Monday, December 6, 2010

Mine Eyes Have Seen

This country is in enormous trouble. It's the sort of thing that ought to make anyone who loves America deeply disturbed. Which, of course, it doesn't. Because they don't.

When emails first appeared calling for dumping current Speaker Joe Straus in favor of "Christian conservative" leadership, Straus' more visible opponents initially dismissed accusations of anti-Jewish/pro-Christian bias. "I've never heard any one talk about Mr. Straus' religion," said Michael Quinn Sullivan, the head of Empower Texans and a vocal leader of the anti-Straus crowd. "There is no place in the speakership race for discussions of people's religion or lack thereof."....

... It seemed like things had died down, until I obtained an email exchange Tuesday between two members of the State Republican Executive Committee—Rebecca Williamson and John Cook. After Williamson sent a fact sheet to SREC members defending Straus, Cook responded by dismissing her claims and saying that "We elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it." (You can see both emails here.) Since the SREC governs state Republican Party affairs, this marked the first time an elected party leader had semi-openly called for a "Christian conservative" Speaker.

... Cook, who stands by his email, doesn't mince words: he maintains that his demands are in no way bigoted. Here's a summary of our conversation, and I'll leave it to readers to judge.

"When I got involved in politics, I told people I wanted to put Christian conservatives in leadership positions," he told me, explaining that he only supports Christian conservative candidates in Republican primary races.

"I want to make sure that a person I'm supporting is going to have my values. It's not anything about Jews and whether I think their religion is right or Muslims and whether I think their religion is right. ... I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They're the people that do the best jobs over all."

Then he asked me if I was a Christian....

The thing is, I doubt many on the right find this the least bit chilling. It's teabagger heaven. It's Palinbeckopalooza. It's without question where we're headed.

Education? Kiss it goodbye. Rational politics? Already gone. Collaboration, problem-solving, reaching out, inclusiveness, democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, respect for minorities -- in short, America. Going, going....

Think I'm over the top? Unfair? One-sided? Against this? This makes me sick. Physically, literally sick.

What's next? What the hell is next?


  1. Surveys show that Americans grow increasingly unreligious, yet as you point out fundamentalists seem to be increasingly powerful in government. I don't get it.

    You cannot help to wonder what is their role model. If you were to graph the quality of life versus religiosity of a nation, we all know what the results would be.

    BTW did you see this from Hawaii? A couple of guys protested a prayer given in the state legistlature and were beaten on camera for it.

  2. I did see that. I understand they were eventually exonerated in a court of law, which also declared the Senate was violating Hawaii law by having prayers.

    It is indeed a paradox that some data claim we're becoming less religious even as religion is taking over government. It's not entirely paranoia, I'd argue, to think that, no matter the numbers, if it's the religionists who are in control, the non- or other-believers are in big trouble.

  3. While agreeing immediately that Sullivan is an ignorant bigot with no right to any position in any part of government, inasmuch as he wouldn't know the US Constitution if it kissed him on the lips, and that it's scary that over the last decade, so many Americans have lost any sense of what our obligations are to each other, and what our government's obligations are to ourselves, I gotta say, I have zero sympathy for Straus.

    Who did he think he was getting involved with?

    Hmmm, let's see, a Jew joins a political party that continually panders to militant Christians, in the state where they arguably pander the most--and now it turns out they don't like his religion.

    Oh, there's a huge surprise.

    - Molly, NYC


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