A couple recent polls showed that a significant percentage of Republicans--on the order of 30-40%--don't believe President Obama was born in the U.S. The evidence to support that view is scant, practically non-existent, based mainly on wishful thinking.
That got us to thinking: is the Republican party turning into a religion, where belief trumps fact?
Trying to define the difference between a religion and a political philosophy isn't easy. Political ideologies are often based on beliefs in the unprovable, just as are religious theologies. Theology may just be a subset of ideology: a theology concerns mankind's "conception of god" whereas an ideology is broader, concerning mankind's conception of rules to govern people.
There are times when we wish we had an alternative to the Democratic party. We tend to be more fiscally conservative than many Democrats, preferring to pay for government services rather than borrowing money or printing currency to do so. (Mind you, under W. Bush, Republicans were perfectly happy to borrow money and print currency to further their goals as well.) And we don't see gov't as the best solution to all problems.
Unfortunately, the GOP isn't a viable alternative these days, at least not for us and many moderate independent voters. The party seems filled with birthers, creationists, goldbugs and supremacists; is anti-science, hypocritical on issues of marriage, adultery and sexuality; and represents an ideology mired in theology. Remarkably, a party that once featured many strong intellectual thinkers, like William F. Buckley, has become a party of anti-intellectuallism, with blow-hards like Limbaugh and O'Reilly resembling modern-day No-Nothings.
Is there room in the U.S. for a new, third political party? Probably not. We've been a dual-party nation for too long a time to make that likely.