An interesting observation:
The manipulation of religious belief for political ends involves a collection of enticement and intimidation techniques, designed as the precise, secular-situation dictates. 
Should we expect those of the Religious Right to object to that comment? Of course! Silence would give authority to such an impression, and it is imperative that challenges of that type be confronted vigorously if made on a public stage.
The conflicts between fundamentalist believers and those who do not share their convictions is that the latter are able to summon a wide variety of anecdotes, stories, media contributions, evidence, and related events—supported by facts—which suggest that that assessment carries a great deal of credibility.
Religious freedom/religious persecution assertions are among the more obvious indicators.
An entire sub-genre for religious-political debate has risen up in recent years as a result of the Right’s curiously-framed arguments that they are not being allowed to practice their religion and share their beliefs. Evidence amassed by those who study this issue demonstrates just as clearly that such allegations are both hypocritical and appropriately massaged to raise points which facts would not justify.
None this is doing anything to temper the rhetoric. It is widening the divide between the two camps, however—not that we need any more polarization. We do have quite enough as it is.
I’ll circle around the same type of inquiry as I’ve raised here and in my other two blogs: if one must rely on either manufactured “facts” [or less] in an attempt to validate or substantiate their position or belief on an issue of cultural or political significance, then just how valid is that point to begin with?
And in the context of religious beliefs, if this twisting of facts—assuming there any in the first instance—is assumed to be on the Okay List of one’s chosen Deity, perhaps that Deity needs to re-assess the meaning and purpose of Its role as a supposedly superior, All-Knowing Entity.
These types of concerns also beg another question: do the proponents of whatever beliefs they are trying to foist upon others—justified by a variety of clever half-truths and disingenuous arguments—know that they are promoting exaggerated claims if not outright falsehoods? If they are, then is there any honorable or decent reason to grant them continued speaking privileges on behalf of anyone else, let along the many good, decent, well-intentioned supporters who have allowed these “leaders” full license to speak and act on their behalf?
As a corollary, if those spokesmen and spokeswomen do know that they are feeding the flock multiple lines of BS to promote their own self-interests, what kind of people are they to begin with?
Of course, if they have no clue whatsoever and are just putting commentary out there in hopes that some of it will stick, aren’t there other, more meaningful contributions they might make for the benefit of those who rely upon and trust them?
One would have to assume that if they are fully aware of the nonsense they spout under the guise of Deity-ordained teachings, there would be considerable incentive on their part to keep loyal supporters more than sufficiently agitated so that they aren’t raising the same concerns or contemplating these same inquiries as we non-believers.
The rejection of reason is at the heart of modern American conservatism. Although polling indicates that the public is eager for more egalitarian leadership, Washington has continued on its decades-long, seemingly intractable backslide into a morass of anti-intellectualism, fear- and emotion-driven governance, and social and economic policies that value institutions over real humans. 
Where exactly is the good in any of this?
~ My Photo: sunrise at Long Beach, Rockport, MA – 08.22.05
 http://www.opednews.com/articles/Faith-or-Ignorance-Manipu-by-Ahmed-El-Deeb-Faith-And-Politics_Ignorance_Manipulation_Religion-140513-473.html; Faith or Ignorance? Manipulations in the Name of Religion by Ahmed El-eDeb – 05.13.14
 http://www.nationalmemo.com/weekend-reader-fighting-back-right/; ‘Fighting Back The Right’ by David Niose – 12.20.14
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In 2014, I published an eBook entitled Life Will Answer. It’s an exploration of life, religion, and the tenuous connection one has with the other—at least as has been defined to date by the various theologies of past and present-day believers.
I don’t pretend to be a religious scholar. I am at best a casual observer of some religion-based behaviors, but given that I have also authored a book discussing those matters, perhaps that makes me more than a casual observer.
A fundamental point of the book is that Life has been established to honor and answer the choices each and all of us make—whatever they are and however they may be judged by the standards and guidelines we as a society have established. I do not accept the notion that there is a God or another Deity of choice offering wildly arbitrary thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs, or that this Deity has edicts we’re free to abide by or not (although if we don’t there will be hell to pay).
I wrote that book on the premise that there is more to this life than the narrow-minded, conflicting, and occasionally dangerous notions various religions offer. Given the large number of them each claiming passionate followers, it’s absurd for any collection of humans to insist that their Deity assures them It is the One and Only. Countless Peers and their own loyal adherents take issue with that.
Every day we are witness to the absurdities—and too often, the atrocities—committed in the name of some Deity or another by adherents convinced that they and they alone are privy to the guidance and dictates of that One and Only. There is little room, if any, for reason, logic, or rational thought. The absence of an intelligent component guiding their beliefs and conduct—replaced as it as by fears and justifications untethered from reality—carries its own set of consequences.
Are we really to believe that we’re all commanded or obliged to above all else obey and honor and worship one Supreme Being [among many]? How stultifying! This Magnificence is so needy and weak that It needs us to do things to satisfy It? Hello!? How did It manage to survive all those billions of years without us?!
Magical thinking is not a shield to the inevitable harm which results when irrational and mindless behaviors collide with reason and fact. We have some choices to make, and a future to concern ourselves with.
Re-establishing this blog is my own contribution to wiser problem-solving than what seems to be the norm. Too many are in position where their delusions carry heavy and needless consequences to all of us.
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Looking Left and Right: Thought-provoking inquiries & observations about the conflicts arising from, and bolstered by, our increasingly polarized nation.
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The Middle Age Follies: An occasional column offering a slightly skewed look at life for those of us on the north side of 50 … far north, actually.