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In the Broadway show, "The Book of Mormon," there is a song called. "I Believe."  The song includes a number of things that you must believe in order to believe in Mormonism.  For example, according to the song, Mormons believe that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri, and in 1978, God changed his mind about black people.  

I was working on a parody about the last election titled, "Obamalot and The Book of Romney."  I was going to use "I Believe" to talk about crazy things that Republicans believe.  I have written about Republican's and their beliefs before.  In a post titled, "It's All About Faith,"  I talked about how Republicans use the language of belief so that they do not need to provide actual data backing up their statements (i.e, "This President is one who, I believe, does not love America like I do.").

More Belief below the fold

As the Republican Party proposed cutting food stamps by $39 billion over the next 10 years a couple of congressmen had stories of he obvious fraud occurring in the program.  One talked about two young fit people who paid for their groceries with an EBT card (i.e, food stamps), another cited someone using it to guy Alaskan Crab Legs.  While nobody disputed the crab legs story, some in the media bubble questioned the congressman's ability to determine eligibility by the appearance of the recipients.  I don't believe that either story is true.  However, I do believe that the congressmen believe it happened.

I recently had a conversation with one of my right wing friends.  I told him about how a Texas Judge was disenfranchised by the new voter ID law where the polling place happened to be her own courthouse!  He responded that he believed that this would not actually be a big problem for people (This was before it also happened to former Speaker of the House Jim Wright).  I told him that voter fraud was not a big problem.

He believed it was.  I cited hard data that studies show it occurs in thousandths of a percent of the time.  He responded that he believed it happened more than that.  I said that yes, I know he believes that, but he does not have proof to back it up.  He said he believed he did have proof.  He never cited it.  Worse still, he probably believes he did cite proof- the proof being that he believed it.

I do not believe that the woman who told Michele Bachmann that her daughter became autistic after getting a vaccine exists.  The doctor who told Todd Akin that in a legitimate rape, women's bodies can shut the whole thing down was likely riding on a unicorn.

They believe that the restoration of higher tax rates on the wealthiest 2% will wreck the economy despite the evidence from the Clinton administration that the opposite is true.  When confronted with the economic statistics of Bush 43, they just say he didn't go far enough.  When confronted with the fact that supply side economics does not work, they say it hasn't worked YET.

They believe that calling their policy pronouncements pro-growth and pro-freedom means that they are.  They believe that factual analysis contradicting their beliefs are skewed and (Todd) akin to personal attacks.  They believe that when Stephen Colbert says that reality has a liberal bias, he is being serious.

In the movie "Constantine,"  Keanu Reeves tells the Archangel Michael that he "believes" and Michael responds that he doesn't believe, he knows and there is a difference.  The Right "believes" and acts on that belief as if it is knowledge, even when what it believes is demonstrably untrue.

Originally posted to Woody25 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:28 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If You Bought Crab Legs You Don't Get Extra Money (38+ / 0-)

    for the month. Assuming it happens.

    What do they care if someone buys crab legs and then has to spend 4 days at the end of the month not eating?

    They intend to throw people off so they can spend all 30 days not eating.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:35:42 PM PST

  •  "They believe that the restoration ... (22+ / 0-)

    of higher tax rates on the wealthiest 2% will wreck the economy".

    Yet, they are determined to force a default on U.S. debt, thereby detonating the world's debt markets.

    What they really believe is that the swinging-from-the-chandeliers, try-and-make-me assholery that can spontaneously overtake a roomful of unsupervised ten-year-olds is just too much fun to give up.

  •  Let's see if this works. (12+ / 0-)

    I believe they are all bat s**t crazy! OMG. I does work!

    Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    by Ellen Columbo on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 08:06:17 PM PST

    •  Dammit. That should read "it" as in (4+ / 0-)

      It does work!

      Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

      by Ellen Columbo on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:02:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Falling for hoaxes doesn't make you crazy. (3+ / 0-)

        These high-impact hoaxes are given professional Ad Biz husbandry. And it's been going on with big propaganda budgets for decades.

