Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Christian right-wingers take a beating

Commentary by Pat Murphy


Pat Murphy

Public opinion has been devilishly bad lately for rightwing Republicans trying to brainwash Americans with political messages crudely concealed in religious themes.

They were unimpressed when powerful GOP political figures—President Bush, Congress, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush—contrived the slogan, "culture of life," in demanding (unsuccessfully) that judges force dying Terri Schiavo to be hooked to a feeding tube.

Polls found more than 70 percent of the public resented politicians intervening in the case.

Now, another blow to the latest GOP claptrap dressed to look like religion: denouncing opponents of ending filibusters against Bush's judicial androids as "against people of faith."

Bad news again. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday shows 66 percent opposed to changing the filibuster rules. A plurality—40 percent—also believe religious conservatives have too much influence, a sentiment shared by minister and former Sen. John Danforth, R-Missouri, who believes the GOP is hostage to religious zealots.

The message: Religion for politics is offensive.

Attacks won't subside. Tenacious Republicans shaping America's New Order have too much of their agenda concealed by religion.

But, oh, the hypocrisy.

Examples: The Family Research Council, a 21st century clone of the Spanish Inquisition that sponsored "Justice Sunday" to back Bush judgeships, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the headliner who joined in the bashing of Christians by other Christians.

The Family Research Council, obsessed today about ending filibusters, in 1998 ferociously supported filibusters against President Clinton's judicial nominees, as did Frist and the minority-party GOP. My, my.

Frist, whose Presbyterian elders oppose his political misuse of religion, is hooked on being president, not on spiritual do-gooding.

The real Republican goal is to get judges who'll ratify a creeping American theocracy, certify oligarchic economic doctrine, cripple civil rights and labor laws, nullify expanding rights of women and minorities, restore industrial pollution, dilute First Amendment rights, institutionalize presidential power to roam the world spoiling for war, codify increased police powers over Americans, and expand secrecy for those who rule.

"People of faith" promoters probably broke the Ten Commandments by falsely denouncing those opposed to their doctrines—"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." (Exodus 20: 16)

Inside the frayed cover of my ardent Presbyterian mother's Bible, printed in 1913 and given to her as a child and now my keepsake, she taped a lifelong devotional, Proverbs 4:7. Sen. Frist and other theocratic quacks should read it: "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding."

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