Does Being Raised Evangelical Destroy Your Brain? Why The Tea Party-Evangelical Right Learned Nothing Post-Shutdown

Neuroscience has proved that the brain is malleable. Evangelicals raised on magical fact-free myths are trained from birth to believe lies. Put it this way, if you believe Noah was real you’ll be more likely to believe Ted Cruise is a truth teller too.

Brains change because of the environments they’re grown in. Playing a musical instrument grows a brain differently than the brain growth of non-musicians. Vets’ brains are different after the stress of combat. These changes show up on scans. They are physical and real. The also change the way a brain makes decisions.

Fundamentalist belief grows brains incapable of dealing with the world as it actually is. From tribesmen in Borneo, eating the heart of an enemy and believing that they will thereby gain his strength, to Tea Party evangelical Republicans believing that what they need to do now, post-shutdown, is be even crazier in order to win — say by nominating a far right Christian radio host to primary a moderate candidate — the bad result of believing myths is amply demonstrated. It keeps tribesmen in Borneo in the Stone Age, and evangelicals feeling like they’re martyrs whenever they encounter sane people who question their religious or political “facts.”

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