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Mccarthy Era & The Rise Of The Far Right


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After World War II it seems the American people were left paranoid that communists might still be hidding a spies in America. Senator McCarthy in the early 1950's used this feeling of uncertainity to start his campain to go on a witch hunt and weed out any individuals even in the movie buiness which is felt might be sympthelic to communisim. Obviously, all this occured way before I was born..but reading about this history and reconizing that ironically the rise and merging of the Fundamental far right Protestants with the Evangelical right right Protestants into one force called simply Fundamental Christianity or The Religious Right..I wonder if the Mccarthy era inspired also the rise of the religious Right and their Anti-Cult hysteria.

 

We know of the religious right that they are known to merged their political beliefs with their religious, and as such if they bought into McCarthy's political hysteria...could this might have also at the same time inspired the religious right's Anti-Cult hysteria? My Perents who came from this time period and were married in 1949 often spoke of how back in these days they thought all non-Protestants such as JW and Mormons were Communists and UnAmerican cults. What do you think? Do you think there is a solid connection between these two?

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We know of the religious right that they are known to merged their political beliefs with their religious, and as such if they bought into McCarthy's political hysteria...could this might have also at the same time inspired the religious right's Anti-Cult hysteria?  My Perents who came from this time period and were married in 1949 often spoke of how back in these days they thought all non-Protestants such as JW and Mormons were Communists and UnAmerican cults.  What do you think? Do you think there is a solid connection between these two?

Hmm, I think there's a stronger correlation in time between the anti-cult hysteria and the rise of the popularity of eastern philosophies, mysticism, drug use, etc. in the late 60s and 70s, which were perceived as a huge threat to the American Protestant way of life. This was the second heydey of Fundamentalism (the first being the revivals of the mid-20's), and certifiable "end-times" craze. Not that McCarthyism didn't set up the furniture for it to happen, but I think that historically it's located closer to the 70's, with the fall of American "innocence" in Vietnam, and the era of experimentation with alternate spiritualities and ideologies. Of course, this could be my personal experience talking, too: my childhood hero was Keith Green, the free-loving, transcendental-meditating, pot-toking, hippie musician turned Jesus freak in '75. (Some groovy music though.)

 

Also, I wouldn't be so quick to judge the religious right for merging their political beliefs with their religious beliefs. I oppose the particular kind of political and religious beliefs they have, and the way they merge them. My religious beliefs influence my political beliefs on a daily basis, as I'm sure yours do as well. Just a little clarification.

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Well, you are right that the big start of all this was before the 50's and there was the big start in the 20's but also the Age of Enlightenment which goes back even further...Could the first part span the Age of Enlightenment to the 1920's? Then the second part span from the Mccarthy era 50's to the early 70's? As a Progressive Christian I ovbiously am strongly FOR social justice..but I try and not force my leftist views with my faith or esle I would simply feel I was left answer to the xtreme right..and I don;t want to do that.

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Could the first part span the Age of Enlightenment to the 1920's? Then the second part span from the Mccarthy era 50's to the early 70's?

The first part of what? The religious-right style mix of politics and religion? Or the anti-cult thing? Definitely not #1: the Enlightenment sought above all to extricate politics from state-sponsored religion. (Jefferson's famous quote applies here: "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god.") As far as being related to an anti-cult sentiment, I don't know, I can't really see a relation...

 

As a Progressive Christian I ovbiously am strongly FOR social justice..but I try and not force my leftist views with my faith or esle I would simply feel I was left answer to the xtreme right..and I don;t want to do that.

Well, not force; that's part of the mode of religious-right style politics that we reject. But I would try to argue strongly for my social and political beliefs from the angle of faith.

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After World War II it seems the American people were left paranoid that communists might still be hidding a spies in America. Senator McCarthy in the early 1950's used this feeling of uncertainity to start his campain to go on a witch hunt and weed out any individuals even in the movie buiness which is felt might be sympthelic to communisim.  Obviously, all this occured way before I was born..but reading about this history and reconizing that ironically the rise and merging of the Fundamental far right Protestants with the Evangelical right right Protestants into one force called simply Fundamental Christianity or The Religious Right..I wonder if the Mccarthy era inspired also the rise of the religious Right and their Anti-Cult hysteria.

 

We know of the religious right that they are known to merged their political beliefs with their religious, and as such if they bought into McCarthy's political hysteria...could this might have also at the same time inspired the religious right's Anti-Cult hysteria?  My Perents who came from this time period and were married in 1949 often spoke of how back in these days they thought all non-Protestants such as JW and Mormons were Communists and UnAmerican cults.  What do you think? Do you think there is a solid connection between these two?

