Why and how Religious Republicans lie, cheat and steal more

published Jul 29, 2007, last modified Dec 08, 2021

Imagine there was a solid scientific study that showed you how a lawmaker is going to act.

Now imagine that study also addressed how a lawmaker really thinks. Not just his ideas or public positions, but the motivations behind his actions.

Now imagine that study would say Republicans tend to lie, cheat and steal more.

Did I just hear the word "hearsay"? Well, now there's data -- factual evidence -- that shows why Republicans constantly doublethink, doublespeak and defend crazy ideas. I'm not going to advance anything on that, because I would rather you went to the source. However, I'm going to give you a small sample of what I found out, in a book called The Authoritarians:


I would definitely not sit on the same table with the Kentucky and Tennessee representatives.

I usually included some other measure besides the RWA scale on the surveys I mailed to the state capitols, and accordingly I found that high RWA lawmakers tended to:

  • not think wife abuse was a serious issue (a weak relationship; see note 12 of Chapter 1)
  • have conservative economic philosophies (a moderate relationship)
  • score highly on items assessing racial and ethnic prejudice (a moderate relationship)
  • reject a law raising the income tax rate for the rich and lowering it for the poor (a moderate relationship)
  • favor capital punishment (a sturdy relationship)
  • oppose gun control laws (a sturdy relationship)
  • favor a law prohibiting television broadcasts from a foreign country’s capital (such as Baghdad during the Gulf War) when the United States is at war with that country (a sturdy relationship)
  • favor a law requiring Christian religious instruction in public schools (a sturdy relationship)
  • score high in dogmatism (a sturdy relationship)
  • oppose a law requiring affirmative action in state hiring that would give priority to qualified minorities until they “caught up” (a sturdy relationship)
  • favor a law giving police much less restrictive wiretap, search-and-seizure, and interrogation rules (a strong relationship)
  • favor a law outlawing the Communist Party “and other radical political organizations” (a strong relationship)
  • oppose the Equal Rights Amendment (a strong relationship)
  • favor placing greater restrictions on abortion than “Roe versus Wade” (a strong relationship)
  • favor a law restricting anti-war protests to certain sizes, times, and places-- generally away from public view--while American troops are fighting overseas (a very strong relationship)
  • have a “We were the good guys, the Soviets were the bad guys” view of the Cold War (a very strong relationship)
  • oppose a law extending equal rights to homosexuals in housing and employment (a very strong relationship)

If you have read the preceding chapters, or been paying attention to what’s going on in your state capitol lately, none of this will astound you. What surprised me was how strong the relationships usually were. The RWA scale can predict what many lawmakers want to do about a wide variety of important issues.

The gist of my findings in the book: Republicans / religious types tend to be considerably more authoritarian (for a particular definition of authoritarianism). Authoritarians are split in two groups: the social dominators (lie/cheat/steal/stab/kill because the world's a jungle) and the RWAs (obey the establishment however little sense it may make). Combine sociopaths and henchmen and what do you get?

Oh, as it turns out, they're not much different from Commies in their head. That's covered in chapter 2, I think.

But don't let me keep you from reading the book. Which is free, by the way.

And I would appreciate if any of my readers would please submit this article to Reddit. I have the suspicion it will be a hit over there.