Why Trump and the Purity Movement Are Both Bad for Your Health

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You may wonder how we got to a place where 60+ million people when presented with all evidence could possibly be willing to vote for someone so blatantly and irrevocably incompetent and against their own and their countries best interest.  This certainly did not happen overnight.  I mean, after all, we are a bright and reasonable people, right?

It’s in our history books.

Isn’t it always?

If you want to understand, I would recommend you read 2 books: Sex, Mom and God by Frank Schaeffer and the The God Strategy by David Domke.

Both of these books, especially the first, explain how beginning in the late 1970’s the formation of the Moral Majority and the Religious Right crawled into bed with the Republican Party’s corporate elite and they have been screwing the American public with false fear tactics ever since – whether the issue be “family values”, “abortion”, “feminism”, “promiscuity”, “science”, “homosexuality”, “terrorism”, “government”, “religious freedom”, or “socialism” … many ill-informed American’s have responded like lemmings with fear, disgust and distrust after  assuming that what they were hearing on the “news” was true.  Their primitive brain centers SOUNDED THE ALARM!!! And they have become scared into submission.

In fact, I recently heard Newt Gingrich arguing with a reporter about crime statistics.  She said the national crime statistics are down and showed him the graph and numbers.  He said, “Well people are unsafe because they feel they are. So because they feel unsafe, they are are unsafe.”  She said, “But why don’t you help people to know the truth about the statistics – that violent crime in the US has been declining for 15 years? He said, “They feel unsafe so they are unsafe.”  Newt and others know they are feeding this fear in order to have people more willing to do what they want. They purposefully do nothing to reassure the American public – in fact they do quite the opposite.  They support the fear mongering with media that exaggerates and serves their agenda.  They know that in fear, most people won’t do their research. They will act.  And act out of fear. Then when they do realize they have been lied to for years, they will feel distrust and disgust “for government”.  

All of this was created by the movement that began in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, and it is in our history books for you to read. And we are still on the gravy train … right into the circus that is now the Republican party with Trump.

I have people in my life … people I adore … who blame Hilary for all the corruption in government … see her mistakes as so catastrophic … that they are willing to vote for Trump in hopes that he becomes impeached. These are people who do not understand history.  They do not understand that their party and related media has been screwing them for decades by pandering to corporate interests through the deregulation of media, unfairly privileging the wealthy, and allowing corporate money to control elections through the passage of bills like citizens united, government, and media, all behind the veneer of fear based slanted “news” reporting and moral piety. We have watched our country go from having journalistic ethics in the 1950-1960’s to selling propaganda on every media delivery system. And many did not notice – are still not noticing.

From the early 1980’s forward:

The far right political corporate base used the religious right to stir up fear in the American public, including using “GOD’s authority” (as they are so good at doing) … and the two became one flesh. 

Now, you may be thinking I am just spouting off here like some “crazy liberal”.  But before you write that in stone, I want you to know, I actually backed into this information, accidentally, when doing research for a book I was writing on the Purity Movement.

I urge you to take a moment to read these books. The knowledge in these books – the names, dates, observable facts, changed everything for me.

Frank Schaeffer, New York Times best selling author and son of one of the infamous key founders of the religious right, Francis Schaeffer, was right in the middle of it all.  Frank is now a grandfather and filled with remorse. He has since written several searing books telling all and naming names. In fact, the books are so explicit in naming the facts – who, what, where, when – I kept expecting the pages to burst into flames.  Did you know that Christian’s as a whole were not against abortion until the republican party posed it as a potential platform in 1980? I do. I remember this very clearly.  I was in college – and we have it on record.  Samantha Bee showed video on her show to prove it to those of you not around or who have amnesia.

Two-thirds through this book on page 185 after laying out the whole history Frank says this:

The Evangelical foot soldiers never realized that the logic of their “stand” against government had played into the hands of people who never cared about human lives beyond the fact that people could be sold products. By the twenty-first century, Ma and Pa No-name were still out in the rain holding an “Abortion is Murder!” sign in Peoria and/or standing in line all night in some god-forsaken mall in Kansas City to buy a book by Sarah Palin and have it signed. But it was the denizens of the corner offices at Goldman Sachs, the News Corporations, Koch Industries, Exxon, and Halliburton who were all laughing.”

