Tuesday, March 18, 2008


In response to Barack Obama's speech, Charlotte Hays of National Review wrote this:

Obama says that we shouldn't "condemn without understanding the roots" of remarks like those Wright made.... Within what context is it correct for the Rev. Wright to say "God damn America?"

Well, at the Huffington Post, Frank Schaeffer says it was perfectly fine to say more or less the same thing within the context of religious-right politics not too many years ago:

When Senator Obama's preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.

...Dad became a hero to the evangelical community and a leading political instigator. When Dad died in 1984 everyone from Reagan to Kemp to Billy Graham lamented his passing publicly as the loss of a great American. Not one Republican leader was ever asked to denounce my dad or distanced himself from Dad's statements....

(Schaeffer wrote, for example, "If there is a legitimate reason for the use of force [against the US government]... then at a certain point force is justifiable," and cited legalized abortion as a situation to which Christians might need to find an "appropriate response.")

And today Steve Benen reminds us that at last fall's Values Voter Summit, attended by many prominent religious right leaders as well as by presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter, a choir sang a version of "God Bless America" that began:

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back
On everything that made her what she is.

Go here for a video and the full lyrics.

So, apparently, engaging in this kind of talk, like so many other things, is OK if you're a Republican.

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