Over the last two decades, the Republican Party has become more and more sociopathic. The change for the worse is something that, in my view, directly correlates to the rise of the evangelical/fundamentalist Christians - those I refer to as the Christofascists - within the GOP. The result has been the transformation of the GOP from a party that honored knowledge and learning to one that embraces ignorance and a party that is defined by hatred of minorities and those who do not conform to Christofascist dogma. Most disturbing is today's GOP's disdain for the poor and less fortunate. If one takes a good look at evangelicals and fundamentalists one sees the same pathology as now exhibited by the Republican Party. A piece in HuffPost undertakes this examination of the self-styled "godly folk." Here are excerpts:
Since Evangelical Christianity began infiltrating politics, officially in the late 1970s, there has been a disturbing trend to limit or remove rights from those who don’t meet the conservative idea of an American. Many of these initiatives come in the form of “religious freedom” laws, which empower discrimination, while other legislation targets immigrants who believe differently. The result has been a sharp division in American culture, and the redefinition of Christian theology.
And somewhere in the middle of all the change, Evangelical Christianity crossed the line of faith and belief to hatred and abuse. Those who cruelly implement the actions of their faith are oblivious to the destruction they cause to their religion, or the people their beliefs impact. Is it fair to call it sociopathic?
Psychology Today listed sixteen characteristics of sociopathic behaviors, which include: Untruthfulness and insincerity, superficial charm and good intelligence, lack of remorse or shame, poor judgment and failure to learn by experience, pathologic egocentricity and incapacity for love, unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations, specific loss of insight, and general poverty in major affective reactions (in other words, appropriate emotional responses).
We see examples of these kinds of behaviors in church leaders and followers. Franklin Graham, for example, stated that immigration was “not a Bible issue.” His stand fits well with his conservative politics and vocal support of Donald Trump, but his callousness toward immigrants and those seeking asylum in the United States goes against everything he says he believes (Lev. 19:33-34, Mark 12:30-31). Yet, Graham doesn’t see one bit of irony between his political stance and his religious belief. Nor does he seem to notice the horrific casualties in war-torn countries these immigrants are desperately trying to flee.
Pastor Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento said after the Orlando, Florida terrorist attack on a gay nightclub, “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is — I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!” This “minister of God” showed no compassion for the families of the men and women who died. He appeared incapable of laying aside his religious beliefs for even a moment of shared human connection to a tragic event.
And recently, Kim Higginbotham, a minister’s wife and teacher with a master’s degree in special education, according to her website, wrote a public blog called “Giving Your Child to the Devil.” . . . . In a self-righteous, self-aggrandizing, martyr’s rant, she claims her son turned his back on God, and she was left with no other option but to abandon him. It turns out her son is gay and - it turns out - the day the diatribe was posted was his wedding day. Sharon Hambrick, a Christian writer, posted a wonderful response to this mom.
But mostly, rather than calling these people out for sociopathic behavior fellow Christians agree.
[W]hen we choose our “truth” while coldly watching a fellow human being suffer, we’ve crossed a line of mental health.
The 2016 election demonstrated an especially high level of insincerity, shamelessness, poor judgment and pathological egocentricity among Christian evangelicals.
The evangelical Christian message is loud and clear. They care for no one but themselves. Their devotion is to the version of Christianity they have created, which calls for ruthless abandonment of immigrants, women, children – even their own – and anyone else who doesn’t fall inline with their message. Social justice, which is mentioned in Bible verses over two thousand times, has been replaced with hardline political ideology. Principle over people. Indifference over involvement. Judgment over generosity.
Religious ideologies, interpretations, and doctrines are fluid. But whatever it is, or whatever it becomes, is made by the people who belong to the religion and what they collectively decide to make it.
Donald Trump is the product of this sociopathic nature of the evangelicals.