Doce me faces voluntarem tuam quia Deus meus es tu

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Lee Corso has a favorite saying. Not so fast, my friend! It's always good for a laugh to see the old guy grab Kirk Herbstreit by the collar and shout those words amid a screaming crowd of football fans at 8 a.m. in the morning. Today's article by Jonah Goldberg and a recent quote by Rev. Jerry Falwell (hat tip: Andrew Sullivan) remind me of the GameDay crew.

I can see Rev. Falwell in Herbie's seat, saying on Meet the Press (see this NYT article):

"Well the fact that he's a gay Republican means he should join the Democratic party."

Mark D. Roberts had a great series a while back on Christian inclusiveness, particularly as it relates to homosexuality. Dr. Roberts was talking about the church; Rev. Falwell is talking about the Republican Party. The GOP isn't even a parachurch organization or non-profit mission organization. It's dangerous, for the Church and for the GOP, to confuse the two. I think Falwell is making a far stretch in giving sole credit for GWB's reelection to the moral values campaign. Some gay Republicans still feel strongly about conservative economics and strong foreign policy. At any rate, check out Jonah today, saying, "Not so fast my friend," in this quote:

The rate and degree of societal change depend on a lot more factors than mere partisan politics. Technology, economics, culture, foreign events, demography, and for all I know the tides can play much larger roles in forcing change on society. I fear that the Republican party's success in recent years has much to do with the fact that they are perceived as a port in the storm, not the means of reversing the storm. It's entirely possible that the GOP will continue to rack up more and more victories even as society moves further and further to the left. Even Bush came out in favor of some kind of civil unions toward the end of the campaign.

That last part about civil unions is a point painfully overlooked by the values coalition. Americans voted for the GOP, not because they don't want change, but because they don't want change now. There is no guarantee that the country won't support a more liberal social agenda in ten years. I'm not saying that the GOP or conservative Christians and Jews shouldn't continue to work for the issues they care deeply about. They should simply realize that hearts and minds need to be won, not just legislative battles. If change is to come in favor of social conservatism, it will take place as much at the ballpark and grocery store as it will in Congress. If Jerry Falwell can't grasp that, then he should step aside. Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson made that point years ago in Blinded By Might. Despite some of Ed Dobson's flakiness, it's a point worth considering again.

Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan continues to be one of the most erratic minds in American politics. He rightfully takes Pat Buchanan to task, though I would argue that very few on the social right have taken sympathy with Islamo-facism. I would even suggest that Pat Buchanan is not part and parcel of the social right in the same vein as Richard Land. That said, Buchanan is at least on to something in suggesting that the fanatacism of Islamic Europe will be a serious fight for traditional Europe. I quickly regard Buchanan as a xenophobe and anti-Semite, but in that one suggestion, where's the sympathy for radical Islamists? Oh yeah, it's not there. Sullivan also links to this Christianity Today piece by Chuck Colson. Again, how does Colson's suggestion that radical Islamists might use America's libertine sexual attitudes as a recruiting tool equate with sympathy for the Islamists cause? I know, that sentence was too long. I don't know that I agree with Colson's take that conservatives support the FMA on the grounds that Al-Qeada will suffer a blow. There's a loose connection there, but Osama ain't after us because Will and Grace gets good ratings.

I think Colson is usually on the right track. I think Falwell means well, but he takes the wrong means to accomplish honorable ends. I think Sullivan is just erratic to no end. But I wish they would all examine Jonah's claims and try to further understand the forces at work in this election, and what it means for the social right in the long term.
6:28 PM :: ::
<< Home
Matt :: permalink