 

i think that McCarthianism did not help how the avg. american thought about someone different from themselves - but i think that thinking seemed to stay focused around political areas (especially trying to find a communist behind every bush), but surely there were some overlaps into the religious realm - McCarthy manipulated the fear of people for political gain. his tactics are not much different than those in the house wanting to run this flag burning amendment through

 

i think america, throughout its history, has had a problem with cults, one example is the history of mormonism, they finally had to set up shop where there were no other people because everyone would run them out of town - jw and seventh day adventists have had their troubles with the establishment

 

it seems that early on in american history, certain groups carved out their spot - baptists and methodists in the south, catholics in maryland and louisiana, congregationalists in new england, reformed in michigan etc., and they would often use "unchristian" means of keeping their turf - we are definitely less geographical in our understanings of denominationalism but we do seem to still separate along racial and socio-economic divisions

 

i guess the positive is that the era of denominations is supposedly coming to an end - i just hope it will not be replaced by political divisions instead

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Well, basically is not the basic Bush supporter's mind set this:

 

If you are not from the mid-west or south, if you are not Evangelical Protestant, and not white and not Republican then you are an UnAmerican UnSaved UnChristian cult! They merge all this together, don;t they?

 

"it seems that early on in american history, certain groups carved out their spot - baptists and methodists in the south, catholics in maryland and louisiana, congregationalists in new england, reformed in michigan etc., and they would often use "unchristian" means of keeping their turf."

 

Is it not still this way?

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Well, basically is not the basic Bush supporter's mind set this:

 

If you are not from the mid-west or south, if you are not Evangelical Protestant, and not white and not Republican then you are an UnAmerican UnSaved UnChristian cult!  They merge all this together, don;t they?

These kinds of childish oversimplifications by progressives are just going to make us more enemies. We sit here and criticize conservatives for thinking in black and white, absolute terms, and then you propose to put forth a definition of "the basic Bush supporter's mind set"?! What could such a thing possibly mean? I have good friends who support Bush with varying degrees of reluctance (some with none), for a lot of different, complex reasons across the board, from religion, to economics, to social stability, to education -- or even just because they haven't seen a democratic candidate in years who seems to care about their values in the slightest. I may disagree with all of those reasons (except maybe the last one), but I don't disrespect their fundamental right to make up their own minds, by practically accusing them of belonging to the KKK, as your definition above pretty much does.

 

If we want a clear, convincing, progressive political voice, we've got to stop setting up conservative straw men, and start addressing the real issues that are causing a widespread dissatisfaction with political liberalism -- issues on the Right and the Left. When we do bumper sticker politics, we're doing no better than the mud-slinging ads that saturate our TV's before elections. Oversimplification is the enemy of genuine ideological progress. We can do better.

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Ahhh..what the hell side on you on anyways? Why are you defending Bush?  i thought you were a Progressive..but maybe I thought wrong.

This is truly unbelievable. Seriously, I can't believe what I'm reading. Did you take the time to actually read my post? Or do I have to subscribe to your version of Bush and his supporters as Southern Baptist White Supremacists, in order to be acceptable as a progressive? (Bush is a Methodist, by the way.)

 

I happen to think the Bush administration is the worst thing to come to Washington since Nixon, and I happen to virulently despise the "Religious Right" in all its forms; but come on, how can you throw every conservative person in the country into the same basket? Talk about black and white. Talk about absolutes. This kind of cartooning just polarizes all the issues and makes any kind of real dialogue impossible. Isn't dialogue supposed to be a progressive hallmark? Getting people from different viewpoints to sit down and look at an issue with respect and tolerance for each other's points of view?

 

The issues that really matter are going on all around us. Corporate power and human rights; privacy, security, and demographic profiling; freedom of speech, press, and religion; and an overall increasing immunity of government from the concerns of justice, and the will of the global community. Caricaturing Bush as a fanatical racial and religious zealot is not only inaccurate, it actually deflects the focus away from where it belongs -- away from the monstrosities the Bush administration has actually committed.

 

Lastly, I don't care what "side" anybody thinks I'm on. I'm not trying to find personal identity in a label I can conveniently apply to myself. I'm happy to call myself a progressive, but no group is going to tell me what to think.

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As a Progressive Christian I ovbiously am strongly FOR social justice..but I try and not force my leftist views with my faith or esle I would simply feel I was left answer to the xtreme right..and I don;t want to do that.

