First of all, sorry about not posting for so long. I’ve been ill, and I’m just getting around to pretending to be normal.
Sociologically speaking, the American Dream is a religion – a civil religion, but a religion nonetheless. We have the Bill of Rights taking the spot of the Ten Commandments; we have heaven and hell in the form of wealth and poverty; and our politicians and pundits are our clergy. (Does that make the President the Pope?) Hell, we even have witch hunts of “socialists” as enemies of the religion who are, much like the original witch hunts, entirely innocent of the accusation.
The Right has twisted and usurped this civil religion so that it now resembles Dark Ages Catholicism. The overclass of the wealthiest and most powerful are using it to not only mask their own evils, but to trick the “serfs” into supporting the very people and system that prevents them from achieving their own wealth and independence. They keep the masses ignorant (Fox News & the Right’s scarily efficient propaganda machine spreading their muckraking into the mainstream; tax cuts in favor of more spending on education), which is the key to their success, just like in the Dark Ages.
Also just like the Dark Ages, it’s not about the religion, it’s about power. The religion is just a useful tool.
When Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, it brought the Church’s dirty laundry of corruption out into the open; more importantly, it also had the solutions to fix the corruption. The new invention of the printing press led it to spread like a viral video throughout Europe.
Sure, nowadays, we have people like Arianna Huffington and Michael Moore constantly calling out the Right on its crap, but they are seen as Outsiders at worst, malcontents at best, and are easily demonized by the Machine.
What we need is one of the Right’s clergy, preferably someone already well known in this age of short attention spans, to speak out against the Right and its Machine. That would someone they couldn’t demonize. That would be someone they couldn’t sweep under the rug of a false controversy. (“Ground zero mosque”, anyone?)
Also remember that Martin Luther didn’t just spark his own branch of Christianity; he led the Catholic Church to reform as well.