Saturday, August 11, 2007

Religious Right Claims Others [Dems?] Can't Be Christian, Have Values

People for the American Way:

The Family Research Council [Tony Perkins, President] is launching a project aimed at convincing its supporters before the 2008 election that liberal politicians “are spouting God-talk” in order to “confuse people of faith” and hide their “true agenda.” Invoking the Religious Right’s recent favored phrase for its imagined constituency – as well as the “Swift Boat” campaign of 2004 – the so-called “Values Voters for Truth” campaign is an attempt to vilify liberals – and, obviously, Democratic candidates – as enemies of Christianity who are undertaking a conspiracy to “deceive and split values voters.” From a recent fundraising letter from FRC Action:

Our relentless effort to reveal the facts about the Left’s true agenda is already under way. It will not stop until the last vote of the 2008 election has been cast. The Values Voters for Truth campaign will partner with organizations in all 50 states—and at the national level. We will mobilize values voters, engage them in the war of ideas, and keep them informed and involved.

We will rally churches to the cause. And by God’s grace, we will neutralize our opponents’ deceptive tactics.

As an example of this supposed “fraud,” the letter cites a Democratic presidential candidate who spoke of his “belief in Christ” and also supports civil unions for gay couples. Similarly, the letter warns that a candidate noting a “biblical call to feed the hungry” also voted against an anti-abortion bill. A third candidate is denounced for the “hypocrisy” of wanting to let gay couples adopt children. According to FRC, these supposed contradictions indicate that Democrats discussing their faith and values is merely “lip service,” part of a “campaign of deception” that led directly to the Democrats winning control of Congress in the 2006 elections.

FRC’s tactic of trying to claim “values” and “faith” as Religious Right-only attributes is hardly new – it was the driving force behind the group’s “Values Voter Summit” last year, organized before the elections to encourage a disillusioned base to turn out for Republicans. It is also the premise behind cries of “anti-Christian persecution,” such as at the “War on Christians” conference, at FRC’s “Justice Sunday” events (in which opposition to right-wing judicial nominees was presented as an attack on “people of faith”), and with “Patriot Pastor” political machines that warn of the “forces of darkness” trying to “deny America’s Godly heritage.”

And as political candidates are finding their way around the Religious Right’s exclusionary fa├žade, right-wing activists have brought the tactic to the 2008 campaign trail, denouncing a June forum of presidential candidates on “Faith, Values, and Poverty” as a “conspir[acy] to create a fictional class of Christians – so-called 'liberal evangelicals,'” as Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council, who protested the event, put it. “Liberals have no trouble believing in God – or a faith belief system – as long as He marches to their drum,” claimed Jane Chastain. [LSB: Pott, kettle; kettle, pot.] Columnist and former Moral Majority lieutenant Cal Thomas wrote that the candidates “gave no indication that if their faith ever conflicted with their political point of view they would choose what their faith taught them over what focus groups tell them.


LSB: Where do I even start with this nonsense? See the story below to learn more about the values of the so-called "Religious" Right.

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