Monday, July 11, 2011

Wading Into the Shallows

Good read at TPJ Magazine about the "fundagelicals":

The shallows I’m talking about are virtual cesspools of right-wing religious dogma that pollute the cultural and political landscape of the U.S., especially in the South (where I live) and the Midwest. The outrages being committed in the name of dogmatic religious myths are growing, as the faithful and their political cohorts in God’s Own Party continue their relentless assault on vulnerable people’s lives and our democratic traditions.

Anyway, if the term dogma upsets the dogmatic, that’s too damn bad. When dealing with fanatics, no good can come from phony respect, especially at the expense of accuracy. And the fanatics who are bent on theocratic domination will only view any respect from the left, feigned or otherwise, as a sign of weakness to exploit to their advantage in their long-term war against all forms of enlightenment.

So while I hate to do it, I must chastise my liberal and moderate friends, irrespective of their religious views, for being far too tolerant of the madness of the religious right. It is very late in the game, and the well-organized religious fanatics already have a lock on one of our major political parties. So, contra President Obama, it is way past time to abandon the suicidal notion that we can reason with them or work with them constructively. Instead, we must match their determination. How about we start by dropping any pretense that they are rational people or that anything they are saying is even worth talking about? How about recognizing that our overriding goal must be to do everything in our power to prevent them from expanding their power, before it’s too late? We can start by publicly rebuking them any time they express their crazy ideas and by exposing their anti-democratic agenda at every opportunity. We need to match their determination, go into attack mode on all fronts, and make our voice heard in the timid, bought-and-paid-for mainstream media before they completely own it.

So let’s stop acting like the current crop of democrats, stop treating brainwashed fanatics like they’re worth talking to. [...]

So in conclusion, religious fundamentalists talk and act like they expect some special privilege to be granted to their religious beliefs; but as soldiers in the cultural and political wars, they deserve no privilege to be protected from criticism. Everyone understands that democracy is meaningless unless it permits vigorous debate. But they have no commitment to Constitutional democracy, which is an obstacle to the domination they seek.

Finally, a closing quotation from Christopher Hitchens:

“Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”



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