Right wing theocrat apologist Hugh Hewitt recently blogged
"Cinderella Man" opens two weeks from today, and it looks to be grand.
I am giving away two private screenings to the movie, which can be held anywhere in the country where there's a theater, for an audience of around 100 people. If you win, you can go by yourself, or invite 99 of your best friends. have a great party, or host the local Young Life club. Whatever you want. The screenings have to be the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday after the film opens...
Topic Number 1: Defining the "Religious Right." When Maureen Dowd or Christopher Hitchens or Frank Rich or other center-left writers or politicians use the terms "Christian right" or "religious right," who do they think they are talking about and who are they talking to? And how do you define the terms and how large is that group. Statistics count, as do footnotes or sources that can be checked.
Well, at the same time, there's a "Carnival of the Godless.
" So I says to myself, "Self," I say, " this looks like an opportunity to kill 2 birds with one post."
And so I posted a response on my blog.
I'll post an excerpt here:
The Religious Right is actually fairly easy to characterize, both as a movement and as a type of mindset. I'd identify these elements:
- Projection of their faults on their enemies. E.g., the assumed existence of a "gay agenda" masks an agenda to oppress gays. Religious "persecution" of Christians in the US? How about Christian supremacy and marginalization of minority religious views?
- The proliferation of groups - often astroturf groups- to ape what are seen "liberal" groups. Thus the ACLJ is the evil twin of the ACLU; CWFA is the alter ego of NOW (or at least once was). Focus on the Family's Dobson was the alternate universe Dr. (Benjamin) Spock with a beard. CFR? CNP. Get it?
- The confusion of religiousness and spirituality with capitalsim. Focus on the Family has a prime example here:
H.B. London, Focus on the Family's vice president of Ministry Outreach, said it's just one more method a church can use to reach the un-churched.
"I think the old scripture that says 'by all means win some' is a very important passage of scripture," he said, citing I Cor. 9:22, "and I ascribe to it."
London said he's worried some churches are more concerned with numbers than the Gospel.
"I think the churches, if they would really admit it, are trying to reach the 18 to 49-year-olds--they're trying to reach the same demographic the television and movie industry is trying to reach."
Jim Mellado, president of the Willow Creek Association, said not all modern churches hold fast to the tenets of the faith, but those that do often see phenomenal results.
"These are churches that have more than doubled in the last decade," he said, "and they have four times the average attendance of the average church--they have eight times the conversions."
Market share, yeah, baby!
- Did I mention they don't like the Bill of Rights? Their leaders often wind up working with unsavory people, such as Robertson (who does get big bucks from his "flock") friends of Mobutu and the guy who ordered the murder of Archbishop Romero. Or Tony Perkins, who bought David Duke's mailing list. Or Ashcroft, who has written for Southern Partisan, put out by people who thought the Confederacy wasn't such a bad idea.
- Some of their members support terrorism: Randall Terry is one such example. Let's face it, Eric Rudolph was a member. The folks who had the "Run, Rudolph run!" signs were members. But most of all, they seem to hate the idea of religious pluralism (or lack of religion), and freedom of conscience. They recoil at the idea that you can't have freedom of religion without the ability to be free from religion.
- In terms of actual numbers, they are actually a significant minority of the population, albeit an unusually vocal one: George Barna says that all evangelicals (which he defines as born again Christians who are biblican inerrantists who think of their god as having dominion and a Protestant mindset on faith/works) comprise no more than 7% of the population of the US. Of these, the subset of them who would be Republican activists would be substantially smaller. They are actually not growing very fast, either. But there clearly is much money behind ministries associated with them, as well as with Republican politics. You don't see networks of Unitarians, even though they're growing faster than Baptists. Salem Radio. TBN. The 700 Club. These franchises are worth tens of millions of dollars. That's not chump change.
There's more on my blog. Getting a handle on their funding is somewhat difficult, but when viewed as a subset of (evangelical) George Barna's "evangelicals," it's clear they're a small minority attempting to foist their anti-American ways on the rest of us.
Anyway, here's an excellent opportunity for folks here to tell Hewitt just with whom he's travelling as a fellow-traveler.