Two decades ago conservative strategists decided to play the religion card, and some of them talked about turning conservative churches into a vast network of Republican "club houses." The reference was to the political club houses of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. Now, they have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, and the political churches or religious Republican club houses are vastly more powerful than the old club houses where people played cards, smoked cigars, and haggled over minor patronage.Last years, hundreds of Protestant and Catholic churches were treated to sermons on the theme that a good Christian could not vote for John Kerry. The priests and ministers usually stopped just short of saying the congregants should vote for George W. Bush.
However, these political churchmen came so close to doing so that conservative Congressman talked about introducing legislation permitting men of the cloth to cross the line a few times before endangering the tax-exempt status of their churches.In October, 2004, Rector Emeritus George Regas told the folks at All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena that Christ would not support a preemptive or preventive war. He also talked about poverty, but did not endorse the tough love approach to compassion, stripping the poor of benefits to compel them become creative and industrious. Regas did not urge people to vote for Kerry or against George W. Bush.Nevertheless, the IRS is now considering whether to strip that church of its tax exempt status. It is unlikely occur. Perhaps the threat to All Saints was intended as a means of arguing in favor of legislation permitting churchmen to discuss politics in the pulpit.
More than a few progressive clergymen will hear the warning shot and learn to trim their sails, even if it means backing off from some of the Christian message.How many religious Republican club houses has the IRS investigated? Narry a one.This is partly about intimidation and smart politics. Much more is involved. The people behind these policies support religious indoctrionation in public schools and at the Air Force Academy. They tried to produce a specially annotate version of the Bible for the Armed Forces.
At bottom many on the Religious Right are true believers who cannot brook dissent and find it blasphemous to even suggest that Jesus Christ would question American exceptionmalism or refuse to enlist in a crusade led by George W. Bush. The Catholics among them, worked ov ertime to explain John Paul II's opposition to both!
"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Orwell-- The US is probably moving toward becoming a heavily controlled Rightist state. This blog is an effort to document how that happened.
- Sherman De Brosse
- Sherm spent seven years writing an analytical chronicle of what the Republicans have been up to since the 1970s. It discusses elements in the Republican coalition, their ideologies, strategies, informational and financial resources, and election shenanigans. Abuses of power by the Reagan and G. W. Bush administration and the Republican Congresses are detailed. The New Republican Coalition : Its Rise and Impact, The Seventies to Present (Publish America) can be acquired by calling 301-695-1707. On line, go to http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping. It can also be obtained through the on-line operations of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Do not consider purchasing it if you are looking for something that mirrors the mainstream media!