I have no premeditated witticisms for this one. I'm too pissed-off for that, but I'll probably toss some stuff out on the fly just so I don't cry myself to sleep tonight. I can no longer sit idly by and pretend at some facsimile of political correctness or benefit of the doubt. That time has passed, and I must truly speak my mind. I make no apologies to anyone who is offended or thinks that I am too harsh.
The Republican Party is a cult, as sadistic as Charles Manson's family and as fiercely devoted as the residents of Jonestown. They deny science, dehumanize anyone who doesn't conform to their delusions, and call for the deaths of whomever they arbitrarily declare to be the enemy. As I write this all off-the-cuff, I realize that I must give this some structure or I may devolve into the same firebrand death-wishing as those I so despise, so let's do this.
First off, a cult does not need to be established around a religion; a dogma or philosophy works just as well, as Nazi Germany showed. The National Socialist party was most certainly a cult, and it rejected all religion.
The only true necessity for a cult to form is a dogma strong enough to gather like-minded followers and enough intelligence in the leader to realize that it needs to be kept silent. I cannot point to exactly when the Republican party became wholly infested by their cult, but I know that Conservative dehumanization, death-wishing and regressionist campaigning has existed ever since before the Civil War. My best guess for the firm entrenchment of this cult would be during the McCarthy era, wherein the madmen found that the public was willing to go along with the wildest accusations if driven by fear, and the Other was certainly enough to incite this fear.
The fall of the Soviet Union had to be a crushing blow to this cult, as suddenly there was no looming Other to terrify the proletariat. In the face of this, the cult dug deep and dipped into the collective fears that are nurtured by religious dogma and the willful ignorance that has always been a secondary goal of the Church since its rise to power at the fall of the Roman Empire. Lacking one major Other, they decided to instead sow the seeds of terror and division far and wide, striking at anything they could: homosexuality, women, other races, other religions, other demographics and educational levels; anything that could be painted as Different, Other, and Evil was done so. Fear is the single greatest motivator to make a person act against his or her own best interests.
What makes one small group a religion and another group a cult? Well, there are all sorts of reasons, but the number-one thing that separates a religion from a cult is that religion is supposed to be a part of your life, while a cult is intended to BE your life. Nothing can supersede your loyalty to the cult, your subservience and dedication to your leaders. This certainly explains how so many competing Christian religions, who normally despise one another to the point of near-civil war, can work together in the Republican party while still making religion one of their primary stances. The reason, of course, is that their religion is their cult, not whatever denomination they claim. They ally with a church to gain the loyalty of the cattle, following basic talking points while keeping their true intent hidden.
This is another important point in defining a cult: they keep their behavior secret. They do not share their beliefs with others who have not yet been heavily indoctrinated, nor do they share anything about themselves, their lives, friends, activities, or anything else if they can avoid it. Todd Akin's recent verbal atrocity hints at this: we all know that the Republican base believes his words, that the vagina is some magic creature that can slay unwanted sperm, but I don't honestly believe that the cultists in power believe this. This is the dogma they spout to their constituents to get them to fall in lockstep; Akin made the mistake of sharing it with people who would protest, so the rest of the party immediately disavowed him.
In addition, cultists actively reject facts that do not gel with their fantasies. Whether these facts are that their leader is only human and not a god, or that economic deregulation has never worked in the history of modern America, they are ignored and violently shouted down. As with most cults that find their origins in heresy, Republican cultists have no problem with picking apart their holy book - the Bible - and rewriting sections to fit with their own interpretation of the world, to hold up homosexuality as a far greater sin than violating the Ten Commandments or the Two Commandments of Christ's covenant, and to somehow completely negate Jesus' lessons to support the poor and donate their wealth as the rich can never enter Heaven.
Something odd, though, is that most cults don't last very long because they have a single godly figurehead, and with that lost most can no longer cling to their madness, or at least cannot perpetuate it. In this case, scarily enough, I believe that their god-figure is the dollar. Every policy recently offered up that did not strip individuals of their rights was somehow designed to leave more Americans unemployed or stuff even more money in the pockets of the richest Republicans. In this case, the cult's leader will never die as the dollar cannot truly be killed. Instead, we are tasked with the nightmarish challenge of defeating the worshippers rather than executing their leader.
Cults always stand against human decency, acting in manners directly anathema to the survival of the species. In this case, we know the origin of their actions: fear of the Other keeps their followers quietly in check, following along in abject terror of some evil brown person leaping out to slay them, with the occasional carrot being dangled before them to make them move faster - usually something to do with religion or the stripping of human rights from women or minorities.
However, fear has been working less and less. Americans don't have as much to fear. Fewer and fewer people, though still more than is in any way acceptable, fear others for the color of their skin, their religion or orientation. So, faced with this glaring fact, the cult has changed to incite hatred.
This scares me more than ever, even more than when I first learned about Bush-era renditioning. Tea Party rallies cheer when someone dies from lack of medical care, they call for the deaths of their candidates' political rivals, and plot the demise of our President. All the while their cultist puppet-masters continue to drive them forward, stoking the flames of their rage.
Republicans have made more unfounded claims regarding fellow Americans than we have seen since the age of McCarthy, and now the motivation of these accusations are not fear but hate. We have seen a total of eight mass killings in one month, and the month isn't even over yet.
We need to declare this Republican cult to be the religious terrorists they are before they amass and strike against peaceful Americans. Human compassion from the Right is at an all-time law, and they believe murder to be justified in idealistic disagreements. I do not normally stand as an advocate of fear or direct negative action against fellow human beings, but I can no longer sit quietly and watch as the raving masses continue to build power and create a feedback loop of rage amongst themselves. This bubble of hatred is soon to burst, and I fear for all those who believe in self-determination and human moral responsibility. The most outspoken of them will likely be the first casualties.