It was great to see everyone at the meeting last night, thanks for coming! Next meet will be on 20th August, 8pm The Bush Inn, Cockermouth. Drop me an email if you would like to be added to our mailing list and I’ll send you a reminder a few days before the meet.
One of the subjects that came up last night was the US Supreme Court decision allowing Hobby Lobby, an American craft store chain, an exemption to paying for certain types of contraceptives for their employees based on the company owner’s religious beliefs. In celebration of their win Holly Fisher, one of the family that own the chain, tweeted out a picture sharing her American values of God, Bible and Flag. It wasn’t long before the twitterati had reposted it with the picture of Reem Riyashi, a Palestinian suicide bomber is a strikingly similar pose.
Reading up on this before the meet I came across the work of Bob Altemeyer, retired Professor of Psychology at the University of Manitoba. He studied what he called Right Wing Authoritarians, a group he says makes up 25% of the US population who are characterised by
(1) Blind loyalty to established religious and political authorities
(2) A willingness to act aggressively in order to defend those authorities
(3) and a deep sense of conventionalism.
I’m about half way though his book, The Authoritarians, it is accessible, easy to read and is free to download in pdf format here. I’m looking forward to reading the chapter of what you do when you get into conversation with an RWA. I’m guessing it will be walk away.