Tomorrow and Saturday I’ll be attending the Values Voter Summit, an annual Religious Right confab sponsored by the Family Research Council, American Family Association Action and other groups.
People sometimes ask me what the country would be like if these groups managed to achieve total political power. It isn’t necessary to speculate about that. You can see the results of it in several states right now.
Last week, a young man named Floyd Lee Corkins walked into the offices of the Family Research Council (FRC) here in Washington carrying a 9 mm pistol in his backpack. He was disarmed by building manager Leo Johnson, who was shot in the arm during the scuffle. Corkins reportedly expressed opposition to the FRC’s anti-gay views.
Political discourse in America is pretty mean already, and the Religious Right wants to make it worse.
The Family Research Council sponsored a “Watchmen on the Wall” conference for North Carolina clergy, and the harsh rhetoric there tells you how they view the world.
In the first place, when the FRC talks about “the wall,” they aren’t talking about the wall of separation between church and state. Just the opposite, in fact. They are talking about moving America as close as possible to a fundamentalist theocracy where their take on religion holds dominion over everyone.
Back in 2003, a general in the U.S. Army named William G. “Jerry” Boykin got himself in hot water because he had a habit of appearing, often in full uniform, before meetings of right-wing evangelicals and making intemperate comments about Islam.
During one appearance in Oregon, Boykin opined that Islamic extremists hate the United States “because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundations and our roots are Judeo-Christian.”
Yesterday Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), issued a rather hysterical email appeal for funds. No news there. Perkins does that all of the time.
This particular message, headlined “Help stop secular tyranny,” took a line that’s increasingly popular with the Religious Right these days: “Woe is me! We’re being persecuted.”
U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who is chair of the House Armed Forces Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, has been opening subcommittee meetings with Christian prayers.
“Heavenly Father,…help us to be wise, help us to be good planners and good stewards,” Akin said at the start of a March 29 hearing, according to Congressional Quarterly. “And we pray that you help us with the somewhat busy schedule this morning, and the votes and all. And I pray in Jesus’ name.”
Are you Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or a non-believer? If so, Louisiana preacher Dennis Terry has some advice for you: Accept that America is a “Christian nation” or leave the county. Now. You’re not wanted here.
“I don’t care what the liberals say, I don’t care what the nay-sayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – there’s only one God. There’s only one God, and his name is Jesus,” thundered Terry during a Sunday rally for Rick Santorum at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church.
Many public schools are finally taking an overdue look at the problem of bullying. A number of state legislatures have even weighed in to address the issue.
That’s good news. After all, it’s impossible for a young person to do well in school if he or she is being bullied or is worried about being bullied.
Today gay men and women are serving openly in the U.S. military, marking another milestone in the march toward equal rights for all Americans. And needless to say, Religious Right leaders aren’t happy.