BrainSparks #America’s trillion dollar king-maker

Contrary to common perception, Religion is not in decline and may well have been the unifying factor in bringing Trump the Presidency.

Robert Jones, writing in the New York Times after the election, concluded that white Christian Americans “swarmed to the polls to elect as president the candidate who promised to make America great again”; the man who would “turn back the tide of cultural and economic change.”

If true, it’s curious that believers should acquiesce to such a vain-glorious premise.

In the Presidential election, the exit polls showed that 81% of white evangelical voters voted for Donald Trump, effectively carrying him into office.

The concept of Religion as king-maker is not entirely new in the broader panoply of history, but in the 21st Century could it be that the Industry of Religion is too big and too powerful to be sidelined.

religiontrillionsReligion contributes $1.2 trillion each year to the US economy. These contributions range from the basic economic drivers of any business – staff, overheads, utilities – to billions spent on philanthropic programs, educational institutions and healthcare services. So, is Religion, God forbid, too big to be allowed to fail?

Judge it for yourselves.

>Henry VIII famously manipulated religion to serve his own nefarious purposes<

© Rivenrod 2016


  1. I’ve noticed a strange backlash against manners over here, against being nice, that’s crazymaking when you consider that those who feel that way are the first to say they’re churchgoing, decent folk. Their actions and rhetoric say that manners only go one way — toward them. I wrote a pair of 100 word poems about this on Medium because the strangeness of interviews with his followers confused and upset me so much.

    Perhaps more than the religious angle, it was the meanness, the bullying angle that drew so many people to him — some because they are bullies too, and others because they want to be led away from progress and need a bully (the opposite of President Obama) to protect them from the equality and openness of a changing world.


    1. Meanness is pervasive and, it seems to me, prevalent just about everywhere.

      The world has become a strange place to me. I’m not sure as yet whether this is because I was blinkered to the reality previously and am therefore reacting to situations that actually did not exist. I certainly wanted everything to be wonderful in this 21st Century Garden of Eden-Tech. For a very long time, from my mid-teens, even through my career building phase I kind of thought that disasters and chaos happened in manageable pockets. That we, as human beings, could manage them one after another. But it isn’t like that. There’s so much wrong with our world, imposed by humanity, the danger is that the glories are buried and only surface sporadically.

      Like so many of my generation, and presumably yours, I’m at a loss to understand the root cause of so much deep-seated overall unhappiness. Day to day, I celebrate joys and triumphs, of course I do, these are the little things that keep us going, but if asked the direct question, “Overall, are you happy with the condition of your world?” I would have to say No. And if asked, “What do you think will happen?” I would have to say that, it seems to me, we as a species, are balancing on the most dangerous of edges. This avalanche of hypocrisy, megalomania, chaos and deceit smells to me like the early sign of going into labour. The waters have broken or are about to, to be greeted with anxious confusion as such things always are. After that, it’s impossible to judge what will happen. The hope is that humanity will be drawn together and will uphold the common human values of treating others as you wish to be treated. But most of all I would hope that humanity resolves to think more and act minimally.

      There are precious few THINKERS. Obviously, our political leaders don’t encourage THINKING on the basis that it can lead to radicalism and honesty. Our entire education system is biased against those people prepared to think differently. Not the sort of radicalism they use as a stick to beat fear into us with. No, I mean radicalism in its purest sense, thinking outside the box to find solutions. Their fear is that THINKING would also encourage equality which would lead to the eradication of boundaries and borders and finally lead to the abolition of the absurd concept of nationhood.

      That is what I hope will happen.


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