I feel a Tuesday rant and just have to get this off my chest.
I think I feel really stupid. As much as I have disagreed with the conservative church, I really thought that they were sincere. I believed that conservative Christians really cared about morality and values. I believed that their disgust with Clinton was partially political, but mostly about his character. And I understood that.
So when they flocked to Bush in 2000, I understood. There was a lot to like there. I was certainly fooled by him. Not enough to vote for him, but he fooled me too. I thought that when he said that his faith was central to his life, that would mean something. I certainly thought that the whole "compassionate conservatism" might be something other than a slogan. When he appointed a white supremacist (or certainly sympathizer) in John Ashcroft and filled the rest of his cabinet with business partners, I knew we were f*cked.
But I understood why conservatives stayed with him. I understood why they made allowances for Cheney's energy "policy" and refusal to talk about it (especially when we know that Ken Lay was part of it). I understood why they rallied around him after 9-11 because we were all scared. I understood that while I thought his call to "go back to shopping" instead of asking us to sacrifice and cooperate and work together was ridiculous, people rallied around him because they needed to believe in something. .
But I was pretty sure his whole Christian thing was paper thin. And when certain things happened, I assumed that conservative Christians would start to see the holes too. I thought that, for example, despite their conservative leanings, they were all pro-military and respected military service. so when the repubs savaged a handicapped veteran senator in Georgia, that might make christian conservatives wince. It didn't. So, when they savaged Kerry, I wasn't too surprised. And no surprise, conservative Christians allowed a spoiled drunk rich kid to become a war hero and a decorated veteran savaged in the media as some kind of pacifist weenie.
But I thought national security was a big issue, so i assumed that when the White House leaked the name of a CIA agent who worked for us, that they might get angry. After all, national defense is a conservative issue, right? You don't jeopardize national security for politics. That was somethign they accused Clinton of doing.
As it turns out, they didn't care. They allowed Bush to retain Karl Rove and move along as if nothing happened. Hmm. Christian conservatives don't really care about national defense?
Then the torture thing came along. I thought, and said to SOF, this will be their undoing. Because what ever Christian conservatives are, they will find that completely incompatible with their faith. They will have to criticize Bush and what is more, he will be exposed as someone who just talks about his faith. Christians around the country will be turned off and might not reelect him because they would find torture completely unChristian.
Guess what? You guys don't care. Not a bit. Not only did Bush allow torture, he and his administration have sought ways to legitimize it and have even changed the Army training rules to take out parts that told soldiers to not do it to captured enemies. Torture doesn't even change people's mind.
It is very hard for me to even see conservative Christian values still alive. If torture isn't a problem, then what is? Today, it seems to me that as long as Bush doesn't actually challenge any of conservative Christian's lives--ask them to sacrifice; or as long as he continues to oppose homosexuality and make nice noises about abortion, he can do what ever he wants. He can torture. He can screw up our national defense. He can undermine the constitution. And conservative Christians won't care. Not one bit.
Sorry about the rant, but that is how I feel today. I can't believe that conservative Christians I know, people who have often challenged moral failings in our society and stood up for basic freedoms aren't a little sick over this administration. I can't believe those who lectured me on civil liberties and how Clinton was ruining our country haven't erupted in outrage over wiretaps and secret prisons. And I can't believe that so many people who tell me how important Christ is in their lives have absolutely nothing to say about torture.