Sunday, September 18, 2011

God and Politics

I dedicated this blog to the issues of religion and belief - or, more aptly, disbelief - in god. Many, not all, of my posts here deal with various aspects of religious belief and/or the politics surrounding it. It's not particularly scholarly, much of it in fact is fed more by emotion than analytics or reason.

I came to the conclusion that god was a myth back around 1970 or so, and for many years I more or less kept my opinions on the matter to myself. Afterall, it was, IMO, a strictly personal choice. Of course, my wife, Jo came to know of it and a few others, but it wasn't something I broadcast openly. A part of that may have been self-serving, not wanting to create unnecessary ripples in the family or at work, etc. And it pretty much stayed that way for 20 years or more.

But then I became aware of what I considered to be a disturbing trend. With the rise of the "moral majority" and other christian fundamentalist movements, it became clear that many of them had as their goal for this country, a christian theocracy. It was their intent, to one degree or another to usurp the Constitution as we know it and replace it with a document, and a government based in christian dogma. There are a handfull of informative books dedicated to that very concern.

Over the past 15 years or so religion has become more and more a part of our national politics. Many use as a litmus test a candidate's religious leanings and their take on social/moral issues. The religious Right has co-opted the term "family values" and other catch phrases to set themselves apart (or above) the rest of us. They truly believe that their cause is holy and blessed by their god (just as do islamic radicals) while those on the left are at best, misguided, and at worst, minions of the devil.

A lot of people dismissed this movement as being too far "out there" to be taken seriously. Carl Rove and the Bushies catered to the religiious fundies by inviting them into the political sphere in the effort to get W elected both in 2000 and again in 2004. Since then, the more pragmatic, fiscal conservative wings of the GOP have tried in vain to separate themselves from the theocrats. Now, though, it is difficult to discern just what faction holds sway.

Among the teabaggers are a large contingent of christian fundies who may or may not hold as part of their agenda fiscal concerns, but they definitely are on board to "take back their country" as regards social/moral issues - abortion, gay marriage and other civil rights issues.

With their success in the 2010 mid-term elections, all those on the Right are licking their chops over what they see as a possible complete takeover of the federal government - all 3 branches - the White House, the House and Senate AND the courts. If unfettered they will have a heyday during at least one presidential term that would likely bring an end to 100+ years of social progress in the U.S. They truly have a vested interest in keeping the economy on its heels at least through November of 2012, in so doing, maintaining Obama's numbers well below 50% assuring a WH win.

Should that happen, it's not hard to expect that the Rep majority in the House would grow, and that Democratic control in the Senate would be lost. The Supreme Court is currently balanced on the conservative side. The next president will likely be able to appoint perhaps two or more new judges to the court which would, if the above scenario comes to fruitiion, give the Right pretty much carte blanche to enact whatever the hell they wish.

Further, between so called "blue dogs" and weak kneed Dems, it's unlikely that they would put up much of a fight. Progressives will be shunted ignominiously out into the cold.

Ultimately, it may be only putting off the inevitable, but for at least those reasons I've discussed above, I believe it imperative that Obama be re-elected in 2012. If not, it will be a dark world indeed. (Absolutely no pun intended.)