Sunday, March 04, 2007

Religious War Between The Culture's?

    Most of you out there know how I feel about the so-called " religious right " who wouldn't know right if it slapped them up beside their heads.

  I made the comment once before and I will say it again. The religious right is no more Christian than Satan is. With that in mind, I leave you with this from Daily Kos with a look at the culture war.

The Original

Maybe it is a War after all

by james richardson
Fri Mar 02, 2007

Perhaps Bill O'Reilly is right.  There is a war on Christmas.  Or maybe it's a war on Christians, or a war on Christianity.  The lines have been drawn in the sand.  Where exactly that line falls however is difficult to pin down.  A vast majority of Americans believe in some kind of God, a number conservatives echo to no end.  That vast majority does not consider itself specifically religious however.  They simply are something to the right of Atheism and to the left of Fundamentalist (anyone know the breakdown of politics among atheists by the way?).

A significant portion of the religious right is more than a little militant about their beliefs.  Attempting to portray themselves as humble followers of God seeking nothing more than to worship in peace and privacy, they are in actuality nothing of the sort.  Not content to allow followers of other religions to practice under the same protections they themselves demand, they instead insist their God, their religious beliefs and their methods of worship are not only superior but necessary to mend all of society's wounds, either real or imagined.

These are not the goals of a passive, live-and-let-live movement.  This is a movement that hates a strong national government, if that government is liberal.  Strong, national moral conservative governments are just dandy.  A movement that despises liberal communities attempting to nationalize their views and 'telling the people of Texas how to live and what to believe' see it as nothing less than a moral imperative to force their views upon the rest of the nation as a whole.  So convinced are they of their own moral clarity that inflection or second-guessing rarely enter the picture.  

This movement has succeeded in conquering two of the three branches of the Federal Government and positions in their local communities.  Thomas Franks documented one example of this in his wildy popular book "What's the Matter with Kansas?".  The third branch however has always eluded them.  The far Right has yet to understand that Judges get to interpret the Law and the Constitution.  You can't vote them in or out, and no amount of passion over a particular dispute will override it's legality of lack thereof, at least not for very long (see Prohibition and the 18th Amendment).

The truth is, people in this country have a right to Sin.  They have a right to be immoral, to be promiscuous, and to do things that are bad for them.  In a Democracy you need a reason to make something illegal, not to make it legal.  The Religious Right however has set itself on a path that requires a lifetime of refusing their most primal and fundamental urges and they in no way enjoy seeing those around them indulge in such urges with seeming careless frivolity.  They will damn well ensure their offspring do no such thing as well, and will use any means necessary to do so.

Laws must be passed.  It must be made illegal to be immoral.  Far beyond the immorality of, say murder, which is illegal in large part for interfering with the victim's right to be alive, laws must be passed to outlaw all morality in society as well as the behaviours that lead to temptation.  Human beings are week creatures after all, easily swayed, especially the females.  They require extra protection to keep them pure and virtuous for as long as possible.

It is a war.  It is a culture war; a war of ideas.  The religious right is not demanding simply a live-and-let-live society.  They are insisting that their God is the right God, their means of worship alone are correct, and their vision for the future of society is without fault.  They are barely tolerable of other forms and off-shoots of Christianity; insisting that alien religions like Islam and their Holy Book, the Koran, are inherently militant, they make the jump to declaring every simgle muslim follows the Koran to the letter of the law while conveniently ignoring the relatively small amount of Christians who follow the Bible in such a manner.

This combination of self-delcared moral authority and authoritarianistic tendencies is not easily contained, but certain tactics have proven themselves effective time and again when the pendulum between Church and State swings a little too close to one pole for confort.  Mainly, the tactic of shining a national spotlight on the beliefs and actions of the hardline religious-right.  Very few on the Right are able to actually live up to the high standards they so often fault others for, and human beings have an innate dislike of hypocrisy.  I have come to call it Haggard's Law:  that which a conservative is speaking against most strongly is that which the conservative will inevitably be found to be guilty of.

Sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant.  If those criticising the immorality of others cannot live up to their own standards they will again be marginalized, back to where they were before Karl Rove and the GOP realized they needed a new voting block to get George W. Bush elected, and found it in the churches.