Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Sullivan on the Religious Right & the GOP:

I might surprise some folks by noting that I think Sullivan goes a bit to far in his rhetoric:

My position was that the national security differences between Bush and Kerry were not so great as to risk the domestic Kulturkampf that the religious right would unleash if Bush were to win. Others believed I was "hysterical" and concentrating too much on the gay issue. I think events since the election have buttressed my case. Gays could see this more clearly because we were so often the convenient target for the far right in the first term (although they have even more ambitious plans to curtail gay freedom in the second). But the religious right's agenda is far more ambitious than merely stripping gays of civil rights or even minimal privacy. It's about controlling the bodies and behaviors of all Americans to more faithfully conform to Biblical absolutes. Hence Schiavo; hence the need to purge the judiciary of any opposition; hence the abolition of a threatened judicial filibuster; hence the political alliance with the new papacy; hence "Justice Sunday." These people are no longer merely one Republican faction. They control the GOP. We are now seeing that more clearly, while the war - understandably - obscured that a little. With Iraq less in the headlines, the domestic agenda of the new big government sectarian GOP is far clearer. My "hysteria" may eventually be seen as clarity - even to anti-anti-religious right contortionists like Mickey Kaus.

I'm socially libertarian and a see myself as a secularist as well. So I obviously don't like the religious right's unquestionable influence on that party (and I don't like the "big government" spending of the GOP as well; that's why I vote Libertarian). However, I do see a marked difference between, on the one hand, the hardcore lunatics (who truly do want to "control[] the bodies and behaviors of all Americans to [absolutely] conform to Biblical absolutes") at the extreme end of the spectrum like Howard Phillips and Herb Titus (who would execute gays & adulterers), as well as the softer lunacy of Gary Bauer & James Dobson (who would probably just lock gays up for practicing), and on the other, conservatives Christians like Bush, many of whom are more humble and kind in their positions, or at least, some of their positions.

For instance, the religious right has disapproved much of Bush's "softer" policy on gays. And this is perfectly illustrated by those secret tapes where one such lunatic reverend demanded that Bush never hire gays for government positions and thought Bush agreed to this, whereas Bush said (paraphrasing), "no, I said I won't fire gays."

Still, I agree that the religious right holds much influence over the GOP and that influence is malign.


Karen said...

Whose nation under God? is a piece written by Robert Kuttner (Co-editor of The American Prospect) about the “Enlightenment Age” now being run in reverse by the Religious Right and this Bush Administration and GOP controlled government. At opinion/oped/articles/2005/04/27/whose nation under god?mode=PF

It brings up the question of “When WILL they get back to the burning of "religious heretics" opposed to their single notion of the 'One True Faith'?”

I'm sorry to have to agree with Sullivan about this wide ranging "agenda" on the plate of these so-called Christians...but this is nothing more than an all out assault to impose their minority Religious views via the legislative, executive and (now) judicial processes of our government.

Marty said...

Can one of you hysterical reactionaries do me a favor and point to ONE TIME in the history of this nation when freedom of (and from!) religion was GREATER than it is today? Can you point to a time when we were LESS of a theocracy than we are at this very moment? Please???