Let's try this for a while. I hope it doesn't get so hot the thread is shut down, so I'm asking everyone to behave themselves.........no name calling please.
Let's post and discuss any instance that comes to our attention involving the religious right. I will also, as long as I have the time, post some statistics about the religious right along the way.
I suppose I will have to post a disclaimer before we start since many of you persist in hearing me say that I think all Republicans are religious fanatics. I know lots of non-fanatical Republicans. In my opinion, these people are guilty only of silence.
On this thread, I'm referring to religious fanatics, extremists with whom most of us do not agree and probably have a hard time abiding. The subject I propose to study here is the influence on contemporary American politics, especially in the last thirty years, of the fanatical, mostly evangelical Christian right.
For the purpose of ease, we should come up with a designation we can use to identify this group. It's hard to pin them down since, not all evangelicals are fanatics. Not all Christians are fanatics either and not all fanatics are Christians. They refer to themselves as "fundamentalist evangelical Christians." But even this designation doesn't entirely work because, some fundy evangelical Christians (only a rare few) are not fanatics either. So let's just refer to them for the purpose of discussion as the FFARR (the far far American religious right). But for short let's just call them the FAR.
For our first quotation:
Fate of Sen. Specter may be decided soon
Speculation is running high in the press that Senator Arlen Specter will gain the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee despite his militantly pro-abortion views. The now-ubiquitous Specter is telling every media outlet that will listen that he has no abortion litmus test and would not presume to warn President Bush on nominees. Yet his comments to the contrary a day after the recent election and his lengthy liberal record continue to reverberate in the halls of the U. S. Senate. Several senators have expressed concern about the prospect of a Specter chairmanship. The latest to do so is Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a Judiciary Committee member who several years ago was denied a federal judgeship because of his conservative, pro-life views and the fierce opposition of Arlen Specter. Sessions indicated yesterday that the chairmanship of the committee should not automatically be decided by seniority. Other members of the Judiciary Committee have refused to give their support to Specter despite pressure to do so. Many senators will meet with Specter today to discuss his future and, depending on what he tells them, his fate will likely be determined soon. We will be profoundly disappointed if Specter wins this fight. Please keep up the pressure on the Senate. If you have not yet communicated with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee please contact them today at the link below.
At last, here is some rare good news from the Family Research Council (FRC).
It comes as a hard blow to them that they can't get their way all the time. But even if they have an occasional loss, they win more times than many people want to admit.
I know there are some of you who are itching to point out to me that this is proof that the FAR is not influential, however one instance of failure does not a non-influential force make. So maybe we can dispense with that much repeated discussion and go on to more productive work.
The following quotation is from Blatham. I think it's a good beginning point to set the up our discussion. Because it's clear that the FAR cannot win an election alone. They are a minority. It's true that they are being used as they are using the other forces driving the current political scene. But all together, we can see the tactic as one of division.
The politics of division.
Since the last election, GOP strategists have been open regarding the need/wish to increase their percentage of the catholic and jewish votes. They failed with the jewish vote, but succeeded with the Catholic vote, as the analysis shows.
How did they achieve that? First off, we ought to assume that some percentage of the catholic gain was a consequence of the overall gain on terrorism/security issues which seems to have affected most electoral populations.
Secondly, organization, as the analysis shows.
But third, by forwarding a particular type of divisiveness though abortion and gay issues.
Now, let me tell you what I really think. Both of these issues, security and social, are driven by the promotion of fear. Fear of instability. Fear of change. Fear of the other or the alien.
And the solution to these fears is to trust in Authority - the government, the priest, the scripture, the literal. It is an easy and welcome relinquishment of an already shallow commitment to self-governance.