Archive for the 'secularism' Category

Kathleen Parker versus the Oogs, Boogs.

In Kathleen Parker’s latest article in the WaPo she makes the case for the GOP dumping GOD.

here’s the money:

The evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

I agree. America’s conservative party shouldn’t be America’s Christian party.

Parker jokes that the people that are currently the dominant voice in Republican politics used to be “relegated to wooden crates on street corners.”

That’s not quite right – the people on the wooden crates are still on the corner. The people she means are the intolerant cheap-suit fakers. They are the ones the Republican party enlisted to deliver, congregation by congregation, saved-soul by saved-soul, political victories in two national elections.

The only reason Kathleen Parker has changed her tune is that this time they lost. The problem for Parker isn’t the intolerance, bigotry, and fundamentalism of these people. It’s that not enough of the country is intolerant, bigoted, and fundamentalist along with them:

Suffice it to say, the Republican Party is largely comprised of white, married Christians. Anyone watching the two conventions last summer can’t have missed the stark differences: One party was brimming with energy, youth and diversity; the other felt like an annual Depends sales meeting.

So instead of saying, “let’s take responsibility for playing on people’s xenophobia and ‘traditional’ values because it’s wrong to hate people who are different, and that’s what’s distracted us from our conservative vision of good governance.”

She’s saying: “there ain’t enough votes in xenophobia and the oogedy-boogedy”

Time for the Republicans to modernize. If the basic fight between conservatives and liberals is a 3-5 percent change in the tax rate, and what to spend the difference on – then let’s fight about that. Not about who’s more American or more righteous.

So good on you Parker, for seeing the need to kick out the evangelicals – it’s long overdue.

But what’s missing is that the Republicans should take responsibility for inviting them in, buying into their rhetoric, and electing the latest disaster that their kind of religiosity has spawned: George W. Bush.

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The faithful and the faithless

David Brooks, in his most recent column, says this:

“But now the landscape of religious life has changed. Now its most prominent feature is the supposed war between the faithful and the faithless. Mitt Romney didn’t start this war, but speeches like his both exploit and solidify this divide in people’s minds.”

I think that David Brooks is right that Mitt is playing to the fears of the faithful. That he is saying that he passes their religous test. And the rest of us are like, damnit, and that’s why you’re awful.

But the New York Times, in an editorial, said this:

“CNN, shockingly, required the candidates at the recent Republican debate to answer a videotaped question from a voter holding a Christian edition of the Bible, who said: “How you answer this question will tell us everything we need to know about you. Do you believe every word of this book? Specifically, this book that I am holding in my hand, do you believe this book?” The nation’s founders knew the answer to that question says nothing about a candidate’s fitness for office.”

See, I think that the editorial board means to say that a candidate’s religious beliefs do not make a candidate fit or unfit for office. That they are irrelevant. I don’t think so, I think that they are relevant. I don’t think that people can put aside their beliefs, because I know that I can’t.

If mitt romney or anyone else REALLY believes genesis hocus-pocus, or pillars of salt, or the rest of the fantastical stuff in the bible, I think that it most certainly WILL have an effect on how they govern.

My guess is, though, that most believers believe in Adam and Eve the way I believe in Frodo and Aragorn.

I can get really passionate and say No Way, Frodo came from Hobbiton, you moron, not Michel Delving! and I really mean it. Even though, strickly speaking, Frodo does not ANYTHING.

So is it really a war between the faithful and the faithless? I certainly feel a measure of antagonism.

And it’s not the sort of thing were I can see both sides. I can’t. That’s why I’m on the side that I am. Because I only see its side. I mean, I get it sociologically – people take comfort in fairy tales – but does it make sense to me that reasonable people would harbor any kind of religious beliefs? not really.

I am a religious bigot

Romney at youtube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=_OXtxFUCKjA

Romney at NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16846036

Listen to the VERY END of the NPR thing. Robert Siegel goes, “well thanks for talking with me, just the same.” HA!

I have to deal with the fact that I like the snarkiness of the “Do you believe in the literal truth” question. I like to see Romney twisting in the wind over it – well, no, I don’t believe some of the “special effects” parts of the bible, but I can’t say that, because that will alienate the fundamentalists in the republican party.

Romney doesn’t want his religion to play a part in this because “mormonism” is wierd. He doesn’t want to get into it, because that will invite further inquiry into what he “really believes.”

I’m torn, too. I want to be a tolerant person, I really do. But I think that I am MUCH less likely to vote for a candidate who believes in the “literal truth” of the bible. So does that make me a religious bigot?

I suppose I really DO care about the candidates’ religious views. If they actually have any, I’m scared of them.