Friday, April 01, 2005

More on DeLay and His Movement

Following up on my post regarding Tom DeLay, I see that the "conservative movement" is rounding up the troops to rush to DeLay's defense.

The president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, along with Ed Feulner of the Heritage Foundation and David Keene from the American Conservative Union, called a meeting attended by two dozen of DCs best and brightest conservative activists.

DeLay let it be known to the assembled leadership of the Stupid Party that it would be “really nice if some calls would originate from you guys into members’ districts letting them know” why they should tell their representatives to support him.

Don Hodel, who until recently presided over Focus on the Family, said, "I think that conservative groups ought to be concerned. If conservative politicians are singled out for attacks by groups that have allegiance to a different worldview, if [conservatives] leave attacks to the liberal groups, they’re not going to have conservative politicians working for them."

Since the "conservative movement" has enthusiastically embraced big government and the corruption that goes with it, would we notice if they weren't in DC? Let's run a quick inventory and see what these conservatives have given the nation. Hmm, well there has been an 80% increase in federal education funding, not to mention the destruction of local control over education, i.e., "No Child Left Behind." Then there was the erosion of civil liberties accompanying the unfortunately named "Patriot Act." Lest we forget, Republicans have also graciously provided cheap Viagra for seniors...and let's see, has the Stupid Party done anything about affirmative action, immigration, or defunding Planned Parenthood? No, instead they've increased funding for those butchers through the back door of AIDS treatment, tacitly defended the Supreme Court's scandalous decisions on race preferences, and thoughtfully considered all the wonderful benefits of amnesty for illegal aliens. Oh, and I almost forgot, they dragged the country into an immoral and strategically foolish war to spread "freedom" hither-and-yon in the Middle East.

Not sure about you, but as for me and my household, we certainly would miss THAT kind of leadership!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Darrell,

My God, these guys are just so, so into the Republican thing that their oft stated assertions of non-partisanship and objectivity are simply nonsense. The Hodel statement is particularly so. But you'd expect that from an associate of Dobson who, himself, is the King of Nonsense.

If this commentary sets out the reality of the public life of Evangelicals today - and, for the greater part, I believe that it does - these folks truly have made themselves into nothing more than an interest group, one with more than a little kinship to the black churches. Please no more complaints from them about Jesse Jackson. Where's the God in something like this, the Christian arm's length. Here highly visable and trusted people have so lost perspective that they identify the cause of Christ in the world with the sewer that is American politics. Who in the name of heaven could take them seriously as His representatives. They disgrace Him and themselves.

John Lowell

5:07 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Much as I hate to admit it, the actions of Hodel, Perkins, Dobson, etc., almost justify the hysterics pumped out on a continuing basis by the likes of Frank Rich and Tom Friedman.

As a Catholic, you have probably noticed that Evangelicals don't always have a coherent worldview. In fact, all of that "philosophy stuff" is usually rejected by my brethren who think it enough to "love Jesus" without thinking about the implications of Jesus' work on our behalf.

I'm still not sure exactly how the Christian Right became an adjunct of the Republican Party--personally I think Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson played a significant role here--but they clearly have become lackeys for the GOP, and damaged the Body of Christ in the process.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Darrell,

I think this closeness has evolved over time actually. Certainly in the late 1980's, early 1990's, Dobson seemed dependably enough at a distance to be trustworthy. His sell-out is probably no more than ten years old. But Robertson? I can never remember a time that the snake oil wasn't present, the vitimins, and the political ambitions. And, of course, Reed is a Robertson protege, always slick like an eel, evasive, an operator, profiting personally from contacts established in Christian ministry. Falwell, quite incapable of anything more than a God and country type of fasco-Christianity, the kind that takes no offense in the deaths of countless innocents in Iraq and who finds torture perfectly acceptable in some instances, has always seemed to think that Republican politics was a logical extension of a Baptist's religiousity. You know, for a day or so I dared to respect John Neff of the Moody Bible Institute - I think that's his first name, John - for standing up to Falwell and Dobson at the time of the NRB fracas. But as things turned out, Neff was wussing out apologies within a week's time, much like some old bolshevik beaten horribly and tortured by Stalin's NKVD into a false public confession of treason. There seems to be no meaningful resistence to these people in the Evangelical world. There are those with chutzpah and presence, and those, like Neff, always cowering in a corner, fearful of appearances. With the Delay business an important, even further line is now being crossed. Who will stand in the way of Hodel & Company? Clearly not Neff or his bosses at the Moody Bible Institute. In the end, the Hodels and the Tony Perkinses are going to leave Evangelical Christianity very badly damaged. In the end, I believe, most will wish Christian political activism had never occured.

4:38 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

I hope you are wrong. It seems a shame to me that just as evangelicals are getting to the point where they realize the importance of the cultural mandate, being "salt and light," feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, etc. that the Republicans and neocons completely coopted them--and cheaply at that. A little anti-abortion rhetoric here, phonied up oppostion to the homosexual agenda there, and evangelicals show up in droves to support the GOP.

Living near a Baptist seminary, I come into contact with a number of professors and young students. Honestly, I think there are good things going on theologically that, over time, could help reverse some of the dreadful trends we see playing out before us. Unfortunately, it will take a long time for the good work to bear any fruit, I'm afraid.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your report on this meeting of Hodel and the others is the first public glint I've had of what must have been going on behind the scenes for some time, the chumminess, etc. You suspect these things but you never see the reality typically, most are sensible enough to conceal it. I doubt that most Evangelicals would warm to connections this close if they knew they existed and what they really meant. But the powers of discrimination seem curiously disabled. I mean here are people with a well-tuned sense of morality, looking away in the teeth of some of the most egregious stuff.

If ever Tom Delay is pilloried for his alleged ethics violations and convicted, Don Hodel & Company won't escape heat from the liberal operatives that so detest them. This meeting will become the occasion for public scorn and derision. But what is of the greatest concern is the reaction of the man in the pew, however. It is unlikely that he will denounce Hodel. He will simply slip back into obscurity much in the same fashion as did the fundamentalists in the wake of the publicity following the Scopes trial, his hopes dashed. Its one thing to call out for public morality, quite another to lose it in the very process of it's advocacy.

I'm pleased to hear that there are positive developments at the level of emerging theologies. My familiarity with works from the purely Evangelical camp is now somewhat out of date, including inter alia, Hodge, Warfield, Shaeffer, Machen, van Til, Rushdoony, Stone, and Shead. There was a catechetical work I read in the early 1980's by a Reformed theologian whose name began with B but which now escapes me. Berk... or Burk... something or other. See what happens to you when you pass sixty. :-)

With every best wish.

Yours In Christ,

John Lowell

3:01 PM  

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