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Not Of OUR World

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Religious people, especially Christians, love to crow about what open-minded and friendly people they are. To be fair, many really are as true to their word as they claim, but one does have to wonder about some of their leaders.

Recently, James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, and other conservative Christian leaders have been trying to stifle the public utterances of Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president for government relations of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), over his environmental concerns, which include the reality of global warming. He says Christians have “a biblical imperative to protect the environment,” yet Dobson and his clique insist that Cizik is “dividing and demoralizing evangelicals.”

Dobson appears to be the divisive one, as Cizik’s defender, the Rev. Leith Anderson, described Cizik as “a great asset” and revealed that Dobson’s complaint about Cizik was released to the news media prior to it being received by the NAE governing board.

Dobson and his running dogs appear to be attempting to control the minds of their followers through the prevention of the expansion of evangelicals’ political agenda to include thought-provoking ideas – such as abortion and same-sex marriage, religious freedom around the world, compassion for the poor, and ending oppression in Darfur – in their political discussions. Do Dobson & Co. fear that the introduction of such topics will weaken the faith of their fellow evangelicals, leading to a loss of political power in themselves?

They must. Heed the words of a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University who, when she learned about the plan to invite GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon, to address the student body of this evangelical Christian university, said: “How could they do this?” It’s because Republicans think most people are stupid. Why else would they have removed the clocks from all public areas of US Postal Service substations? It makes no sense when people have devices like watches and cell phones which provide timekeeping duties.

But I digress.

Why the opposition to having Romney speak? Hearing a Mormon candidate for president speak “would confuse young Christians who are not so firmly grounded in Christian doctrine.” Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network equates Mormonism with cults on its Web site, so to allow Romney to speak has to be seen as a dogmatic dissonance. After all, what religion would promote the Devil’s speaker to its adherents? I’m sure that when Catholic ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks at Regent’s executive leadership program next month, that will prove to be as great a domgatic trauma to these uber-Protestants, who are so fearful of the Pope regaining total dominance of Christianity that they will follow any extremist suggestion to prevent it.

Keep this in mind, Ratzinger!

And just what does all of this have to do with American politics? I see a connection between the religious distinctions adhered to above and those more secular ones applied to our political figures, such as Romney and Giuliani. But more especially, I see a connection between these distinctions and Republican voter attitudes toward more liberal candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Yet, charges of “liberal views” and tales of “messy” personal histories don’t seem to be producing the expected knee-jerk response from the faithful. There might well be a reason why this is so. As Frank Rich recently opined, “… maybe most Republicans could use a rest from the moral brigade. Maybe these voters, too, care more about the right to life of troops thrust into an Iraqi civil war than that of discarded embryos used in stem-cell research.”

Blasphemy! Wouldn’t caring more about the troops’ right to life call up some unpleasant thoughts about the War of Terror? Damn them all to Hell! That might explain why Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, in response to the Walter Reed scandal, “The problems at Walter Reed appear to be problems of leadership.” It was an attempt to limit the damage among the faithful.

Such an observation concerning leadership problems could be said about Gates’ boss, George W. Bush, as well. The Daily Review of Towanda, PA editorialized:

“The most recent revelation of disheartening medical treatment of American soldiers who have suffered wounds and other injuries in the war in Iraq is but the latest in the waves of on-again, off-again shoddy treatment over the years of military veterans after they return home. In a word, it is appalling. The government must move with dispatch to reform the bureaucracy and correct the problems once and for all.”

But Bush is focused on much more personal matters, like seeing to it that he’s not impeached and indicted himself while his political rivals are instead. Didn’t hear about this? No surprise! Charges of political interference in U.S. attorney firings have not been reported by the networks’ evening newscasts until just recently. Reports indicate that the White House backed firing these U.S. Attorneys, especially after Justice Department officials admitted that the ousters were due to the administration’s “unhappiness with the prosecutors’ policy decisions”, meaning things like prosecuting Republican Rep. Randy Cunningham for bribery instead of focusing on illegal immigration, or opposing death penalty judgements in uncertain trials. Replacing federal prosecutors who take the law seriously and even-handedly with partisan toadies who don’t and won’t is vital to the goal of achieving a permanent Republican majority. It would ensure that things like the Florida and Ohio vote count manipulations would not be prosecuted.