        The GOP gave itself over to Lee Atwater and then Limbaugh and Karl Rove. Anything to win. But those boys only peddle lies, only build hoaxes. That's a nasty-bad long term bet.

        It does work pretty well for cults. hoaxes can live for ever.

        "Receive, Remember, Apply" -- that is exactly what LDS Salt Lake City has been pushing. They'll make the decisions. They know best. That applies to every effing thing on earth.

        LDS don't need no quality control. The "I Believe" song don't exist no more. Cults don't do quality control.

        And the kids/Elders doing their two years in the NY/NJ/CT area are explicitly under orders not to see the play. That is an excommunication-able offense.

        Yeah, it's a cult. D'oh. Just like the GOP and their plagiarist/racial-hatred leadership.

  •  Don't make fun of the Mormons for declaring that (9+ / 0-)

    the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri.  From where I sit, that's as likely as any place else.  

    And you've got to give them an "A" for originality.  I am a little disappointed, though, that they couldn't manage to nudge it into Utah.  Jackson County has nothing on Bryce Canyon.

    One thing's for sure, though.  The Garden of Eden most definitely was NOT in New Zealand, unless, of course, it was underwater, like Atlantis.  Anyone know why?

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:15:02 PM PST

  •  Here ya go: (9+ / 0-)

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 12:29:00 AM PST

  •  Flaw in tales of food stamp abuse? (11+ / 0-)

    For each observation of purported able-bodied food stamp abuse...
     maybe the purchaser was performing errands for the actual 'food stamps' recipient, who isn't ambulatory, I've done errands for elderly relatives, though they weren't food stamp recipients.

    Conservatives relied too much on assumption or guessing based on  (stereotyping) prejudice. They then hastily believed their misled suspicion without any fact-finding effort.
    So as you write here, credulity is conservatives character flaw.
    however if these  eyewitness tales were told by politicians, then the problematic character flaw is deceit.
    These politicians are deceitful manipulators of the credulous common conservative voters.

    ♥ Repeal the Capital Gains, Carried Interest & Dividends Entitlements bequeathed to 'more special' taxpayers.

    by in on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 02:44:30 AM PST

    •  The rumor mill too (9+ / 0-)

      Remember a few weeks back when the Giant Xerox Brain crashed and shut down EBT terminals in 17 states? People's EBT cards wouldn't work in stores, people couldn't get their TANF cash, I think even child support money was hung up.

      I just casually asked a cashier in a store I stop at now and then if they were affected by that... just makin' conversation. She comes back with this story about how people were getting "free food" because the terminals at a local chain store looked like they were accepting the cards, but the purchases weren't really being deducted (when you get your receipt the balance remaining on the card is shown).

      Anyway, when the food stamp parasites noticed this, they went home and called all their friends. Said local store was jammed with people whose carts were overflowing!!!! Yes, It's True!

      Okay, I came home and googled this story. There were a couple of Wal Mart stores in Louisiana that decided to allow the purchases made with EBT cards (keeping track of the amount and card info for processing later no doubt). They did get flooded with people - some of whom didn't have much of a balance on their cards.

      I wonder though, was it the promise of "FREE FOOD?" Or perhaps it was the fact that these were the only stores allowing EBT purchases at that time? As I recall, it took several hours for the cause to wend its way through the retail world and for decisions to be made.

      Whatever, two stores - over a thousand miles away from here - and it was the store manager's decisions to allow the transactions to take place. But this cashier in a little village market tells it like it happened all over the country, and even happened RIGHT HERE and "you'd think they'd be grateful to be getting help."

      I'm fairly certain that if she told me this story, she told others. No doubt it is now firmly rooted as fact in the minds of many many people here.

      This is the kind of stuff that's hard to beat to death. If we have to debunk every RWNJ rumor du jour, we'll never get anything else done. The Thug party puppet masters count on that and the ignorance of their base.

      Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

      by Pariah Dog on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:34:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You make a great point (5+ / 0-)

      about able-bodied people doing errands for the homebound.  I had not considered that.  I do, however, doubt that any of these politicians were in a supermarket.

    •  You can be "able-bodied"... (6+ / 0-)

      and still need food stamps.  I know plenty of able-bodied college students who work but don't make enough to be over the TARP limit, and they get assistance.  I guess I'm supposed to be upset that a few of my tax dollars are going to help our future doctors, nurses, engineers, and teachers to eat while they're in school, but I just can't gin up the outrage.

      I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

      by Russycle on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:48:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The 'No True Supply-Side' fallacy (5+ / 0-)

    Up until a few years ago, Greece was practicing hyper supply-side policy. Again due to deceit and naive credulity, cons won't admit that the high Greek national debt can be explained  simple arithmetic.

    ♥ Repeal the Capital Gains, Carried Interest & Dividends Entitlements bequeathed to 'more special' taxpayers.

    by in on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 03:09:47 AM PST

  •  Let's minimize blaming the people (6+ / 0-)

    who are victimized by GOP hoaxes.

    They are our neighbors.

    They are Americans.

    Take away the hoaxes and they're really pretty normal. Figure how warped a perception of reality has to be for someone to want to follow a Ted Cruz or a Ron Paul. Or to fall for the Tea Party billlionaires' scam.

    Consider the structure of the "Birther" hoax.

    And the public attackers running these hoaxes are Ad Biz professionals. Backed by $3,000,000,000 from the Kochs over the years and more than that from other RWNJ paranoid billionaires. Every one of them Birchers.

    Yes, paranoids. Mentally disordered, very rich men.

    It's no accident that the GOP has sold fear since the 1950s. Communism, Black people, Brown people, whatever. Their big money comes from paranoids -- Fred Koch financed the John Birch Society from the first day of its founding.

    •  So they're not resposible for their actions? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sorry, but the majority of violent acts committed by right-wingers are carried out by the rank and file, not the leadership.  Anyone exposed to right-wing propaganda has access to alternative points of view if they can only be bothered to look.  If they've been taken in, they have no one to blame but themselves.

      •  I disagree... (4+ / 0-)

        That's like blaming every victim of every scam in history.  These people are relentlessly bombarded by sophisticated propaganda on a daily basis from supposedly mainstream sources like Fox News and CNN.  They hear it from their bosses at work, from their ministers at church and from their friends and relatives who all get it from the same places.  It plays on their fears and their insecurities.  It makes them feel part of the "US" in the us vs them set up.  A lot of these people work two jobs and support a family and can barely manage to keep up with what is going on in the world so they take the pre-packages concepts that sound plausable and allow them to sound informed at the water cooler.  That's all they know.  

        They know they are working their asses off and still getting no where and someone has to be to blame.  They see the poor sitting at home because they live in the same neighborhoods or close to them.  They know people who cheat.  They know people who are lazy.  They don't know people like the Kock brothers.  They do not see them at the grocery store or at school functions.  They have no idea of the extravagance in which they live.  When one side says its that lazy, cheat in your neighborhood's fault, they can relate to that.  When someone says it's that rich guy raking in billions, they think, "I ain't never seen one of those" because they haven't.  Who would they rather aspire to be?  The lazy cheat or the billionaire?  Nothing wrong with being a billionaire so the lazy cheat must be to blame.

        Critical thinking skills and an interest in political discourse is not as common around the country as it is here in the land of dKos.  We cannot hold everyone to the same standards nor can we judge whether they are good or bad people because they do not understand things like we do.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:26:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The way they think (6+ / 0-)

    In a discussion group, I wrote that because of the Nov. 1 food stamp cuts, the average 3 person family would lose 16 meals a month.

    Here is one response:

    16 meals per month for a family of three means that each member loses 5.33 meals per month.

