The Arrogance of C4GC
In my previous post on the subject, I consigned the behavior and statements of C4GC founders, Jodi Riddleberger and Jeff Hyde, to narcissistic sociopathy. And while that might be true, it does not completely address their mindset or that of those who continue to defend them. Sadly, it will be impossible to elaborate on this problem without alluding to the recent passing of former C4GC member and beloved leader of the GCGOP.
Brenner gained the ire of C4GC several years ago when he learned that one of their number had been convicted many years earlier of having sex with a fifteen year old and filming it. It is my understanding that from the time he left C4GC until his passing, Brenner worked tirelessly on behalf of the GCGOP. Indeed, he was scheduled to speak at Saturday’s convention and I understand a local pastor read the speech instead to thunderous approval. The moment was all the more poignant because many of those in attendance had just returned from Brenner’s funeral, also an event with a great outpouring of love and affection from his many friends.
Several witnesses to the convention indicate that following the speech, a number of C4GC members in attendance remained seated as the audience rose to their feet in applause. It is also said that as a departing prayer for Brenner was being spoken, Jeff Hyde rose and exited the room. Why would members of C4GC act so strangely? The answer is quite simple: they consider themselves to be true believers and anyone who does not agree with them is a secular apostate.
Yes, there are narcissistic sociopaths such as the Riddlebergers in C4GC. There is also a sexual deviant and a strip club owner. However, they have apparently convinced C4GC that they are born again, even while continuing to conduct what reasonable people consider a sinful lifestyle. Our research confirms that right wing authoritarians often harbor cognitive dissonance or the ability to hold diametrically opposing viewpoints. The rest of us simply call it hypocrisy. In this instance, it is also important to remember we are not dealing with very bright or introspective people.
And that lack of intelligence serves them well when appraising the actions of those whom they have judged to be engaged in secular pursuits, such as the GCGOP. It is primarily for that reason that they have continually sought to take over the GCGOP, without bothering to participate and rise up through the ranks. These religious fundamentalists in C4GC have no respect for the perceived secularists in the GCGOP and therefore cannot participate, but must overthrow the organization.
Additionally, the fundies in C4GC are offended when those they consider to be secularists hold events such as funerals and conventions where prayers are part of the program. From this warped and selfish viewpoint, the actions of C4GC prior to and at the convention begin to make sense.
Of course, disrespect by the C4GC fundies, a small number not inclusive of all their members, is not only limited to local Republicans, but to the world at large. That is why we see GCGOP members regularly feeding info to perceived liberal bloggers. The GCGOP long ago realized that they are merely on the front lines of a battle which would engulf all of us, should the fundies succeed. And so it is, whether locally or nationally, as we have seen with the preposterous same-sex marriage amendment, we are all targets of the religious fundamentalist movement and the dumb conservatives, clinically diagnosed as right wing authoritarians, who seek to impose their Biblical worldview. This death cult embraces magic and eschews science, honors tradition over intelligence, and worst of all, fosters hatred instead of tolerance.
The Tea Party phenomenon of C4GC is not an isolated problem. Just to our west, Forsyth County Republicans have battled against Nathan Tabor, with much less success, so far. There is real wisdom in that struggle which illustrates how one highly motivated and charismatic fundamentalist captured the county GOP organization. Indeed, we are fortunate to only be faced with the hapless Hyde and Riddleberger.