Tag Archives: GOP

Religious Right Grasping at Straws

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On October 4th, Dr James Dobson wrote in an op/ed article in the New York Times that “if neither of the two major political parties nominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity of human life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate.”

This was a shot across the bow of the GOP because the current front runner – Rudi Giuliani – failed the so-called “value voters” litmus test.

But why not support one of the other GOP candidates. One who seems up their religious alley is Mike Huckabee. He agrees with their views on abortion and gay marriage and he was one of the few GOP’ers who said he didn’t believe in Evolution.

Evolution is a complex issue. It’s a complex issue to discuss the origins of life. And that’s really the question as I interpreted it and understood it. What are the origins of life? Do you believe that life is the result of some metaphysical accident that happened eons ago and there has been this ongoing process of mutation and random selection that has resulted in life as we now know it? And if so, then it’s probably going to keep changing, and who knows where, how and when. And that’s fine, people can certainly believe that.

There are others of us whose basic premise of the origins of life is that there is a God and that he is the dynamic behind it – that there is a prime mover, as some of the ancient philosophers used to speak. I subscribe to that. And as I said last night, for me, it’s as simple as “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.”

A science book that I read today is dramatically different from the science book I would have found in the school classroom 50 years ago or 100 years ago. But the origin of life as it is expressed in the Scripture is consistent and has been now for several thousand years. I can embrace that, and to me it is not a conflict with science; it can be compatible with science.

Whither Social Conservatives? A Conversation with GOP Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee

So why don’t people like Dobson get behind Huckabee?

Because in one recent poll Huckabee is 6th among GOP contenders.

Would the religious right want to hitch their wagons to someone who probably won’t win the nomination? If the guy lost then their supposed “power” would be suspect.

However if they could get a front runner to change their attitude and court them and then they end up losing to the Democrat then the right can say they caused that person to lose because they were being taken for granted. They can spin how powerless they really are.

See how politics works.

See also For a Trusty Voting Bloc, a Faith Shaken

War on Christians: same old same old

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I posted earlier about not having a transcript or article about the recent “The War on Christians and Values Voters in 2006” hosted by the religious right front group Vision America. I had an idea of what would be talked about – same old same old tired arguments – but I wanted to read about the conference and maybe some details about it.

Thanks to the blog Writing Right I was led to an article on the People for the American Way site that gave me what I needed.

The article is called The Liberal “War” On Christians and Values Voters : Hysterical Females, Perverted Sodomites, and the Collapse of “Christian America” and here are some of the tidbits of interest to me:

Tom Crouse, pastor of the Holland Congregational Church in Massachusetts and radio show host, testified about his personal tale of persecution, recounting a “Mr. Heterosexual 2006 – A Celebration of God’s Design” event he organized in response to a “Mr. Gay 2005” competition in San Diego. Crouse sued the city of Worcester for making him pay more than $6,000 for police protection for the event, saying it violated his constitutional right to free speech. While refreshingly admitting that it was somewhat disingenuous for panelists to be talking of “persecution” in light of actual religious persecution around the world, Crouse nonetheless stated that Jesus warned Christians that they would be persecuted for their beliefs and thus, such persecution was actually a blessing. In fact, Crouse suggested, if Christians are not being persecuted, they ought to ask themselves if they are living their faith properly. Crouse’s “Mr. Heterosexual” event was designed, he said, to proclaim the truth that God doesn’t make homosexuals and that everyone is born heterosexual, but some choose to pretend otherwise. Crouse called on the church to stop worrying about appearing tolerant and start proclaiming the truth, saying that Jesus was the most intolerant person in the world.

and

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, president of Caucus for America – an organization that is dedicated to “unmasking the true intentions and motivations of a cynical, elitist corps working to transform America into a variant of European secularism and socialism.” Spero took up Feder’s theme and went a step farther, stating that they are really in a battle against “hedonists” who want to destroy America and turn it into a socialist state. Spero said that words and phrases such as “tolerance” and “multiculturalism” are really just code words for unmitigated hedonism. Spero responded to a question from an audience member wondering why “liberal elitists” have sided with the Palestinians against Israel and with Islam against America, by saying they have done so because they – liberal elitists – hate America and because they constantly are looking for ways to make themselves appear smarter and more compassionate. He closed with a warning that Islam and “fundamental secularists” were working together to destroy America’s moral underpinnings.

and

Texas Senator John Cornyn was then introduced by Phillip Jauregui, the director of Vision America’s Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration and the former attorney for Justice Roy Moore. Cornyn basically delivered a stump speech about judicial activism and the importance of getting the “right kind” of judges on the bench. After saying he was pleased by Justice Alito’s confirmation in light of Alito’s views on religious “freedom,” Cornyn commenced an attack on the court system and various decisions about the separation of church and state such as prayer in public schools, the Ten Commandments, etc., for constitutionally “transforming” a policy of state “neutrality” toward religion into a policy of “hostility” toward religion.

and

Rod Parsley, pastor of the Columbus, Ohio World Harvest megachurch, is one of the rising stars of the religious right and got the conference’s second day off to an energizing start. According to Parsley, who wholeheartedly endorsed the “War on Christians” conference, America is in the midst of “a revolution, a reformation and a revival” – and this conference was part of a “moral revolution,” which he compared to the Crusades. The nation is at a “point of crisis,” he said, in which “our culture is in chaos” and the “moral foundations … are quickly crumbling around us with no sign of a cure.” To the “smoldering ash heap of moral decline that we find ourselves in today,” he maintained, God “has called us to war” against a “spiritual invasion” – although who the invaders are is less than clear, though “secular humanists,” the “liberal left,” public schools, and “America’s tortured and angry homosexual population” could all be likely candidates.

