As we know, Christianity comes in a plethora of flavors. Even the most recent divergence, Protestantism, comes in thousands. For some reason, our region, and most red states, sport a more fundamentalist variety. You do not find many women pastors, nor do you find acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. This is in contrast to many churches in, for example, most blue states. In New York, most pastors are women. In these more liberal churches, you also find a high degree of non-judgmental approaches of one's private lifestyle.
The heart of fundamentalism lies in a strict literal interpretation of the Bible. Although people have the right to this style, this country was founded on the separation of church and state, and you can witness this variety creeping into our government.
You can actually see the nightmare that results when religious factions attempt to gain control of a state – theirs or another. There are many examples of this interaction, and we risk becoming a predominant one if we have not already become one.
Extremists put their beliefs above other people's rights. Terrorists, for example, put their beliefs above others' right to live. One could argue that terrorism exists in various magnitudes, and the more "benign" variety "simply" terrorizes people emotionally and financially, while controlling others through fear.
If you are not involved in the decision making process, even minimally via the simple act of voting, then you can't complain, nor can you feel exonerated when things go south. Granted, our choices are slim – as long as big money controls the elections.
Musgrave has already amassed a war chest 15 times the amount that Paccione expects by the end of the year. That is why grassroots efforts are key, and the solution to big money control. Far from hopeless, one person can tip the balance. Learn and educate. Start small. Baby steps. Go in peace and love.