Tom Delay--God's Man in Washington?
Prior to John's prodding, I had ignored the allegations swirling around Delay. In all honesty, after further reading on the matter, I'm still uncertain that the gaggle of charges being tossed in Delay's direction will be materially connected to him. (To read more on the matter, click here and here).
However, a couple items about the story did catch my attention. First were the comments of Paul Weyrich. I haven't paid much attention to Weyrich's musings for years, but I've had a soft spot for Paul since the 1992 Republican primaries when The New Republic reported that Weyrich got in the ever so ample face of William Bennett after America's reigning virtuecrat accused Pat Buchanan of "flirting with Fascism."
In any case, with Democrats and members of the Fourth Estate smelling blood in the water, Weyrich has sprung to Delay's defense. While Democrats shamelessly play the race card and employ Marxian class-war rhetoric, Weyrich has one-upped the Libs by invoking the Prince of Darkness himself. Writing in defense of Delay's tactics and style, Weyrich wrote:
The effort to weaken and punish DeLay is coming from all directions. It is vicious. It saps his seemingly boundless energy. DeLay needs our public support. If we let him hang out to dry how many others in leadership will ever risk trying to accomplish bold objectives? DeLay also needs our fervent prayers. This is spiritual warfare. Make no mistake about it. A Senator who was a close friend for the two terms he served in that body told me he did not want to tackle one of the social issues because "Satan is so strong on that issue that I don't feel I am spiritually strong enough to go there."
Abortion is certainly Satan's work. DeLay's willingness to go where angels fear to tread is commendable but dangerous. It is the courts, not the people or their legislatures, which have mandated abortion, an end to prayer, an end to mentioning God in public places, a completely Godless curriculum in public education, an end to solely recognized heterosexual marriage, an end to God in our pledge of allegiance, an end to the sacredness of our flag and so on. DeLay is being challenged precisely because he is challenging Satan himself in the legislative arena. Please, please my fellow conservatives of the Judeo-Christian tradition: do not abandon this good man. The consequences of doing so are too terrible to contemplate.
Is Weyrich comparing the Democrats to Satan? What about Republicans that might be critical of Delay's ethical transgressions? Are they in league with the Father of Lies as well? I'm at a loss to explain Weyrich's comments, suffice to say his words seem odd in light of Scriptural teaching on spiritual warfare.
II Cor. 10:4
4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Second, the Delay fiasco shows how easily the Religious Right is manipulated into furthering the objectives of the moneyed-interests in the Republican Party. The election demonstrated how easily the Right could be had. Karl Rove waved the bloody shirt of gay marriage and the GOP burnished its "pro-life" message--all of which was lapped up by naive and gullible conservatives who showed up on election day to pull a lever for the GOP.
Here, however, we see that even the "sophisticated" leaders of the Evangelical political movement can be massaged into doing Satan's work (to use a Weyrichism). Writing in the Washington Post, Susan Schmidt detailed the shady inner-workings of government.
In 2001, the Jena Band of Choctaws, a Louisiana Indian tribe, won approval from then governor Mike Foster to build a casino near the Texas border. Another tribe, the Louisiana Choushattas, who already operated a casino in Louisiana, hired Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff in hopes of thwarting the project and stifling future competition. Abramoff is on Orthodox Jew with close ties to Rabbi Lapin and movie critic Michael Medved. He is also a supporter of Tom Delay, whom Delay once called "one of my best friends." To accomplish his goal, Abramoff paid $4 million to Republican consultant and former Christian Coalition poohbah Ralph Reed to organize local anti-gambling sentiment against the Jenas. To fire up the grass-roots troops, Reed called on James Dobson to run ads against the plan in Louisiana and Texas and fire off a letter to Interior Secretary Gale Norton (the Interior Department has final say on a tribe's gambling aspirations.)
The end result--Reed took home $4 million from gambling interests to pose as an opponent of gambling, Dobson got to test run the ground-game later employed to elect GOP "conservatives," Abramoff and his partner, former Delay associate Michael Scanlon, were paid $32 million, and tribe money boosted Republican causes across the country.
The shameless spectacle on display is a product of the culmination of the pursuit of power by "religious conservatives" who now excuse the corruption of public ethics as a necessary adjunct of spiritual warfare.