Thursday, March 06, 2008

The power of words

Yesterday, I spotted a post at Pam's about fundie wingnuts Harry Bishop and Tony Perkins (the one who wouldn't have dreamed about auditioning for "Some Like it Hot") who were hawking a book about how they and their minions know that their faith is the right path to decent public policy. Pam even posted the inside flap of their book, "Personal Faith Public Policy" [emphasis, Pam's]

Where do we go from here? Is there a set of public policies and personal choices we can make that will ensure another four hundred years of God's blessing upon America? Today we stand at a crossroads. In Personal Faith, Public Policy, Harry Jackson and Tony Perkins take a fresh, balanced look at the core issues we are facing today, laying out a comprehensive strategy that can bring evangelicals together across racial and denominational lines to:

1. Preserve and protect life by continuing our fight for the unborn; addressing issues such as child abuse, stem cell research, elder care and euthanasia, and capital punishment; and standing firm against those who would take innocent life through acts of terrorism

2. Reform immigration policy by improving our legal immigration process while dealing with our rampant illegal immigration problem

3. Alleviate domestic poverty and ensure justice at home by reforming health care and reasserting our mission to help the working poor, orphans, widows, and the destitute to find personal, spiritual, and financial refuge

4. Cultivate racial harmony and diversity by developing partnerships across racial lines and raising up minority leaders in key politically active ministries

5. Protect religious freedom by learning the truth about the separation of church and state, the current religious liberties battleground, and what the Bible says about the freedom of religion

6. Defend marriage and family by supporting promarriage policies and divorce reform at both the national and state levels

7. Protect the environment by properly caring for God's creation and making changes in America's energy policies

America's future can be as bright as the promises of God. To realize these promises, we must take action on these seven critical steps in our private lives, in our churches, and collectively in our public policy.

Anyone who knows me knows I don't think public policy should be based on biblical reasoning and, despite the religious right stomping their collective feet about how the US is a "Christian" country, the government was set up specifically to avoid co-mingling with religion to protect the government and religion from each other. The pronouncements of leaders within the religious wingnut movement are rife with hypocrisy. Just take a look at the divorce rate in the religious denominations that make up the movement. So, what did I do, I mouthed off with the following comment which generated the following

Those people can't solve their own problems (0.00 / 0)
They have these problems at significant rates in their own congregations and if they can't solve them for their own people why the heck should we let them have any say in public policy to force their "solutions" on those of us who disagree with them?

[ Reply ]
*[new] Hey ol' cranky (0.00 / 0)
I kinda get what you are saying and I know you don't mean it as it came across, but your comment does sound a little racist (ducking the paper cups).

But I know where you are coming from in terms of superficial African-American ministers sowing division in their own conversations by not talking about real issues that affect the black community (i.e. the continued dehumanization of lgbts of color)

Contrary to the tone of this post, I'm not angry. To be honest, I was surprised. See, I was so focused on the wingnuttery, I failed to notice any reference to crossing racial barriers (this was probably willful on my part, especially since I think it's part of the same political opportunism the fundamentalists use to get Catholic support when they say all sorts of nasty things about how Catholics aren't Christians, etc.).

I do, howver, have to reiterate a point I've made before that we need to stop being the word police. When I typed "those people", I meant the leadership and foamy mouthed minions of the fundie christotheocrat movement. This is something Author got but also, and very sadly, his mind still went "there". It's as though we have trained ourselves to automatically look for a slight where it is likely none was intended. This gives bigots a humongous power over us as they can intentionally slight someone and play the I didn't mean that card and then sit back and enjoy how, in our very oversensitivity to use of words and phrases, we start questioning or pontificating about these words regardless of who says them or the full context of the conversation. This gives those who mean to offend power to do so by proxy. We need to take the "sticks & stones" approach and let them go out of their way to offend; if we continue the current approach, their getting their thrills at very cheap discounted rates and getting us riled up is worth so much more than that.


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