Well, not force; that's part of the mode of religious-right style politics that we reject. But I would try to argue strongly for my social and political beliefs from the angle of faith.

 

As a progressive Christian and a social democrat I can not separate politics from my faith. My spiritual experience makes me the person I am and so has to inform the view I have of the society I would like to see us create.

 

Micah 6:8 says it best to me:

 

What does the Lord require of you,

but to do justice, to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?

 

To me, justice means economic and social justice (you can't have the legal kind without them), and we are called to DO justices which implies action. To love kindness means to treat others with love and respect. To walk humbly with God means to understand that God may manifest himself to each of us in a different way, and it is not my place to judge someone else's spiritual experience.

 

I believe God calls us to make a difference in this world. I believe the only way we will see the "New Jerusalem" is to build it ourselves with God's help.

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I don;t know Fred, where you are coming from. But where I am coming from is Progressive Christians from Southern CA and the last time I checked. yeah, Bush, Republicans, The Far Fundamental Right WERE indeed all on the same page. As far as some idea there is some sort of far fundamental Lite Right...All I know is that in religious terms there is left and right and in poltical terms there's red and blue. I point towards the left I am blue....NOT orange red, not lite red..Just blue. Not purple. If there are people out there that want to play both sides and be cozy with both right red and the liberal blue..they can but I have no interest in this.

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All I know is that in religious terms there is left and right and in poltical terms there's red and blue. I point towards the left I am blue....NOT orange red, not lite red..Just blue.

Wow, you really are so polarized that you can only see viewpoints in an all-or-nothing fashion. It's funny: that's exactly what fundamentalism is. I wonder how you don't see it.

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Ahhh..what the hell side on you on anyways? Why are you defending Bush?  i thought you were a Progressive..but maybe I thought wrong.

 

Where is it written that one has to be a liberal democrat to be a Progressive Christian? You may want to look at Point 4 of the 8 Points Beach. Being "progressive" is not a political stance but a spiritual/religious one and ones' politics are a matter of conscience and not of policy. Your attitude in the above post is the sort of attitude that keeps me from identifying strongly with any group. There is always some wangnut who wants to use "group identity" to beat someone over the head. Boo Hiss

 

lily

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I am not even actively envolved IN politics. Never the less how can ANYONE support Bush and be Progressive in ANY way?

There it is again, all or nothing. All I can say is, good luck surrounding yourself with people who agree with you in every conceivable detail. I'm officially signing off this discussion.

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I followed this discussion to see where it broke down and here is what I noticed, all was ok until there was this comment: "If you are not from the mid-west or south, if you are not Evangelical Protestant, and not white and not Republican then you are an UnAmerican UnSaved UnChristian cult! They merge all this together, don;t they?"

 

I admit sometimes it seems this way, but I would also characterize this as an oversimplification. However, I do think much of this comes from our culture's love of sound bites, news stories of under 5 minutes (with trailing news stories on the bottom of the set) unless it is some celebrity or wierd tale, and the media's insistence on making up things like "red" and "blue" states. By constantly being paraded with the vast oversimplification we can get stuck in seeing it ourselves.

 

Just take the latter, we know that some of the "red states" only were "red states" by a few thousands of votes. A few hundred more votes in a few key counties and they would be "blue states". We also know that even in solidly Republican states there are many liberals and in solidly Democratic states there are many conservatives. I like what Barak Obama said something like "in the blue states many of us worship an awesome God and in red states we love our gay friends". I personally REALLY dislike the red/blue state thing. (Esp. being in a "red state" which was "blue" last time around.)

 

--des

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Yes, I know the radical religious/politcal right do NOT speak for everyone in their states..but my point is THEY, in SPEAK as if they do. That was my point. Just how such types go, "Us Christians,"...speaking as if if all Christians are on the far right with them. There are positvely bits of the old deep south/pro-civil war days HERE, In Southern CA where I live. I don;t like it..of course...It's state of mind, a culture..that started in the the deep south and mid west in the civil war days..and there are many people there still proudly waving the confederate flag...but there are also such people HERE, in Southern CA. It's not a liberal here as you think it would be...or I think that it should be.

 

Progressive and Liberal churches are nearly an instinct species here, in my city...and that's likely why i get so "bleeped" off because the far right appears to be the both the religious and political majority here. It's like this is a beach town in Southern Califoria, for Godsakes! Not the Okie Swap! But yeap, we were verified as a RED city. :angry:

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