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Most Americans — and most Christians — don’t want religious doctrine dominating our laws. So how did we get here? It’s because a small group of right-wing billionaires didn’t want to pay their taxes, wanted to get rid of their unions and didn’t want regulation of the pollution from their refineries and other operations. Seriously. They put billions of dollars over five decades into a project to seize control of the legislatures of a majority of the states, jam up the U.S. Congress and pack the Supreme Court — and it was all about taxes, unions and regulation. So where did the religious nuttery come from? The right-wing billionaires and the corporations and foundations aligned with the the religious right back in 1971. The strategy they came up with to capture control of our government was pretty straightforward: Convince Americans that taxes aren’t “the cost of a civil society” but, instead, a “burden” that they were unfairly bearing. Once Republicans were elected on that tax-cut platform, they’d massively cut the taxes of the morbidly rich while throwing a small bone to the average person.- Convince Americans that regulations that protect consumers and the environment are also “burdens” from an out-of-control “nanny state,” even though such regulations save lives and benefit Americans far more than they cost.- Convince Americans that unions aren’t “democracy in the workplace” that protect workers’ rights but, instead, an elaborate scam to raid workers’ paychecks to the benefit of “corrupt union bosses.” But it wasn’t quite enough to get the political power they needed. They sponsored right-wing talk radio amounting to millions of dollars a year (Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity’s shows got over a million dollars and Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch rolled out Fox News to complement the propaganda campaign. Later would come social media bots and trolls, along with thousands of new websites pretending to be local newspapers. Then they hooked up with the NRA, which helped sponsor the Reagan Revolution. “Trickle Down” really meant trickle up. And they finally got a lot of Americans to go along with their plan, because they’d added in a religious “secret sauce.” Then came scam artists like Falwell hustling Jesus to build a multimillion-dollar empire while ignoring Jesus’ teachings about humility, poverty and the need to care for others. A new, muscular Jesus — a Jesus who endorsed assault weapons and private jets for preachers. This Jesus wanted you to get rich — riches, they said, are a sign of God’s blessing — and the “prosperity gospel” and all its perverted cousins were being preached on TV and in megachurches across the nation throughout the 1980s. Suddenly evangelists we’re not just for Jesus but also for the Republican Party. Now that the Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade, favored by 2/3 of Americans. However, people are waking up to this unholy alliance between religious grifters in the white evangelical movement, the Supreme Court and the GOP. It’s no longer just a matter of that $50 trillion transfer of wealth in America to the top 1% through changes in tax law. Now they’re coming for your birth control, marriage equality, and even mixed race marriage. Hypocrisy in the flesh (Clarence Thomas)! Enough! Americans, Finally wake up to this 40-year grift to put an end to it and return our country to sanity?
Bruce Dawson, Taylorville