Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Leah A., who needs her own blog ( maybe her and Digby could team up? - ed. I like it!) says:

This is an area as ripe for some left of center blogosphere deconstruction as was race a la the Lott comment.

The attitudes being expressed in this material, radically looney though they are, have been tolerated on the right, and to a shocking extent, those who hold them or tolerate them, have been accorded the status of unexceptional, non-extremist, mainstream commentators.

Routinely, when Pat Robertson is interviewed on any of the cable news shows, he is never asked any questions that even begin to explore the right wing radicalism that is on copious display on The 700 Club. On one show some years ago, while defending a Judge who likes to say a Christian prayer in court before a case is heard, Robertson insisted he'd have no problem with a Moslem judge reading from the Koran, though he was pleased as a nice cup of Christian punch to note there are no such judges anywhere in the US of A. A week later, there was a filmed "news" report on the show on the growth of Islam in America in which Islam was identified as a Satanic religion, the symbols of which Christians had to be on guard to avoid, including visiting mosques, or having Islamic art in the home. We sometimes forget, because of the Reverend attached to their names, how often these guys lie.

Nowhere in the Constitution can one find the words "Christian," "Christian nation," "Christ," "Jesus," "salvation," "our Lord," "the Lord." Nor do the great majority of Americans wish they were there.

And as for the constantly referenced words in the Declaration of Independence, "endowed by their creator," note that this is one of those truths that is "self-evident," i.e., not true because it is part of some sacred text, not true because it is "biblically based," true because humans can reason their way to its truth. The creator, who has endowed mankind with a nature that acknowledges these inalienable rights, could be a Christian, Moslem, or Jewish God, it can be evolution, it can be natural law; after all, most people don't think they created themselves and are willing to acknowledge, if nothing more, that a long chain of DNA stretching back eons preceded them. The source of the universal appeal of the Declaration around the world I'd locate in its strict neutrality on the question of exactly what kind of creator created us, even if in Jefferson's mind, it was a Christian one.

Up to now there's been no cost to politicians who play footsie with this lethally divisive desire to Christianize America, not because such a movement is supported by any kind of American majority. If most Americans really understood what these guys are talking about, they'd be flabbergasted. Bringing America back to its "Christian roots" may play in Texas, (and by no means everywhere in Texas) but I'm betting that its a distinctly minority view.

Sullivan, Bennett, Ingraham, Will, who's already embarrassed by the creationist branch of Christian conservatism, the "Standard" boys, are just as vulnerable to some hard questioning of their attitudes in this area as they are on race.

And yet, through-out the liberal media, liberals are constantly put on the defensive in regards to religion.
Time for that to end. As with race, time to start attacking what the other side doesn't want us to know about what they're really all about.