Monday, December 1, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance

In short, cognitive dissonance is the uncomfortable feeling caused by believing two contradictory ideas at the same time. The religious right is just a mass of cognitive dissonance. I fear at some point, the cognitive dissonance of the religious right will reach critical mass, form a black hole and kill us all.

A prime example of this is a poll on WND, entitled Is Barack Obama God's sovereign choice for America's next president?

There is so much wrong with that question I hardly know where to begin. First of all, you would have to believe that god not only exists, but that he is deeply involved in USian politics. For that, you would have to believe that god cares most about the US. (I haven't seen these people debating whether or not Nicolas Sarkozy is god's choice for the president of France. Then again, we all know god doesn't care about France. Heathens!)

Besides all that, either you believe god is in direct control in every movement of every person, in which case Obama winning is god's will, or you believe god has nothing to do with our lives (or doesn't even exist), in which case Obama's victory is the will of the people, end of discussion.

To believe, simultaneously, that god is in control of every aspect of every person's life, but that Obama is not god's choice, is a perfect example of cognitive dissonance. Either god is in charge, and he chose Obama, or god is not in charge and we chose Obama. The third option is to believe that we somehow superceded the will of god. That particular thought would lead one to atheism in about three steps.

3022 people voted. I did take a statistics class, and I know that certain factors affect this particular poll: the only people answering the poll are people who visit WND. The type of people who visist WND (other than me) tend toward one mindset: fundamentalist, conservative republicans. I'm sure they also tend to be in the same socio-economic group as well, though I'm not touching that.

My point? We're getting a good look at what WND afficionados think of Obama and god. It's illuminating.

33% (997 votes) chose No, he was the establishment media's choice - they just think they're God Apparently, 33% of these people believe that the liberal elites are more powerful than god, or god doesn't care who is president of the US. Or, they somehow manage to simultaneously believe that the liberal elites can defeat god's candidate and god is all-powerful. The mental gymnastics on that one must rival "Yes, he beats me to a bloody pulp on a regular basis-- because he loves me!"

27% (816 votes) chose Yes, God is sovereign over everything - all things, whether we like them or not, work to his purpose and his glory See, this is the cognitive dissonance that finally killed what remained of my faith. I believed that god had a plan for everyone . . . until I got lupus. After a few years of excruciating, unending pain that narcotics barely touch and that never, ever lets up for even a minute, I realized that if that was god's plan, he could shove it up his ass. Apparently, I'm just not good at self delusion.

10% (293 votes) chose Yes, and if this doesn't make Americans repent of their many sins, God could give us someone even worse next time Obama as punishment from the people who give you forced pregnancy as punishment. AAAHHHH, we'll have fewer dead soldiers! AAAAAAHHHHHHH, health care for everyone! Oh Lord, why have you forsaken me? (What would qualify as worse than W.? Oh yeah, Palin! Yikes!)

7% (200 votes) chose No, Obama is rabidly pro-abortion and God hates abortion First of all, Obama does not support abortions the way prolifers oppose them. They make the mistake of thinking prochoicers are as rabid as they are. We're not. I'm not saying abortion is a good thing. I probably wouldn't choose it for myself. I do not believe, however, that getting pregnant robs me of my rights, in favor of the fetus.

Beyond that, try reading the Old Testament. Really, actually, literally, with your own eyes, reading it. God loves abortion and infanticide. He must, he ordered the Israelites to do it often enough. He punished Israelites who wouldn't do it. He did it himself. God does hate shrimp, though.

Only 6% (179 votes) chose No, Obama's victory was the result of millions of Americans exercising their free choice I can't decide if it's good that 6% of people who visit WND are living in reality, or sad that only 6% of people who visit WND are living in reality. (The good news is, only 94% of people who visit WND are crazy. The bad news is, they own guns.)

Here are answers that received less than 5% of the vote.

Yes, and given his wealth-destroying economic philosophy, I fear his victory is evidence of God's displeasure with America a 36% tax rate is reagonomics, a 39% tax rate is socialism.

Yes, God is testing our patriotism to see if we'll prove worthy of the freedom he gave us - and for which so many made the ultimate sacrifice - by resisting Obama's tyrannical policies Yes, god wants you to be patriotic. To the US. Because god is a USian. What? And what tyrannical policies? Is health care bad?

Yes, if by "God" you mean Allah "Allah" is "god" in Arabic. Arabic-speaking Christians also pray to Allah. Spanish-speaking christians say "Dios", but they are not talking about a different entity. Of course, these are the same people that think that the King James version of the bible is the one true bible, because first century Judeans spoke 17th century english. (The stupid! It burns!)

Only 6 people figured out that the original question implied a less than omnipotent god, or a god that doesn't love the GOP. Yes, otherwise it means Obama not only beat McCain, be beat the Almighty

2 people think that god wrote the US Constitution. No, God believes in separation of church and state

This wouldn't be so appalling, except that these people vote. (shivers)

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