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.