Faith Pimps, Secular Conspiracies

rick perry jesusIn American politics, patriotism, race-baiting and faith-based pandering are the last refuge of a scoundrel. And this political season militant GOP appeals to white Christian evangelicals have veered into neo-Cold War hysteria.

One of the most powerful scenes in Orwell’s 1984 was when Party member O’Brien succeeds in brainwashing protagonist Winston Smith into believing that 2+2 equals 5. The Religious Right has been practically virtuosic in its 2+2=5 mass doublespeak; convincing mainstream America that Christians are the new minority and that commie pinko “secular progressives” (Bill O’Reilly’s preferred “smear”) are at the helm of a socialist conspiracy.

The latest salvo in right wing doublespeak comes from Rick Perry, playing the Christian victim card in a desperate bid to remain relevant in the hinterlands. Primed for the Iowa caucus, Perry’s new campaign ad opens with an alpha male declaration that he is not “ashamed” to say he is a Christian. The ad then blasts the very Christian-identified Obama’s “war” on religion, the indecency of allowing gays to serve openly in the military and the prohibition on prayer in schools.

When Newt Gingrich coined the term “secular socialist”machine to flog his new book in 2011, he was just another overpaid neo-con on the rubber chicken circuit.  In the years since he was forced out of the House in disgrace, he sleazed up to evangelicals with a Ted Bundy-esque conversion/redemption line—“humbly” laying his sins as a serial philanderer and ethics violator at the feet of God.

Now his rise as frontrunner in the GOP race ensures that Glock force culture war rhetoric, diverting attention from the GOP’s war on the working class, will continue to command center stage.

sikivu hutchinson

Good Christians know that poor children, who, according to Gingrich, never see anyone working in their crack-ridden, pimp-patrolled, drive-by riddled urban jungles, should rightfully be shoveling the shit of the bootstrapped middle class. This is what God intended.

Poverty doesn’t speak the language of hard work, thrift and enterprise and poor children mean lazy Blacks and Latinos, shuffling from classrooms to prison cells. In a rigidly segregated downwardly mobile society the GOP’s moral assault on workers’ human rights and protections for poor children is the perfect template for a fascist Christian nationalism.

Sikivu Hutchinson
Black Femlens 

Sikivu Hutchinson is the author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars.


  1. says

    As usual–on target! It is amazing that cognitive dissonance has not caused massive cases of schizophrenia. Of course, the flaw my thought is I assumed the ability to cognate. Reason has little if anything to do with the current hysteria among Right Wing Evangelicals. The overwhelming lack of synchronicity of evangelicals with the book they claim to read is nearly tangible. To me, it sounds like the first steps in creating a fascist theocracy. Thanks for the great article.

  2. Lon McCanne says

    Hutchinson’s piece is wonderfully succinct, and so spot on! How did the one-percenters’ uber-conservative confiscation of all claims on our national morality come to appeal to the nefarious wants of perhaps half of our electorate? We are at the peak of an epidemic of a dysfunctional mind set in the USA. Are we able to defeat that before it topples us? If the historian salamander cared about our nation at all, he would reframe his crusade to discard the corrupted terms “secular” and “socialist” in order to teach us how a de facto “secular socialist” repair of the Bush team’s atrocities, used to kick off the 21st century, would bring the greatest hope for us to return our nation to one that is truly of, by and for all of the people.

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