More Proof That The Religious Right Isn't

I have the dubious honor of being acquainted with the kings of the hypocrites of religion. I know that many of you are already becoming upset that I would write a column about what we used to call "Saturday night heathens and Sunday morning Christians" but, bear with me, there is a point to all of this.

As my long time readers know, I have often railed against the frauds in America who make a living out of speaking out of both sides of their mouths. Normally, I am addressing those who have made politics their profession because they, I've always thought, did the most damage. Furthermore, I always assumed that we elected the scum that we do only because the electorate has no idea of what is truly occurring around them so they just vote for the best attack ads or that old "straight party ticket".

I have to admit, though, that knowing these small minded persons have given me another view on the problem. Instead of the voters choosing through ignorance or apathy or by party, perhaps they are just voting for those they can recognize as, morally, exactly like themselves.

These people have stated that the poor and the minorities are in the condition they are in by choice alone. They claim to have attended school in poor neighborhoods and that, since they have achieved middle-class status, everyone else in their classes should have, too. Basically , what they claim is that they pulled themselves up by the bootstraps from middle-class to a slightly higher level of middle-class and cannot understand why minorities living in abject poverty can't do the same thing.

We'll set aside the obvious ignorance that these individuals wear as badges of honor for now and simply look at what damage this narrowly focused mentality can cause. To believe for a moment that the poor want to be poor or that minorities enjoy the treatment that America is inflicting on them is to believe that people welcome mistreatment and voluntarily maintain themselves in a position to continue being abused. Kind of a sick and immature philosophy, wouldn't you say?

Nevertheless, it is the basis for nearly all of the Republican Party's actions since 1980 and the driving force behind the destruction of all the programs intended to assist the poor, the elderly, the disabled and, saddest of all, the children. What is most surprising, or perhaps most disgusting, is that the misnamed "Religious Right" (who are neither) has been the group most responsible for these horrendous acts by our government.

I will admit that, when these practitioners of hatred were just a group of faceless extremist bigots, it was much more difficult to understand why anyone could claim to serve any sort of God and still treat His children with such venomous malice. I felt like I did when we were being taught about the Nazi regimes of Europe; they were so obviously evil but, at the same time, very distant from my world and thus it was very hard to imagine what would cause any human to behave in such a vulgar manner.

Well, having to know someone who expresses the horrors of the religious right with such openness and unthinking calmness has allowed me to learn what sort of animal can lower the rest of the human race to their level while convincing the world that they are, somehow, serving a higher purpose. To listen to these individuals explain why everyone has equal chances is amazing, at first, but ultimately extremely depressing. To see them behave in a manner exactly opposite to the teachings they profess to follow is an excellent metaphor for every politician in office today.

The reality that they so easily ignore is that they are white, middle-class, Christian Republicans which, sadly, is the dominant power in America in the late twentieth century. If you do not fall within those narrow limitations then you simply and honestly do not have the same opportunities. To believe otherwise is to disregard the proof which is before the eyes of those with the sense and kindness to see it. To believe for even a second that these silly little persons had one moment in their lives which could compare to the obstacles non-white, non-male, non-Christian and non-Republican individuals face every single day is to admit that you are simply not very aware.

What, in my opinion, is the most miserable fact of all, though, is that people like them make up the majority of the voters every year. It is obvious that the electorate has become a truly mean and vicious group and these persons could easily be their posterboys and mascots. The sole bright spot is that, even though these wicked people vote more often the kinder and more giving portion of humanity, they still only account for about 16%-17% of all Americans, according to the results of the last two Congressional elections. If we could find a way to return them to under their rocks by encouraging the more compassionate members of our society to vote again, then I believe that the influence these low people represent could be negated and America could again begin its long climb back towards decency.

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Copyright 3/20/98