Monday, November 17, 2008

The GOP and the Religious Right

While I find LGF useful in many areas - especially when it comes to calling out Islamic terrorists and their supporters, this essay strikes me as off. Please note that this post is not to address my opinions on the particular agendas detailed in the essay, but how they square with the author's assessment of the Republican Party's attempts to enforce religions.

While I certainly have no reason to doubt that the author
believes that the GOP is beholden to the religious right, the notion doesn't hold water.

  1. Embryonic stem cell research: President Bush's executive order to withhold federal funding for the destruction of human embryos is probably his strongest point here since many people who define themselves as pro-life (including Senator McCain) do not view embryos as the equivalent of a human child. However, the argument starts to break down when one realizes that President Bush did not BAN the research (nor could he) -simply that taxpayers should not fund it. Furthermore, both candidates for president were in favor of recinding that order.
  2. Gay marriage: This was debated greatly in here, so I won't say anything more in that regard save to say that prop 8 passed in large part to overwhelming support from the black community - hardly a demographic one would consider Republican. Prop 8 won in a state where no Republican even remotely stands a chance in statewide elections.
  3. Abortion: This is the topic he spent the most time on & really the only topic that one could use to paint McCain as a slave to the religious right. However, a majority of the population favors at least some restrictions on abortion - this change would seem to be driven by advances in imagery. In addition, while certainly a high percentage of religious folks are pro-life, it would seem certain that our founders viewed life as one of the inalienable rights endowed by our creator.
Dr. Hsieh begins by enumerating these three topics as evidence "among other things" that clearly show the GOP to be the party of theocracy, but then spends the remainder of the article focusing on abortion. Interestingly, when conservatives vote their conscience on abortion, they are derided as "single issue voters". Never mind that issues of life and death are pretty important, that label should swing both ways.

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