What a Disappointment: Crony Capitalism and the Religious Right

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As you may recall, I’m a friend neither of crony capitalism nor of the religious right.

I hate crony capitalism, because it corrupts honest people just trying to run honest businesses and do an honest day’s work. That’s one of the reasons, I think, why everyone loves the “free market” but despises “capitalism.”

And when it comes to Christian politics, if Jesus were here preaching today— He wouldn’t be preaching by the seashore, of course. But on his YouTube channel, I think he’d more often support the ACLU than the ACLJ. And when challenged by James Dobson and Roberta Combs—as he was challenged by the Sadducees and Pharisees—he’d probably say something about giving unto Obama that which is Obama’s, and giving unto God that which is God’s.

So when a friend sent out a link to this piece on the Psychology Today website, entitled “The Unseen Influence of the Religious Right,” I was truly hoping for some solid ammunition.

Instead, I read the whole thing, and all I got was this stinkin’ blog post.

Being on the Psychology Today site, I expected the piece to go into the motivations and needs of religious voters, and how businesses are leveraging those needs to promote crony capitalism. But I saw none of that, not even an explanation of the political tactics businesses are supposedly using to appeal to voters on the religious right. I wanted the author to cite historical details, to name names, and to explain the psychology behind the phenomena. He barely approached step one.

Yes, I know it’s only a blog post. And you can’t expect a blog post to be as thoroughly researched or as detailed as a feature-length article— That’s bullshit, by the way, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that it’s true. Even so, I expected at least a short overview and a few allusions to details that I could research on my own. After all, this blog post you’re reading now, it’s about the same length as Dave Niose’s— And I swear that’s his name, and I’ve spelled it the same way as on the Psychology Today website, and I haven’t turned it into any of a number of very funny jokes. My blog post is about the same size as his, but it does cite details. Not a lot of detail, just enough for a taste.

For example:

And he keeps capitalizing “Religious Right,” as though it were a proper noun— It isn’t, and neither does it refer specifically to the Christian right, which is a subset of the religious right. But he refuses to name specific organizations or movement leaders, so I don’t really know who he’s talking about.

I also had assumed mistakenly that posting on PsychologyToday.com, the author might have something to do with psychology, or psychologists, or the social sciences, or something of that nature. Unfortunately, Dave Niose is neither a psychologist nor a psychological researcher, at least not according to his bio. Rather, he “is an attorney, activist, and writer… [and] president of the Washington-based American Humanist Association.”

Oy, frackin’, vey!

Well, that certainly qualifies him! I mean, I’m not a psychologist either. Nor do I claim to be. But at least I can claim to be a character author, which at least gives me a unique view on human psychology. Even if you wouldn’t want me to counsel you—and you wouldn’t—at least I can claim to be a thinking man with insights into the human condition. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why would anyone want to lay claim to being “an attorney, activist, and writer… [and] president of the Washington-based American Humanist Association”?

So… Why is this one-sided political screed on the Psychology Today website? Disappointing.