If I were to categorize the most odious elements of the Republican party, I have to put at the top of the list their blatant disregard for facts and reason.
Evolution, climate change, the alleged historical accuracy of scripture - the Republican culture is one that completely abdicates rational thought and evidence. Their modes of thinking even extend to questions such as whether there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or whether Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the attacks on 9/11.
They live in fantasy world where they start with what they WANT to be true, and judge evidence and arguments on whether they support the desired conclusion.
They do not think.
Just to be clear, I am not applying this criticism to all Republicans, conservatives, or theists - but to a substantial subset that has abdicated the responsible use of their brain and a respect for truth and reason.
I do not doubt that there is a huge religious influence in creating this phenomenon. These are the dispositions that come from most types of religious training. "Have faith. Ignore evidence. Shut your mind off to reasoned arguments. Simply believe. It does not matter what you believe as long as you believe. Truth is irrelevant. Evidence can't be trusted."
Former president George "The Decider" Bush confessed that his decisions did not come from his brain. They came from his gut. We see how well that turned out. His decisions - his beliefs - proved to have no foundation in reality. But they did get 150,000 people killed.
They are not living in the real world.
Here is a case in point - historian David Barton's fictitious history of the United States.
Chris Rodda refutes Barton's claim that Jefferson signed his documents, "The year of the lord Christ." Barton attributed to Jefferson religious wording that actually was not Jefferson's at all. It was dictated by international treaty as the wording required for documents seeking safe travel at sea. Barton is even mistaken about Jefferson being the only President to use that language - since the treaty came into effect long before Jefferson took office and remained in effect long after he left.
Listen to the attached video.
Either Barton is a fraud in the sense that he is presenting claims he knows to be false, or he is a fraud in the sense that he presents himself as a historian who has done his research when, in fact, he has not.
However, to his followers, fraud isn't a concern. It counts as bearing false witness, but it is not judged as worthy of any type of moral condemnation.
But, then again, consistency is reserved for beings who have the capacity to think and reason. Those with the brains of zombies have no trouble holding contradictions even this close together.
The function of this fraud is to provide social, economic, and political power to religious leaders.
Plese note that I said "function" and not "purpose". "Purpose" requires a particular level of thought and planning - it requires intent. Thought, planning, and intent are not commonly attributable to people whose mental faculties resemble that of your average zombie.
Its function is to create a herd of unthinking, easily manipulated intellectual zombies under the direction of a leader that then can direct this zombie army to serve the leader's purposes.
The larger the zombie army one controls, the more social influence one has. So, there is a strong driving force to recruit new zombies.
Of course, the effect of zombification is most effective when it is used on children. The largest and most successful zombie armies are those that can infect children at a young age. When a young child is turned into such a zombie, the effects are often deep and permanent.
Barton and Beck have little reason to be concerned that their fraud becomes known. Remember, the zombie army shuns evidence and reason. Evidence and reason require the exercise of mental faculties that have completely atrophied among those who make up the zombie army. The zombie army will continue to buy tickets to their shows. Corporations will continue to pay huge sums to show their products to the zombie army, particularly when it comes with at least an implicit endorsement by the zombie master.
In fact, much of the zombie army has lost the capacity even to recognize fraud - let alone generate a morally appropriate response to it.
Besides, the professor in this video - to be honest - does not have the stage presence of a Barton or a Beck. One of the facts about being a zombie master is that the zombie army is attracted to leaders based - not on their command of the facts, but by their stage presence. Can the zombie master put on a good show? If he can, the zombie army will follow.
Evidence like that presented in this video against Barton's history, evidence for evolution and human influence on the climate, evidence for the age of the earth, evidence of the errors in scripture - none of this has any power against the members of the zombie army.
You simply cannot ignore that much evidence and be anything other than an intellectual zombie.
Well, there might be a few for whom the process of zombification was not totally effective, but they do tend to be rare.