The Conservative coalition in this country is made up of a triad of groups, Fiscal Conservatives, who also tend to Libertarianism, who favor smaller government, lower taxes, and less involvement in our lives from the government, largely because it impacts their bottom line. National Defense conservatives, who grew out of the Anti-Communist movement of the 50's and still favor a pre-eminent role for the United States in fighting terrorism today, and social conservatives, who, since 1980 at least, have succeeded in keeping an anti-abortion plank in the GOP Platform, and, for whom, the Life issue is their number one issue. It is these Far-right, fire-breathing, Bible-thumping, intolerant, want-to-tell-you-what-you-can't-do-in-your-bedroom Christians that this post is all about.
Actually, what this post is about, is about trying to find out what it is exactly, that the rest of the coalition finds so threatening about these Far-Right Extremists.
Doc's post and a co-worker of mine, an intelligent man, who feels much the same way, have me wondering why they feel that way? What has the Christian Right actually DONE that gives people (from opposite ends of the political spectrum in these two cases) the impression that they are soooooooo absolutely dangerous.
I am not personally a regular churchgoer, I run in circles with people who are, and either these fire breathing dragons are pulling one of the most elaborate ruses in history on the rest of us, or I am missing something here.
So, what is it I am missing? I'll throw out a few of my thoughts, then I challenge the rest of my readers (well, the one of them), to help me out here.
- Abortion - The Christian Right believes Life begins at conception, and, the most extreme would like to see abortion outlawed nationally in all circumstances. There are many proposed HLA's. Most merely state that life begins at conception or that the right to regulate abortions shall be left to the states. Even if Roe were overturned today, it would not lead to mass deaths due to "back-alley" abortions. States like Connecticut, California, New York, etc, would immediately pass laws (already on the books in CT) making abortion legal, and states like Georgia, SC, Alabama, Mississippi, would immediately place significant restrictions, if not outright outlawing abortion. I can't disagree with Doc's premises that it is low self-esteem, lack of education, etc, that leads to promiscuity and abortions. That's true, and, programs that remove those things will lead to fewer abortions. Regardless, the argument that if we just provided every kid with condoms and birth control and taught them how to use them has an analog in the argument that if we just took guns from everyone we wouldn't have any murders. Those both skirt the fact that murder is wrong, except in the most extreme of circumstances.
So, what is it about the Christian Right's abortion stance is it that strikes so much fear into the hearts of the anti-religionists? Is it the fear that once they succeed in passing an HLA, or overturning Roe that suddenly women will be dying left and right from illegal abortions? Is it that along with the CR's success here, they will get birth control outlawed, too? This, friends, is where I'd like your help, because I don't know what it is here that so bothers this group.
- Gay Rights and Defense of Marriage - is this the other issue that so disturbs? There are certainly some high profile Evangelicals who have serious theological and moral problems with homosexuality. And, they have made no secret that they find the homosexual lifestyle (at least as practiced by many gay men) abhorrent and immoral. There is something to be said for tradition, if it didn't work, it would be a tradition we would want to see changed. To many on the Christian Right, the tradition of one man, one woman has withstood the test of time, and is the best environment to raise children who will be productive members of society, not to mention, procreating members of society (but, I digress, as science is making that point moot). Anyway, is this one of those areas that puts us on a slippery slope to theocracy? I'd be interested in hearing those arguments.
- Public Displays of Faith - I'll lump things like displaying the 10 Commandments in public places, Manger scenes, etc into this category. Is this the horrible slope to a theocracy that people find so objectionable? I'm curious?