A sad aspect of our civilization, not just in America but all over the world many extremely religious Christian communities have a list of must-hate groups pined up by their pastor to their hearts and minds. On that list are the Jews, the alleged killers of their made-up god Jesus, the Masons, those Satan worshipers that want to take over the world together with the Jews, the homosexuals, the ones their ignorant imaginary god hates so much because they are not like them, Islam, the bad religion, because Christianity is the good religion, the socialist, a homosexual who is a Mason and a Jew, and anyone else whose color of the skin is not as white as theirs.
To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But a heresy it certainly is. Jesus told us indeed that ‘God is a spirit,’ but he has not defined what a spirit is, nor said that it is not matter. And the ancient fathers generally, if not universally, held it to be matter: light and thin indeed, an etherial gas; but still matter. (Letter to John Adams, August 15, 1820)
Despite that harsh condemnation of the video by the judge, Pat Robertson, the American televangelist and businessman who put the bases for an extremely political Christian Coalition, and also for a few personal shoddy business enterprises, found the video to be very, very instructive. Reverend Jerry Falwell, founder of the Christian Liberty University used to sell Barton’s books on his extremely lucrative Christian website, while James Dobson, a prominent evangelical Christian propagandist and radio host, gave him a public voice by repeatedly interviewing Barton on his program.
Bill O’Reilly, the FOX News commentator who occasionally reminds everyone he is a historian, trusted the information taken from David Barton’s books and videos was authentic without checking the source, though, something good historians usually do. During a National Public Radio interview with Terry Gross, O’Reilly adamantly declared that, “We are founded on a Judeo-Christian philosophy. There’s no question about that. And I have a degree in history, I have all of Jefferson’s and Madison’s letters and I know what I am talking about.” Anyone who does a search in Google for the words ‘James Madison letters’ will be able to read a collection made of 312 pieces of correspondence, some of which were quoted here. Not known for intellectual integrity or an accurate interpretation of facts, in a book called Who’s Looking Out for You?, “historian” O’Reilly uses one of the Madison quotes made up by Barton. That, however, was not the only time he was caught disseminating erroneous information from the pulpit offered by the ultra-conservative, pro-Republican, and pro-Christian cable station he works for. O’Reilly may hold a degree in history but he appears to be an expert in making up histories.
Logic and common sense invites to an inevitable conclusion: one of the most prominent characteristics of the American right wing conservatism is its identifying with the goals of the religious establishment. It was by the decision of a majority of the members of an able American government founded on strong, rational principles that religious organizations would be kept out of governing. As a result, churches have a more or less well-disguised disdain for an efficient government that acts based on reason instead of religious fervor. It is not exactly a surprised to see a political organization associated with the religious right, like the Republican Party, and a news organization like FOX News that profits from offering its platform as an extension of the Republican Party and a propaganda display board for the religious right, all three of them constantly advocating for a smaller and consequently less potent government. These organizations happen to be financed by corporate America, a corporate America that wants a weak government so it could do whatever it pleases it to do without any concern for Mother Nature or the well-being of a man whose hard work and difficult life is what corporate America was actually built on.