But how to cover such a blatant attempt at defending from consequences? Lie about why the attorneys had to go! Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales asserted that each U.S. attorney had been fired for job performance reasons, but in fact “at least five of [the U.S. attorneys] received positive job evaluations before they were ordered to step down.” Gonzales must be sure that he won’t be called to account for his blatant politicisation of the Department of Justice.

The benefit of replacing straight arrows who go after wrongdoers regardless of party affiliation with hacks who will do as they are told is sure to pay dividends. In Hillary’s case, for example, this means that a war authorization vote apology will mean nothing to the voters if she or her campaign can be linked to terrorism, however nebulously. Whitewater will seem a mere trifle in comparison.

It’s seen by some as ironic that Bush would even use the justification of poor performance for these terminations when, as Tom Teepen of Cox Newspapers puts it, “Bush, of all people, can’t very well cite anything ‘performance-related’ in his own defense.” So, if he’s seen as having done so poorly domestically, is it any wonder that he’s also seen as inept internationally? Former four-star Army general and potential 2008 candidate Wesley Clark said, “This administration’s foreign policy, in my mind, has not been adept,” and that he sees war with Iran looming.

That may not be the only problem looming that should cause international concern. With North Korean negotiators in the United States to continue talks aimed at reducing their nuclear program to previously internaltionally monitored levels, is this not a bad time for Muamar Gaddafi to complain that the Western powers – which by definition includes the United States – “have failed to properly compensate Libya for scrapping its nuclear arms programme?”

But let’s not worry about such mundane issues! Let’s use four of Ann Coulter’s security detail to force conservative Christian author Dan Borchers out of the Conservative Political Action Conference for “asking a question of another author (Mark Smith) about Ann Coulter’s involvement in the Paula Jones case.” We wouldn’t want people to notice how queer her thinking is.

The real offense? Borchers – a lifelong conservative Republican, a military veteran, and a “mild-mannered, humble Christian” – believes that Ann Coulter has “mainstreamed extremism” and has written criticisms about her. At a previous CPAC conference two years ago, Borchers attempted to distribute a press kit asking Coulter to cease with the hate speech.

Yup! Sounds like good reasons to throw him out for not being “one of us’n!” Have the Pioneers open the Pearly Gates to Eden Garden and have the Rangers toss out all the non-GOP Infidels! Then we can return to giving thanks to Our God for the victory over the nonbelievers in Iraq once we’ve killed their leaders and forced them to convert to American corporate Christianity!

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  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Here in Virginia–home to both Robertson AND Falwell (how blessed we are!!)–it isn’t unusual to hear, “I’m voting for him (Republican) because I think he’s a good Christian.”

    Considering this was the view most recently about critters like Bush, Cheney and George Allen, the faithful have been wasting their votes if they think religious belief will produce honest, competent government of, by and for the people.

  • Nancy

    A wise man once said to beware of those who wrap themselves in the Flag or Religion, & beware double of those that do both.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    solid read, Realist…

    one less thing that i feel compelled to screed about now…

    /golfclap

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Not to be difficult, but just as a fetus has no right to life, being under the control and authority of the woman carrying it, a soldier’s right to life – or at least to determine how his life is used – was contractually given up to the military and the government.

    “I’m voting for him (Republican) because I think he’s a good Christian.”

    In central Pennsylvania where I lived for some years, we had a candidate who got elected repeatedly because he let people borrow his tractor. That seems more inherently useful than being a good Christian.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    Dave – i completely agree that a soldier gives up quite a lot when he/she swears in

    but part of that obligation goes both ways…that soldier is due the BEST possible care if he has been wounded, and his family deserves everything if he was killed…not saying you don’t know that…i think you feel as strongly as i do on this

    but it had to be said…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Well sure, Jaz. That fits right in with the comparison I was making. The government/military assumes a parental role and as a parent should care for the soldier like a child. But like a parent they have certain rights over that child which are more absolute than just about any other relationship in our society, and that includes making life or death decisions for them.

    Dave

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Good post, but there is one thing with which I’ve got to take serious issue:

    Republicans think most people are stupid.

    Most people ARE stupid.