Beck and the Cross
I have mentioned before that a couple of months ago I appeared on a panel about the Tea Party and the far right and afterward was chatting with Sarah Posner and Adele Stan, who both pointed out to me that we had completely omitted the Religious Right from the discussion. And we had.
People who are well informed about the right wing commonly missed the thread that binds the Beck teabaggers, even as we confidently proclaimed that this far-right movement was nothing new. I think it's because Beck speaks as much in modern language of pycho-babble and recovery than traditional religious talk. But with the exception of writers like Posner and Stan, who follow the religious right closely, I think most of us assumed the tea party was a far more secular movement than it actually is. As we've been piecing together over the past few months, it's actually an amalgam of John Bircherism, crude Libertarianism, neo-confederatism and Christian Reconstructionism --- the creepiest marriage of far right ideology imaginable.
Alternet's Peter Montgomery has put together a convenient primer on all the religious fanatics who appeared at yesterday's Triumph of the Wingnut rally. They may have sounded bland and predictable on that stage yesterday, but scratch a little deeper and you have an epic collection of far right religious kooks that will make your hair stand on end.
David Barton was Beck’s co-host. Barton is the Religious Right’s favorite pseudo historian and Beck’s new favorite person. After decades of plying his “Christian nation” history through books and evangelical churches, Barton has a huge new national audience thanks to Beck’s patronage.
Barton did what he does, which is to show off his collection of old speeches and sermons that in his telling prove America was based on Christian principles and was never meant to be a secular nation. Barton’s message was partly to the pastors in attendance, telling them that early American preachers were better at preaching on the news of the day. Beck told the pastors in attendance that the event was meant to stiffen their spines, because the church had “gone soft.”