"reasoning with a tornado"

Lauri Lebo's "Unregulated Capitalism and Christian Fervor" from Religion Dispatches is a great piece about the 9/12 teabagger protest, in which she lamented the impasse in discourse caused by "Glenn Beck and Fox News and the incessant drum beat of their misinformation campaign:"

One cannot find reasonable discourse with people in this setting. One might as well try to reason with a tornado--one swirling with confirmation bias, logical fallacy and Fox News-driven non sequiturs.

Lebo identifies the common threads binding the protesters together:

If they were universal in anything, it was in a combination of undying support for unregulated capitalism (ironic in light of the fact that it was a year ago this week that the free market led to global economic collapse) and Christian fervor.

I've always found the link between Christianity and capitalism to be a curious one; did some people skip the Sunday School session about Jesus chasing the moneychangers out of the temple? His concern for the hungry, thirsty, naked, and sick? His warning that the rich will have a difficult time entering Heaven?

Lebo mentioned "the Gospel of Supply-Side Jesus," which was the title of this classic Al Franken/Don Simpson piece. On a more serious note, the Wikipedia article on Christian Communism notes the Biblical basis for communism, laid out in Acts 2:42-45 and 4:32-37. I'd love to see some counter-protesters at the next teabagger rally carrying signs with this image:


I've previously noted the 9/12 protest's myriad factual problems (see here, here, here, and here), but I am nonetheless glad to see--amidst all the birther/deather/Nazi/socialist nonsense--the blossoming of conservative concern for the Constitution and the federal budget that has taken place since 20 January. We liberals could have shared a great deal of common ground with conservatives during the preceding eight years if they had been worried about those issues during their Bushism blackout period--but they were too busy impugning the patriotism of liberals who pointed out that Bush's tax cuts were bad economics, his Iraq invasion bad precedent, his spying bad law, and his torture bad morality.

There's a glimmer of hope in the teabagger protests, and I don't want to slight any sign of progress--however muted or mutated it may be.


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