I wasted a few moments reading an article this morning over at Huffington Post by Frank Schaeffer, a failed film maker and mediocre author, in which he makes the assertion that the debt ceiling problem is a Born Again Religious Problem.
Mr.Schaeffer claims that he, along with his father, Francis Schaeffer, author of The Christian Manifesto, and other "influential" Christians, co-opted the Republican party back in the 1980's by stuffing it full of crazy "right wing" evangelical types who are surely going to bring down this country because they believe in Jesus - or something. He takes credit for influencing his father to take on the issue of abortion. As a matter of fact, he takes credit for doing lots of things, and for being a major player in this take-down of the Republican party. Taking credit is what Schaeffer does best.
He starts off with a bang by throwing around the terms "educated" and "reasonable" because surely anyone who believes in a Higher Power is neither. And the debt ceiling debate? It's all the fault of crazy right-wing Christians. This is, of course, on the heels of Shirley Jackson Lee informing us it's all about racism. So confusing.
It doesn't take him long to invoke Michele Bachmann as the "head crazy" of all time."Foreigners, visitors from another planet and Americans living in a bubble of reasonable or educated people might not know this but the reality is that the debt ceiling confrontation is by, for, and the result of, America's evangelical Christian control of the Republican Party. It is the ultimate expression of an alternate reality, one that has the mistrust of the US government as its bedrock "faith," second only to faith in Jesus."
He claims later on in this article that his father's books were a major influence of Ms Bachmann's decision to enter politics."To understand why an irrational self-defeating action like destroying the credit of the USA might seem like the right thing to do, you have to understand two things: that the Republican Party is now the party of religious fanatics and that these fanatics -- people like Michele Bachmann -- don't want to work within our system, they want to bring it down."
It appears that Mr. Schaeffer's real problem is with his father. He even wrote a book, "Crazy for God", in which he trashes his father, mother, the way he was raised, and, in particular, evangelical Christians.
Allow me to sum up the main themes of Schaeffer's article.
- If you are pro-life and don't believe in chopping up a baby before, or even after, it is born you are crazy.
- If you believe in the Bible, you are crazy.
- If you believe in the Constitution, you are crazy.
- If you believe in limited government, you are crazy.
"To understand the extremism coming from the right, the fact that there are members of Congress who seem to be genuinely mentally unhinged leading the charge on the debt ceiling, you need to understand that this hatred of all things government has theological roots that have nothing to do with facts.
Actually, theology is rooted in both fact and faith. Granted, for someone like Schaeffer, who for some reason seems to have lost his faith, and at 50 some odd years of life, is still rebelling against his father like some whiny teenager, the above statement makes perfect sense.Theology is -- by nature -- not about reason but about faith. If God's will is to be served then so be it if America is plunged into chaos! This debt ceiling fiasco is just another chapter in the "culture" wars."
And the debt ceiling is not about "God's will", Mr. Schaeffer. It's about a federal government that has ignored the powers enumerated to it in the Constitution, high-jacked the rights of the states and, by extension, the people. It is about a government that no longer operates under the rule of law, but instead by regulation, fiat, and executive orders. The debt ceiling is about a government that takes, by force if necessary, the earnings of Americans, to distribute as it sees fit, without any real representation. And that, Mr. Schaeffer, is unconstitutional.
The debt ceiling and the out of control spending of the government is rooted in the faith people place in the facts of math. Math doesn't lie. If you spend more than you have you will go into debt. It's a fact. It's a fact in which even non-believers will place their faith.
"The extreme language of Evangelical/"pro-life" rebellion has now been repackaged in the debt ceiling showdown. It is the language of religion pitted against facts.
Wow! If you go to church on Sunday, say some prayers, and believe that maybe something more than a big explosion was at the root of creation, you "are unable to reason." That's pretty harsh, Frank.And the anti-government charge is being led by people who are either true believers, thus unable to reason, or people catering to the true believers so that they can remain in the good books of the Tea Party, which is nothing more than the Evangelical far right repackaged and renamed"