10.15.2006

So What Did You Expect . . . Transubtantiation?



Can't tell you how many times I've written here that the neocons' and The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang's relationship with the Christian Right would be abandoned as soon as they were no longer useful; that it is a cynical Rovian strategy.

First, in the Nixon years, there was the "Silent Majority".

Then in the late 1970s, the "Moral Majority" came along, led by folks like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell came along. Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
Moral Majority got its start out of a bitter battle for control of Christian Voice in 1978. After a news conference by Christian Voice's Robert Grant during which he claimed that the Religious Right was a "sham... controlled by three Catholics and a Jew," Paul Weyrich, Terry Dolan, and Richard Viguerie (the Catholics) and Howard Phillips left Christian Voice and recruited televangelist Jerry Falwell to found Moral Majority which, by 1982, surpassed Christian Voice in size and influence. Started in 1979, Moral Majority was an organization made up of conservative Christian political action committees, which campaigned on issues it believed central to upholding its Christian conception of the moral law, a perception it believed represented the majority of people's opinions (hence the movement's name). Falwell was the organization's public face throughout the 1980's. The organization dissolved officially in 1989 but lives on in the Christian Coalition network initiated by Pat Robertson. With a membership of millions (which would only constitute a small, single-digit percentage of the general population) the Moral Majority was one of the largest conservative lobby groups in the United States . . .

The Moral Majority had adherents in the two major United States political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, though it exercised far more influence on the former.

In 1981, a series of exposés (later nominated for the Pulitzer Prize) by Memphis reporter Mike Clark led to some condemning the interactions between the Moral Majority and the Republican Party. Despite the group's name, opinion polls as well as election and referendum outcomes suggest that it was less representative of public opinion than its name might have suggested.

Falwell has recently revived the name for another similar organization that he founded after the 2004 election, called The Moral Majority Coalition . . . an organization designed to continue the “evangelical revolution” to help conservative politicians get elected. Referring to the Coalition as a “21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority,” Falwell, the father of the modern “religious right” political movement, commits to leading the organization for four years.
I'm sure that the number of words written by the Left about the Christan Right in the last six years are surpassed only by the number written about the "War on Terror" and attack on the Constitution.

Before the 2000 election, continuing through the 2004 election, the religious right has been lock-step loyal to Bush. Many members of Congress claim affiliation with the movement. During the last two years, however, there has been an increasing friction between Evangelical Christians and the Bush Administration, much of it a result of the failure of the White House to fully commit to "faith-based initiatives" and other items on the Christian Right's agenda, so the relationship has been unravelling.

Now comes David Kuo with Tempting Faith: an Inside Story of Political Seduction.

From truthout/The Guardian:
Aide Says White House Mocked Evangelicals by Julian Borger, The Guardian UK

Saturday 14 October 2006

Administration accused of cynical ploy to win votes. Bush adviser denies he called supporters "nuts."

Washington - A former senior presidential aide has accused the Bush administration of using evangelical Christians to win votes but then privately ridiculing them once in office. The allegations by David Kuo, the former deputy director of the White House office of faith-based initiatives, come at a devastating time, when the administration is counting on born-again Christians to vote in sufficient numbers to save the Republicans' hold on Congress in the November elections.

In a book entitled Tempting Faith: an Inside Story of Political Seduction, to be published on Monday, Mr Kuo portrays the Bush White House's commitment to evangelical causes as little more than a cynical facade designed to win votes.

"National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ridiculous, out of control, and just plain goofy," Mr Kuo wrote, according to MSNBC television, which obtained an early copy of the book. In particular, he quotes Karl Rove, the president's long-serving political adviser and mentor, as describing evangelical Christians as "nuts."

President George Bush launched the office of faith-based initiatives soon after taking office in 2001, depicting it as the embodiment of his philosophy of "compassionate conservatism". However, Mr Kuo alleges that between 2002 and 2004 it used taxpayers' money to organise religious conferences in 20 districts where embattled Republican candidates were trying to mobilise Christian supporters. Efforts were made to disguise the political nature of the conferences . . .
I love it!

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