I think it depends on which class of Republican you are talking about. The poor ignorant shmuck who makes up the base of the GOP has deeply held beliefs that their cynical leaders use to control them:
Ignorant bible thumping redneck Republicans think everyone would be better off if they were forced to worship their god.
Generally, neo-cons are not terribly religious. They just claim piety to snooker the naive rank and file into supporting them. Even right-wing Christian leaders have proven over and over again that they are corrupt liars, thieves and worse. They don't call their sheeple a flock for no reason.
Clueless laid off Republican workers continue to support outsourcing of their jobs due to some misplaced idealism about the benefits of free trade to the average worker.
Global corporatist Republican leaders gleefully use that support to knock down the trade barriers which made American the wealthiest country in the history of the world, and laugh at their former employees all the way to the bank as they send manufacturing jobs to China for 33 cents/hour and ship the goods back to the US without tariffs. Then they set up headquarters at a PO Box in the Cayman Islands so they don't have to pay taxes.
The average Republican dolt thinks the Iraq war is being fought to defend his country.
The chicken hawk Republican leaders happily chew up his children and spit them out as cannon fodder to enrich Halliburton, Exxon, ect.
Moronic Republican voters still believe that the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility. They are deathly afraid of the "tax and spend" Democrats.
The neo-con Republican leaders spend more than the Democrats ever imagined. But rather tax today's Republicans, they borrow it from their children, and rather than use it for social programs to help Americans, they spend it to kill people in other countries while enriching the military industrial complex.