Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Theocratic Agenda

Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth is the latest conservative Republican to caution his party about how the Religious Right has obscured long-held GOP principles. In his op-ed for The New York Times, Danforth, an Episcopal minister, muses on how the GOP and Christian Right are morphing into a single entity:

"I do not fault religious people for political action. Since Moses confronted the pharaoh, faithful people have heard God's call to political involvement. Nor has political action been unique to conservative Christians. Religious liberals have been politically active in support of gay rights and against nuclear weapons and the death penalty. In America, everyone has the right to try to influence political issues, regardless of his religious motivations.

"The problem is not with people or churches that are politically active. It is with a party that has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement.

"When government becomes the means of carrying out a religious program, it raises obvious questions under the First Amendment. But even in the absence of constitutional issues, a political party should resist identification with a religious movement. ... At its best, religion can be a uniting influence, but in practice, nothing is more divisive. For politicians to advance the cause of one religious group is often to oppose the cause of another."


"During the 18 years I served in the Senate, Republicans often disagreed with each other. But there was much that held us together. We believed in limited government, in keeping light the burden of taxation and regulation. We encouraged the private sector, so that a free economy might thrive. We believed that judges should interpret the law, not legislate. We were internationalists who supported an engaged foreign policy, a strong national defense and free trade. These were principles shared by virtually all Republicans.

"But in recent times, we Republicans have allowed this shared agenda to become secondary to the agenda of Christian conservatives. As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around."

The entire piece is worth reading in its entirety.


At 6:24 PM, Anonymous St. Nauseous said...

"Amen," if you will. The WOMD fiasco is forgivable (sorta), but for those of us who consider the GOP to be the lesser of two evils, the Christian leanings are the truly scary aspects of the administration.
Dear God, please don't make me vote Democratic.

At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what's worse - the Republicans and the Right Wing church or the radical Islamic governments.


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