A fraction of conservatives, known as the Christian right, are trying to take over the government. Their ideals, represented by Senator Ted Cruz, for one, successfully instigated a shutdown of governmental programs that affects children and the working poor, among others.
While the ideology of the radical Christian right excludes the majority of citizens, the LGBT community, non-Christians, liberals, intellectuals, undocumented workers, and Christians who do not accept the same interpretation of the Bible, this group continues to attempt to impose their will on the rest of the country.
Their goal is “to destroy the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment, radically diminish the role of government to create a theocratic state based on ‘biblical law,’ and force a recalcitrant world to bend to the will of an imperial and ‘Christian’ America,” Truthout notes. “This ideology, which is the driving force behind the shutdown of the government, calls for the eradication of social ‘deviants.’”
Last week, Sen. Cruz’s father, right-wing preacher Rafael Cruz, commented on his son’s 21-hour-long speech, saying that his son was “destined for greatness” by God, and criticizing Republicans who voted against Cruz on the government funding bill.
Rafael, a pastor with Purifying Fire ministries who was heavily involved in the Reagan campaign, called the 25 Republicans who voted against his son’s urgings, “Republican in name only,” and said they “have no clue of what’s happening in the country.”
Purifying Fire ministries, which was founded by the two-time wife of Benny Hinn, a televangelist fraud and criminal, is a component of the New Apostolic, or dominionist movement. Dominionists believe that Christians should take dominion over the earth. In a sermon last year, Rafael Cruz said that “dominion is over every area – society, education, government, economics…”
Rafael Cruz, who has been giving speeches at Tea Party rallies in a campaign to defund “Obamacare,” has accused the government of “attacking religion,” and attempting to establish socialism. Homosexual marriage, he said, is an example of the government’s attempt to destroy Christians’ concept of God, so that socialism can become God.
Chris Hedges, who spent years researching for his book “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America,” notes that the radical Christian right has attracted those whom their government shutdown is now hurting: the poor, working class.
Hedges believes that our society’s elevation of the corporate elite and the abandonment of the working class has contributed to support for the radical Christian right movement. Although the policies that right-wing politicians like Sen. Cruz pursue are often against the best interest of the working poor, Hedges believes that desperation drives support for this movement.
“We have created a government monster that sucks the marrow out of our bones to enrich and empower the oligarchic and corporate elite. We have betrayed the vast and growing underclass,” Hedges states. “Give to the working poor a living wage, benefits and job security and the reach of this movement will diminish. Refuse to ameliorate the suffering of the poor and working class and you ensure the ascendancy of a Christian fascism.”
Alisha is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow her on Twitter @childoftheearth.