Saturday, July 02, 2005

Balloon Juice and I agree...

I have never, until now, seen a post at Balloon Juice for which I can muster any sympathy, let alone agree.

But this post is spot on I think.

If anyone really thinks Dobson and Tony Perkins care about the Constitution, they need to reassess their faculties. They care about the Constitution in the context that they think liberal activist judges are robbing them from what is rightfully theirs (and in fairness, sometimes they are right). What they really care about is displaying the Ten Commandments wherever and whenever because we are a "Christian Nation."

They care about inserting themselves into family matters of life and death. They care about keeping drugs out of your hands, even if they ease pain caused by illness. They care about treating homosexuals like second-class citizens. They care about prayer in school and keeping "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. They care about ending abortion. They care about making divorces really difficult to obtain. They care about inserting religion into schools and ending the teaching of evolution. They care about a whole host of things, but Constitutional deference is not one of them.

And if the Constitution strictly ruled against everyone of their wishes, and the citizens had a vote and laws were passed making gay marriage legal, abortion legal, etc., do you think they would just give up? Of course they wouldn't- they would try to change the Constitution through amendments. Can anyone else figure out why James Dobson supports a flag desecration amendment? The reason is simple- it is just another step in reshaping the country to their choosing.

It just is who they are- there can be no changing that. Debate doesn't work, as they only recognize brute political force. Have you ever tried to debate abortion with someone from the far religious right? There is no debate. If you agree to end partial-birth abortion, they won't be happy. If you enact strict and universal parental notification, it won't be enough. If you change it to one trimester only, that isn't enough. If you make abortion extremely difficult to obtain, if it is still elective, that won't be far enough. If every state but California outlaws all abortion, do you think all of a sudden they would embrace the Constitution and the rhetoric of 'states rights?' This isn't about compromise or the Constitution- this is about remaking the country in what they view as God's image.

Balloon Juice is right for one other reason: though it probably sits uncomfortably with the more pacifist part of the moderate and progressive population, the way in which the religious right wants to enact their agenda is nothing short of the smashiest of smash mouth politics.

That is why a 2 pronged approach is needed to counter this threat to the American way of life:

1. A concerted effort to defeat these people in the legislative arena, using whatever legal means necessary.

2. A concerted effort to render the religious right irrelevant by way of actually responding to the very real moral ills of ourselves and our society that deconstruct their narrative about it (that is, that overtly and visibly contradict the stories they tell about "non-believers"), that engage them directly, although not with hostility, and that encourage "them" to see "us" as "us" as well as "them."

It must take a coordinated campaign to achieve this, with every bit of fervor as that used by the folks who practice "Evangelism Explosion."

(via Crooks and Liars, which also has a very good interview (albeit with nothing new) with Chris Hedges).

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