What disgusts and saddens me the most is the widespread suffering this has caused ‘the least among us’.          (Matt 25:40)

One result was the rise of the purity movement and the millions of young people that innocently signed the Purity Pledge, and who now suffer sexual dysfunction, low sexual desire and religious sexual shame, abuse, and trauma. The fear about sex, sexual promiscuity, abortion, and purity escalated in a response to this agenda which was fed by the religious right who were capitalizing on the fodder provided by feminism and HIV in the mid 1980’s. The patriarchy of the church responded, and a major crack-down in the form of the Purity Movement emerged. This has affected lives, marriages, families and communities, and will for generations. This spring, a book I authored about how to heal will be released, titled Sex, God and the Conservative Church: Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy by Routledge Press. Of course, thanks to the evangelical-right being in bed with the right-wing republicans we can also thank the Bush Administration(s) for 16 years of Abstinence Only education programs and no research into sexual health.

Another result of this political union and the political power of money was the crash of our financial market and the millions of people who lost their homes and their financial footing.  The change in the financial landscape in our country in my lifetime is crushing.  From the vantage of financial power and control, who has it and who doesn’t, the impact of deregulation has been sweeping. When I was young, the middle class could easily live on one income. Now it is impossible to live on one income, and my children not only cannot live on one income, they cannot live in the city they grew up in because it is too expensive to live on two professional incomes! This is all because the interests of the wealthiest 1% are given privilege through pipelines like Citizens United and a populace that is ignorant, fearful and easily duped into continually voting against their best interests. 

If being the prostitutes of fear in the ‘name of Jesus’ for nearly 40 years isn’t long enough, you can see from a quick scan of google

that James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell, Jr, men who have been there from the beginning, are continuing, even today, even with Trump as “their Christian candidate”, to use their platform to be the blow-horns of right-wing corporate politics. I guess the passage of Citizen United wasn’t bending over far enough. Apparently James Dobson, would like the poor to bend over more when he says, “All I can tell you is that we have only two choices, Hillary or Donald.  Hillary scares me to death.  And, if Christians stay home because he isn’t a better candidate, Hillary will run the world for perhaps eight years.  The very thought of that haunts my nights and days.”

I don’t think Jesus would be a happy camper in today’s marketplace!  I can only imagine his fury as he turns over the tables of “our money changers” who exploit the temples of our communities. (Ref: Matt 21:12, John 2:13-16) What a mess we have become! 

 

And for those who say you voted for Trump because of how criminal Hillary is, or how poor the Obama administration was, or for Trump’s policies (not his character) … here is what you fail to understand in allowing yourself to be emotionally manipulated by the press:

Far too many people – especially white privileged male (and many female) Christians cannot see their misogyny and racism. This is understood in documentaries like Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In. Hillary was not perfect by any means. “Humans” and “perfect” is an oxymoron. Her mistakes however did not demean her overwhelming record of leadership. What did, was the misogyny of the media and the inflammatory lies of Trump, and the people who swallowed it.
She would have made a strategic, experienced and just leader – and someone who would have tenaciously continued to right the wrongs committed between 2000-2008 by Bush and the GOP that so negatively affected our deficit, the poor and middle class, our foreign relations, global and homeland security w the Iraq war, economy w the melt-down of 2008, cut in science research, abstinence sex ed, and no healthcare reform. This of course they did while raising the net worth of billionaires by 10 to 40% with the passage of citizens united and Wall Street loopholes. This increased the income gap to levels we have not seen in US history –

and led to the despair people still feel and Trump fed even though he had NO experience in creating political change,

let alone in the current climate we have. Hilary was committed to build on the gains made in each of these areas over the last 8 years / which have been significant – but not enough given the damage done! Those people that chose to vote against her, voted against the “least among us” and their best interest (Matt.25:40) and they will likely pay a very high price for it.

Already there are predictions that the top 1% are likely to see another 10-13% income rise after taxes where the middle 60% of America will see a rise of only 1.3 to 1.6% under Trumps proposed tax plan. Yes – this is another Brexit! What do you think this will do to the despair?  Who do you think it will be blamed on? Trump will not take responsibility and neither will the GOP … any more than they did with Bush from 2000-2008. I wonder how this will go over when they add denying health care to the 40 million poor again with repealing Obamacare, and denying healthcare to young, college age and poor women by de-funding planned parenthood?  Especially when we have 1 in 4 girls raped in high school and college? These people will be forced to get their care in the ER, many will drop out of college and live further below the poverty line. What does income disparity look like then?  And who is holding these white men in power accountable? The women? Any men?

I have a hard time seeing anything Christian inside any of Trump … and especially Pence’s posturing. Christianity is a veneer that isn’t even a Christianity Jesus would recognize. I certainly don’t.  In fact, it disheartens me how hard it is becoming to find Jesus inside any white man of privilege anymore.

Wherever they are … it is their time to stand up and fight for the least among us.

Click here to learn more about the NEW BOOK  Sex, God, and the Conservative Church – Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy by Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers