By Matthew Chapman
Raw Story (12/30/19)
Attorney General William Barr is worse than a simple right-wing partisan, wrote religious nationalism biographer Katherine Stewart and former American Constitutional Society president Caroline Fredrickson for The New York Times.
Rather, they argued, he is best understood as a fanatical theocrat who believes America is damned to burn in hell — and seeks to use the powers of his office to course correct the nation’s sinful ways.
“Why would a seemingly respectable, semiretired lion of the Washington establishment undermine the institutions he is sworn to uphold, incinerate his own reputation, and appear to willfully misrepresent the reports of special prosecutors and inspectors general, all to defend one of the most lawless and corrupt presidents in American history? And why has this particular attorney general appeared at this pivotal moment in our Republic?” they wrote. “A deeper understanding of William Barr is emerging, and it reveals something profound and disturbing about the evolution of conservatism in 21st-century America.” …
Link Between Religious Fundamentalism & Brain Damage Established By Scientists
The Raw Story (12/30/19)
A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia has shown that religious fundamentalism is, in part, the result of a functional impairment in a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex. The findings suggest that damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by diminishing cognitive flexibility and openness—a psychology term that describes a personality trait which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.
Religious beliefs can be thought of as socially transmitted mental representations that consist of supernatural events and entities assumed to be real. Religious beliefs differ from empirical beliefs, which are based on how the world appears to be and are updated as new evidence accumulates or when new theories with better predictive power emerge. On the other hand, religious beliefs are not usually updated in response to new evidence or scientific explanations, and are therefore strongly associated with conservatism. They are fixed and rigid, which helps promote predictability and coherence to the rules of society among individuals within the group. …
- A Neuroscientist Explains Why Christian Evangelicals Are Wired To Believe Trump’s Gaslighting Lies — President Donald Trump lies so often that it is no longer shocking when it happens, no matter how blatant or absurd the falsehood may be. Not only does Trump regularly exaggerate the truth, he frequently denies facts that can be observed directly from video or audio tapes. This has led some professionals to diagnose his lying as compulsive or pathological, and many psychologists have pointed out that he is constantly gaslighting his base—a term that refers to a strategic attempt to get others to question their direct experience of reality. With so much evidence to contradict his claims, like having the largest inauguration crowd size despite pictures clearly showing otherwise, one must wonder how there are still people out there who believe anything the man says. But the fact of the matter is there are many who swallow it hook, line, and sinker. Most of his fervent supporters are convinced that Trump is the harbinger of truth… Read The Rest
Right Wing Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne Says Trump ‘Needs To Get Meaner’
By Kyle Mantyla
Right Wing Watch (12/20/19)
Howard-Browne, who was among evangelical leaders who laid hands upon and prayed over Trump in the Oval Office in 2017, got agitated by critics who were trolling the comments section of his Periscope video and lashed out.
“You don’t even know what you are talking about,” Howard-Browne said. “Stick it where the sun don’t shine. You think I care about your opinion? You think I care about what you think?”
“I’m a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we are whipping butt and taking names,” he added. “If you don’t like that, that’s fine, but I stand 100 percent with the president of the United States … To all the trolls out there, keep screaming, keep wailing, keep doing whatever you want to do. You’ve lost. You have lost. It is over. It is finished. You, and your lies, and your fake religious hiding behind quoting scripture, what you think should and should not be done. I’m very proud of the president and as far as I am concerned—well, some said he’s really mean and he shouldn’t say these things—he needs to get meaner.”
Robert Jeffress Mocks Pelosi’s Faith, Says Trump Has Brought Christmas & Christ Back To U.S.
By Peter Montgomery
Right Wing Watch (12/9/19)
A group of President Donald Trump’s evangelical cheerleaders worshiped at the White House and prayed with Trump in the Oval Office Friday. Among the attendees were White House spiritual adviser Paula White, pastor Robert Jeffress, and congressional candidate Sean Feucht.
Jeffress appeared on Lou Dobb’s Fox Business show Friday evening to rave about Trump. “I’ve never seen the president more upbeat or positive or focused than he was today,” Jeffress said. “And look, this impeachment farce, it isn’t paralyzing the president. It is energizing him.” Jeffress said that “the longer the Democrats want to drag out this impeachment farce, the larger his margin of reelection is going to be in 2020. The American people are with this president.”
Dobbs asked Jeffress about the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi citing her Catholic faith in her response to a reporter from the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group who asked if she hated Trump. While Dobbs listened with a smirk, Jeffress mocked Pelosi’s faith:
“You know I find it interesting that she is so indignant about being accused of hatred saying that it goes against her Catholic faith. Well, what about her belief in unrestricted abortion? That certainly goes against her faith, and she doesn’t apologize for that, she celebrates her belief in the murder of the unborn. …
“I just find this religion of hers kind of strange and certainly hypocritical in places.”
Dobbs and Jeffress went from suggesting that Pelosi isn’t Catholic enough to slamming Pope Francis for comparing Trump to the biblical character King Herod, which Dobbs said was “pretty nasty stuff.”
“Herod wanted to extinguish Christmas by getting rid of Christ before the first Christmas,” said Jeffress. “President Trump celebrates Christmas, has brought it back to the forefront of our country, and that means bringing Christ back as well.” …