    A person losing 5.33 meals per month loses 1.23 meals per week.

    A person losing 1.23 meals per week loses 0.176 meal per day.

    A person losing 0.176 meal per day loses 0.0586 meal per meal.

    Therefore, what's the big deal?

    How is it that Dickens characters proliferate 150 years later in this country?

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:22:49 AM PST

  •  they're faith-based in all things (7+ / 0-)

    Ever since the religious right melded with the Republican party, both their politics and their religious faith have been destroyed.  They talk about Jesus but they practice Ayn Rand (which is about as opposite as you can get), and they bring the same "faith" to politics as they do to the spiritual.   They've been seeing facts as things that you have to work around to keep believing things that you want to believe for so long that they no longer have the critical thinking skills to reason things out, even if they wanted to.  The part of their brains that use reasoning have atrophied so much that they're just not there anymore.  Their politics is just like "intelligent design" -- it's bullshit but it comforts them because it dismisses the facts that are in the way of the way they wish things to be.  They don't care about evidence -- they just "believe."  Most of them really can't do anything else.

    I see this with right-wingers at work all the time.  When given a problem at work that requires analysis to come up with a solution, they give up immediately and run to one of the rest of us for help (a.k.a. do it for them).  It's not just religion and it's not just politics -- it's all of their thinking processes.  They haven't been hitting the iron, so they can't lift.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:33:41 AM PST

  •  If you ever wondered why (6+ / 0-)

    there was such a strong affinity for the GOP among fundamentalists -- this is your answer.

    Fundamentalists/true believers are thoroughly indoctrinated (or genetically predisposed) to accepting things "on faith" without questioning. (In fact, questioning will get you a ticket to hell in many fundamentalist sects.) That makes them prime targets for GOP bullshit.

    Conflating fundamentalist Christians with GOPers makes it hard to understand some of the GOPs decidedly unChristian actions (like cutting food stamps and their other assaults on the poor). Once you realize that fundies are also their victims, it is easier to understand. The GOP pols actually  worship money, personal privilege and power,  but they have learned to use the language faith and the right-wing echo chamber to create a reliable base of support.

    This doesn't excuse fundies, but it does explain why there is so much tension between the Tea Party and the GOP "leadership." Former Congressman and professional huckster Dick Armey (through Freedomworks) cynically created the Tea Party to stir up fundies against ACA, but when he was ousted at Freedomworks and ceased to control the Tea Party agenda, the base began to take over the Tea Party.

    What we seen now as the implosion of the GOP is actually the dichotomy between true believers and cynical manipulators. It is why the Tea Party thinks GOP candidates like Christie and Romney are illegitimate. And why "mainstream GOP" candidates can't get past a primary.

    We have always known that GOP pols lie about anything and everything. The only thing they truly believe in is self-preservation by any means. Fundies also strongly believe that the end justifies the means, so they go along with the pols because they "know" their cause is right. That has created a veneer that covered their basic disagreements for a long time.

    It looks like the GOP "old guard" is trying to reassert its control of the party again, like it did in nominating Romney. We'll see how that works out. They may find out that fundie leaders like Rafael Cruz are more formidable than they understand. After all, those "pastors" have been leading (and fleecing) their "flock" for a lot longer than the GOP and they aren't going to jump off of that gravy train willingly.

    The reason they were the good old days: we were neither good nor old.

    by carolita on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 06:45:24 AM PST

  •  What I find amazing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the level of cognitive dissonance displayed by
    the "True Believers".

    "There is no mental process that can change the laws of
    nature or erase facts." - Ayn Rand.

    Obviously, Ayn Rand NEVER met a member of the Tea party.

    What is equally Obvious is that the Teabaggers that have
    elevated Ayn Rand to Sainthood are also Ignoring what
    Ayn Rand actually said.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:35:41 AM PST

  •  Why, in general, is it anyone's business what (10+ / 0-)

    people buy with their SNAP benefits? Most people who receive them have worked in their lives. We all pay for this, though it's tough to get this benefit even when you really need it.

