Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Religion And The Two-Party State

The current nonsense about banning filibusters is another example of how the American two-party state benefits the religious right and other fear mongers of the Republican party.

Bill Frist, the House Majority Leader, spoke to fundamentalist Christians throughout the country this weekend about the evils of filibustering and how the maneuver is being used by faithless Democrats to attack people of faith. Although Mr. Frist's move is troubling in and of itself, it is only a small piece of the way the religious right has capitalized on the two-party state.

When there are only two options, leaders can wield the us v. them sword with great effectiveness -- You're with us or you're with the terrorists, as our great Emperor once said. During the presidential campaign, the NRA painted the difference between Bush and Kerry as an epic battle between good and evil. The right-to-(white)-life movement hailed the triumph of God and values after the Emperor gained another four years on the throne. And, if you sincerely believe in God and all these people are telling you that to vote for someone who is pro-choice is to vote for Satan, you are going to vote for God. That is to be expected. And, the religious right has succeeded in equating Republicanism with God.

But, this has created some serious perversions in Christian theology. I am neither Christian nor religious, but I find it extremely difficult to believe that Jesus would be pro-corporation (see the bankruptcy law and see Christian laws re usury), pro-rich people (isn't there something about a rich man having a tougher time getting into heaven than a camel fitting through the eye of a needle?), anti-healthcare for the masses (didn't he turn stones into bread or fish or something like that to feed the poor?) and pro-war (isn't Christianity supposedly about mercy and forgiveness and turning the other cheek?). Am I missing something?

With the two-party state, how do you account for Christians who are pro-life, but anti-war? You don't. Where does the anti-gay marriage Christian who believes in healthcare for all register a vote that is congruous with her values? Nowhere. What if your local grocery store forced you to buy junk food in order to get the nutritious food you want? If you want broccoli, you have to buy hohos too. If you are pro-life, you have to be pro-war too. If you are against gay marriage, you have to buy the anti-environment twinkies.

And so the emotional/intellectual conflict begins. The person becomes fat and stupid, notwithstanding the serious intent to eat nutritiously. He then must rationalize why twinkies are just as nutritious as broccoli and militantly discounts all facts to the contrary.

It's not hard to understand how America got to where it is. What remains to be seen is whether a third grocery store will open that allows you to separate the broccoli from the twinkies.

15 Comments:

At 1:51 PM, April 26, 2005 , Anonymous sctrojan95 said...

Good thing I hate broccoli, ho-hos and Twinkies.

Have you noticed that more and more people have said and believe that voting in state and federal government elections has become an exercise in voting for the lesser of two evils?

Is this only being recognized by our generation and the generations younger than us? We are far more educated and "aware" of the issues that surround us (thanks to the media and the internet) than our elders. Clearly, a two-party system is antiquated (how many "true" Republicans OR Democrats have you met in the last year), however, I believe it will remain as such until such time as members our generation reach positions of power and wealth to support and help those candidates running under an Idependent/Green/Civil Libertarian/Other party label to amass the necessary campaign warchests to generate awareness of their messages and platforms. It's just a matter of time.

 
At 9:56 AM, April 27, 2005 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

I second that. I can't stand the Democrats or the Republicans. I was listening to Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana the other day talk about Iraq and how we were spreading "peace and freedom" over there. He went on and on and I just finally had to stop listening. It's truly sad to see a Party that's supposed to be for human rights, bow to the ultimate evil that is the War in Iraq.

And the Republicans just have it oh too easy!! It's way too easy to equate liberals with godless folk because dumb Southerners and Midwesterners are so susceptible to the message.

We should all remember that the US is a "red state" country. Everything between LA and NY is Jerry Springer material.

 
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