I'm frustrated because I expect at some point to have to stridently correct the religious right's assertion that it represents the mainstream of Christianity. Cal Thomas seems to have backed off from his injudicious attack at an olive-branch-waving Nik Kristof a year or so back, and he has actually written a few things I agree with about public policy and the faithful. At heart, though, the role he plays is one in which Kristof has a greater obligation to understand Christian conservatives than Thomas's obligation to understand Christian liberals. I expect, even when I hate hearing such a blasphemous lie, to hear Rush Limbaugh blather on about how liberals hate faith and hate God. O'Reilly talks stupid when he analyzes HRC's Christianity at the top of his show tonight, and again, I expect this.
What we need to do as liberals or progressives or partisan Democrats is to find common ground with persons of faith, expose the Rightist lie, and even when we disagree with them on key issues have the dignity to respectfully address their concerns with modern American life. We need to point out that the only downward turn in the abortion rate since january 1973 was during a Dem's administration, that the rate began climbing again when a Repub took the White House, and that reducing the abortion rate is a lot more complicated than gag rules and prohibitions.
For the record, HRC belongs to the United Methodist Church and takes it fairly seriously. Back in 1992, she got a little bit of ribbing because her bedtime reacing included a book of all the resolutions and the like passed at the most recent general conference for the church. The week of her husband's first presidential inaugural, the Arkansas UMC bishop was speaking at the church I attended at the time, was en route to the inaugural himself, and discussed for a few minutes in his guest sermon the experiences he had had with HRC as an active layperson at a church in Little rock.
Denigrate her if you like. (Not me. My taste for denigrating Dems pretty much begins and ends with Terry McAuliffe.) Knock her singing voice. Proclaim that Mojo Nixon got it wrong; Michael J Fox definitely has some Elvis in him, but Hillary does not. But hating her because she is serious about her religion is really not much better than hating her because she 1) she probably killed Vince Foster, 2) She's one of them Les-Be-Yuns who only got knocked up that one time to preserve hers and her husband's political viability, 3) everything she says is phony and contrive.
I would add that I've heard several on the right comment incredulously that W said he doesn't give the Apocalypse that much thought. They think that as a Christian, Bush likely has given much thought. Not necessarily. At one point when talking about the so-called End of Days, Jesus supposedly cautioned us against speculating about when it would occur.
HRC is right that immigration restrictions would fall heavily on the equivalent today of Samaritans. It was a good thing that she articulated this. Not because of irony, or exposing hypocrisy. It was also good because morality plays into most liberal positions. That morality sometimes runs in conflict with what are erroneously called traditional values, but it is suicide to not acknowledge proudly moral considerations in public policy.
And I'm seriously going to consider keying the next car I see with that idiot bumper sticker promising not to think in church. Kidding.