    My late husband was on permanent disability, and received the maximum amount allowed for a single male (this is before we were married, of course, which was practically on his deathbed). It was less than 150 dollars a month. He, and later, we, used these benefits to purchase whole, nutritious foods which we lovingly prepared for one another, eating dinner every night, at the table. Of course, I had other income so our grocery bill was larger than his benefits. But I suspect, given my penchant for gourmet cooking on a budget, many Republicans would have found our eating habits "uppity". I'll cop to that. But it was our business. My husband worked for many, many years. He paid into the benefits he received when he became permanently unable to work.

    I, for one, refuse to apologize for it. I know he wouldn't.

    •  Mmmm, uppity. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Mayfly, Sue B, PaloAltoPixie

      But we must understand that a lot of what sets apart a progressive ideology and a conservative ideology is, at its root, about belief.  I believe it ought to be high priority to care for the poor and needful.  Many poor and needful people, I believe, are trapped in a cycle of poverty and need that may or may not be a result of their own choices but I believe they ought to be helped.  I believe that it is bad for all of us whenever another person is poor, hungry or homeless or lacking healthcare.  Others may believe that they deserve their misery because they are lazy.  And they believe that their misery is not so bad for anyone but the sufferer.  Those are both value judgments based on belief systems.

      I think the distinction is that conservatives try to back up their beliefs with other beliefs or outright fabrications whereas progressives are more fact and evidence based in drawing up a belief.

      Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

      by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:21:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Values vs. belief (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What you discuss as "beliefs" I would consider to be values, and, yes, those can differ vastly from one person to another.  Where we run into real trouble is when people believe that, just as they can hold their own set of values, they can also hold their own set of facts to support them.  As Bernard Baruch said, "Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts."

  •  On NPR They said the 'Book of Mormon' (0+ / 0-)

    Also poked fun at Africans, Christianity etc.
    I havent watched it my self is there a video of the act/play?

    •  The show is doing far to well at the box office (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mayfly, TrueBlueMajority

      for them to allow a video of the whole play to be available.  One of the comments linked to the performance of the song at the Tony Awards.

      The writers are also the creators of South Park and are proven equal opportunity offenders.

  •  Belief bleeds through.. (2+ / 0-)

    Right-wingers tend to be more religious, and for them, belief is at the heart of their "knowledge" system.  They believe the bible is true, and so therefore they act as if it is.  There are many things that are not religiously based but are, for them, "common sense" or "common knowledge' that are in reality anectdotes that they have heard or read and which they agree evidence needed.  Therefore they discount having to have evidence, because they "know" these things, and they don't HAVE to present evidence... "everybody" knows them!  To call these things into question indicates that you are one of "them"... one of "those"... the people who are always stirring up trouble and calling into question what "everyone knows is true" and trying to "confuse people", change things, call into question all the things they take for granted, and which clearly indicates that you CAN'T be trusted.

  •  Never argue belief, it doesn't mean anything. (0+ / 0-)

    People are free to say they believe anything.  I can say I believe I can fly, does it matter?  It doesn't matter until I try to jump off a bridge.  And if I never try jumping off a bridge, my belief doesn't matter.  Your 'friends' can say they believe anything they want, it doesn't matter.  Judge them by their actions.

    And we love to wear a badge, a uniform / And we love to fly a flag But I won't...let others live in hell / As we divide against each other And we fight amongst ourselves

    by ban48 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:23:29 PM PST

  •  Faith is the enemy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I define faith as belief without evidence.  Although it sometimes brings comfort in grief, I believe (with evidence) that faith is ultimately destructive.  Although we cling to it, it disappoints again and again.  This is what Republicans mean when they say "believe."  Thy mean they have faith that it exists.

    Old Hippies Never Give Up!

    by ravenrdr on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:38:58 PM PST

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