Fear Itself


If we are to look at the electoral landscape, we will see that the hard core religious cohort is most influential in the south, which is no surprise. But if you take a look at this interesting map, created by USA today, you’ will see that “non-religious” is a rather large minority in the west and midwest swing states; when you combine it with liberal mainline protestant churches and liberal catholics you will see that the Christian Right is not the electoral powerhouse it’s cracked up to be. We should not fear them like this.

And needless to say, as our ethnic make-up continues to change, in which Buddhists, Hindus, Confucians and others continue to immigrate and pass their belief systems to their children, we are going to see a continuance of the explosive growth in those religions and philosophies as we’ve seen in the last thirty years. There is a huge potential for strife in our future if we continue down this road of establishing the “Judeo-Christian” umbrella as a quasi official religion.

There is good evidence that we are the victims of Republican hype on this religious issue, which perpetuates itself in the servile media, creating a faddish obsession with religiousity at a time when more people are actually leaving religion than coming into it. Like the phony campaign against Christmas, they are tying us up in knots with this theocratic correctness. For both practical and principled reasons, we shouldn’t let them do it.

And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it. Fear. And as with all fears, such as the persistent phobia about spiders from which I suffer daily, it’s not the reality we fear but an illusion. In my case the illusion was created by somehow letting my father convince me to go see “Arachnophobia” in the theater, or else by my boy cousins pulling the legs off Daddy Long Legs at the cabin we’d go to in the summer. In the case of Democrats, it’s a fear created by the Fox News/CNN talking head cabal, that is taking its cues from Republican pollsters and pundits who say their side won because of fake religiosity and Pop Church nonsense.

What’s sad about that isn’t that they’re pushing a theme that makes their guy look good. That’s old news. What’s sad is that a presidential candidate I really came to love and respect bought into it and bashed gays this week, as if that’s going to convince anybody of anything. I adored John Kerry and I still do, but I have to say, that was a depressing moment. More so for him than for his supporters. It’s not going to make people vote for you, John, it’s just not. Somebody gave you bad advice there. You’ve got a D after your name. You’re the party of gay-sexing, America-hating, Saddam’s-dick-sucking baby-eating weaklings no matter what you do, and the only thing you can do in response is the one thing you never did: Tell me why the other guy’s worse.

Every minute the Democrats spend selling out their principles to people who hate them is a minute Democrats aren’t attacking Republicans. And that’s a wasted minute.