Monday, December 13, 2004


It seems to be the case that, since the election, the Christian right has been working itself into a lather with the conviction that 99% of their countrymen share the same moral beliefs and that the other 1% is a sort of obscene minority that needs to be dealt with via legislation "promoting traditional values." They have an extreme amount of motivation at the moment, and the fact that they are perhaps the best-organized constituency in the country is what allows them to believe that they represent the vast majority. I am wondering how long it will be until we see a well-organized backlash against this fundamentalist movement, for it is truly only the lack of an organized opponent that prevents them from seeing that the nation is not, in fact, a Christian monolith. There are so many people who are fed up with Michael Powell's FCC, with Brent Bozell's nannying, with anti-gay legislation, with the attack on reproductive rights, and there simply needs to be better organization so that we saturate the media in the same way that Bozell saturates the FCC. The Christian right sees itself as one tent of people fighting the good fight, and it's time that their victims started seeing themselves as one group rather than as disparate besieged entities.

Read it and weep.

Here are the choice bits:

"It's like when the hijackers took over those four planes on Sept. 11 and took people to a place where they didn't want to go," she added. "I think a lot of people feel that liberals have taken our country somewhere we don't want to go. I think a lot more people realize this is our country and we're going to take it back."

So, half the people in the country are just like the 9/11 terrorists?

In 1999, the Kansas board voted to erase any mention of evolution from the state science curriculum, opening the door for the teaching of creationism. That was reversed in 2001, after three board members who supported the move were defeated in a Republican primary. Kathy Martin, a newly elected member of the board who favors teaching alternatives to evolution, said the board would probably take a different route this time, like introducing the teaching of "intelligent design," a theory that holds that the development of the universe and earth was guided at each step by an "intelligent agent."

From what I've read, teaching "intelligent design" does not violate the prohibition of promoting religion in the classroom, apparently because it is just generic enough. The agenda is plenty clear, though.

The Christian right, of course, believes it has a monopoly on morality, but...

But Mr. Romero of the A.C.L.U. said that beyond filing legal challenges, liberals needed to appropriate the language of morality from Christian conservatives to capture the popular imagination.

"Lawsuits are about telling stories, and we need to talk about why we picked this case and why it's important," he said. "For instance, we need to ask, where is the morality when a partner of 20 years is denied hospital access because a state doesn't believe in gay marriage? Where is the morality in forcing a teenage girl into a back-alley abortion?"

What's impressive about the politically-active Christian right is how they so successfully portray themselves as being under attack, from gays, from feminists, from the media, from Hollywood, from the ACLU, you name it, when they are so clearly in the driver's seat in this country.

No comments: