This brutally frank essay is a clarion wake-up call.

I, too, come from a fundamentalist (not simply evangelical) religious background where I was cautioned against questioning anything.

Because to question one thing meant to question everything, as one question inevitably led to another, and then another (etc.); whereupon once the answers achieved resulted in scales falling from eyes, eventually the entire, tangled, illogical mess would become unraveled.

In the unraveling we are left with difficult, complicated, necessary truths. Truths that require far more bravery and dedication to a higher power (and to becoming higher versions of ourselves) than any cookie-cutter faith.

Another factor heightening stupidity is the state of “angry brain” –— something which Buddhist philosophers and psychoanalysts describe as a state of temporary intellectual paralysis where anger shuts down the mind’s ability to cognitively function beyond the anger-drivers reaction.

When we have “angry brain” we are so completely stymied by anger, we become incapable of processing any other type of complex thought or alternative behavior pathways.

It’s as if, while driving down a highway, instead of going the speed limit, constantly checking our GPS navigation, and making intelligent decisions about whether to switch lanes or take the next exit, we slam our foot on the gas pedal and blindly crash into the nearest obstacle.

Angry brain also begets stupid brain.

All humans are subject to the dangers of angry brain, and it can impact people regardless of political or religious affiliation. Yet if we examine the vituperative emotional tenor of Trump rallies, the dominant speech patterns and typical facial expressions of Trump supporters, we are struck by the prevalence of, and reliance upon, anger.

And as I consider the pervasive role of anger in the Trump regime, I find I can comprehend the rise of Hitler and Nazism in 1900s Germany in ways that I never truly grasped before.

God help us.

Written by

Ethnoecologist and #VanLife Coach exploring humanity, the natural world, and multispecies relationships. More at http://jeaninepfeiffer.com

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