Tag Archives: right wing

Failed Presidential candidate Gary Bauer complains about Christian privilege

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One of the most ridiculous stories that comes up when talking about separation of church and state is the constant complaints of Christian persecution from right wingers. Gary Bauer, president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families and a failed US Presidential candidate, tries hard to claim that Christians are hurt more than Muslims in this country.
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Alexandra Pelosi holds mirror up to US conservatives in new film

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Alexandra Pelosi is the daughter of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a filmmaker. She is best known for her documentary “Journeys with George” which showed the lighter side of George W. Bush in 2000. On Monday, February 16th on HBO, she turns her camera on how some conservative voters felt and acted during the recent 2008 Presidential election especially when Barack Obama won. It is her attempt to show there are at least two different countries in the US trying to coexist with each other.

Here is the blurb from the HBO website. *Note* in my TV lisiting it says it is on the main HBO channel so check your local listings for time and channel.

Right America: Feeling Wronged – Some Voices from the Campaign Trail

On the day Barack Obama was elected the 44th President, more than 58 million voters cast their ballots for John McCain. In the months leading up to this historic election, filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi (HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Journeys with George”) took a road trip to meet some of the conservative Americans who waited in line for hours to support the GOP ticket, and saw their hopes and dreams evaporate in the wake of that Democratic victory. These voters share their feelings about the changing America in which they live. Premieres Monday, February 16 at 8pm (ET/PT) on HBO2.

For her fifth HBO project, Pelosi visited 28 states and spoke about the fight for the soul of the country with mostly conservative Americans, who feel underrepresented by the mainstream media. From the Pulpit Freedom Day in Bethlehem, Ga. to the NASCAR circuit, RIGHT AMERICA: FEELING WRONGED – SOME VOICES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL shows a country at war with itself over the religious and cultural identities that define America. Many interviewees were particularly incensed by what they saw as a lack of any meaningful media attention given to their message during the election campaign – including their views on such hotly contested issues as gun control, abortion rights, religion and gay rights – and by a perceived media bias against McCain and running mate Sarah Palin.

“The way the press handles the election, we feel like our side’s never being really represented, never really given a fair shake,” says one man. “It’s almost like they think of us as a bunch of hicks, a bunch of idiots. And they don’t even wanna hear our side or understand us.”

“The liberal media is selling the American people short,” observes one woman. “That’s ridiculous and people should be outraged. And millions and millions of us are.” “We’re the backbone of this country,” says another man. “We’re hardworkin,’ blue- collared workers that keep this country runnin.’ He [Obama] talks like he knows us; he doesn’t know us.”

Right America: Feeling Wronged – Some Voices from the Campaign Trail

I thought it amusing that the quotes say they thought the media didn’t represent their views. Maybe not the right wing nut type of views but the media did a good job of pushing the conservative talking points during the whole campaign. I’m not sure what media they were watching.

Pelosi was also interviewed on the Rachel Maddow show on Friday night on MSNBC. Here is her segment. It starts a minute or two into the actual clip:

No joke: Some think DeLay in trouble because he stands up for Jesus

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I came across a blog today that mentioned a recent episode of “Hardball” on MSNBC (March 30th). The guests were Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights activist and former Democratic Presidential candidate, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (a conservative religious organization). The topic was “Is Christianity under attack?”

I had posted an earlier entry concerning the myth of Christian persecution in the US and how the right wing of the Republican party is co-opting that scare tactic for the upcoming elections. (see: Still the Biggest Lie: Christians in the US are persecuted)

I also mentioned that a conference was going to held to scare evangelicals some more to get them to vote GOP in 2006. It was called “War on Christians and the Values Voters of 2006” sponsored by a right wing Republican front group called Vision America that included speakers like Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, Sen. John Cornyn, Phyllis Schlafly, Sen. Sam Brownback and Rep. Tom DeLay. (You are probably thinking “where are the religious people” – me too.)

It seems that Pastor Rick Scarborough, the founder and leader of Vision America, in introducing Rep. Tom DeLay, former majority leader in the US House of Represenatives, told the audience that DeLay was in legal trouble because he stood up for Jesus. The inference being that DeLay’s legal troubles came about because he is a hardcore religious conservative – as if the charges aren’t really true. (See: Tom DeLay corruption investigation)

On “Hardball” Rev Al Sharpton called religious conservatives on the ridiculous notion:

But I would like Tony to tell me how what Tom DeLay is facing has anything to do with his religion or any religion at all. I mean, I think it’s an insult to Christians to act like because of his religion, he’s been charged with what he’s been charged with. It has nothing to do with his religion.

I think everyone said that at this meeting this weekend that was cited when we came on. He was introduced as a man that was being persecuted because he stood up for Jesus. Tell me how Jesus and being accused of embezzling funds is the same thing. What chapter did you get that out of the New Testament?

Is Christianity under attack? (Video is included on the site)

Sharpton was a breath of fresh air, pointing out the myth of Christian persecution. Perkins even had to concede the point:

Well, clearly, it’s not a war on Christianity like we talked about last week with Abdul Rahman and what he was under, but it’s a hostility nonetheless.

I mean, you ask any parent if America today, they’re concerned. Their kids cannot pray in school, graduations, football games, no prayer, even the pledge.

Finally Sharpton but the nail on the issue:

SHARPTON: I think that it is absolutely insulting to the intelligence of Christians. You’re not going to meet anyone that believes in Christ more than me, but I believe in converting people, not forcing people to following my religion. We are living in what we want to be a democracy, not a theocracy, and it is dangerous to try and move in that direction.

PERKINS: And that’s what we’re saying. Let us live as we want to live.

SHARPTON: Well then you don’t put your cross up on public emblems.

*Side Note*

I checked out the Vision America site as I wrote this entry and I could not find any video or transcripts from their conference. I assume they will have DVDs or audio tapes for sale – they have to raise money some how.

What I did find out proves the point that such a group is really just a front group for the right wing of the Republican party.

Their BIG issue is called “The ValuesVoters’ Contract with Congress: A Declaration of American Renewal” which is similar to the infamous “Contract for America” that Republicans signed when they won the majority in the US House back in 1994.

Being a religious group there are the usual religious conservative wish items like a ban on abortion, forcing religious expression in government, ban on gay marriage, and a ban on cloning.

The contract also calls for items that are more political than religious such as:

The Parental Consent Act to prohibit the use of federal funds for any universal or mandatory mental health screening (H.R. 181)

Legislation affirming that government may not redefine “public use” to take the private property of one person to give to another.

Legislation to fundamentally reform the national tax system and reduce the tax burden on Americans; and Legislation to make permanent Marriage Penalty Relief and the Child Tax Credit.

True Enforcement and Border Security; and Legislation to prohibit, in cases of constitutional interpretation, the use of foreign law as authority.

Values Voters’ Contract with Congress (short form)

As Rev Sharpton pointed out in the interview:

I think there’s a difference when you say that polls say religion is under attack and saying Christianity is under attack and then acting as if Christianity and the right-wing are synonymous. I think that the right wing has got Christianity under attack or Christianity that was the basis of the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-war movement.

Yes, Rev Al there is a difference.

Thanks toYG Myspace Blog for the heads up on an interesting “Hardball” episode I missed hearing about earlier. (see: Chris Matthews is a moron….)