When you grow up being raised in this environment, whether you give it any credence or not, what starts to happen is that you see things very easily in terms of whether they fit into the 'Us' category or the 'World' category. Since, um, most things fall into the World category, it gets very easy to compartmentalize in your head, and to, for example, start thinking, 'the media is a tool of Satan, I shouldn't believe what people are telling me.' And even if you don't think 'TOOL OF SATAN!!!!' every time you hear the media, if you've heard other people around you and in your church say it enough, even subconsciously you start doubting the media. How this plays out is that you begin to filter your environment as a conservative christian based on what you can easily categorize. Once you have identified, say, George Bush, as one of Us, it's much easier to disregard negative news about him because the Media is one of Them, and the two things can be easily canceled out in your mind.
In the South, the tendency to categorize things, combined with the fact that we are taught to expect persecution as a Christian people, has led us to segregate, commit acts of racism and intolerance, and to be very, very suspicious of anyone from the North or the West, because all of you are part of the World.
An interesting insider overview. My internal anthropologist is fascinated.
We need a formal name for this religion -- a fusion between calvinism and 21st century capitalism. I don't think the Us/Them divide is unique though -- it's common to all fundamentalist faiths. (I suspect the underlying xenophobia is in fact more fundamental than the faith and may precede it -- but I admit that's a radical supposition.)
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