Thursday, March 25, 2010

(with an update on the Russ Carnahan coffin incident)

So the current crop of right-wing activists are extremely secular? Apparently someone forgot to explain that to these guys:

Liberty University Files Lawsuit Against the Government Takeover of Healthcare

Lynchburg, VA – Prior to midnight yesterday, Liberty Counsel filed a federal lawsuit against the newly signed healthcare law on behalf of Liberty University....

Jerry Falwell Jr. is Chancellor and CEO of Liberty University (LU), the largest Christian university in the world, with more than 58,000 students in its residence and online programs....

Among Liberty's objections:

The law ... violates the Free Exercise Clause and Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing the plaintiffs to subsidize abortion, the Free Speech and Association Clause by forcing plaintiffs to support and associate with private companies that cover abortion, the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses by preferring only "recognized" religions for opt out purposes ...

I guess Falwell Junior really doesn't believe in that executive order regarding abortion. And I guess he's a lot angrier than he and his dad were when a GOP Congress helped give Medicare Advantage subsidies to insurance companies, even though many of those same companies offer plenty of policies that cover abortion.

And regarding "opt out," Falwell et al. are trying to take advantage of an exemption for the Amish, and possibly for Christian Scientists and Old Order Mennonites. Um, I don't think so.

But never mind the details. Look what's happening: Jerry Falwell's son and namesake is suing to overturn health care reform on behalf of the university built by his dad. Now, if Code Pink or ACORN had sued the Bush administration to try to stop the Iraq War, even if the suit didn't have a snowball's chance in hell, Fox News and Drudge and talk radio and the right blogosphere would have made it into a huge story. And that's the difference between the so-called liberal media and the right-wing media: no one in the SCLM is going to treat this suit as a big deal. They shouldn't, because it almost certainly isn't one. But if the non-right-wing press were as nakedly ideological as the right-wing media, this would be a huge story, because it's widely assumed that the religious right aspects of Republicanism have been huge turnoffs to swing voters.

Maybe more people on our side should be talking about this suit. I actually think the Christian right is going to be making its presence felt more and more in the tea party movement and the GOP in general, so maybe we'll see more of this.


UPDATE: ... And of course that's a silly thing for me to say, because we're already seeing "more of this" -- not just Bart Stupak being called a "baby-killer!" but a right-wing blogger whose site is under the aegis of a group founded by one of the most influential right-wing Catholics in the last couple of decades telling us boastfully that he was one of the people who delivered a coffin to Congressman Russ Carnahan's home:

We brought a coffin with us to represent the millions of Americans who will suffer from inadequate treatment and perish under Obamacare....

After our prayer service we took our coffin and went and prayed on the sidewalk outside of Russ Carnahan's home....

We prayed for Russ Carnahan. We prayed that God would forgive him for taking away our freedom. We prayed for the babies who will never feel the warmth of the sun or a gentle spring rain. We prayed for the elderly who will die waiting for care because they couldn't make it past the Obama death panels....

Secular righties? You're losing control of your movement. Bart Stupak's decision to vote yes is setting off a reaction that guarantees you soon won't be able to distinguish it from the culture-war right of the Reagan and post-Reagan years.

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