May 31, 2006

The Sopranoization of American Conservatism

We have watched this happen with Bush. As wrote early this month, Bush seems to prefer people who scoff at the law. The comparisons to the mob seem to show up throughout this presidency, when critics suddenly find themselves without employment or forced to completely recant. I know I certainly thought that John Dilullio saw a horses head in his bed after he called the White House a bunch of "Mayberry Machiavellians." Dilullio recanted immediately.

Well, it turns out that it isn't just the Rove Republicans who operate with intimidation. Christian evangelicals do to. That's right, the people who like to pray publicly like to also intimidate those who step out of line. In April, Amy Sullivan wrote about a Christian activist named Brinson who after helping get out the vote for Bush in 04 became disenchanted with the RepubChristian merger.


Those who believe they are hearing from God don't like dissent.
"'They've been calling my house, threatening my wife,' said Dr Brinson. 'The first time was on a day when I was going up to Washington to speak to Republicans in Congress. Only they knew I'd be away from home. The Republicans were advised not to turn up to listen to me, so only three did so.'"

It doesn't stop with him. Rich Cizik, the vice president of the national Association of Evangelicals dared suggest that Christians have an obligation to their environment.
Mr Cizik, an ordained minister of the Evangelical Presbyterian church and otherwise impeccably conservative on social issues such as abortion, stem-cell research and homosexuality, believes concern for the environment arises from Biblical injunctions about the stewardship of the Earth. The movement's political leadership, however, sees the issue as a distraction from its main tactical priorities: getting more conservatives on the supreme court, banning gay marriages and overturning Roe v Wade, the 1973 abortion ruling.

"It is supposed to be counterproductive even to consider this. I guess they do not want to part company with the president. This is nothing more than political assassination. I may lose my job. Twenty-five church leaders asked me not to take a political position on this issue but I am a fighter," he said.
Nice, isn't it? Oh, and btw, James Dobson is one of those people putting pressure on Cizik. These aren't Christians. They are thugs.

But my favorite line:
Another Washington lobbyist on the religious right told the Guardian: "Rich is just being stupid on this issue. There may be a debate to be had but ... people can only sustain so many moral movements in their lifetime. Is God really going to let the Earth burn up?"

For some reason God can stop global warming, but has no control over abortion and people's sexual actions? What kind of idiotic theology is this?

Update It isn't just the wealthy and the powerful Dobsons who act this way:
Daily Kos: Taken out of my church by the religious right: "This all came to a head one afternoon when my wife had enough and called the pastor to express her frustration and ask to talk things out. She had been a member of the church for 25 years and had dedicated much of her life to serving the congregation there. The pastor's response to my wife's issues? He told her that he hoped the two of us found a good church home. I was immediately removed from my position as a Sunday School teacher, through an intermediary, and told that if my wife would not 'submit to my authority' and return to church that I was not welcome there any longer. During this time nobody from the church -- not the pastor, the youth pastor, or any of the deacons, would return my phone calls or e-mails. Sadly, my wife and I gave up and left. "

More thugs.

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