Class Warfare Blog

December 26, 2019

Projection and the Inverted Golden Rule

Filed under: Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 10:15 am
Tags: , , , ,

In an article in Mother Jones I found the following two tidbits. The first was with regard to a survey made by a couple of political scientists:

“[Among] white evangelical Protestants, we found that 60 percent believed that atheists would not allow them First Amendment rights and liberties. More specifically, we asked whether they believed atheists would prevent them from being able to ‘hold rallies, teach, speak freely, and run for public office.’ Similarly, 58 percent believed ‘Democrats in Congress’ would not allow them to exercise these liberties if they were in power.”

and their conjecture . . .

“Their fear comes from an inverted golden rule: Expect from others what you would do unto them.”

The “Inverted Golden Rule,” nice tag that, is what psychologist call “projection.” We tend to project onto others, as an attempt to understand them, the same thoughts and attitudes that we ourselves possess.

Because these evangelicals have blocked atheists from holding public office, railed against the free speech of atheists and made attempts to restrict that, and come from a long line of the religious back to when atheism could get you burned at the stake, they feel that if atheists have power we will “do unto them what was done onto us.” That we have shown no proclivity to do this doesn’t block these thoughts. Their “fears” are real . . . to them.

The social process to make societal outliers more mainstream is long and slow. Look at how long American blacks have sought to be accepted by American white society. Gays have had a much faster arc but they are not full accepted either. We atheists are quite far behind those processes.

This would be less frustrating if the prejudices being projected don’t contradict the teaching of their patron god, but it is what it is.

Time will tell.

Unfortunately the Inverted Golden Rule acts almost instantaneously. And these attitudes are fact proof. Mr. Obama’s first term, not that long ago, was a case in which Democrats controlled the White House and both Houses of Congress. Were the civil liberties of Christians targeted in any way? No? I guess Mr. Obama was too busy taking people’s guns away to attend to that agenda item.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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