I started this post as a followup to my previous post on Palin hatred, and then I noticed this Instapundit post on the cluelessness of reporters who cover religion. I think it’s pretty safe to say that most reporters don’t know much about religion and neither do most academics or leftists in general.
That would certainly explain the following bizarre claim which I have seen more than once.
Palin is not bright, amoral, and divorced from reality. She is also a devotee of an apocalyptic toxic fundie xian cult, Assembly of god. I’d be afraid that President Palin would decide to help jesus bring about the End Times by launching our 5,000 nuclear weapons. Jesus is 2,000 years late and the Rapturists are getting more and more frantic about his nonappearance as time goes on.
WTF? The Assemblies of God is an apocalyptic cult? Since when? Isn’t like half of Kansas Assemblies of God? What, are they sneaking up on the missile silos?
I’d like to say that this is a rare comment but it isn’t.
If you look though any leftwing anti-Palin threads you will see this specific claim repeated at least once per thread, and just as with the thread this one shows up in, none of the other Palin critics seem to see anything bizarre about it in the least.
If nothing else, this claim reveals a stunning lack of understanding about Christian theology. None of the many variations on Christian theology hold that humans can accelerate the Second Coming. All agree that the date of the end of days is ordained by God. Heck, there isn’t even a Christian version of Kabbalism. There have been a lot of Christian sects or cults who have believed that the Rapture was going to happen any day now, but that is a far cry from thinking they could cause it.
I think this weird claim is some the best evidence for my hypothesis that the over-the-top Palin hated results from the status anxiety of leftwing intellectuals. I think they first experience an intense anger and hatred caused by their status anxiety. Then they have to rationalize those intense emotions, so that they can justify the emotions to themselves and others. They have little understanding of evangelical Christianity, but they have a vague idea that Christianity has an apocalypse, so they say to themselves, “That’s it! I feel so strongly about Palin because she plans to bring on a nuclear war!” Of course all of their social peers experience the same anxiety, so they buy right in to the claim and create a feedback loop. Before they know it, everyone in the peer group thinks it is perfectly reasonable that a major American political figure wants to start a nuclear war for mystical reasons.
Status anxiety is a very powerful emotion. It explains why supposedly intelligent, well educated people can suddenly revert to being the vilest religious bigots and see nothing odd about doing so.
But it has more serious consequences. If someone really believed that Palin or some other political figure was part of a cult that wanted to start a nuclear war, what could they justify doing? It would be easy to justify not only assassination of individuals but the deaths of thousands. Historically, when people started claiming that their political opponents represented the ultimate physical threat, things did not end well for the political opponents.
This is why I think we need to start calling leftists out on their emotional overload. We need to calm them down and stop them from working themselves up into a dangerous frenzy.