The Liberal “War” On Christians and Values Voters : Hysterical Females, Perverted Sodomites, and the Collapse of “Christian America”

As the PFAW article noted:

Those who attended and spoke at the “War on Christians” conference are committed to portraying every court decision that they don’t like, every piece of legislation they support that doesn’t get enacted, and every policy that does not conform to their religious and social agenda as part of some overarching secularist plot to destroy Christianity. If there is any doubt that the drafters of the “Values’ Voters Contract with Congress” truly want to portray themselves as engaged in “war,” one only has to read the declaration’s conclusion where they pledge their “lives” and their “fortunes” to “support of the beliefs and actions we have herein declared.”

It all seemed so familar to me. Why?

Oh, yes. The same “war” metaphors and shrill screeching that the country is falling apart has been expressed by the religious right since the Heritage Foundation was founded in 1973, the Christian Voice was born in 1978, and the Moral Majority appeared in 1979 and so on.

“The strategy against the American Radical Left should be the same as General Douglas MacArthur employed against the Japanese in the Pacific… Bypass their strongholds, then surround them, isolate them, bombard them, then blast the individuals out of their power bunkers with hand-to-hand combat. The battle for Iwo Jima was not pleasant, but our troops won it. The battle to regain the soul of America won’t be pleasant either, but we will win it.”

Pat Robertson, The Most Dangerous Man in America? by Rob Boston

and…

“[T]he even more diabolical ‘wall of separation’ that has led to increasing secularization, godlessness, immorality, and corruption in our country.”

“God has called us to engage the enemy in this culture war. That is our challenge today.”

“How much more forcefully can I say it? The time has come, and it is long overdue, when Christians and conservatives and all men and women who believe in the birthright of freedom must rise up and reclaim America for Jesus Christ.”

Rev. D. James Kennedy, Character & Destiny: A Nation In Search of Its Soul, (Zondervan Publishing House, 1997)

The Religious Right controls the Republican party and the GOP controls both houses of Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, and most of the Appellate courts, along with a majority of state and local governments.

11 states passed amendments banning Gay marriage.

There is NOT a war on Christians in the US. There is a struggle between freedom and Christian extremism and unless secular people and moderate Republicans wake up we will all be outlawed.

There is no difference in my mind between the Religious Right in this country and the Taliban in Afghanistan. They are both dangerous to American values.

Dismissing science at our peril

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Terri Schiavo, who had been in a brain damaged state for 15 years, died on March 31st. It was the end of a long legal process after her parents disagreed with her husband who wanted to remove her feeding tube.

Conservatives and religious right activists jumped on the band wagon to prevent her husband from carrying out her end of life wishes. They simply dismissed the scientific diagnosis that there was no hope in her recovery. Yet, Congress passed an unprecedented law, which President Bush signed, that allowed the case to heard in Federal court. The parents lost again and the tube was never put back. She passed away 13 days later.

Polls taken during the debate in March showed the public wanted the government to mind their own business and let the issue remain within the family and state courts.

Conservatives and the religious right, in their “pro-life” zeal ignored the polls and continued to work to force the feeding tube back into Schiavo.

Results of an autopsy, released on June 15th confirmed the diagnosis. She had severe brain damage and had no chance of recovery.

However none of the major GOP players in the debate in March would admit they were wrong and only one had second thoughts about the Federal government getting involved in the issue.

The most telling was the contrast in comments from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist who is a doctor:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a surgeon

Then:
“That footage, to me, depicted something very different than persistent vegetative state.” – on March 23, on the floor of the Senate, after reviewing a videotape of Schiavo.

Now:
“He never made a diagnosis.” – Amy Call, Frist’s spokeswoman. The senator said he looked forward to reading the autopsy report.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas

Then:
“She is as alive as you or I, and as such we have a moral obligation to protect and defend her.” – in a March 18 statement to the news media.

Now:
“Congressman DeLay’s thoughts and prayers remain with the friends and family of Terri Schiavo.” – Dan Allen, DeLay spokesman.

Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla.

Then:
“Several of Terri’s caregivers … feel that, with proper therapy, she may even be able to learn to eat without a feeding tube.” – in a March 16 column for National Review.

Now:
“I’ve had second thoughts as to whether a federal review was the right way to go or not.”

Schiavo autopsy results reach a divided Congress

I know that we are all humans and tend to act on our emotions. Sometimes science gives us answers we don’t like but to simply let emotions allow one to dismiss valid scientific answers just because it doesn’t fit your beliefs or fantasies, is intellectual dishonesty on the nth level. It is that anti-intellectualism that harms people – like the Schiavo family.

Nature works in a certain way but it almost never conforms to one’s wishes and dreams and if does then it is plain luck.

The GOP and religious right’s reactions in dismissing science reminds me of kids who stand on the roof of their house wearing capes made of Mom’s good towels. They want to be Superman and think that by leaping off the roof they will be able to fly.

Senator Frist and Rep. Delay have capes made of towels and believe they can fly.

My worry is that their actions just don’t harm themselves.