Finding one’s way out of the religious right.

Comments

  1. #1 Enoch
    September 17, 2009

    “Rachel Palin” … a Freudian slip of Biblical proportions?

  2. #2 Mike H
    September 17, 2009

    Hmmm, 35% of NJ Conservatives think that Obama is the anti-Christ …. remind me of the % of American democrats who thought Bush/Cheney were behind 9/11?

    I know …. thats not crazy, thats just “asking questions”.

  3. #3 Stephanie Z
    September 17, 2009

    Tell you what, Mike, you remind us of the number of American Democrats (yes, it’s capitalized) who thought Bush and Cheney were behind 9/11. In fact, find a survey that even asks that question. The surveys I’ve seen generally asked whether people thought they had prior knowledge of the attacks and didn’t do enough to prevent them. Given the “determined to attack within the U.S.” memo that the administration received, that may be an overstatement (or a poorly worded poll question), but no, it’s not crazy.

    The numbers go way down when people are asked whether they think the federal government directly took down the towers, but I haven’t seen any of those polls that also break out the results by political persuasion.

  4. #4 José
    September 17, 2009

    Hmmm, 35% of NJ Conservatives think that Obama is the anti-Christ …. remind me of the % of American democrats who thought Bush/Cheney were behind 9/11?

    Far, far less than 35%. Even if the numbers were comparable, the anti-Christ is an imaginary boogeyman. Thinking Bush/Cheney was behind 9/11 is silly, but it’s not in the same ballpark of silliness.

  5. #5 Tophe
    September 17, 2009

    I don’t think the conspiracy theories of 9/11 are silly given that Operation Northwoods was seriously considered.

  6. #6 dean
    September 17, 2009

    People form conspiracy theories about many events: reasons are complicated, but often they are unable to accept the fact that monumental, history-changing events can be caused by every-day, run-of-the-mill, people. Add in a little over-heated hatred of a political party, a man, and outright stupidity, and you have the folks who think Bush/Cheney et.al. were behind the events of September 11, 2001. Heck, people still believe similar things about Pearl Harbor.

    But

    * there was an attack on September 11, 2001, and millions of americans saw much of the coverage of the rest of that day, and the following days. The majority of them are not among the folks buying the conspiracy
    * as others have noted, polls have typically asked (essentially) “do you think the bush administration ignored information about the attack before it happened?” wording of these polls (especially the rasmussen polls) hasn’t been the best, and interpretations are dodgy. the 35% number, to which I believe the resident troll is hinting, is from that rasmussen poll, and doesn’t relate to whether people believe bush was behind the attacks, but whether he had prior knowledge of it. if that is the poll he’s referencing, it also showed that 39% of Democrats said Bush didn’t have prior knowledge
    * i have no idea for the resistance from the government, but there was resistance from high levels to an investigation surrounding the event and the months prior to it. for folks who buy into conspiracies, there is evidence of a coverup (I don’t think it is, just to be clear)

    Since the September 11 attacks did happen, and there was confusion, and there was the all-to-successful barrage by the administration to link Iraq to it, I don’t find it surprising that the conspiracy folks jumped all over it: it actually happened, and they are trying to find an explanation – even if they are chasing a foolish rainbow. I find it distressing they’re still clinging to it.

    On the other hand, since there really has never been any real evidence that a christ figure ever existed (and even if someone so identified did exist, there is no evidence he/she was a god personified), believing such, and thinking there could be an anti-christ, is stupidity on an entirely different level.

  7. #7 Devlin Carnet
    September 17, 2009

    Your word for the day: misology, the hatred of reasoning

  8. #8 José
    September 17, 2009

    I don’t think the conspiracy theories of 9/11 are silly given that Operation Northwoods was seriously considered.

    They wouldn’t need anything on the scale of 9/11 to do the job, and they definately wouldn’t have linked everything to an intermediate terrorist group that had no involvement with Iraq. So, the idea that Bush/Cheney were behind 9/11 is still silly.

  9. #9 José
    September 17, 2009

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but comments aren’t working in Firefox for this post. I had to use IE.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    September 17, 2009

    We are having a commetning issue, apparently. I’ve reported it, and I don’t underwstand it.

  11. #11 Anne Gilbert
    September 17, 2009

    Unlike Schaeffer, I don’t believe the evangelicals are all, necessarily “beyond crazy”. And while I am pretty sure that the Republican party cis pretty much taken over by these “cultural conservatives”, the “cultural conservatives” themselves are being used bcy what I think are basically a bunch of fascist wannabes who want to establish a fascist state where people shout about Jesus, rather than go heiling down the main street of Yourtown USA. Some evangelciccals cbuy into this stuff, but I don’t think by any meancs all of thcem do, and while believing, litercally, in a six-dcay crecation story,c rather than evolution, may be important to them, the whole “end times” theology may or may not be so. Again, some of them obviously do, and some evangelical leaders promote this forc their own purposces, but I’m not surec it’s entirely universacl. We should be careful how we characterize some group we don’t qcuite understand. Politically, they need to be countered, vigorously, however, and if they don’t accept the facts, and promote conspiracies of one kind or another, they should be ignored. The media should be the first to start ignoring them.
    Anne G

  12. #12 Mike H
    September 17, 2009

    The numbers go way down when people are asked whether they think the federal government directly took down the towers, but I haven’t seen any of those polls that also break out the results by political persuasion.

    There are also accusations being made following the 9/11 terrorist attack. One of these is: People in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the [sic] United States to go to war in the Middle East.

    Very likely 16%
    Somewhat likely 20%
    Not likely 59%
    Don’t know 5%

    Very Likely breakdown:

    Dem 22.6%
    GOP 4.9%
    Inde 16.7

    Somewhat likely breakdown:

    Dem 28.2%
    GOP 12.6%
    Inde 15.2%

    This means that, according to the Scripps poll, about half of Democrats, about a third of Independents and nearly a fifth of Republicans said it was “likely” that “federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them” in order to go to war.

    http://realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2009/08/14/truther-denial/

    Bur we should cut them some slack … after all they are on our side.

  13. #13 Stephanie Z
    September 17, 2009

    …or took no action to stop the attacks…

    I already addressed this. It has nothing to do with sides.

    Given the “determined to attack within the U.S.” memo that the administration received, that may be an overstatement (or a poorly worded poll question), but no, it’s not crazy.

    Others in this thread have as well. When you have an either/or question in a poll, you can’t tell what percent of the respondents are endorsing what. When you have a question in a poll that makes reference to things outside the poll (“accusations being made”), you have no way of knowing what people are mapping onto your poll question. It’s bad polling.

  14. #14 Stephanie Z
    September 17, 2009

    For comparison’s sake, the question in the poll quoted above was, “Do you think Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ?”

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_NJ_916.pdf

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    September 18, 2009

    I think there is not a valid equivilance between:

    “X is the anti-christ” (where, as I understand it, “anti-christ” is some sort of magical being that in truth could not possibly exist) and “The government had an inkling but did nothing about it”

    The latter is plausable (personally, I don’t know) and does not relate to non-existent spooky being thingies.

    The small percentage of Americans (less than 5 percent) who thought that the US gov. actively did this is very small, and of course, they are insane. Probably.

  16. #16 Rev Matt
    September 18, 2009

    @Mike H: Are your math skills really that bad? Or are you just hoping people don’t do more than skim it and take you at your word?