Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No Room at the Inn

You're not going to believe this, but I'm forgoing my usual M.O. (Ridicule. Make snide jokes. Repeat.) in favor of actually advocating unity and reconciliation.

When it comes to presidential politics, America's Evangelical Christian contingent has basically been left out in the cold this time around. It happened because the far-right fundamentalists forgot a basic rule of physics: To every action there's an equal and opposite reaction.

So how do we prevent an eventual and inevitable backlash in the other direction?

My latest column can now be found at the Huffington Post.

(The Huffington Post: "Losing Their Religion"/1.30.08)


Vermillion said...

Not ridiculing the 'faithful'? Actually offering a reasonable hand to those you disagree with, with no snide remarks?

Now I KNOW you aren't Chez.

You want to know how to prevent an inevitable backlash? Simple: you won't. It is going to happen. Maybe a few weeks ago, I would have been more open to the idea that there could be compromise, but nowadays I am restored in my cynicism. Neither side is going to listen to actual reason. Actual reason would tell both sides to get over themselves, because neither has all the answers. But nobody will ever believe that.

P.S. I am starting to see what everyone was talking about: that picture is a little smarmy at best.

Chez said...

Everybody's a fucking critic.

Anonymous said...

"The lamentable truth in all of this is that the needs of Evangelical Christians don't deserve to be disregarded or downplayed, nor did they ever. Like any segment of the American population -- anyone willing to take part in our supposed democracy -- they deserve equal consideration."

Disregarded? Downplayed? Of course they do. They got equal consideration -and were rejected by progressive, intelligent forward-thinking people (whether it be Clinton or McCain). Those who run Concerned Women of America, Family Values Coalition, Traditional Values, Westboro Baptist Church etc. were told YOU had you're turn at the table, couldn't get you a theocracy so now, just shut the fuck up.

Chez said...

You're missing the point. I think these people are idiots; I don't believe one goddamned thing they care about. If you stomp them underfoot though, then all that'll happen is that at some point things will move in the opposite direction. I'd rather give them some consideration now than have them rise to a position of power -- the kind they've had for the past eight years -- later.

Anonymous said...

I didn't miss the point, at least I don't think I did. I understand your suggestion that if the evangelical right were at it's height of influence (2000-2004), and this year they seem not, then you are saying they still deserve a chair at the table.

I would agree if it was a republican minority group seeking furthering special rights through legislation (i.e. ironically, the gay rights movement or NOW :)) but surely as the religious right - they are not. They're nothing more or less then a simply stoic theocracy - in fact there is no one allowed at the table in their eyes EXCEPT them.

I say that it is impossible to yield to their demands without the pendulum crashing.

Please elaborate Chez if I am way off your point.

Vermillion said...

If you stomp them underfoot though, then all that'll happen is that at some point things will move in the opposite direction.

It is the Underdog Conundrum. I don't know about any other countries, but here in the good ol' USA, we loves ourselves a scrapper coming up from the basement and beating the big bad overlord, regardless of our actual opinions of the two forces. See: the IRA, Israel, whiny bitches that make up the Skywalker family, Iraq, etc. etc.

That is why there won't be a brokering of deals. Because as soon as one side looks like they are getting their way, people will start to think they are bullies and assholes, even if they agree with them overall.

Doesn't help that both sides love overkill once they are in power.

kelley said...

wow, went right for 'smarmy', eh? maybe... 'smirky', definitely... hey, what about that pimptastic martini one?

kanye said...

When it comes to presidential politics, America's Evangelical Christian contingent has basically been left out in the cold this time around.

Maybe, if McCain wins. He's never tried to hide the fact that he despises the Christian Right.

But Obama or Clinton? The arc of Barack Obama's entire political career can be traced to his involvement with the local black evangelical church. He was basically irreligious until it came time to run for office, then suddenly he saw the light. Nothing new's what's required of a black man in Chicago who posesses political ambition. George Bush did the same thing after his first political defeat to a man who "out-religioned" him. Make no mistake though, Chicago evangelicals have long been the Ang to Barack Obama's Chang; a symbiotic relationship that has served them both extremely well. Thing is, these are the same "fine, church-going" folks who welcome Donnie McClurkin with open arms. The same fine folks who would gladly throw gays by the dozen from the church bell tower in order to save their poor, gay souls. The same folks who are counting on "President Obama" to expand all of the faith-based initiatives put into play by the current administration. Different faces, but ultimately the same ole', same ole'. Barack Obama has been lecturing the more progressive wing of the Democratic party for going on two years now, the subject of said lectures being on how evangelicals should be given greater respect and allowed to play more of a role in party politics. I can't see where "left out in the cold" comes into play.

And Mrs. Clinton? I think that most people would be genuinely surprised to find out that she is one of the most deeply religious people in all of D.C. Her membership in The Fellowship alone should serve as an accurate enough predictor of what role fundamental Christianity would be playing in a Clinton administration. Unlike Obama, who'd openly welcome the evangelical rank and file, I think that “President Clinton” would be more comfortable backroom-dealing with the church leadership; behavior in which she already engages. Quite warm in the Clinton camp, as well.

Maybe I'm off the mark here, but when you say Evangelical Christians, Chez, I'm guessing that you're referring to the ass-backwards mouth-breathers who still haven't gotten over the fact that The South lost. Certainly they're a part of the evangelical movement, but quite honestly, they are the least dangerous part. They're the squeaky wheels that get the media grease, the distracting face of a more deeply ingrained power structure that operates almost invisibly. Not through some great, grand conspiritorial effort, but the same way that real power has always operated: by men (and now, women), over a snifter of fine cognac, in the mahogany-paneled private office of one of our finest captains of industry. A handshake, a fine meal, and everything has been decided. So civil. And as long as those evangelical leaders can control the voting (as well as the spending) habits of their respective followers, those leaders will never be left out in the cold...they'll always be welcomed “in the room.”

Thomas said...

"So how do we prevent an eventual and inevitable backlash in the other direction?"

We use science to build spaceships and leave them to rot on this rock with their rusting H2s, WHAWL-mawrts, and sheet-metal & glass temples to their ridiculous deity (whether I might be referrring to churches & double-wides and God or Nascar is open to interpretation).

PS - I'm allowed to be a judgemental prick when it comes to white trash. Half my family is from Michigan and I lived half my life in Tennessee—I know about these things first hand, m'kay.