally, it seems we now have it down to two men and two parties. Both men have been vetted in the extreme.

    There are clear differences between both sides now as well. We now have six months or so to make up our own minds as to which side can best serve America in the coming years.

    What I want more than anything now is to hear and see a clear vision of America 10 years from now and how much money will each side ultimately borrow to achieve their separate visions.

    We already know the Dem numbers. They are right there in the President’s last budget submitted to Congress and were rejected out of hand by Congress.

    Now let’s see and hear what the GOP might have to offer in its place.

    Anson

    Like

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