Tuesday, April 26, 2005

There are Things More Important Than Money

I've always had an feeling, that the Bull Moose doesn't think much about the power of religion in our public life. In his view, it's all about money. The Moose has said before that what drives the GOP is not the Religious Right, but it's plutocratic leaders, like Bush and Cheney. They basically give a few sops to the theocons in order to get their plans like tax cuts and the new bankruptcy law.

The Moose critiques Andrew Sullivan's article on the rifts taking place between the conservatives of faith and the conservatives of doubt. As a minister, I think the Moose doesn't see the power of faith; it's good side and it's dark side.

Let's take the Schiavo case. Congress didn't try to pass a specially tailored bill with the President flying in from Texas, to sign the bill for money reasons. They did it because of the factions in the party who have strong RELIGIOUS view on this issue. Granted, they were messed up views in my opinion, but they were faith-based.

Or, the whole judicial filibuster. Again, it has very little to do with money politics, but it has everything to do with social issues.

Also, as a gay man, the growing social right scares me. Maybe the Moose doesn't think that GOP leaders don't go to bed thinking about how to thwart to guys from getting hitched, but rank and file theocons do, as well as many legislators. These people interpret the Bible in a way that says that gays have few if any rights. If a court gets in the way, they are more than willing to do something about it.

Faith can be powerful. As a force for good, it can have a role in changing society for the better. Witness the role of Protestant churches in the civil rights movement; or the rise of Catholic Social Teaching with stresses care for the poor.

But faith has its bad side and is jsut as powerful. We all saw that on September 11.

The Moose is right that money has a corrupting influence; but so can faith. Sadly, the Moose is acting like many is his adopted political party in that he can't understand faith and tends to misunderestimate it. As a gay man who is religious, all I can say is, I understand the power of faith and I can't afford to ignore the religious right like the Moose can. My rights are at stake.


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