Probably more then a few people have noticed the similarities between conservatism and religion, or actually more the similarities between conservatism and rigid dogmatism. Conservatism requires a system of beliefs rather then justified normative values. The belief in order above justice and above all no matter how corrupt or how wide spread the corruption it must never be attributed to the dogma of conservatism. The moral failings of Congressman Foley (R) as we’re being reminded by Fox News and evangelical right-wingers are not the fault of conservatism, on the contrary they are personal failings, if any group is to blame for the Republican Congressman’s failings it is Democrats because most Democrats don’t think that homosexuality is the government’s business. Conservatives have been quick to shift the focus onto Foly’s homosexuality rather then his predation of underage children because it fits so well with their agenda. Let’s review the the logic here: one conservative’s immorality does not represent the immorality of Republicans, but one gay man’s behavior is indicative of the behavior of all gay men. A Christian heterosexual murdered several children this week, but we have heard very little from Republican talking heads about how that incident reflects on heterosexuals or Christians. The fringe right did stop to observe another Muslim dust up over some cartoons, but they choose to ignore yet another Christian minister arrested for child abuse. Evangelicals Blame Foley, Not Republican Party
David Thomas, a father taking his family to the concert, said that he, too, was leaning toward voting Republican and that the scandal only reinforced his conservative Christian convictions. “That is the problem we have in society,” Mr. Thomas said. “Nobody polices anybody. Everybody has a ‘right’ to do whatever.”
In an interview on Friday, Pastor Anne Gimenez of the 15,000-member Rock Church here said the scandal “doesn’t change the issues we are voting on,” like abortion, public expression of religion and same-sex marriage.
If fundamentalist religion makes one see principles of governance through a narrow lens, the mixing with a dogmatic conservative political movement make it even more so. That Mr. Thomas or Pastor Gimenez have chosen to ignore the fact that their party choose to cover for Foly’s behavior for years solely for reasons of political partisanship will not ever enter their minds. If there are things wrong with America it is not their fault for living in denial about their leaders, it is everyone’s fault but theirs. Certainly the moral failings of the Republican congressman from Florida are his, but the political cover from his like brothers in conservatism are not personal. They are indicative of a movement where values that are dear to Mr. Thomas and Pastor Gimenez are jettisoned in a minute for the sake of power and the privilege. Republicans and their values ” what’s real and whats for sale”? I do wonder about voters like Thomas and Gimenez. What tunnel are they living in that they think that abortion and same sex marriage are the preeminent issues of the day. Feeding the elderly, providing good public education, getting corporate influence out of our elections aren’t bigger priorities? Stopping the pollution that is turning out a generation of children with asthma is less important then Jane marrying Joan? Spiraling healthcare costs are less important then having a stone staue of the ten commandments stuck into every courthouse? That we have a president who lied and exaggerated over 3000 members of our military to their deaths and manged to make more terrorists in the process is not an issue for Republican voters? Perhaps those that describe modern evangelicals as unthinking and cult-like are not too far off the mark. Good citizenship and the common good seems to have become antiquated ideas for far Right conservative Christians. For people that talk so much about family and values they seem to have little idea what those terms mean. Feminist blogger denied emergency contraception, gets pregnant ..and gets death threats.
Legislators and regulators are not the only people in government who have drafted special rules for religious organizations. Judges, too, have carved out or preserved safe havens that shield religious employers of all faiths from most employee lawsuits, from laws protecting pensions and providing unemployment benefits, and from laws that give employees the right to form unions to negotiate with their employers.
Some of these exemptions are rooted in long traditions, while others have grown from court decisions over the last 15 years. Together, they are expanding the ability of religious organizations — especially religious schools — to manage their affairs with less interference from the government and their own employees.
So a church organization can act without morals or consideration for their employees and the secular and the so-called activists liberal courts will protect their right to act immorally. One would have to go to Iran to find more egregious assaults on values under the guise of religion.
All … religions show the same disparity between belief and practice, and each is safe till it tries to exclude the rest. Test each sect by its best or its worst as you will, by its high-water mark of virtue or its low-water mark of vice. But falsehood begins when you measure the ebb of any other religion against the flood-tide of your own. There is a noble and a base side to every history. ~ Thomas Wentworth Higginson