RELIGION • POLITICS

America’s new religion?

Tea Party Republicanism may be the closest thing we’ve had to a new religion in America in some time. While its adherents would be expected to deny that it is a religion (they all cling to their own true churches), it has the basic mark of religion in that it is fueled by passion rather than reason, emotion rather than intelligence, by what’s wished for rather than what is, while declaring itself to be The Only Right Way. This can’t be surprising since the movement primarily bases its goals and policies — political, social and economic — on the writings of a book of creative fantasy and precarious history — and the interpretations (diverse as those may be) that are placed on those myths by the people who “study” them (and end up with nothing more than strong feelings). Consequently, Tea Party Republicanism is committed to the same dubious path as all religions — the path marked with all those signposts declaring it to be The Way, The Truth, The Answer, when it offers no proof that it is any of those things.

Some have referred to Tea Party Republicanism as “the American Taliban.” That’s a brutal reference, and probably not totally fair. Yet, when there is a minority of the population who declares themselves to be absolutely right and everyone else absolutely wrong, and are viciously intent on making everyone else servant to their thoughts, beliefs, goals, desires and behavior, by whatever means it takes to do it — well, it’s easy to see why the comparison is drawn. POSTED 7/27/2013