A fantasy is a situation that is imagined by an individual, or group of individuals, that expresses certain desires or aims that involve highly unlikely situations that seem quite realistic to the person or group due to suffering a mental defect. In a more basic sense though, a fantasy is something which is not ‘real,’ as in being perceived explicitly by any human being’s senses, but exists as an imagined situation usually borne of an inordinately unreal desire. The Republican Leadership Conference this week thus far has been very heavy on fantasy in two particular senses founded in imagined situations driven by an unreal desire for something that is not real. Of course, with Republilcans involved the fantasy is religion and lacking any reasonable policies for America, the party leaders went all-in for religion, religious liberty, and a very heavy emphasis on god courtesy of Duck Dynasty’s resident homophobe Phil Robertson.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal started to rush to god when he told attendees the Republicans should focus on was the government “assault on ‘our’ religious liberty.” Jindal specifically referenced the Hobby Lobby case and the impending Supreme Court ruling giving Christians free rein to use their religious liberty to flaunt any law god is against. Jindal railed on the Founding Fathers’ for creating a nation that spawned “an increasingly secular society,” and pledged to prioritize religious liberty because in Jindal’s fantasy, “America did not create religious liberty. Religious liberty created America.” Despite Jindal’s fantasy that a concept like religious liberty created America, all recorded history reveals that the Founding Fathers’ created America; unless of course, one subscribes to the religious right assertion that god created America. More pure fantasy.
The real fantasy came when perennial idiot Sarah Palin introduced the star of the day, Phil Robertson, whom Palin described as a “self-made entrepreneur akin to those who formed America. An educator and a church elder who inspires others to be bold and to embrace family.” Then Palin hinted that Robertson might be best suited for the White House (another fantasy) when she said “maybe he should be not just the Duck commander. How about a Duck Commander in Chief” to wild applause. Robertson’s nephew warned that his uncle’s speech might not exactly be politically correct, but he assured the audience the gay-hating Robertson would inform the Republicans “how we can reclaim America.”
Robertson claimed “I’ve never owned a ring or a watch or a cell phone. And I’ve never turned on a computer in my life. Some of you are saying are you some kind of idiot. Actually I’m a multi-millionaire and I’m famous so shut up and sit down.” In what may have been the only bit of non-fantasy in Robertson, or any other Republican’s speech, was the truth that “I guess the GOP may be more desperate than I thought to call somebody like me.” Then Robertson introduced the god part of his speech describing that when he lays down to sleep he is always a foot away from a firearm. Apparently his belief that god protects him is one fantasy he is afraid to leave to chance, so he sleeps within reach of a loaded firearm.
Robertson began the Hellfire and damnation portion of his speech by lambasting Republicans for not being more closely aligned with the church, a statement that garnered a long standing ovation. According to Robertson, “You can’t be right for America if you’re wrong with God,” and claimed “religion is the basis and foundation of your government.” He said the state should be closely intertwined with the (Christian) church and not separated at all because that was not the Founding Fathers’ intent. A major part of the Republican, and Robertson’s fantasy, was his certainty that not only was he vehemently against the separation of church and state, but that the Founders were against separation of church and state and did not “separate god almighty from the United States of America.” Curiously, not one person among the Republican leadership stood up and reminded Robertson the Founders failed to include anything about god or the church being closely intertwined in government in the Constitution; likely because they were mesmerized by the fantasy of government by bible to reflect on the contents of the U.S. Constitution.
Robertson had the solution to all the nation’s ills including ending crime if only bibles were allowed back in classrooms. He said if children were taught to “love your neighbor” they would never engage in shootings. He also railed on women’s choice and counseled women guilty of “committing the sin of abortion that “the blood of Jesus is sufficient to remove that sin.” Duck boy also railed against evolution he claimed the discovery of DNA proved was “bunk.” On the contrary, the discovery and subsequent extensive research and study of DNA proves that all life is related and emerged through evolution into the myriad varieties that exist today. However, Robertson and his ilk will not acknowledge scientific research and studies that contradict the creation story.
Robertson ended his sermon with bowed head and said, “I pray for my country father we have really screwed this thing out. We started out with you – full of faith…Help us turn our country around. Give us strength, give us courage, above all father give us love each day. Amen. I’m done” to another long and rousing standing ovation.
It is important to remember this was not an old-fashioned prayer meeting, or traveling revival; it was the Republican Leadership Conference. A gathering that cheered wildly for Robertson’s rallying cry that the GOP to needed to more closely ally with Christian values like the Founding Fathers intended and follow their example in basing all government and education on the Christian bible. He gave the GOP the recipe to start winning elections if it would only announce itself as the Christian Party; again as the Founders intended.
If any American believes the hype that religion is on the decline, or that Republicans are not beholden to the religious right and their drive toward a Christian nation, they still are not paying attention. It is noteworthy that Phil Robertson did not just show up at the Leadership Conference unannounced; he was invited and highly touted because party leaders knew precisely what his fire and brimstone sermon would entail and it informs the direction the party is intent on pursuing; government aligned with Christianity and founded on the bible. It informs their two-year love-fest with the religious liberty crusade and the basis for legislation abolishing women’s right, gay rights, and the drive to legislate morality.
The frightening aspect of the mindset of the Leadership Conference’s attendees is that they gave an extremist Christian reality show star their greatest applause and none more revealing than when Robertson said, “You want to turn the Republican Party around? Get godly. You can’t be right for America if you’re wrong with God.” In any other time in American history, that type of political rhetoric would get a speaker thrown off the stage, but this is 2014 and although it seems impossible, it is highly likely the Republican Party will get more godly and sadly, that is not a fantasy.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.