One Year Under God

Over the past year, I’ve written about the ridiculous effort to “save” Terri Schiavo‘s body from her dead brain, the ruse of Intelligent Design, and the tragedy of Homeschooling and then recently in The New York Times genius Frank Rich nails every 2005 coffin closed on the open and un-brawly intents of the religious right and other pretenders in two paragraph gems from a jewel of an essay:

An ersatz war on Christmas fits all too snugly into a year that began with the religious right’s (unsuccessful) efforts to destroy the box office and Oscar prospects of Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby” and “save” Terri Schiavo and that ended with a federal judge banishing intelligent design from high school biology classes.

In his sweeping 139-page opinion, that judge, John Jones III, put his finger on the hypocrisy of many of those most ostentatiously defending faith from its alleged assailants in America. Referring to the fundamentalists on the Dover, Pa., school board, he wrote that it was “ironic” that those who “so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the intelligent design policy.” That passage fits much of the dishonesty and cynicism perpetrated in the name of religion in America over the past 12 months.

Here is Frank’s second gem:

A no less unctuous spectacle was provided this year by Bill Frist, the Senate’s majority leader and self-infatuated doctor-in-residence. Mr. Frist played God on national television by giving a quack diagnosis of Ms. Schiavo’s condition based on a videotape, and then endorsed a so-called Justice Sunday megachurch rally demonizing “activist” judges – including, no doubt, any who may yet pass on the legality of his brilliantly timed stock sales. Though the senator’s farcical behavior is worthy of Molière, he is hardly unique among his peers with presidential aspirations.

Chastened by a perceived “moral values” deficit that might haunt her in 2008, Hillary Clinton now wears her history as “a praying person” on her sleeve. In June John Kerry told a gathering that he “went back and read the New Testament the other day” – which presumably will prevent him from erroneously citing Job as his favorite New Testament text, as Howard Dean did in 2004.

What Frank Rich understands that most of the conservative religious right refuses to acknowledge is they have over-played their Christian War hand abroad and the intolerance of anything non-Christian at home. Most of us are worn out on God and won over by those who preach humanity over hymnals.

13 comments

  • What does the agenda of the conservative religious right really come down to? It feels nothing like the Catholicism/Methodism I knew as a child. Where is the celebration of the diversity of humanity? The acceptance of alternative views and allowance for different ways of living one’s life? It seems motivated more by fear of the unknown than compassion. Using bible literalism to jutisfy intolerance, they have attempted to hijack the country. This attempt was a very selfish one, as it diverted the attention of the American people from important issues at home and abroad, focusing it instead on the ‘Christian War’.
    From Christian owned and themed businesses to the President, the religious right has attempted to push their concept of God into every area of society, refusing to acknowledge the importance of secularism and differing religious views. I am saddened and worn out. Saddened by the intolerance, and worn out by the broken-record of their agenda. I hope that this will be reflected in the coming year’s mid-term elections.

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  • Jonathan!
    Your new Avatar is even better than your other great one. Harr! :mrgreen: :!:
    You raise some interesting issues and one of my posts tomorrow directly addresses the important topics you raise!

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  • I agree with Jonathan. We are getting into some creepy times here. It will be interesting to read your piece tomorrow.

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  • Thanks, its difficult to get a 80×80 pciture to represent your core. Ive been playing around with it :). I look forward to reading your post.

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  • Yes, it’s tough to get an Avatar work for you while revealing precisely what you wish to be known. :mrgreen:
    Tomorrow’s piece is done! Now it sits and simmers and sees if it can find the light of tomorrow’s day.

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  • It does concern me, this current way we are all living, but not really getting along. Mandates are scary things. Win an election and you think you won the world.

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  • When I said I was going to let my article “simmer” I DIDN’T MEAN FOR YOU TO READ IT! :mrgreen:
    Simmering — you are either in my head or in my nightmares or you’re somehow reading my browser cache!
    You are right on point. Elections and perceived mandates can go a long way to destroying not only nations but cultures and ways of living.
    We live in sad times and even the ultra-conservatives can’t think they’re living happy and safe anymore because there is zero evidence of that claim to be found.

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  • Oh, sorry if I revealed something. I was just yammering around. I read a lot here so I probably know what might be in there tomorrow.

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  • Hey Simms —
    You didn’t reveal anything, really, it’s just fun how closely we were thinking without saying anything. Is that the definition of magic? :grin:
    I’m sure you can anticipate the tone and timber of the article but I hope I can surprise you a bit in the process.

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  • :wink: You’re full of… surprises!

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  • Surprises… and so much more! :mrgreen:

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  • Like a piñata?
    Nice entry, we are indeed living in … interesting times, times where people seem to think that superstitions and unsubstantiated stories should dictate how whole nations live their lives.

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  • Thanks for the fine comment, Matt, and welcome to the blog! You blog has an interesting topic! You might enjoy the fruits of this recent discussion about human nature and evolution.

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