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Political insanity and religious insanity

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland

While the 2016 presidential election puts on full display the political insanity of much of the American population — not to mention the insanity of the Republican Party — let’s not fail to point out another insanity that is just as prevalent: religious insanity. Let’s also note how closely the two are connected.

The quote below is attributed to televangelist Kenneth Copeland, in a recent appearance on the Trinity Broadcasting Network:

“If Christians don’t support Trump, they are risking the wrath of God. Trump has been chosen by God, and by rejecting him, they are rejecting God. They could be punished with barrenness, poverty or even having a gay child.”

And the quote below is attributed to Anne Graham Lotz, on the air with right-wing radio host Steve Deace:

“Our nation seems to be shaking its fist in God’s face and telling him to get out of our politics, get out of our schools, get out of our businesses, get out of our marketplace, get off the streets. It’s just stunning to me the way we are basically abandoning God as a culture and as a nation. … I think that’s why God allows bad things to happen. I think that’s why he would allow 9/11 to happen, or the dreadful attack in San Bernardino, or some of these other places, to show us that we need him. We’re desperate without him.”

What a nice god! Though he must be incredibly busy running the universe, he also has time to punish earthlings for not voting Republican. That god also kills people — or at least allows people to be killed — to remind us how much we need such a violent, vindictive god.

As the philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris has pointed out, this kind of religious delusion and narcissism are prevalent among plenty of people who might see Kenneth Copeland and Anne Graham Lotz as a bit extreme. Harris has beautifully pointed out the narcissism of people who think that God is intimately involved in the details of their lives. Not only does God actually tell them what he’s thinking, it’s remarkable how much these people and their god are alike: pure nasty. While your God was finding you a parking space, Harris says, or answering your prayers for enough money to pay your credit card bill, how many children did that same God allow to die in Africa while their helpless parents watched and prayed? That’s narcissism on top of the nasty.

I’m fully on board with freedom of religion and freedom of speech. But those freedoms also mean that the rest of us are free to tell these people that they’re vile and sickening, and that their god is even worse.

Anne Graham Lotz


  1. Henry wrote:


    Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 7:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Dan wrote:

    Those who live in the sticks here in America are the most susceptible to being persuaded into becoming a Republican for religious reasons. Middle America is full of Trump for the most part. They’ve pushed their chips all-in. Those same people tend to think they need to tote around an AR-15 or open carry their 1911 .45 while they go to church or lunch at McDonald’s. Funny how that mirrors Afghans who live in the Korangal Valley – easily radicalized into violent religious fundamentalists. They even have their own version of landmines – Tannerite – which explodes from being shot from a distance.

    Monday, August 15, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink
  3. daltoni wrote:

    Here’s an interesting piece on this:

    “What’s emptied churches is the unseemly ambition of Religious Right leaders like Jerry Falwell (father and son), James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, and Franklin Graham to crown themselves moral police and political power brokers. Make no mistake about it: politics is the tail that wags this dog. From Day One, the Religious Right cynically hijacked Jesus as a front man for its political agenda.”

    Monday, August 15, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink
  4. Dan wrote:

    Thumping Bibles to the beat of the war drums

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

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